Apparently, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calculated that sharing a few words with Chinese President Xi Jinping was worth the risk of a potential brush off. This set the stage for Abe’s diplomatic gambit at the G-20 Summit meetings in St. Petersburg earlier this month. While leaders milled about in the moments before the kickoff, Abe approached Xi and extended his hand in an attempt to begin a process of chipping away at the diplomatic deep-freeze in Sino-Japanese relations since last September’s purchase of three of the disputed Senkaku-Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.
Just a few years ago, the luxury hotel business was booming in China—a steadily rising economy was producing droves of deep-pocketed business travelers, and government officials were quaffing top shelf Bordeaux wine and running giant tabs in hotel banquet rooms. All that has changed with Chinese president Xi Jinping’s “four dishes and a soup” austerity plan, as government officials facing public shame or worse for spending public funds on lavish banquet room entertainment, or even wine with lunch.
After taking office, Chinese President Xi Jinping chose Russia for his first stop abroad, met with his counterpart Vladimir Putin and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and signed a series of treaties. This demonstrates the close strategic relations the two countries enjoy.
After his unexplained two-week absence from the public eye, China's presumptive president-in-waiting looks to be undertaking a campaign to prove he's healthy and fit to lead, starting with a meeting this week with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Beijing’s image is complicated at best in Africa, where it is building major infrastructure projects and boosting local economies, but is also accused of overlooking human rights abuses in its quest for natural resources. China’s foreign investments are a dynamic source of support to America’s economy, but the massive U.S.-China trade deficit is a point of tension.
...as a part of larger scheme of building up China’s “soft power.”... Xi’s trip to Iowa is evidently designed to do just that, projecting an image not of a Communist dictator, but a caring leader of a modern nation who cherishes his friendship with Americans, in the hopes of garnering some American goodwill.
The coming visit of Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping is expected to provide an opportunity to further promote public diplomacy between the two countries. Xi is visiting the United States at the invitation of Vice-President Joe Biden, starting from Feb 13 to 17.