The Wall Street JournalBeijing – Chinese President Hu Jintao will visit the U.S. in early September armed with a host of trade deals that could help ease economic tensions between the countries.
President Bush is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart Sept. 7, the White House said. Beyond that, the two sides are still ironing out details of the several-days visit, including whether Mr. Bush will host a state dinner for Mr. Hu.
He Ning, director-general of the America and Oceania Affairs Department of China`s Ministry of Commerce, said “various trade and economic deals will be signed between China and the U.S. that have been put together by different government departments and companies.” He declined to provide further details.
Among deals that could be signed is one between China National Nuclear Corp. and Westinghouse Electric Co., the U.S. nuclear arm of British Nuclear Fuels PLC. Westinghouse and companies from France and Russia have been vying for a CNNC contract to build pressurized water reactors in China. A Chinese official at CNNC suggested a deal could be in the works, but Westinghouse executives said they hadn`t heard any news on their bid.
Mr. Hu also is expected to visit Boeing Co. Chinese officials are in negotiations for what is expected to be an order for at least several single-aisle 737s, according to people familiar with the talks.
Another agreement involving Chinese quarantine and inspection procedures for U.S. exports to China is on the table, Chinese quarantine officials said. They declined to provide details, but the U.S. often has alleged that Beijing uses quarantine and inspection regulations as nontariff barriers to imports of U.S. farm products and other goods.
While Mr. Hu has visited the U.S. previously and met with Mr. Bush on numerous occasions, it is his first state visit to the U.S. since taking office in March 2003. The trip comes amid strains between the countries over such economic issues as China`s widespread violation of intellectual-property rights, the ballooning U.S. trade deficit with China and a failed bid by China`s Cnooc Ltd. to buy U.S. oil-and-gas company Unocal Corp.
The White House, in a statement Tuesday, said: “The president looks forward to holding discussions with President Hu on the full range of issues on the U.S.-China agenda and continuing to build a candid, constructive, and cooperative bilateral relationship.”
Some in the U.S. also want Beijing to let the Chinese currency appreciate further. China recently allowed the yuan, formerly pegged at 8.28 to the dollar, to rise by about 2% and linked it to a basket of currencies. These critics say that despite the adjustment, the yuan remains undervalued.
Despite such tensions, the U.S. and China in recent years have established a practical working relationship to address shared problems such as North Korea`s nuclear program, drug smuggling and terrorism. Both sides expressed optimism about Mr. Hu`s visit.
Yan Xuetong, head of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University, said one agenda issue would be setting up a system to manage bilateral relations between China as a rising power and the U.S. as the world`s only superpower.
Besides meeting with Mr. Bush, Mr. Hu is scheduled to stop in Washington state, where he may visit Microsoft Corp. as well as Boeing. He also is expected to give a speech before the United Nations General Assembly and meet with other U.S. officials and congressional leaders.