News / Asia

Chinese Vice President Wins Hearts in US Heartland

Sarah Lande (L) presents China's Vice President Xi Jinping a reproduction of the Muscatine Journal newspaper from 1985, when he first visited in Muscatine, Iowa, February 15, 2012.
Sarah Lande (L) presents China's Vice President Xi Jinping a reproduction of the Muscatine Journal newspaper from 1985, when he first visited in Muscatine, Iowa, February 15, 2012.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping won the hearts of ordinary Americans during a visit to a farming community in the Midwestern state of Iowa Wednesday, 27 years after he first visited the area as a mid-level official.

The man presumed to be China's next president spent an hour sipping tea with residents in the town of Muscatine, and many said he remembered faces and recited events from his previous visit in 1985.

Among those who met with Xi was local resident Tom Hoopes, whose farm Xi visited during that earlier trip to study U.S. agricultural practices.

"I've never been around anyone who worked an audience like he did, and in view of the fact that it was a two-language situation, he worked it as sincere as my first impression of ever having heard him talk," he said.

Xi, who concludes his U.S. tour with a visit to Los Angeles Thursday, stressed his interest in person-to-person contacts during a formal dinner later Wednesday in the Iowa state capital, Des Moines.

At the dinner, hosted by state Governor Terry Branstad, Xi said he is in the United States to advance cooperative relations.

"I'm visiting the United States to help implement the important consensus that has been reached between President Hu Jintao and President Obama, and I'm here to build the China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.  And I want to engage with a broad cross-section of American society to help deepen the friendship between Chinese and American people," he said.

In another move likely to be popular among American farmers, officials traveling with Xi announced plans to purchase $4.3 billion worth of U.S. soybeans.  The 12-metric-ton purchase will be China's largest such deal to date.

Xi received a cooler welcome during a visit Wednesday to the U.S. Congress in Washington, where senators and representatives pressed him on China's human rights record.

Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, told VOA he had brought up a wave of self-immolations by Tibetan monks protesting Chinese rule, as well as China's veto of a United Nations resolution on Syria.

"As I just mentioned to the vice president, there has been enormous and dynamic economic progress, but we still have Tibetan monks burning themselves to death, we have Nobel Prize winners in house arrest and the continued propping up of North Korea, a brutal regime," he said.

House Speaker John Boehner presented Xi with a letter concerning Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer jailed in China.

Tibetan protesters have turned out at several events during Xi's four-day tour, including his visit to Iowa.

During a major policy speech in Washington Wednesday, Xi called for more balanced economic ties between the two countries and closer cooperation on international problems, including tensions over North Korea and Iran.

He also demanded that the United States respect Chinese claims to sovereignty over Tibet and Taiwan.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs