Presidential heart-to-heart

US President Barack Obama welcomes Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House for the start of a historic visit to Washington.

The leaders wasted no time in delivering pointed messages to each other before meetings addressing trade, security and human rights issues that have been the cause of past strains.

At the arrival ceremony, Mr Obama said each country had an enormous stake in the others' future, and he referred to China's human rights record. The Chinese leader said the relationship between the two powers should be based on "mutual respect," with each country recognising the others' core interests and choices of development paths, suggesting limits to how far the US can push Beijing on issues from currency to human rights. The day was rounded off with a lavish, pomp-filled state dinner.