President Obama Welcomes Chinese President Days Before State of the Union

Just days before President Obama's State of the Union Address, he will welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House. The conversations held in those days could impact the big speech in January - with the two men likely to discuss currency issues, North Korean nuclear problems and perhaps, human rights.

While they may appear to have minimal impact on a speech dedicated to the "state of the union" of the United States, all three issues have consequences.

North Korea's saber rattling has been in the news recently, as tensions mount between the communist nation and its neighbor South Korea. China, the nation which tends to have influence over North Korea could help the United States help keep peace between the North and South and could also perhaps push the North Korean leadership to return to six-party talks regarding its nuclear arsenal.

Hu and Obama will also likely talk about the Chinese currency, and how it affects the dollar worldwide. In the past, the Chinese have de-valued the yuan which allows the nation to sell their goods for cheaper which also beats prices of their competition.

What is perhaps the touchiest and most difficult subject, human rights issues in China may or may not come up in the meeting. The two men have not made much progress on the issue in the past, but the president put out a pointed statement regarding human rights in China earlier this year, when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who eventually was not allowed to travel to Norway for the Nobel ceremony and remains under arrest in China.

"Over the last 30 years, China has made dramatic progress in economic reform and improving the lives of its people, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty. But this award reminds us that political reform has not kept pace, and that the basic human rights of every man, woman and child must be respected. We call on the Chinese government to release Mr. Liu as soon as possible," the statement read in part.

The two men will meet in Washington on January 19 and it will be the third state visit for the Obama administration which previously hosted the Indian Prime Minister and Mexican President.

This will be the seventh meeting between the two men in the last two years.