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Tech Leaders Join Head Table for China State Dinner

Studio execs also had a chance to chat with Xi
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2015 6:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – The food at last night's White House state dinner for Chinese President Xi Jinping was billed as "American cuisine with nuances of Chinese flavors"—and the guest list had a strong flavor of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Tech CEOs including Apple's Tim Cook, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, and Microsoft's Satya Nadella joined Xi and President Obama at the head table, reports CNN, which notes that Zuckerberg's company is still banned in China. The CEOs of Disney and DreamWorks were also at the head table, and other guests at the 200-person East Room dinner included ballerina Misty Copeland, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and Henry Kissinger, reports the AP.

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Michelle Obama wore a black off-the-shoulder dress from Chinese-American designer Vera Wang, New York chef Anita Lo provided the food, and R&B singer Ne-Yo, who says he has "Chinese in my heritage somewhere," sang after dinner, reports the New York Times. In his toast, Obama only lightly touched on US-China tensions, saying: "Our countries together are stronger when we accept the diversity of the views and the contributions and uphold the rights of all our people," the Washington Post reports. In return, Xi spoke of the "goodwill" between the two countries and said "more can be accomplished through enhanced China-US cooperation." (Zuckerberg spoke to Xi in his own language when the Chinese leader met with tech leaders earlier in the week.)

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