Beijing, Jan 18 (Agencies): Chinese and US businesses signed deals worth USD 600 million in Texas on Monday, state media reported, a day ahead of President Hu Jintao's crucial state visit to Washington.

The six agreements were signed during a visit to the oil-rich state by a delegation of Chinese businessmen led by Vice-Commerce Minister Wang Chao, Xinhua reported.

"The deals include two cotton import agreements, an agreement on import of CKD kits, an agreement on development of efficient crystalline silicon solar cells and PV generation system, a porcelain product import agreement," the report said.

They come as Hu and US President Barack Obama prepare to meet for talks in Washington at a small dinner on Tuesday and again on Wednesday, in a visit that will touch on a series of contentious issues between the two nations.

Gripes over the value of the yuan, trade disputes, US arms sales to Taiwan, the Dalai Lama's US visit, the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, Internet freedom and naval rivalries in the Pacific, have dogged recent relations.

Hu on Sundayday acknowledged the two countries had "sensitive issues" and differences that needed to be properly managed, in written replies to questions provided by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

President Barack Obama will welcome Hu on Wednesday at the White House with the full pomp of a 21-gun salute and a black-tie state dinner, unlike former president George W Bush who reserved state visits for leaders of democracies.