Hu's charming performance and speech prompted Boeing commercial airplanes chief executive Alan Mulally, who chaired the proceedings, to pump his fist and shout "China rocks!" after Hu left.
He said Hu's visit to Boeing "exceeded my expectations."
"For the president of China's first visit to the United States and to have the first place he stops be Paine Field and his thank you to Boeing workers - it makes my eyes water."
During his stay in Washington, President Hu will find a number of Chinese furnishings gracing his rooms in the Blair House. Items include a Chinese porcelain vase from the 18th century, a Chinese screen from the late 17th century, a Chinese Chippendale mirror from the late 18 century and a modern Chinese-style cabinet. The Blair House was built in 1824 and purchased by the government in 1942.
Four girls adopted from China by American couples delighted President Hu on Wednesday, prompting the president to hug the children, Washington state's ex-governor Gary Locke said.
The girls were among six children who greeted and presented Hu and his wife Liu Yongqing with bouquets of flowers after they entered the Future of Flight aviation museum in Everett. "They spoke Chinese... He was very impressed that the parents were keeping Chinese customs and culture alive," said Locke.
At the Future of Flight aviation museum in Everett, 600 business and community leaders were on hand for Hu's speech at a cost of US$750 each. They also got to meet the Chinese VIPs travelling in his 100-strong delegation.
Art of gifts
President Hu is expected to present US counterpart George W. Bush with a copy of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War."
The book, an ancient Chinese text on military strategy, is famed for insights such as: "Winning without fighting is the best strategy of all."
The text was written by Sun Tzu, a general believed to have lived in the 6th century BC and a contemporary of Confucius, one of China's great philosophers.
Hu will hand Bush a silk edition of the book produced by the State Council Information Office's foreign language press in Beijing.
(China Daily 04/21/2006 page2)