World News

China confirms President Hu to visit U.S. from January 18

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Hu Jintao will make a state visit to the United States from January 18 to 21, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday, confirming the long-planned summit in which North Korea is likely to feature.

The brief statement from spokesman Hong Lei on the Ministry’s website ( gave no more details. The White House said last month that Hu would make the visit.

China’s announcement came a day after the U.S. envoy for North Korea policy, Stephen Bosworth, finished two days of talks in Beijing. Washington has pressed China to apply more pressure on its long-time ally North Korea to resume nuclear disarmament and patch up ties with its neighbor South Korea.

That issue is likely to be prominent at Hu’s summit with President Barack Obama, set for January 19. at the White House.

The Obama administration is also likely to press Hu to do more to raise the value of China’s yuan currency and narrow the trade gap between the two big economies.

Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Ron Popeski