Xi Jinping’s U.S. Visit Long on Style, Short on Substance

Vice President Xi Jinping has concluded his U.S. tour and seems to have made a positive impression with his relaxed and friendly manner, a sharp contrast to the often wooden appearances of President Hu Jintao and other Chinese leaders. From AFP:

The 58-year-old showed a different style from China’s typically stiff President Hu Jintao. Xi appeared at ease with Americans as he reminisced with people he met in 1985 on an exchange to Iowa and later praised the clean Midwestern air as he hopped onto a tractor.
Xi referenced films “The Godfather” and “Mission: Impossible” and closed his trip Friday by taking in a Lakers basketball game in Los Angeles. His delegation committed to buying billions of dollars in soybeans and letting in more Hollywood movies.
US Vice President Joe Biden, who was Xi’s host and traveled to China last year, said that the two have spent some 20 hours getting to know each other and have spoken of everything “from Confucius to Catholicism.”
“I strongly believe, and I think Vice President Xi does as well, that the honest, sustained dialogue we’ve had this week can and will build a stronger relationship that benefits both our nations and our people,” Biden said.

And the New York Times reports from Los Angeles, his final stop on his U.S. tour:

Xi buffed his regular-guy image on Friday with a visit to the International Studies Learning Center in South Gate, California, just southeast of Los Angeles.
Responding to a high school student’s question during a classroom visit, he said that he liked to read, swim (his favourite sport) and watch US basketball, baseball and football.
“Of course, we always want more time to ourselves,” Xi said in Mandarin, the language the class was studying. “But to borrow a title from an American film,

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