Chinese president Hu Jintao set for US Visit

Hu Jintao and Barak Obama

Hu Jintao and Barak Obama

The Chinese president is expected to arrive in the US later on today for a four-day state visit, between two of the world’s biggest superpowers.

Mr Hu is said to be the most important Chinese leader for 30 years given China’s recent economic growth, which has led to them being seen as a genuine superpower.

The visit is extremely important for both countries, as recent relations have been not been smooth. Issues such as human rights, currency controls and trade disputes will all be included in the talks, as well as the subject of North Korea’s nuclear activites.

A private dinner for Mr Hu is being hosted by Barak Obama at the white house. Talks will then begin on Wednesday in the oval office and will include a state dinner. Mr Hu is also expected to make a visit to Chicago.

Chinas foreign ministry has said “We hope the visit will promote positive and co-operative China-US relations, map out new directions for bilateral relations in the new era and raise co-operation to a new level,”

Hiliary Clinton reiterated this by saying America and China are at a “critical juncture, a time when the choices we make, big and small, will shape the trajectory of this relationship”.

Both sides recognise that relations in the past have been difficult in the past, but the US are also concerned about China’s growing military presence. During a recent visit to the country Defence Secretary Robert Gates witnessed the test of China’s new J-20 stealth fighter prototype.

Mr Hu has acknowledged that in the past China and the US have not seen eye-to-eye, but maintained that co-operation rather than confrontation would be the best thing the two countries.

It is especially vital for the US to maintain trade between themselves and China, as it is now worth about $400bn. China is also being encouraged to buy billions of dollars worth of aircraft, car parts and agricultural goods from the US.

US senators have also been pressing congress to penalise China for the way it manipulates its currency. Currently the government are managing the exchange rate rather than letting it rise, this results in Chinese goods being cheaper in the US and American goods being more expensive in China.

However Mr Hu says that the yuan was not undervalued, and questioned the adoption of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

There are also expected to be many protests by human rights organisations and other groups during the Chinese Presidents visit.

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