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Hu Welcomed at White House

President Obama and the first lady welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao to Washington on Wednesday for his first official state visit to the U.S. The two leaders met on the south lawn of the executive mansion, with a color guard, lawmakers, and Cabinet members looking on. Obama said that since 1979, when ties between the U.S. and China normalized, there has been growing cooperation between the two countries. “The previous 30 years have been a time of estrangement for our two countries, the 30 years since have been a time of growing engagement,” Obama said. “With this visit we can lay the foundation for the next 30 years.” Hu’s visit will include a press conference, a black-tie dinner, and meetings with executives from leading American companies, including Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, and Carlyle Group. The heads of state are expected to discuss some of the contentious issues between the two countries—which do $400 billion in trade annually—including China’s human-rights record, valuation of the yen, and intellectual property rights. “Our cooperation as partners should be based on mutual respect,” Hu said. “China and the United States should respect each other’s development path.”

January 19, 2011 5:25 AM