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PIX: Obama's star-studded American dinner for Hu

Last updated on: January 20, 2011 11:07 IST

Obama's star-studded American dinner for Hu

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Prominent Chinese Americans, corporate leaders, a host of Hollywood celebrities and former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were part of US President Barack Obama's State Dinner for his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

The State Dinner for Hu, the first for a Chinese leader in 13 years, was held at State Dining Room, unlike the huge tent that was pitched on the White House lawns for the State Dinner of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009 to accommodate about 400 guests.

Click on NEXT to see more PHOTOS of the event...

Also See:
The State Dinner in Dr Manmohan Singh's Honour


Image: US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama greet China's President Hu Jintao as he arrives for a State Dinner in his honour at the White House
Photographs: Jim Bourg/Reuters
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The menu for the occasion included D'Anjou pear salad with farmstead goat cheese, fennel, black walnuts and white balsamic vinegar, poached Maine lobster with orange-glazed carrots and black trumpet mushrooms; lemon sorbet; and dry aged rib eye with buttermilk crisp onions, double-stuffed potatoes and creamed spinach.

Dessert was apple pie with vanilla ice cream.


Image: A table setting for the state dinner hosted by US President Obama for his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao is shown at the White House
Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters
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Obama's star-studded American dinner for Hu

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Among the glamorous guests was actor Jackie Chan.

Joking to reporters, Chan said, "It was a long walk". Pointing to his camera, the actor said: "Want to take photos".


Image: Actor Jackie Chan arrives for the state dinner
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
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Obama's star-studded American dinner for Hu

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This was Obama's third State Dinner -- two of which were for Asian leaders -- India and China -- while the other was that for the Mexican leader.

First Lady Michelle wore an Alexander McQeen red dress.

Raising his toast, Obama continued on the theme of unity and cooperation.


Image: US President Barack Obama toasts with Chinese President Hu Jintao
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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Obama's star-studded American dinner for Hu

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"We pay tribute to the bonds between two great nations... We met today in the spirit of respect," he said.

Yet again, he tried to stress that US and China have a lot in common.

"While it is easy to talk about the differences, let's never forget the similarities we share... Throughout our history, our people have worked together... Today, we've shown that our governments can work together too," he said.

On the occasion, Obama also announced a Panda agreement between China and an American zoo.


Image: Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger arrives with his wife Nancy for the state dinner
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
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Obama's star-studded American dinner for Hu

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Michelle Kwan, the skater champion, who wore a golden short dress to the dinner.

'Law & Order: SVU' actor B D Wong, was all smiles, arriving with his mom.

He said it was an "overwhelming experience".

New York designer Vera Wang made an entrance with a beautiful off-white with brown dress with a bare back.


Image: Michelle Kwan arrives for the state dinner
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
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Obama's star-studded American dinner for Hu

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The last celebrity to arrive was Barbara Streisand who wore a striped kind of suit with diamond buttons.

New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie and Senator Richard Lugar were the only two Republicans spotted at the dinner.

Kenth Roth of Human Rights Watch hoped to talk to Hu about China's human rights record, he said.


Image: Barbra Streisand and her husband James Brolin arrive for the state dinner
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
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Obama's star-studded American dinner for Hu

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Hu proposed a toast "to the health of President Obama, Mrs Obama and to the well-being of the American people".

Hu said that relations between the two countries have greatly improved since Obama has been in office.

"In the past two years since President Obama has taken office, our relations have made tremendous headway," he said.


Image: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband former US President Bill Clinton attend the State Dinner
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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Obama's star-studded American dinner for Hu

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The state Dining Room was set with gold flatware. Some of the forks and spoons date to the 1890s while the spoon design is based on those purchased for the White House in 1833 for President Andrew Jackson.

Floral arrangements for the state dinner included feathers, a mix of flowers, berries and other greeneries.


Image: Musician Herbie Hancock arrives for his performance
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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Yellow, the national colour of China, was on display throughout the cocktail area.

The architecture of the State Dining Room was highlighted by a deep red lighting scheme.


Image: US President Barack Obama speaks at the State Dinner
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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