Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Xi takes solid steps in China-US ties

Muscatine, a small town along the Mississippi River in Iowa, made headlines in February 2012 when Xi Jinping, then China's vice-president, arrived to see "old friends" he had first met…

Muscatine, a small town along the Mississippi River in Iowa, made headlines in February 2012 when Xi Jinping, then China’s vice-president, arrived to see “old friends” he had first met 27 years earlier. Xi joined dozens of local people for tea at the home of Sarah Lande and spoke of fond memories of his 1985 trip – his first to the United States – as head of an agricultural delegation from Zhengding county in Hebei province. “You were the first group of Americans I came into contact with,” he told them. “To me, you are America.” That 2012 visit, widely covered in the US media, was the first time many in the United States had heard of Xi. Later, he became general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Chinese president. “We’re very honored and proud to have the president of China call us old friends,” Terry Branstad, former Iowa governor and now US ambassador in Beijing, said in 2015. He met with Xi in 1985 and 2012. Building personal links As a member of a new generation of Chinese leaders, Xi has not only shown a firm belief in building people-to-people ties, but also in establishing personal relationships with US leaders. In June 2013, less than three months after taking office, Xi traveled to Rancho Mirage in California for a two-day “shirt sleeve summit” with Barack Obama, who had started his second term as US president that year. During their talks, they shared their respective visions and agreed that positive China-US relations are good not only for their countries, but also the world. Both described the bilateral relationship as the most consequential in the 21st century.…

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