Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Seattle on Tuesday to kick off a week-long U.S. visit that will include meetings with U.S. business leaders, a black-tie state dinner at the White House hosted by President Barack Obama and an address at the United Nations.
Xi and his wife touched down in an Air China 747 at Paine Field, adjacent to the massive plant where Boeing Co makes its largest jets, some 25 miles (40 km) north of Seattle. They were welcomed by Washington state Governor Jay Inslee.
In downtown Seattle, a crowd of about 25 protesters representing Falun Gong, a religious group that says it is repressed in China, calmly waved signs outside the Westin hotel, where Xi is set to deliver a speech later in the evening.
At the same time, several well-wishers waved Chinese and U.S. flags and large red signs that read “Hello President Xi” in Chinese characters.
U.S. government and business leaders aim to strike a balance between forging agreements and improving relations with the world’s second-largest economy, while sending strong messages about allegations of Chinese cyber spying and intellectual property violations as well as Internet censorship and China’s disputed territorial claims to islands in the South China Sea.
For the Chinese side, Xi’s meetings with Obama and U.S. business leaders offer the chance to bolster the president’s stature at home, building on a high-profile military parade earlier this month to mark the end of World War Two, while deflecting attention from the country’s recent stock market rout, slowing economy and a chemical explosion at a Tianjin warehouse that killed over 160 people. Read more