BEIJING, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States early next year will have "far-reaching" implications, China's foreign ministry said.
While Jintao's U.S. visit has been discussed for some time, Thursday's comments by spokesman Ma Zhaoxu were the first time China confirmed the trip and elaborated on its importance, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
"China and the United States have maintained close communications about the visit, which will be very important and will bring far-reaching influence for bilateral relations in new era," said Zhaoxu, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
U.S. President Barack Obama invited Hu to visit the United States at June's G20 Summit in Toronto, and the visit will be Hu's first state visit since the Obama administration took office, the report said.
Chinese analysts said the visit is important because it could help address current issues and chart a path for long-term relations.
"At such a crucial moment, Hu's visit will help reshape the China-U.S. ties in future," said Yuan Peng, a scholar of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
Hu and Obama are expected to meet on the sidelines of the next month's G20 summit in Seoul, and again at a November gathering of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the report said.