27 years after Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited Muscatine, a small city in rural eastern Iowa and stayed in the homes of farmers and business leaders there, the future leader returned Wednesday to chat and drink tea with his old American friends.
Most of the people at the reception were the first Americans Xi ever met, and hosted the leader in 1985 when he was a local official from China’s northern Hebei province traveling with an agricultural research delegation.
“Sitting near a burning fireplace, with several Chinese paintings on the wall, Xi and his old friends cheerily recalled the old days,” reports the People’s Daily newspaper.
“When I see you today, I feel as if I came back to 27 years ago. I feel the kindness of all of you,” Xi said. “You are the first Americans I have ever met in my life. For me, you are my first impression of the United States.”
Xi said that his biggest impression of the United States at that time was that Americans were as hard-working, hospitable and friendly as the Chinese.
Photo Xinhua News