President Hu kicks off visit amid expectations
By Sun Shangwu and Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-04-19 06:18
President Hu Jintao arrived in Seattle today for his first state visit to the
United States, the highlight of which will be a summit with his US counterpart
George W. Bush in Washington DC.
Chinese President Hu
Jintao and his wife Liu Yongqing arrive at Paine Field in Everett,
Washington, April 18, 2006. [Reuters]
The long-awaited visit will help the two powers strengthen mutual
understanding and trust while seeking more common ground, international studies
experts and officials said.
Hu's first trip to Washington was four years ago when he was the
vice-president; he had to postpone his planned US trip last September due to
During his two-day stay in this coastal city of Washington state, Hu will
tour Microsoft's headquarters and dine with company founder Bill Gates before
visiting a Boeing plant.
The president will then move to the east coast in an itinerary that includes
a speech at Yale University, Bush's alma mater, to explain China's sustainable
and peaceful growth strategy.
Hu's fifth summit with Bush since last May is likely to cover talks on
Taiwan, trade, intellectual property rights and China's currency.
Also expected to be on the agenda are the nuclear standoffs on the Korean
Peninsula and in Iran.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang yesterday reaffirmed that Taiwan would be
one of the main topics of discussion when the two leaders meet.
"The Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive core issue in
China-US relations," he told a regular press conference.
"We cannot sideline the Taiwan question."
In Washington, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told a news briefing on
Monday that "President Bush is looking forward to seeing President Hu later this
"This is an important strategic relationship we have. There are many areas of
common concern where we are working together."