Figure skater Michelle Kwan arrives at the White House for a state dinner 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are hosting resident Hu Jintao for a state dinner during his visit to the United States.
They were joined at last night’s event by former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and celebrities including Barbra Streisand, US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and fashion designer Vera Wang.
Also on the 225-strong guest list were, Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and one of her predecessors, Henry Kissinger and actor Jackie Chan.
The official Xinhua News Agency called the visit a “historic masterstroke of China-US diplomacy with global significance.” Mr Hu will now meet members of Congress to discuss China’s contentious economic policies. The country is accused of suppressing the value of its currency, the yuan, to keep its exports artificially cheap. Politicians have threatened legislation to punish Chinese goods with duties. More than 80 have written to Mr Obama urging him to tell Mr Hu “America’s patience is near an end”.
(January 18, 2011 – Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images North America)