China’s Xi Begins US Visit

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Demonstrators line up to welcome the arrival of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, in Washington, February 13, 2012.

China’s Vice President Xi Jinping has arrived in the United States on a four-day visit that will include a stop at the White House.

Xi, who is expected to take charge of China’s ruling Communist Party later this year, arrived on an Air China jet Monday at an air base outside Washington.


He meets Tuesday with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House.

Ahead of his arrival, Xi warned the United States against a military build-up in Asia. In a written response to questions submitted by The Washington Post, Xi said Asian countries long for peace and development, and do not want to see the United States scale up military deployments and strengthen military alliances in the region.

Obama has announced plans to “pivot” U.S. military power toward Asia, even as it cuts back in other regions.

Xi, who likely will succeed Hu Jintao as Chinese president next year, said there is “ample room” in the Pacific region for both countries, and that China welcomes a constructive U.S. role in the region. He also urged Washington to respect the legitimate concerns of Asia-Pacific countries.

On economic matters, Xi said China will continue to address a number of legitimate U.S. concerns, including protection of intellectual property, China’s currency exchange rate, and the establishment of a transparent, rule-based investment environment.

White House officials have said they expect the talks to cover political and human rights issues, as well as security and economic matters.

Xi is scheduled to begin his formal talks with a two-hour meeting Tuesday with his formal host, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

He will attend a lunch at the State Department hosted by Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Xi also will visit with military officials at the Defense Department, and then hold talks with American and Chinese business leaders.

On Wednesday, Xi is due to travel to the midwestern state of Iowa and then to California before returning to China.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.