Chinese president to visit White House

Chinese leader Hu Jintao will visit President Obama in Washington on Jan. 19, the White House announced.

This will be the third formal state visit of Obama's time in office, and the president plans to welcome his Chinese counterpart with a formal state dinner.

"President Hu’s visit will highlight the importance of expanding cooperation between the United States and China on bilateral, regional and global issues, as well as the friendship between the peoples of our two countries," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. "The president looks forward to welcoming President Hu to Washington to continue building a partnership that advances our common interests and addresses our shared concerns."

A series of high-profile issues are sure to dominate the meeting. The administration has stepped up its pressure on China to cease manipulation of its currency and allow the value of the yuan to rise. Obama is also expected to press China to take an increased role in containing the North Korean government.