Less than 24 hours into his visit to Seattle, President Hu was already serving as a promoter for the city's Starbucks Corporation.
Speaking to business executives, politicians and other dignitaries during a dinner yesterday at the home of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Hu expressed his desire to be a regular at the ubiquitous coffee-store chain.
"Starbucks coffee shops have mushroomed in China's cities," he said through a translator.
"If I were not serving in this office, I would certainly prefer to go into one of the coffee shops run by Starbucks," said the usually reserved Hu, drawing laughter from the crowd, which included Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz.
One concern at the Gates mansion has been accommodating the guests who smoke. Their solution a custom-made tent has been set up near the house as a smoking pavilion.
Gates offers Windows tips
At Microsoft Corp's campus, President Hu strengthened his friendship with Gates
"I use the operating system produced by Microsoft every day," he added, to laughter.
Gates responded: "Thank you, it's a fantastic relationship," and then quipped: "And if you ever need advice on how to use Windows, I'll be glad to help."
At home in the future
In his whirlwind visit to the Microsoft campus, Hu accompanied by Gates, CEO Steve Ballmer and an entourage of Chinese dignitaries saw some business technology demonstrations.
In one demonstration, a vase outfitted with special technology, called a radio frequency identification tag, prompted screens on a display case to show pictures of areas where Hu had worked and lived.
In the kitchen, the counter displayed a recipe and instructions in Chinese for making focaccia bread, prompting Hu to ask if a housekeeper were still needed with such advanced technology.
In a day full of meetings that were formal, there were a few casual exchanges between President Hu and his local hosts.
The president jokingly told Governor Christine Gregoire that he would work on finding hotel rooms for all 6 million Washington residents during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Governor Gregoire told reporters that she came out of meetings with a positive impression of China's 63-year-old leader.
"Here's a warm individual on a personal level, one whom I believe is steadfast in sending the message to Americans that he believes in friendship, a peaceful relationship and that some of the fears we've heard are not well-founded," she said.
"He is making sure his country is taking care of its people when it comes to health care and education, and it's a real challenge for him."
"He was very, very articulate, and very gracious," said Conrad Lee, a Bellevue City Council member who was born in China and raised in Hong Kong, after attending a welcoming ceremony for Hu.
Zhang Ziyi gets White House invitation
Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi will attend a welcoming ceremony at the White House for President Hu, China Youth Daily has reported.
"I never thought I would have the chance to participate in such an activity at the White House. It's a great honour," the newspaper quoted Zhang as saying.
Zhang was also quoted as saying that if she meets US President George W. Bush, she would ask him how many Chinese movies he has watched.
Source: China Daily