Apec Summit Xi Jinping’s surprising ties to rural Iowa
Despite the advance party’s initial concerns, Chinese President Xi Jinping showed a keen interest in agricultural areas in Iowa during his trip in 2012. The officials had warned against climbing on farm machinery due to safety concerns, but Xi was enthusiastic and quickly understood the offer extended to him by the farmer, Mr. Kimberly, to climb on a John Deere tractor. Xi’s fascination with Iowa’s rural landscape added to the unique connection he established with the Midwestern state.
In 1985, Mr Xi traveled to Iowa as part of an agricultural delegation from China’s Hebei province. During his stay in Muscatine, a city surrounded by farmland and the Mississippi River, he visited elderly people in the local community, and had interviews with local media outlets.
Eleanor Dvorchak, who hosted Mr Xi at her home during his stay, described him as a “very nice, focused, polite man.” He stayed in their son’s bedroom, which had Star Trek wallpaper, but whether he had any opinion about it remains unknown as he never expressed it.
In this passage, it is mentioned that during a previous trip to Iowa, the future president (likely referring to Xi Jinping) met some Iowans who are now referred to as “old friends” in Chinese media. The relationship between the US and China is often tense, but during the upcoming Apec summit and a meeting between Xi and President Joe Biden, Xi is expected to receive a warm welcome from these “old friends” who have been invited to a dinner. Additionally, it is noted that Xi will likely meet with Terry Branstad, a former governor of Iowa and former ambassador to China under Donald Trump. Branstad had previously expressed concerns about some of the Chinese government’s policies, such as their treatment of the people in Hong Kong and the Uyghurs.