China's Hu brings deals and promises to wary U.S.
BEIJING, Apr 18 (Reuters) Chinese President Hu Jintao today left for the United States bearing business deals and soothing words intended to allay U S fears about China's ambitions, but he faces a U S audience keen for more results.
The highlight of Hu's four-day trip will be a summit on Thursday with U S President George W Bush But he will first touch down in Seattle, where he will tour a production plant of Boeing Co whose business has boomed on Chinese orders.
Hu, whose entourage includes his foreign and trade ministers, will also dine at the 100 million dollars home of Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft Corp . and the world's richest man.
China sought to quell U S trade complaints by signing contracts worth 16.2 billion dollars while Vice Premier Wu Yi visited the United States last week, an editorial in the state-run China Daily said today.
''Hu's trip is set to clear U S minds of doubts and suspicion about China,'' the newspaper said.
But yesterday, U S Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick said Beijing had been ''agonisingly slow'' in reforming its currency -- a key demand in Washington, where many say China's yuan is undervalued, making Chinese exports artificially cheap.
Hu is seeking to calm U S audiences not only about trade, but also China's long-range ambitions.
In Seattle, Hu will meet U S and Chinese academics, including Zheng Bijian, a long-time Communist Party adviser who has promoted the idea that China's ''peaceful rise'' need not provoke severe conflict with Washington.
STATE VISIT? In Washington, D C, Hu will have lunch at the White House, although not the state banquet China has pressed for. China insists Hu's trip is a fully fledged state visit but the White House has said it is not.
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