President Obama Welcomes Chinese President Hu to White House


"It's a significant set of contracts and projects for cooperation," the official said. The White House called it a "cross-border collaboration" to contribute to economic growth and development in both countries while emphasizing many clean energy and green technologies.

In addition to the export deals, there will be an announcement of a series of policy changes on China's part.

These include an agreement from China to "strengthen intellectual property right enforcement" by performing and publishing audits showing how government agencies are purchasing software legally. The agreement also includes China's intention to eliminate discriminatory "indigenous innovation" which limits Beijing's purchase of foreign products to those designed in China.

"Chinese investment in the United States, which is one of the things this summit I think is going to address, potentially can generate of a lot of U.S. jobs," said Ken Lieberthal, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.

Obama will likely push for China to offer a more level playing field for U.S. products in China, meaning an end to unfair government support for Chinese companies, and to stop the widespread theft of U.S. intellectual property -- such as software and entertainment products.

Perhaps the biggest point of contention between the two nations, Asia experts said, was the issue of China's currency. Obama is expected to once again push China to stop undervaluing its currency and press for greater access for American goods to be sold in Chinese markets.

Chinese Currency on the Agenda

By keeping its currency artificially low, China can produce cheaper goods to sell overseas. The Obama administration says this is unfair to American businesses.

"This is not a tenable policy for China or for the world economy," said Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner last week.

The two presidents will sit down Wednesday afternoon with American and Chinese business leaders from companies like Goldman Sachs, General Electric, Coca-Cola and Boeing. The conversation will center on the U.S.-China economic relationship and increasing trade opportunities between the two nations.

President Obama also plans to announce the creation of a new nuclear security initiative with China - a security center in China with funding from both countries. But no other major breakthroughs are expected. Asia experts said that one key focus for the two presidents is simply mending fences.

"Fundamentally both presidents are trying to signal to both of their populations that this is a relationship that is important to both sides, we ought to find ways to move forward in it," said Lieberthal.

Tuesday night's airport arrival ceremony, a rare honor for a visiting foreign leader, featured Vice President Joe Biden personally greeting the Chinese president on the tarmac. The ceremony marked the start of Hu's two-day visit that included an Oval Office meeting with Obama Wednesday morning, a joint press conference, a meeting with U.S and Chinese business leaders and an elaborate state dinner, only the third such gathering in Obama's presidency.

On Tuesday night in the Old Family Dining Room, Obama held an intimate dinner for Hu. White House officials anticipated that Hu would push for greater access to sell Chinese goods in American markets and more opportunities to invest in the United States.

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