Washington (AFP) – President Barack Obama will offer his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping a full state welcome at the White House on September 25, amid deep and growing tensions between the top economic and political powers.
Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan, a Chinese folk singing superstar, “at an official state dinner on the evening of September 25,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
The prestigious welcome comes after Obama made a similar trip to China in November 2014.
Xi is seen as one of the most powerful Chinese leaders in decades, but his vision of creating a “Chinese dream” and returning the country to great power status has met economic headwinds.
After decades of breakneck growth, the Chinese economy is weakening, creating a worldwide ripple effect, from slower trade volumes to skittishness on global equity and commodity markets.
The visit will be an opportunity to “expand US-China cooperation” and “address areas of disagreement constructively,” said Earnest, in a nod to problems ranging from cyber attacks to Beijing’s controversial maritime claims.