US & Canada

Barack Obama invites China's Hu Jintao for state visit

Barack Obama at G20 summit in Toronto - 26 June 2010
Image caption The president welcomed China's flexibility on currency exchange

China's President Hu Jintao has accepted an invitation for a state visit from US President Barack Obama, the White House has said.

The invitation was made on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Canada.

Officials from the two countries are to set a date for the state visit, Mr Hu's first to the US under President Obama.

The two countries have disagreed recently on currency exchange rates, trade and how to deal with Iran's nuclear programme.

China has agreed recently to let its currency float more freely from its previous peg to the US dollar, but many in the US say it is undervalued, giving China an unfair trade advantage.

"The president extended an invitation to President Hu to visit the United States on a state visit. President Hu accepted and the two sides will work out the timing," White House aide Jeffrey Bader said.

Mr Obama told Mr Hu that China's move to greater flexibility on its currency exchange was welcome and that "implementation of it was very important," Mr Bader said.

"The president stressed the need for balanced and sustainable growth and the role that China can play in achieving balanced and sustainable growth," he added.

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