Xi Jinping

Photos of Xi Jinping eating at a popular Beijing restaurant go viral

China's president demonstrates a common touch by joining diners at a steamed bun eatery in the capital

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 December, 2013, 4:18pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 December, 2013, 4:47pm

Fans of China's President Xi Jinping said they were pleasantly surprised after photos of him dining in a popular Beijing steamed bun restaurant went viral.

Pictures, taken and shared by fellow diners, showed a casually-dressed, smiling Xi queuing up at a Qingfeng steamed bun restaurant in the capital. Xi, who appeared to be dining alone, was seen to have placed his own order at the counter, paid for it, and carried his tray before sitting down to enjoy his meal in the room full of people.

Diners, after realising who they were sitting close to, strove for a glimpse of Xi. Many used their phones to record the unusual encounter, which Xi didn't seem to mind.

"Only leaders who care about ordinary guys will do this, and he will win respect and care from his people," wrote one blogger.

"I can't believe my eyes - President Xi lined up, paid his own bill, and fetched his own food," read a message posted on the official Weibo page of the People's Daily.

Others, however, weren't so impressed.

"It's just a show and people should stop reacting like they were slaves" one microblogger wrote .

"Start thanking him when China has fixed the food safety issues," read another comment.

An average meal costs 16 yuan (HK$21) at a Qingfeng steamed bun restaurant, a popular chain store in the Chinese capital, according to restaurant review websties.