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Xi Jinping

Name-card from Xi Jinping's first visit to US 30 years ago goes viral

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 September, 2015, 3:40am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 January, 2018, 11:54am

A name-card used by President Xi Jinping 30 years ago when he first visited the United States went viral online yesterday.

The card gives Xi's title as chairman of the food association of Shijiazhuang , the capital of Hebei province. He led a delegation representing the corn industry to the strongly agricultural state of Iowa in 1985.

The title caught some by surprise. "Wasn't he the party boss of Zhengding county then?" one microblog user said on Sina.

The card was shown in a report by state broadcaster CCTV yesterday. It interviewed Luca Berrone, who was working for Iowa's government at the time and received the delegation.

Read more: China's economy to take centre stage as Xi Jinping heads to US for state visit

Berrone showed a picture of the card and recalled details of the visit. "He was very keen on observing things and very curious," he said.

Berrone, now in his 50s, has been invited to meet Xi in Seattle when he makes his first formal state visit to the United States this week.

CCTV's Weibo account published pictures of a younger and leaner Xi with a group taken during the visit, and with a grin that's rarely seen now. "He has gained some weight since," one microblog user wrote.

Less than one year after his visit to Iowa, Xi was appointed deputy mayor of the coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian province.

Read more: Behind fairytale press, Chinese President Xi Jinping faces Goldilocks problem in America