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Chinese president woos big business as US visit begins

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Chinese President Xi Jinping began his first state visit to the United States on Tuesday in the West Coast hub of Seattle, aiming to woo American businesses and take the edge off a leery White House view of the Asian giant.

Xi will set the tone of his visit in meetings and a keynote speech to leaders of states such as Washington that do substantial business with China, as well as the heads of top companies with huge China interests such as Boeing (NYSE: BA - news) and Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT - news) .

With the Obama administration increasingly at odds with Beijing over its territorial claims in the South China Sea, cyber theft of US business secrets and alleged discriminatory business practices against US investors in China, Xi could have his best chance to clear some air while in Seattle.

But he also has to balance that with a demonstration to the public back home that the United States takes his country seriously as an equal among global superpowers.

In an interview published Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal, Xi depicted China and the United States leading the world shoulder-to-shoulder, with both common and competing interests.

"Together, China and the United States account for one-third of the world economy, one-fourth of the global population, and one-fifth of global trade," he said.

"If two big countries like ours do not cooperate with each other, just imagine what will happen to the world."

- CEO charm offensive -

Xi's speech in Seattle later Tuesday will be his only major policy address while in the United States.

He will follow that with a...