President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

Chinese President Xi Jinping rolled out the red carpet (literally) for President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump during a formal welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday morning local time. Upon his arrival, a Chinese military band played the U.S. and Chinese national anthems, while ceremonial cannon fire exploded in nearby Tiananmen Square. The ceremony follows their tour of the Forbidden City and trip to the Chinese Opera Wednesday.

What's next: Trump will participate in a bilateral meeting with Xi later today, where North Korea and trade will likely top the agenda. The two will also deliver a joint press statement before a state dinner in Beijing later this evening.

Trump's overall goal for his China visit, per the White House: To send a clear message that, for bilateral economic relations to be sustainable over the long-term, China must provide fair and reciprocal treatment to U.S. firms and cease predatory trade and investment practices. It must also do more to exert pressure on North Korea.

Go deeper: Trump's Asia itinerary

Photos from the welcome ceremony:

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are greeted by a crowd of school children waving American and Chinese flags. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP
A member of the Chinese military marches before the welcoming ceremony. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP
The two leaders take in the festivities before heading inside the Great Hall of the People. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

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