On February 15 local time, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in Des Moines.
Xi said that the hospitality and friendliness of Iowa friends made him and the Chinese delegation feel at home. He is very glad to visit Iowa again after his last visit to the state 27 years ago and gather together with his old friends. 27 years ago, when Xi worked in Zhengding county, Hebei province, he once led a delegation to visit Iowa. The visit was short, but it increased his understanding of the American people and strengthened his confidence in developing the friendly and cooperative relations between China and the US.
He pointed out that the foundation, necessity, potential and room of regional cooperation between China and the US are all in place. His visit to US this time aims at implementing the important consensus President Hu reached with President Obama during Hu's visit to the US last year and promoting the China-US cooperative partnership. Cooperation at local levels builds the foundation of China-US cooperative partnership and has shown dynamic growth in recent years. 38 pairs of sister provinces and states and 176 pairs of sister cities have been established between the two countries. The development at local levels of the two countries is diversified and complementary. It is highly promising to deepen the bilateral regional cooperation and exchanges. Iowa has been leading American states in conducting cooperation with China. He hopes Iowa continues to play a leading role in such cooperation and makes contributions to enhancing the friendship between the two countries. He also hopes other American states including Kansas and Michigan to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation with China based on their unique advantages and play their part to build the China-US cooperative partnership.
Branstad said that Xi's visits to Iowa 27 years ago and today are the milestone in the history of Iowa's foreign exchanges. They are all very excited to receive him. The 3 million of Iowa people are very proud of being part of these valuable, sincere and friendly exchanges with the Chinese friends. They would like to take the opportunity of X's visit to further enhance the exchanges and cooperation with China in all fields based on the friendship between the Iowa people and China and write a new chapter of friendship between the American and Chinese people.
In the evening, Branstad hosted a grand reception for Xi and his delegation in the state government hall. Around 700 delegates, including US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and people from all walks of life of local communities attended the event. The hall was filled with a warm and cordial atmosphere. Xi received wave after wave of enthusiastic applauses for his encouraging remarks on the China-US cooperative partnership and for his deep feelings for the Iowa people.