Xi Jinping has been invited to teach a US university at a ceremony at the State Department.

Xi is a former Chinese Communist Party chief, and the US State Department is expected on Wednesday to formally announce that he will take the helm of the US’ oldest university, George Washington University.

The invitation comes after a letter signed by Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, said he had accepted the position.

Xi was appointed as the director of the China Foreign Affairs University in January and in March announced that he would become the head of the department.

The appointment was made in a ceremony on Saturday at the White House.

“China will continue to work closely with US colleagues in order to ensure a smooth transition in the management of our shared China-US relations, and we look forward to working together with the administration of President Donald Trump,” the university said in a statement.

The university is one of several US colleges to announce their foreign education programmes for 2017.

A statement said the Xi and Peng family was “very happy” to be invited to attend.

Xi, the eldest son of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, was made chairman of the Chinese Communist party in 2012.

He was made vice-chairman of the organisation in 2015.

China has a long history of ties with the US, particularly in fields ranging from education to trade.

Xi has been a vocal critic of US President Donald J Trump, who he blames for many of the problems China faces, including a slowdown in economic growth.

He also has criticized China’s treatment of its citizens, which he says has been unfair.