Chinese President Xi Jinping began his week long visit to the United States in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday.
President Xi started his meetings with giant business leaders in Seattle, before meeting American President Barack Obama in Washington, DC and the United Nations General Assembly in New York later in his visit.
Xi will stay in Seattle for three days, the hometown for many technology companies and what he calls the "America's gateway to Asia."
Throughout the day, he will meet with American state governors who see economic relations with China crucial to their economy. Later in the evening, Xi will make a speech in front of business personages including Bill Gates - co-founder of Microsoft Corp - leaders from Boeing Co and Starbucks Corp.
The week long visit is critical as it came at a time of increasing tension between the two countries as a result of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea; cyber attacks to the US companies - which the US blamed China for, despite refusals - and alleged unfair regulations to American companies in China, and Yuan devaluations that heated the way to rumours of a currency war.
Whether the two world powers will reach an agreement on the contradictory priorities is not known, Christopher Johnson, a former CIA China analyst says that “the meeting” will be held between the two Presidents, Obama and Xi, “is the message.”
Gary Locke, the American politician who was the first ever Chinese American state governor, told AFP that they “know the value of international trade and the value of exports to China and how many thousands of good-paying jobs it supports here in the state of Washington."
China is a big market for American companies. Boeing, for instance, is among the top American exporters to China, with 155 record plane sales last year.
In an interview with Wall Street Journal ahead of his visit, Xi has said, as members of the UN Security Council, Chinese and US “interests converge in a broad range of areas,” and the differences between the two countries “are the reason why we should complement each other and find best solutions to issues.”
President Xi will meet with President Obama for a dinner at the White House on Thursday, and will complete his visit on Monday with a speech at the UN General Assembly.