Obama honours Chinese President at State Dinner

PTI Washington | Updated on January 25, 2011 Published on January 20, 2011

Prominent Chinese Americans, corporate leaders, a host of Hollywood celebrities and former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were part of US President Barack Obama’s State Dinner for his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

The State Dinner for Mr Hu, the first for a Chinese leader in 13 years, was held at State Dining Room, unlike the huge tent that was pitched on the White House lawns for the State Dinner of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in November 2009 to accommodate about 400 guests.

This was Mr Obama’s third State Dinner — two of which were for Asian leaders — India and China — while the other was that for the Mexican leader.

First Lady Michelle wore an Alexander McQeen red dress.

Raising his toast, Mr Obama continued on the theme of unity and cooperation. “We pay tribute to the bonds between two great nations... We met today in the spirit of respect,” he said.

Yet again, he tried to stress that US and China have a lot in common. “While it is easy to talk about the differences, let’s never forget the similarities we share... Throughout our history, our people have worked together... Today, we’ve shown that our governments can work together too,” he said.

On the occasion, Mr Obama also announced a Panda agreement between China and an American zoo.

Mr Hu said that relations between the two countries have greatly improved since Mr Obama has been in office.

“In the past two years since President Obama has taken office, our relations have made tremendous headway,” he said.

Published on January 20, 2011
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