Hu, Obama seek to open new chapter in relations

Updated: 2011-01-20 07:39

By Wu Jiao, Li Xing and Chen Weihua (China Daily)

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President greeted with spectacular White House ceremony as $45b deals announced

Hu, Obama seek to open new chapter in relations

President Hu Jintao speaks during a state arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Wednesday as US President Barack Obama looks on.  [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - President Hu Jintao was welcomed to the White House on Wednesday with full honors that included a 21-gun salute and red-carpet greeting as he and his US counterpart Barack Obama seek to open a new chapter in Sino-US relations.

Hu pulled up to the White House as part of a highly choreographed arrival, complete with welcomes from Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden and their wives and a long line of Cabinet members and dignitaries.

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President Hu visits United States

Hu's speech at the ceremony

Obama's speech at the ceremony

Hu and Obama stood to attention as a military band played both national anthems.

The two leaders reviewed troops on the South Lawn, then approached a rope line where they shook hands and greeted a group of children and young people holding Chinese and US flags.

In his speech, Hu pledged a new chapter in "cooperation as partners".

"China and the United States share broad common interests and important common responsibilities," Hu said.

He said the two countries should adopt a long-term perspective, seek common ground while reserving differences, and work together to achieve sustained, sound and steady development of relations.

Hu, Obama seek to open new chapter in relations


"I hope that through this visit, our two countries will advance the positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship and open a new chapter in our cooperation as partners," Hu said.

To that end, Hu suggested that partnership should be based on mutual respect, mutual benefit, joint efforts to meet challenges and extensive involvement of people.

"China and the US should respect each other's choice of development path and each other's core interests," Hu said.

Obama, in a welcome speech, also touted US-China relations: "We have an enormous stake in each other's success.

"Even as our nations compete in some areas, we can cooperate in others," he said.

"What Deng Xiaoping said long ago remains true today: there are still great possibilities for cooperation between our countries," Obama said.

The last 30 years of relations were marked by continued exchanges and increased mutual understanding, he said, before adding that Hu's visit serves to lay the foundation for deeper prosperity between their two nations in the next 30 years.

Obama concluded his speech in Chinese: huanying (welcome).

As Hu was greeted with the spectacular ceremony, the White House announced on Wednesday that China will purchase $45 billion in US exports, including a $19 billion deal for 200 Boeing airplanes.

In addition to the Boeing deal, China will also invest in US exports from agriculture, telecommunications and technology companies, including General Electric, Honeywell and Navistar. The White House said the deals will support up to 235,000 jobs in the US.

Hu was at the White House for a day of meetings on security, trade, economic and other matters. Capping the day will be a lavish, pomp-filled state dinner, only the third of Obama's two-year presidency - he held state dinners for India in 2009 and for Mexico last year.

There has been a lot of attention and curiosity on who will attend the event.

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