Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Washington on Thursday for a state visit and talks with President Barack Obama expected to be clouded by differences over alleged Chinese cyber spying, Beijing’s economic policies and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Vice President Joe Biden greeted Xi and his wife as they landed at Andrews Air Force Base on the second leg of a weeklong trip that begin in Seattle. While there, the Chinese leader sought to reassure U.S. companies that he is working to create a more favorable Chinese investment climate.
Xi arrived soon after Pope Francis flew out of the U.S. capital following a visit that drew adoring crowds wherever he went.
he White House quickly switched Chinese flags for the Vatican banners flying in front of the presidential mansion and prepared to roll out the red carpet for Xi, but the leader of the world’s second-biggest economy can expect only a fraction of the wall-to-wall U.S. news coverage showered upon the popular pontiff.
U.S. cable-television networks were busy showing the pope’s arrival live in New York instead of broadcasting Xi’s welcoming ceremony, where he stood shoulder to shoulder with Biden as a band played the two countries’ national anthems.
Obama planned to host Xi later on Thursday for a private working dinner, where White House aides said they would begin grappling with the main issues that divide their countries.
Xi will be treated to full honors on Friday, including a 21-gun salute, a formal summit, a joint news conference and a black-tie state dinner. Read more