President Hu Jintao will be feted with a White House State Dinner on January 19. AFP reports:
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will offer the full pageantry of a state dinner for Hu at the White House, as the US leader reciprocates after his visit to Beijing and Shanghai last year.
The two leaders will also be expected to hold in-depth talks in the Oval Office, after meeting repeatedly at international summits around the world, and in a string of one-on-one talks, in Obama’s two years in power.
Hu’s appearance in Washington will come at a time of aggravated tensions between Washington and Beijing, despite efforts by both sides to find common ground on issues like North Korea and Iranian nuclear sanctions.
Both sides however have an incentive to pull off a smooth visit, as Obama sees America’s future increasingly tied to a dynamic Asia, and Hu looks to his legacy as he prepares to hand over to a successor as president in 2013.