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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid