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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.

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This week's challenge for President Obama: diplomacy in the face of possible adversity, on both the domestic and international fronts As the House of Representatives was considering a repeal of his hard-won health care reform law on Wednesday .

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Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the earthquake-rocked region of Qinghai in western China on Sunday as official estimates of the damage to human life rose to 1,700 dead, with 256 missing and 12,128 injured.

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