US Trip Of China's Next Leader: From Obama To Iowa

Published February 7, 2012 6:18AM (EST)

BEIJING (AP) — In 1985, Xi Jinping led a delegation to Muscatine, Iowa, to study advanced hog-raising techniques. He comes back next week, preparing to lead the world's most populous nation.

Xi is China's vice president and will take over the presidency from Hu Jintao next year. He will be in the U.S. to meet President Barack Obama and other leaders and introduce himself to a U.S. audience. His decision to also visit the families who hosted him years ago is a rare personal touch for a Chinese leader.

Xi will take over the leadership of the ruling Communist Party this year, a step toward assuming the presidency. In his U.S. appearances, Xi will offer reassurance that Beijing and Washington remain committed to healthy relations, despite occasional turbulence.

By Salon Staff

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