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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid