01.19.11 5:15 PM ET
Photos: Obamas Kick Off State Dinner
Washington’s “most lavish” night is underway at the White House, as the official state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jinato kicks off. The star-studded guest list includes former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, Barbra Streisand and Anna Wintour. See photos from the red carpet.
Earlier Wednesday, at a joint press conference, Obama and the Chinese president emphasized the strong ties and common ground between the two countries, particularly on trade and fighting terrorism, while underplaying divisive human rights issues. Hu said China and the U.S should "respect each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interests,” and refused to respond to an American reporter’s question on differences between the two countries on human rights.
Gallery: Hu Jintao Visits the U.S.