Chinese President Hu Jintao headed to Washington on Monday for talks with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of an international summit on nuclear security.
Hu is due to deliver a speech at the summit, Xinhua news agency said, announcing his departure from Beijing.
The United States and China are looking to turn the page on months of sparring over issues ranging from the value of the yuan to US arms sales to Taiwan, which began soon after Obama visited China in November.
“We believe we can address challenges in our relationship,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai told journalists ahead of Hu’s trip.
“Certainly China and the United States may have different views on many issues, including the world economic crisis and trade, but we can’t overlook the fact that both also have shared interests.”
From Washington, the Chinese leader will head to Brazil for a summit of the BRIC group of major energing economies -- Brazil, Russia, India and China, and will also visit Venezuela and Chile.