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From September 22 to 25, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping made his first state visit to the United States upon an invitation from his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama. A landmark trip aimed at building trust and cooperation between the world's two biggest economies, Xi's visit drew global attention.
A major port for trade with Asia and a tech and aviation hub on the West Coast, Seattle was the first stop of Xi's U.S. trip. "I have come to the United States to deepen friendship between our two peoples, expand practical cooperation across the board and promote even greater progress in building a new model of major-country relationship between China and the United States," Xi said in Seattle.
Xi's 3-day itinerary in Seattle included meeting government and business leaders, addressing forums between governors and between CEOs from the two countries, and visiting the Microsoft campus, Boeing's main airplane assembly plant and a high school.
On the day Xi arrived in Seattle, a group of Chinese companies signed deals with Boeing to buy 300 aircraft. It is widely believed that Seattle was chosen as the first stop of Xi's U.S. visit because it showcases the strong economic and people-to-people engagement between the two countries.
"We support large American businesses in setting up regional headquarters or research and development centers in China, and encourage more small and medium-sized companies to expand businesses in China," Xi declared. "Meanwhile, China will keep increasing its investment in the United States."