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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Chinese vice-president's U.S. tour hailed as future-oriented landmark (5)

By  Wu Liming, Qian Tong, Huo Xiaoguang (Xinhua)

13:17, February 19, 2012

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (C) talks with family members of Rick Kimberley during his visit to Kimberley's farm in Des Moines, Iowa, the United States, Feb. 16, 2012. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)


Reunion with old friends, telling a story of an American couples' attachment to China, visiting a school and watching an NBA game, all these human-touch arrangements during Xi's tour have won him widespread support.

Among others, having a tea chat with his old American friends in Muscatine has drawn wide attention and become something mentioned most by American people about Xi's trip.

Most of the participants at the tea reception were Xi's American friends back in 1985, when Xi, then a local official of China's northern province of Hebei, visited Iowa as a member of an agricultural delegation, and stayed at the homes of local residents and dined with others.

For the American people, Xi's Iowa "tea time" has become an impressive moment in the China-U.S. friendship -- a moment reminiscent of the waving of a cowboy hat by late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping when he visited the United States some 33 years ago.

Thanks to the "tea time," Muscatine has become one of America's most famous towns to the Chinese people.

"We feel so honored," said Sarah Lande, who owned the house and was one of the organizers for Xi's first trip. Lande said they hoped that Xi's visit could set a good example for the peoples of the two countries.

At Wednesday's luncheon in Washington, Xi told friendly groups a moving story about an American couple's affection for China.

Xi recalled how he, when serving as the party chief of China's southeastern city of Fuzhou in 1992, facilitated a trip for an American lady who was trying to fulfil her late husband's wish of revisiting "Kuling", a small town remembered as his childhood home in China.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen said, "He told a touching story that was evidence to me (he is) a man with a good heart, and wants the best for his country and for our relationships."

On the final day of the visit in Los Angeles, the vice-president visited a language-learning school and chatted with young students there. Xi said education is very important, and he valued the trip very much and regarded it as one of the most vital events in his U.S. tour.

To the surprise of many people, Xi went to the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles and watched an NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns on Friday night before he headed to Ireland for his second leg of the trip.

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