Chinese President Hu Jintao has arrived in the United States for talks with President Bush and key business leaders.
Mr. Hu's first stop on his four-day American visit was to the northwestern state of Washington, where he held talks with Bill Gates, the chairman of computer software giant Microsoft. Later Tuesday he is to attend a dinner with 100 business, government and community leaders to be hosted by Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire.
On Wednesday, he is scheduled to tour a Boeing commercial aircraft plant before heading to Washington, D.C., for a meeting with President Bush.
Many storefronts in Seattle's Chinatown hung Chinese and U.S. flags to greet Mr. Hu, but there were also demonstrations by dozens of Taiwanese, Tibetan and Falun Gong advocates.
The Chinese president is to meet with Mr. Bush at the White House Thursday. Officials say the two leaders will discuss a variety of issues, including U.S. demands that China reform its currency and the Asian country's $200 billion trade surplus with the United States.
Mr. Hu is likely to call on the United States to reaffirm its stance that Taiwan is part of mainland China, while President Bush is expected to bring up China's human rights record. The two sides are also slated to discuss nuclear negotiations with North Korea and Iran.
The Chinese president's visit with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates comes after years of battling widespread software piracy in the lucrative Chinese market. The software developer and representatives of one of the world's largest computer companies, Chinese-based Lenovo, agreed on Monday to pre-install Microsoft's Windows operating system on its computers.
Mr. Hu's tour of the aircraft factory comes following this month's agreement for Beijing to purchase 80 Boeing aircraft, a deal worth $4.6 billion.
Some information for this report provided by AFP.