Mr. Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport at around 11 a.m. First on his agenda was a Democratic National Committee fundraising event. The president and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa boarded Marine One and took off for the Santa Monica event.
Demonstrators held a sit-in at the intersection of San Vicente Boulevard and 26th Street. The protesters, who are demanding immigration reform, took over the entire intersection, snarling traffic in the area ahead of the president's arrival.
A series of shootings happened just a few miles from where the president attended the DNC fundraiser. The president was never in danger, and moved on to begin his summit with China's new president.
After the fundraiser, Mr. Obama left Los Angeles and headed to Rancho Mirage, where he met Xi. This is Xi's first trip to America as the president of China.
The two leaders will have two days of talks on high-stakes issues including cyber-security, the ecomomy and North Korea's nuclear threats.
"It's behind closed doors, and it's not done for ceremony. Instead, it's done to focus on the relationship so that the two leaders can have concrete discussions about the direction that the relationship is in now and where both hope they can take it," said Clayton Dube, the executive director of the U.S./China Institute at the University of Southern California.
Mr. Obama's efforts to press Xi to stop his country's alleged hacking against the U.S. could be overshadowed by revelations that Mr. Obama's own administration has been secretly seizing phone records from millions of Americans. China has publically denied the hacking allegations.
The two leaders met Friday evening at the 200-acre Sunnylands estate just outside Palm Springs. The venue has hosted several presidents and is known for its informality and relaxed atmosphere.
Local protesters upset with the Chinese government over a number of issues gathered there ahead of the presidential meeting.
The groups included Vietnamese protesting the treatment of their countrymen on an island they say China has invaded illegally. Protesters also included members upset over treatment of Tibetans.