The Latest: Chinese first lady tours HIV research facility

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SEATTLE (AP) — The latest on Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the United States (all times local):

1 p.m.

Chinese First Lady Peng Liyuan has toured a medical center in Seattle with Bill and Melinda Gates, getting a close look at HIV vaccination research.

The group visited the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center on Wednesday. The Gateses are big contributors to the research center.

Peng spoke about collaborative work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and her own efforts toward an HIV vaccination.

The Chinese first lady also met with doctors who work on Fred Hutchison's China Initiative, which aims to help control infectious disease outbreaks in that country.

Peng is in Seattle with her husband, Chinese President Xi Jinping. They will travel to Washington, D.C., later this week to conclude their visit to the U.S.


12:10 p.m.

Chinese President Xi Jinping first visited Tacoma, Washington, 22 years ago while striking a sister city relationship between the port city and Fuzhou, China, where Xi was a regional leader.

He is scheduled to return to Tacoma on Wednesday for the first time when he visits a high school.

The relationship forged two decades ago helped set the stage for the upcoming stopover.

The high school visit is Xi's most public stop in his three-day visit to Washington state before he heads to the White House later this week.

About 300 pre-selected student athletes and leaders are expected to greet the Chinese president at an assembly at Lincoln High School, where about three-quarters of the students are minorities.

School spokesman Dan Voelpel says it's a big day.


11:20 a.m.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Chinese and American business executives in Seattle on his visit to the U.S. then touted his country's resilient economy.

Echoing statements he made in a speech Tuesday, Xi said Wednesday that China's economy has "big potential" and leaders of the nation will continue to remove barriers to foreign investment.

Xi also spoke about the need for stronger intellectual property protection and other reforms in his country.

Xi was set to visit the Boeing production facility in Everett later in the day then head to Microsoft's sprawling suburban campus east of Seattle before concluding his public appearances in Washington state at a high school in Tacoma.


9:18 a.m.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is traveling throughout the greater Seattle area as he visits Boeing, Microsoft and a local high school.

Drivers are being warned to expect major delays Wednesday as highways and roads are closed to accommodate Xi's motorcade.

Xi begins his day in Seattle, addressing executives from top American and Chinese companies. He then travels north to Everett to tour the massive Boeing airplane production facility.

Next, he will head southeast to Redmond for an event at the sprawling suburban Microsoft campus.

Xi will end his day at high school in Tacoma, south of Seattle. Several hundred students at Lincoln High School were expected to greet him.