Portrait of diplomacy: President Obama meets with China’s VP Xi Jinping and several members of the press (not pictured) in the White House on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Barack Obama played host to China’s Vice President Xi Jinping at the White House to discuss trade, human rights and other diplomatic topics. Why all the fuss over a VP? For one, Xi was returning a gesture that his American counterpart, Joe Biden, recently made. For another, he is expected to become China’s next president, replacing Hu Jintao next year. —KA
During a state department lunch later, Mr Xi said there had been “tremendous” achievements for China in human rights in the past 30 years, adding “of course there’s always room for improvement”.
He also hailed further economic co-operation with the US, saying that any issues should be resolved through dialogue, “not protectionism”.
The leaders were expected to discuss foreign policy issues, including Syria and Iran. But Washington also hopes to learn more about the Chinese heir apparent’s leadership style, say correspondents.
Mr Xi is making a week-long trip as the guest of US Vice-President Joe Biden, who made a high-profile visit to China late last year.
Earlier in the day, Mr Xi met Mr Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the White House’s Roosevelt Room.