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Rediff.com  » News » Chinese President Hu to visit US on Jan 18

Chinese President Hu to visit US on Jan 18

January 07, 2011 22:43 IST

Chinese President Hu Jintao will undertake a state visit to the US from January 18-21 at the invitation of his American counterpart Barack Obama, a foreign ministry announced in Beijing on Friday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said President Hu will make a state visit to the United States from January 18 to 21 at the invitation of US President Barack Obama.

The officials from the two countries have stepped up interaction ahead of Hu's visit.Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan met US Under Secretary of the Treasury Lael Brainard in Beijing.

During the meeting, Brainard told Wang that she "was asked by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the White House" to coordinate with China's economic and finance officials on economic issues related to President Hu's visit, state-run Xinhua reported.

"During their meeting, Brainard briefed Wang on how the United States has been preparing the economic agenda of President Hu's visit," according to an official statement issued after the meeting.

Wang and Brainard also exchanged views on the bilateral economic relationship, it said.

Apart from Wang, Brainard also met Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission Liu Mingkang. She is also scheduled to meet other Chinese economic officials.

Ahead of Brainard's visit to Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi travelled to Washington earlier this week. US President Barack Obama and a number of officials met Yang and discussed the bilateral relationship and Hu's visit.

Yang's visit was exceptional because Chinese foreign ministers have always visited Africa for their first overseas trip of the year since 1991, the news agency said. Also this week, US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Bosworth visited Beijing as part of a three-nation tour aiming to ease tensions in the Korean Peninsula.

On the heels of Brainard's visit, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates is scheduled to visit Beijing from January 9 to 12 to revive US-China military ties, which stalled when the Pentagon decided to sell a nearly US $ 6.4-billion arms package to Taiwan in January 2010.

"The increased meeting of senior Chinese and US officials reflects the two countries' desire to make President Hu's state visit a great success," said Yuan Peng, director of the America Studies of China Institute for Contemporary International Relations.

"With a number of topics to be covered and senior officials involved, the discussions will help both sides reduce misunderstandings and coordinate their stances, laying a solid foundation for the meeting of the presidents in Washington," Yuan said.

K J M Varma in Beijing
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