Then and now: U.S. and Chinese leaders

Published 4:23 AM ET, Wed September 23, 2015
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Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a welcoming ceremony for U.S. President Barack Obama at the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. Feng Li/Getty Images
Both forgoing neckties, Barack Obama and Xi Jinping take a late-morning stroll at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, a private estate in California known for hosting Frank Sinatra and Ronald Reagan, on June 8, 2013. The summit, held just four months after Xi took office, was meant to forge a close relationship with the new Chinese leader. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visits then Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in Chengdu, Sichuan, in August, 2011. The five-day visit to China was part of a reciprocal agreement for the vice presidents to meet. A primary goal for Biden was to get to know the next generation of Chinese leadership. PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images
Former Chinese President Hu Jintao greets U.S. President George W. Bush in Beijing, China in August, 2008. Bush attended the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics Games in Beijing during his trip to Asia that month. Guang Niu/Getty Images
U.S. President George W. Bush and former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao walk along the colonnade before a meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C. on December 9, 2003. Speaking with Bush at his side in the Oval Office, Wen warned Taiwan not to seek independence, while Bush reaffirmed the so-called "One China" policy of the United States, which maintained that Taiwan is a part of China. STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush host former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his wife, Wang Yeping, at Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas, on October 25, 2002. The meeting at Bush's 1,600-acre retreat, once known as the Western White House, was "an opportunity for the president to work with the Chinese leader on a number of areas of mutual concern and to make progress in resolving outstanding differences," said Press Secretary Ari Fleischer in a written statement. STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images
Former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visits U.S. President Bill Clinton during a nine-day trip in April, 1999 amid strained relations between the two nations. JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton welcome former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his wife Wang Yeping at a White House state dinner in Jiang's honor on October 29, 1997. During his visit to the U.S., Putting aside their differences on human rights and democratic reform, Clinton and Jiang announced a pact aimed at halting the spread of nuclear weapons and giving China access to U.S. nuclear power plant technology. LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images
Then U.S. Vice President George H. W. Bush proposes a toast to former Chinese President Li Xiannian during a dinner at the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. in July, 1985. Li, the first Chinese head of state to visit the United States, hosted the dinner in Bush's honor. Scott Stewart/AP
U.S. President Ronald Reagan and former Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang walk arm in arm in the rain after a meeting at the White House in January, 1984. Zhao -- and Hu Yaobang, General Secretary of the Communist Party -- were the first Chinese leaders to wear a Western suit, during a period when China's reform and opening took off. AFP/Getty Images
China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping dons a cowboy hat while attending a Texas rodeo in 1979, the year China and the United States formally established diplomatic relations.
Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty
Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communist Party, meets U.S. President Richard Nixon in Beijing on February 21,1972. Nixon's 1972 trip to the People's Republic of China was a groundbreaking step towards normalizing Sino-U.S. relations and shifting the balance of power in the Cold War. Nixon was the first U.S. president to set foot on Chinese soil. Sovfoto/Universal Images Group Editorial/Getty Images