Pomp And Circumstance Mark Arrival Of Chinese Leader


President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House in a formal arrival ceremony Wednesday morning.

The Chinese leader's limousine pulled up to the White House South Portico shortly after 9 a.m., where he was met with a military honor guard and review -- part of the traditional pomp and circumstance reserved for visiting leaders of major powers.

Obama hailed Hu's visit as a chance to lay a foundation for the next 30 years of Sino-American relations. "We have an enormous stake in each other's success," he said.

Obama also alluded to the importance of human rights, stressing the importance of the "universal rights of every human being."

Hu declared the relationship between the two powers to be one of "strategic significance and global influence." The United States and China, he said, should respect each other's "core interests."

Obama will host a formal state dinner for Hu Wednesday evening -- the conclusion of a long day including bilateral talks and a joint news conference.

The Chinese leader is on a three-day trip to the United States for meetings on trade, currency and North Korea. It will be the eighth face-to-face meeting between Hu and Obama.

While in Washington, Hu will stress the importance of a comprehensive partnership between the two nations to help ensure stability worldwide, Chinese state media reported, despite their differences on issues such as human rights and currency controls.

In addition to Obama, the Chinese leader is scheduled to meet with top legislators and business executives and then visit Chicago.