China's next president visited Washington on Tuesday, hoping to smooth out his country's growing rivalry with the United States.
President Barack Obama met with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping at the White House. Trade and economic issues topped the agenda, which are hot political topics during this election year.
China and the United States disagree on many issues, including how to handle situations in Syria and Iran. The U.S. has also harshly criticized China on its human rights record.
President Obama is hoping a series of meetings with Xi will improve relations.
The relationship turned chilly earlier this month when China joined Russia in vetoing a United Nations Security Council resolution on Syria.
Prior to his arrival in the U.S., Xi said the recent friction over economic and trade policies should not undermine the U.S.- China business relationship.
His country is America's number two business partner, just behind Canada. Trade between the U.S. and China is now worth more than half a trillion dollars per year.
Gary Locke, the U.S. Ambassador to China, was on hand to greet the Xi as he arrived at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
"This will be an opportunity for the leaders of both countries to really sit down and talk about our differences, but also focus in on the common interests that both the U.S. and China have," the ambassador said.
The differences include China's ignoring of intellectual property rights and undervaluing it's currency.
But non-economic issues of disagreement are also likely to arise, like China's recent veto of a U.N. resolution opposing the Assad regime in Syria. And just last month, Ambassador Locke criticized China's human rights record, saying it's getting worse.
Locke suggested the Chinese government is cracking down on dissent, because the country fears an Arab Spring-like uprising in China.
Chinese dissident and Christian house church leader Yu Jie confirmed the crackdown on the dissent in the People's Republic. The writer in exile said he was arrested in China for authoring a book critical of the Chinese premier. He recently testified before Congress about his abduction and torture by Chinese secret police.
Yu said about a dozen policemen gathered at his apartment one day in December of 2010 -- the day before his friend Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The police placed a hood on Yu's head and took him to a place where he was severely beaten.
"They took off my clothes, slapped my face, beat and kicked my body, and even tortured my fingers by pulling them back as far as they could without breaking them," Yu recalled. "They said, 'You use your fingers to type words against our leaders, so we will hurt your fingers.'"
Yu said he was hospitalized and bed-ridden for two months because of the beatings.
"I don't hold high optimism or hope with Xi Jinping's promotion of leadership because several hundred families in China manipulate and control the whole economy no matter who is in power," Yu told CBN News.
After Xi's meetings in Washington, he headed to Iowa and California, keeping the emphasis on trade and a positive business relationship with the U.S.
The former house church leader said he still believes greater freedoms will eventually come to China.
"Pray particularly for the churches, that they will increase and grow as a positive force for real growth, for the benefit of China," he said.
CBN News also asked Yu what Christians could do for China at this time. He said China's church needs proper discipleship, and believes American churches could play a positive role in that endeavor.