Xi encourages 'old friend' from Iowa to promote ties
Then Chinese vice-president Xi Jinping chats with his old friend Sarah Lande at her home in Muscatine, Iowa, the United States, Feb 15, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]
President Xi Jinping has written to his "old friend" Sarah Lande, from Iowa, the United States, encouraging her to sow seeds of friendship to make new contributions to friendly exchanges between the Chinese and American people.
After recently hearing from Lande, who received Xi in 1985 when he visited Muscatine, Iowa, Xi replied to her and recalled his two visits to Iowa and connections with the city of Muscatine, according to a statement released on Tuesday.
Xi said in his letter of reply that both the Chinese and American people are great people, and the friendship between them is not only a valuable asset, but also provides an important foundation for the development of bilateral relations.
The Chinese people are willing to continue to work along with the American people to strengthen friendly exchanges, advance mutually beneficial cooperation and jointly enhance the well-being of the two peoples, he added.
In 1985, the then 32-year-old Xi, who was then the secretary of the Communist Party of China Zhengding County Committee in Hebei province, led a five-person agricultural delegation to Muscatine. During the visit, he lived with a local family and exchanged experiences in agriculture and stock farming.
When Xi visited the US in February 2012 as China's vice-president, he returned to Iowa and met with his "old friends" in Lande's home.
In her letter to Xi, Lande expressed her appreciation for Xi's ties with his "old friends" in the US. She expressed her hope that the two countries would continue to strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and enhance mutual understanding and trust.
Along with her letter, Lande presented Xi with her memoir 'Old Friends': The Xi Jinping-Iowa Story, in which she tells the story of President Xi's relationship with the state of Iowa.
Lande was honored in 2013 as a "Friendship Ambassador" by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.