Profile: Xi Jinping: Man of the people, statesman of vision

Updated: 2012-12-24 10:11


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Profile: Xi Jinping: Man of the people, statesman of vision

File photo taken in February 2012 shows Xi Jinping (2nd R, front) and his old American friends who got to know each other 27 years ago have a tea chat at a friend's home during his visit to the State of Iowa in the United States. (Xinhua/Liu Jiansheng)

Statesman aiming for better Earth

During a recent meeting with foreign experts working in China, Xi said that China, as a responsible country, will not only manage its own affairs, but also properly handle its relations with the rest of the world, so as to foster a more favorable external environment and make a greater contribution to world peace and development.

"China needs to know more about the world, and the world also needs to know more about China," Xi said. Whether working at the local level or in the central leadership, Xi attaches great importance to international exchange and making foreign friends. He has taken every opportunity to meet foreign guests visiting China.

Within the past five years, he traveled to more than 40 countries and regions across five continents and has had extensive contact with people from all walks of life. He frankly and honestly introduces to foreign friends how the Chinese people view their own country and the world, and is always willing to listen to them as well. In the eyes of many foreign dignitaries, Xi is a confident, sagacious and amicable leader.

He often tells foreign friends that the international community has increasingly become an integrated one with a common destiny. China's continuous rapid development depends on world peace and development. It also provides opportunity and room for other countries, so together they may achieve win-win results and common development through mutual respect and pragmatic cooperation.

At a World Peace Forum organized by Tsinghua University in July 2012, Xi noted that a country must let others develop as it seeks its own development; must let others feel secure as it seeks its own security; must let others live better when it wants to live better itself. In a meeting with Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore, Xi said not all strong countries will seek hegemony. China will stick to the path of peaceful development, a win-win strategy of opening up and the pledge of never seeking hegemony, now or in any future generation.

Xi's foreign visits have sent out signals that countries should work together to establish a more equal and balanced global partnership, so as to safeguard the common interests of all human beings and make Earth better.

During his five-day visit to the United States, Xi participated in 27 events and engaged in exchange with US politicians and the public alike. "As long as the Chinese and US sides grasp the thread of common interests, they can explore a path of new partnership for major powers to live in harmony, engage in positive interaction and achieve win-win cooperation." His remarks elicited positive feedback from many in the US

In a recent meeting with former US President Jimmy Carter, Xi called for more "positive energy" for the China-US partnership.

During his visit to Russia, Xi showed the strong importance China attaches to developing bilateral relations. The Sino-Russian strategic partnership of coordination has become the closest, most dynamic and most profound between major powers, and developing relations with Russia is always a priority of China's foreign relations. Xi attended the second meeting of the dialogue mechanism between the Chinese and Russian ruling parties, and had extensive and in-depth discussions with leaders of various parties in Russia, further enriching Sino-Russia relations.

Xi highly values relations with developing countries. He has said consolidating and developing relations with developing countries is the starting point and object of China's foreign policy.

In South Africa, Xi attended the fourth plenary session of the China-South Africa Binational Commission, looking forward, together with the South African side, to a bright future of bilateral cooperation.

In a speech delivered at a seminar marking the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Xi underscored China's friendship with Africa, emphasizing that "a friend in need is a friend indeed."

In Saudi Arabia, he said a more prosperous and open China will bring great development opportunities to the Middle East and countries in the Gulf.

In Chile, he proposed that China and Latin America should be good partners in the fields of politics, economics, culture and international affairs, when speaking of the relationship over the next decade.

Xi has been pragmatic and efficient on the international stage. In the course of only one day, while attending the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, Xi exchanged ideas with leaders from more than 20 countries and international organizations. During his visit to Germany and four other European countries, Xi attended five signing ceremonies for economic and trade agreements, six economic and trade forums, and pushed for the signing of 93 cooperation agreements involving a total of 7.4 billion US dollars.

Xi has also emphasized the role of cultural exchange in the building of a harmonious world. When addressing the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2009, he said that through exchanges between different cultures, people from different countries have come to know Confucius from China, Goethe from Germany and Shakespeare from Britain. Pushing forward world cultural exchange creates important momentum for human progress and the world's peaceful development.

During his visit to Russia, he launched the "Year of Chinese Language" in Russia, side by side with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. He said in his address, "Culture is enriched, hearts are linked up, and friendship is deepened through exchange."

Xi is good at drawing wisdom from Chinese culture and presenting ideas clearly in a straightforward and humorous way. During his US visit, he borrowed a line from the theme song of the popular Chinese TV drama "Monkey King" to ease the gravity of the bilateral issue. "The road is right under our feet," he said when describing the "unprecedented" relations between China and the US, displaying the confidence and courage of Chinese leaders.

When facing questions about China's human rights situation, he said there is "no best, only better." Xi said every country's condition is different and path is different. "Whether the shoe fits or not, only the wearer of the shoe knows."

Amity between people is the key to sound relations between states. Xi has said the level of state-to-state friendship depends on amity between people. He has humorously said to foreign ministry officials on diplomatic trips that life lies in motion and diplomacy lies in activity. In other words, diplomats should travel widely and make friends broadly and deeply.

During his visit to Laos, he specially arranged a meeting with children of the late Lao leader Quinim Pholsena. Xi joined several children of Pholsena, who had lived and studied in Beijing, in recalling their days at Beijing's Bayi School. He even remembered the nickname "Chubby Boy" for Pholsena's second son.

During his US visit, Xi traveled to Iowa to join a dozen of his old acquaintances for tea and conversation at a house in an Iowa farm community. Most of the people at the gathering were friends Xi had made during a 1985 visit to Iowa as a member of an agricultural research delegation.

In Russia, he visited a children's center that had cared for Chinese students who were affected by the devastating Wenchuan earthquake of 2008, and expressed his gratitude to the staff.

He kicked a Gaelic football in Dublin's Croke Park when visiting Ireland and watched an NBA game in the US The media described both activities as evidence of his amicable image.

"He succeeded in not only demonstrating his personal manner and bearing, but also the charm of China's economic development and social progress," an overseas media outlet remarked.