Chinese President Hu Jintao has toured a manufacturing plant of the aviation giant, Boeing, as part of his four-day trip to the United States.
His visit to the plant in the northwestern state of Washington comes days after Beijing announced a deal to purchase 80 Boeing jets valued at around five billion dollars.
Mr. Hu also is to give a policy speech in the city of Everett, outside Seattle.
He arrived in Washington state Tuesday and toured the headquarters of U.S. computer software giant Microsoft with company chairman Bill Gates.
Mr. Hu travels to Washington D.C. later today, and meets Thursday at the White House with President Bush.
Those talks are expected to focus on U.S. demands that China reform its currency, China's human rights record, the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran, and China's 200-billion-dollar trade surplus with the United States.
Demonstrators gathered outside Mr. Hu's hotel in Seattle and other locations, protesting his visit and rallying for Tibet, Taiwan independence, and the Falun Gong spiritual movement - a group that Beijing calls an evil cult.