China's leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday for a 36-hour visit including talks on boosting trade and investment, and maybe an NBA game featuring the LA Lakers.
Flying in from Iowa, which he visited after making the rounds in Washington, Vice President Xi was expected to announce a deal with a major film studio during his stay in the Los Angeles area, due to end Friday evening.
Outside the airport terminal before he arrived, a few dozen people put on a welcoming display in traditional Chinese costume and with a Chinese flag.
After he landed, about 100 pro-Tibet demonstrators gathered on an exit road waving Tibetan flags and placards, and chanting slogans, although it was unclear if Xi could see them as he left the airport.
His visit was due to begin with a tour of the Port of Los Angeles, the biggest US port in terms of container throughput and a major gateway for Chinese goods arriving from across the Pacific.
On Friday he will attend an economic forum in downtown LA, and is expected to watch a National Basketball Association (NBA) game between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns at the Staples Center before leaving for Ireland.