President Barack Obama hosts Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, in Washington, DC today for a State Visit, marking the third State Visit of the Obama Administration. Earlier this morning, President Obama welcomed President Hu to the White House. This visit highlights the importance of cooperation between the United States and China on bilateral, regional, and global issues and the friendship between the peoples of our two countries.
In an interview with CCTV, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke about the visit. The Secretary said, "I believe that after 30 years of hard work between our two countries in developing relationships, after the extraordinary progress that China has made in the last 30 years improving the economy, lifting people out of poverty, and so much else, that we are now poised at the beginning of this new century to determine how the United States and China working together can keep the peace not just in Asia, but around the world; can help to grow the economy so that more people have a chance to live very satisfying, comfortable lives; that we tackle problems from health issues to piracy together.
"...We bear special responsibilities as the first and second biggest economies. We bear special responsibilities because of the threat to world stability posed by the nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran. We bear special responsibility to ensure that we have a concerted response to climate change. And there are just a lot of challenges that we must face together. So this is a critical juncture to determine how good the cooperative relationship between our two countries can be going forward.
"...We want not only to have good relations between our governments and our leaders, but good relationships between our people. I have always thought that the American and Chinese people had a lot in common. We are hardworking people; we are pragmatic people; we are problem-solving people. When I was at the Shanghai Expo this past year, I was impressed by what I saw there of how our -- the peoples of our two countries seemed to gravitate toward each other."
First Lady Michelle Obama highlighted one way in which the United States and China are strengthening relationships between our peoples. At Howard University in Washington, DC, the First Lady spoke about the "100,000 Strong Initiative," a national effort designed to increase dramatically the number and diversify the composition of American students studying in China.
This afternoon, President Obama and President Hu hold a press conference at 1:05 p.m. (EST), and Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton host a lunch in honor of President Hu at 2:30 p.m. (EST). At 7:35 p.m. (EST), the President and First Lady attend the State Dinner with President Hu. You can follow all of these events on whitehouse.gov/live.
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