December 9, 2003
Premier Wen Jiabao, the Premier of the Chinese Communist Party, visited the United States as part of a four-country tour on December 9, 2003. Premier Wen met with President George W. Bush to discuss a range of issues, including the growing trade disputes between the two countries. Before visiting the United States, Premier Wen visited Canada, Mexico and Ethiopia; this was Premier Wen's first visit to the United States during his tenure as Premier of the CCP.
President Bush and Premier Wen to discussed the US-imposed import quotas on Chinese televisions and textiles, as well as the recently repealed US tariff on imported steel. The meeting served to "continue building a candid, constructive and cooperative bilateral relationship," according to White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan.
The U.S.-China Policy Foundation and members of Congress co-hosted a dinner reception that evening in honor of Premier Wen's visit at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at 7:15 pm. Following the dinner, Premier Wen offered remarks about topics salient to the current state of US-China relations. Premier Wen also discussed President Bush's remarks on Taiwan independence at length. Also co-hosting the event were the National Committee on US-China Relations, US-China Business Council, America-China Forum, Asia Society, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Committee of 100, Council on Foreign Relations, and the US Chamber of Commerce.
Premier Wen graduated from the Beijing Institute of Geology in 1965, and has worked as the head of the Party's General Office, vice head of the Agricultural Small Group before being promoted for a full Politburo member in 1997 and finally to Premier-designate in late 2002.