Chinese President Hu arrives in Washington for state visit

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived here Tuesday for a state visit that will include high-profile talks with President Barack Obama on trade, currency, North Korea and other issues.

The three-day visit includes a state dinner on Wednesday and the eighth face-to-face meeting between Obama and the Chinese leader, according to a CNN report.

The US administration officials say the meetings illustrates the importance of relations between two global powers at a time described by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a “critical juncture.”

According to Chinese media reports, Hu will stress how a constructive, comprehensive partnership between the two powers could be mutually beneficial and help ensure stability in Asia and worldwide, despite differences between Beijing and Washington on issues such as human rights and currency controls.

Besides holding talks with Obama, Hu is also scheduled to meet with top legislators and business executives. After Washington, Hu will make a stop in Chicago on Thursday.

Vice President Joe Biden greeted Hu when the Chinese leader arrived at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday afternoon. A military honor guard saluted Hu and a military band played the national anthems of both countries as Hu and Biden stood on a red carpet on the air base tarmac.

Obama will host the Chinese leader at a small White House dinner Tuesday night, joined by Clinton and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

On Wednesday, the two leaders will hold bilateral talks followed by a joint news conference, and Hu will be the guest of honor at a formal state dinner in the evening.