CHINA / National

Hu visits Microsoft, vows better IPR protection
Updated: 2006-04-19 10:36

Hu later was greeted by elementary school children from Seattle's John Stanford International School. Using a Tablet PC, with a little bit of help from one of the children, Hu wrote, in Chinese, "Long live the China-American friendship."

Following the meeting at Microsoft, about 100 guests, including former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Gov. Gary Locke, the first Chinese-American governor, were invited to Gates' $100 million lakeside mansion on Lake Washington for a dinner.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates (C) watches as Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during Hu's visit to Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, April 18, 2006. Hu spent about an hour visiting and viewing some of the new technologies being developed for future homes. [Reuters]
China has recently begun requiring Chinese computer makers to preload legal software on their machines. Microsoft looks set to reap the rewards of the new rule.

It signed a major deal Monday with China's best-selling PC maker Lenovo in which Lenovo will spend 1.2 billion dollars to buy and pre-install Microsoft software.

In Seattle's Chinatown, many stores hung Chinese and U.S. flags to welcome Hu, and many in the crowd outside the stately Fairmont Hotel where Hu is staying were there to support the Chinese president, or simply curious about all the fuss.


In Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Hu will lunch at the White House where Bush said he would bring up Iran's nuclear program. Bush wants China to agree to more pressure on Tehran through the U.N. Security Council, something Beijing is resisting.

"I intend of course to bring the subject up of Iranian ambitions to have a nuclear weapon," Bush said on Tuesday. "We'll continue to work diplomatically to get this problem solved." Iran says its program is just for nuclear energy.

Before the visit, China sought to quell U.S. trade complaints by signing contracts worth $16.2 billion while Vice Premier Wu Yi visited the United States last week.
Bush, visiting a school in a Washington D.C. suburb, said China was both a partner and competitor.

"We can either look at China and say, let's compete with China in a fair way, or say, we can't compete with China and therefore kind of isolate ourselves from the world. I've chosen the former route for the United States," the president said.

But U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick said Beijing had been slow in meeting U.S. demands to reform its currency. U.S. officials say the yuan is undervalued, making Chinese exports artificially cheap.

The U.S. claimed that its trade deficit with China totaled $202 billion last year.

Hu also wants Bush to offer some assurance that the United States will restrain Taiwan's independence-leaning "president" Chen Shui-bian, Chinese analysts said. Beijing says the island must accept reunification with the mainland after over half a century of separation.

Before leaving Seattle on Wednesday, Hu will visit Boeing Co.. Shortly before his visit, China signed a deal with the company to buy 80 737 jets worth around $4 billion.

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