A Visitor from China

The country's president Hu Jintao visits the United States for the first time since 2006

Jan 19, 2011 | By Andrea Delbanco

Chinese President Hu Jintao's arrival today at the White House in Washington, D.C. was met with full honors, including a red carpet, a receiving line and a color guard. A state dinner is planned for Wednesday night. It is Hu's first visit to the U.S. since 2006. He plans to be in the U.S. for four days.

President Barack Obama and Hu had a private dinner together in the residential wing of the White House on Tuesday night, before their big day of meetings. Hu will spend today at the White House talking to Obama about trade, security and other important issues. The Presidents will also discuss how the U.S. and China can work together to address human rights issues, something the two men are divided on.

A Mutual Respect

The two Presidents agree that China and the United States are critical to each other's futures. "We have an enormous stake in each other's success," Obama said. And Hu says that the relationship between the U.S. and China should be based on a "mutual respect."

But China's human rights policies have caused strain between the two powerful nations. President Obama urged Hu to try to find a common ground on human rights issues. "History shows that societies are more harmonious, nations are more successful and the world is more just when the rights and responsibilities of all nations and all peoples are upheld—including the universal rights of every human being," Obama said.