President Xi Jinping's visit highlights long ties between China and Washington state

Economic Indicators Associated Press

When Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Seattle on his way to Washington, D.C., this week, he'll be visiting the American state that exports more to his country than any other.

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Washington last year sent more than $20 billion in airplanes, wheat, apples and other products to China, and some in the state hope to capitalize on the president's visit — no matter the economic woes facing China at the moment.

Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke recently served as U.S. ambassador to China. He says Xi's visit can only benefit Washington entities that do business with China.

Xi is the fourth consecutive Chinese leader to visit Washington state. He plans visits to Boeing's Paine Field in Everett, Microsoft's campus in Redmond and a high school in Tacoma.