President Barack Obama will host a formal state dinner for his Chinese counterpart on Wednesday -- part of a day that will include bilateral talks and a joint news conference.
Chinese President Hu Jintao is on a three-day trip to the United States for talks on trade, currency and North Korea. It will be the eighth face-to-face meeting between the two leaders, CNN International reports.
The Washington visit of Chinese President brings together the leaders of the world's two superpowers. Analysts say it could be among the most pivotal state visits in U.S. history. It will also be among the most complicated. President Obama and President Hu each have to deal with influential domestic constituencies and the two countries are locked together at multiple levels.
"There are so many different bureaucracies that are dealing with each other across the Pacific that the two presidents, to a certain degree, are maestros, trying to orchestrate all the various parts of their governments," says David Finkelstein, a China expert at the Center for Naval Analyses, NPR reports.
Analysts say Hu is eager to burnish his legacy as a competent steward of China's ties with the United States. But he will find an administration that views his government with significant misgivings.
Obama entered office expressing a sense that together the United States and China had an opportunity to solve many of the world's problems. Indeed, unique among presidents dating to Richard M. Nixon, Obama entered office striking a gentle tone toward China, Washington Post reports.