Chinese President Visits Chicago Thursday

A gala and tour of Walter Payton College Prep is on the schedule

By Lisa Balde
|  Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011  |  Updated 11:48 PM CDT
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Chinese President Visits Chicago Thursday

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Chicago's getting ready to roll out the red carpet for China's president.

Hu Jintao arrives in town Thursday for a two-day tour of Chicago, his only other U.S. stop besides Washington, D.C.

Mayor Richard Daley, who was in the nation's capital attending a meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors and a state dinner at the White House in Hu's honor, will welcome the president of the People's Republic of China at O'Hare International Airport at about 4:30 p.m.

From there, the men will travel to the Chicago Hilton and Towers, at 720 S. Michigan Ave., for a mayoral dinner and gala.  Expect some street closures and extra security in the area.

Hu's visit will also include a tour of Walter Payton College Prep, which is home to the first Confucious Institute in Chicago and a tour of Chinese businesses which have a presence in the Midwest.

"I look forward to welcoming President Hu to Chicago to continue building a relationship that advances the common interests and shared concerns of China and Chicago -- establishing Chicago as China’s economic 'Gateway to America'," said Daley in a statement.

The Zhou brothers, who have a gallery in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood, gifted the Chinese president a painting during a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.

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