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 visit was to the northwestern state of Washington, where he was to meet with the chairman of computer software giant Microsoft and tour a Boeing commercial aircraft plant before heading to Washington later in the week.
Many storefronts in Seattle's Chinatown hung Chinese and U.S. flags to greet Mr. Hu, but there was also a demonstration by members of Falun Gong, a spiritual group officially suppressed in China.
The Chinese president is to meet with President 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 dollar 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 also are 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 dollars.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.