At a time where China’s domestic political troubles are surfacing, to-be Chinese leader Xi Jinping continues being introduced to the world with his US visit now in the spotlight.
He arrived in Washington on Monday with an overarching purpose to advance the building of the China-US ties.
How will the man, famous for once uttering (prior to being International Relations-nuanced), “There are some bored foreigners, with full stomachs, who have nothing better to do than point fingers at us [China]. First, China doesn’t export revolution; second, China doesn’t export hunger and poverty; third, China doesn’t come and cause you headaches, what more is there to be said?” fare on this charm offensive of the west?
For more official news, visit China’s daily coverage- Vice-President Xi in US, Ireland and Turkey.
Politics aside, consider checking out a couple of human interest stories below that paint a more synergistic picture.
Town ready to welcome return of special guest (China Daily, February 13, 2012) – ‘It was 27 years ago that Xi visited Muscatine, an agricultural center in the US heartland, when he led a delegation to learn about farming technology. The delegates were all given badges to wear sporting the town’s slogan: “Feeling Great”.’
And – The hog days are over, but Xi still has time for Iowa (The Age, February 16, 2012) that brings up the economic benefits of Xi’s relationship with Iowa. - ‘Iowa’s exports to China have grown to more than $US600 million ($A558 million) a year. The Chinese Vice-President insisted on adding Iowa to his jammed US itinerary to reacquaint himself with the small Midwest town he visited with a posse of Communist Party officials in 1985, ostensibly to study US techniques in agriculture.’
The SBS article comes with a useful and short primer on Xi Jinping’s roots (see video here).
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Chinese leader greeted with US protests
Source – SBS, published February 14, 2012
Police in Washington arrested activists during a visit by China’s vice president, as a teenage monk set himself on fire to protest China’s rule in the nation’s southwest, exile groups said.
The Washington activists unfurled a banner on a bridge reading “Tibet Will be Free” during the visit of China’s leader-in-waiting, Vice President Xi Jinping.
The activists, from the group Students for a Free Tibet, said they were later released after being issued citations with fines of about $250 each for trespassing and disorderly conduct.
The 19-year-old Tibetan Buddhist monk, identified as Lobsang Gyatso, set himself ablaze on Monday in Sichuan province’s restive Aba county, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and Free Tibet said.
The Washington-based ICT said police violently beat the monk as they extinguished the flames, before taking him into custody. It was not immediately clear whether he survived.
He was a monk at Aba’s Kirti monastery, a leading Tibetan Buddhist institution that has been the scene of repeated protests by Tibetans against what they say is religious and cultural repression by Beijing.
At least 20 Tibetans have set fire to themselves in the past year to protest what they see as a lack of rights under Chinese rule, leading Beijing to impose virtual martial law, according to residents and exiled groups.
Many have been monks from Kirti, which has been under virtual lockdown since a young monk named Phuntsog set light to himself and died last March, sparking mass protests there.
Government and police officials in Aba refused to confirm the latest attempt when contacted by AFP.
The spate of suicide attempts has led Beijing to impose virtual martial law in Tibetan-inhabited areas of China, residents and exiled groups have said.
China has accused overseas groups and Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama of fomenting unrest.
Tibetans have long chafed under China’s rule over the vast Tibetan plateau, accusing Beijing of curbing religious freedoms and eroding their culture and language, and these tensions have intensified over the past year.
But Beijing insists that Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and have benefited from improved living standards brought by China’s economic expansion.
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