Chinese President to arrive in US today on State-Visit

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Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jan 18 (PTI) Chinese President Hu Jintaoarrives here today in to a red carpet welcome thrown by theObama Administration amidst increasing sign that the leadersof the two big powers would use the occasion to mend theirdifferences and find common ground for resolving key issues.

Keeping normal protocol aside, Vice President JoeBiden would himself be there at the tarmac to greet Hu whenhis plane lands at the Andrews Air Force Base later today.

In the evening, Obama is hosting private dinner at theWhite House for Hu. The State dinner is the first for China in13 years and follows Obama Administration''s state dinners forIndia and Mexico.

Hu would be given a traditional welcome at the WhiteHouse tomorrow, following which the two leaders would meet atthe Oval office on a one-o-one basis, followed by a Cabinetlevel meeting.

Obama and Hu would later address a joint newsconference at the White House.

Later in the evening, Obama has hosted the StateDinner for Hu at the White House.

Unlike the State Dinner of Indian Prime MinisterManmohan Singh for whom a huge tent was erected on the lawnsof the White House, there was no such sign till yesterday.

Said to be his last major foreign visit, Hu would alsomeet a number of Congressional leaders and American businessleaders as part of his effort to explain the Chinese positionon number of key issues, including human rights and currency.

In written interview to The Wall Street Journal andThe Washington Post, Hu sought common ground with the US andsaid his country believes in the principle of peacefulco-existence.

"There is no denying that there are some differencesand sensitive issues between us," Hu said.

"We both stand to gain from a sound China-USrelationship, and lose from confrontation," he said.

"To follow the path of peaceful development is asolemn commitment of the Chinese government and people to theinternational community. It is a policy that we will alwaysadhere to. Specifically, it means that we will achievenational development by our hard and creative work, byreforming and improving our institutions, and by maintainingfriendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with othercountries," Hu said.

National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told reporterslast week that the talks with Hu would include a wide range ofissues, which he broadly divided into four baskets � security,economy, human rights and overall relationship.

In a speech on US-China ties last week, Secretary ofState Hillary Clinton said the US wants a positive,cooperative and comprehensive relationship with China.

"We intend to pursue a positive, cooperative andcomprehensive relationship with China. Because that reallydoes capture our hopes for the future and that is how our twoPresidents have described this relationship," Clinton said.

She said a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific regionis in the interest of both China and the United States.

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