Obama tells China minister U.S. closely following Hong Kong protests

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday that the United States was watching protests in Hong Kong closely and urged a peaceful solution to the issue.

Obama, who made the remarks during a meeting between Wang and U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice at the White House, also affirmed that he would be traveling to China later this year.

"The president and Ambassador Rice ... noted that the United States is following developments in Hong Kong closely and expressed their hope that differences between Hong Kong authorities and protesters will be addressed peacefully," the White House said in a statement about the meeting.

"The United States has consistently supported the open system that is essential to Hong Kong's stability and prosperity, universal suffrage, and the aspirations of the Hong Kong people."

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Sandra Maler)