Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived at the White House a little more than an hour ago, exchanging pleasantries with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden before meeting with the president. "Welcome to the Roosevelt Room," Biden told Xi, the designated successor to Chinese President Hu Jintao, per raw Associated Press video. "We're a step away from the Oval Office."

Just before noon, Obama received Xi in the Oval Office with "warm smiles and handshakes," which masked the "sharp policy divisions over Syria, Iran and economic issues" that are also on the table for Xi's visit, the Associated Press reports.

Biden opened what's been seen as Xi's U.S. debut by pointing out the gap between U.S. and Chinese perspectives on the world, telling Xi, "We are not always going to see eye-to-eye. We are not always going to see things exactly the same, but we have very important economic and political concerns that warrant that we work together." As they waited to see the president, Xi told Biden he wanted to "strengthen consensus, enhance cooperation and deepen friendship" between the United States and China, and he looked forward to a "candid exchange of views."