- Title: CHINA: Beijing rolls out red carpet for U.S. President Obama
- Date: 18th November 2009
- Summary: HU AND OBAMA STANDING ON PODIUM/U.S. ANTHEM PLAYING IN BACKGROUND OBAMA PUTTING HAND ON HEART HU STANDING VARIOUS OF HU AND OBAMA STANDING TOGETHER JOURNALISTS VARIOUS OF HU AND OBAMA STANDING TOGETHER GUARD OF HONOUR COMING TO ATTENTION HU AND OBAMA WALKING TOWARDS GUARD OF HONOUR GUARD OF HONOUR AT ATTENTION VARIOUS OF HU AND OBAMA INSPECTING GUARD OF HONOUR HU AND OBAMA WALKING AWAY
- Embargoed: 3rd December 2009 12:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA4PK01N5Z78U7W82X78LA8LAEQ
- Story Text: Chinese President Hu Jintao held a state welcome ceremony for visiting U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday (November 17).
The two leaders will have bilateral talks and meet with the press later in the morning.
The future of the Chinese yuan currency is expected to be on the agenda, following days of testy exchanges over what Washington says is a serious undervaluing of the currency stoking global economic imbalances.
Hu has shown little patience for criticisms of Beijing's currency policy, and he and other Chinese officials have instead dwelt on what they have called the protectionist impulses and lax fiscal policies of the United States.
But even with a whole morning to talk, Obama and Hu will have a crowded agenda, underscoring the breadth and complexity of ties between their countries -- respectively the world's biggest and third biggest economies.
Both governments are key players in frustrated efforts to end North Korea's nuclear weapons programme, and Obama is also looking for more support from China to press Iran over its nuclear activities.
Other topics to be talked about include human rights, as well as efforts to forge a new climate pact, following acknowledgement that a legally-binding agreement will not emerge from negotiations in Copenhagen next month.
Both governments have tried to strike a friendly tone before what could otherwise be a combative summit.
In commercial hub Shanghai on Monday (November 16), Obama told Chinese students he did not fear their nation's rise, as he began his first visit to China since taking office earlier in the year, but called for more balanced trade between the two sides.
But when the two presidents sit down in the Great Hall of the People -- China's grandiose parliament building -- their current economic strains will loom large.
At a gathering of Asia-Pacific leaders in Singapore over the weekend, Hu pointedly ignored international calls for his government to help ease global imbalances by raising the value of the yuan, making Chinese exports relatively more expensive.
He and other senior Chinese officials have instead accused other countries -- implicitly including the United States -- of embracing damaging trade protectionism aimed at Chinese goods. On Monday, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian was equally blunt in rejecting calls to raise the value of the yuan.
China has had a huge trade surplus with the United States, and is also the largest foreign holder of U.S. government bonds.
The U.S. trade deficit with China widened 9.2 percent in September to $22.1 billion, the highest since November 2008, according to U.S. data released last week.
Obama has cast his visit as an effort to win trust from a government and a public often wary of U.S. intentions towards the rising Asian superpower.
But Obama also made a call for greater freedom of expression, a touchy issue in a country frequently criticised in Washington for trampling on issues like religious rights.
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