Chinese President Hu Jintao was formally welcomed to the White House for his first state visit to the U.S., which will include a rare press conference, a meeting with company executives, and a black-tie dinner.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greeted Hu on the South Lawn of the executive mansion for the ceremony. A color guard stood at attention as the two leaders met before Cabinet members, lawmakers and U.S. and foreign diplomats.
The visit is focused on economic ties between the two countries, which is marked by more than $400 billion in annual trade as well as differences over human rights, China’s enforcement of intellectual property rights and what U.S. officials say is the artificially low value of the yuan.
Later this afternoon, Chief Executive Officers Steve Ballmer of Microsoft Corp. and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will be joined by General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Jim McNerney of Boeing Co. and 10 other U.S. business leaders brought together by the Obama administration for a session with Hu aimed at expanding U.S. business interests in China, the world’s second-largest economy.
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