On February 15, 2012, local time, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who was visiting the United States, had cordial talks with some of his old friends he got to know during his inspection and study trip to the United States 27 years ago. Xi was warmly greeted by his old friends in front of the house of the Landes, including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and his wife, Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and his wife, Muscatine's mayor, former member of the Iowa Sister State Friendship Committee Sarah Lande and her husband, Eleanor Dvorchak and her husband, who hosted Xi in 1985, and representatives of local high school students.
Xi extended cordial greetings to his old friends. He said that there is an old Chinese saying that friendship is like wine, the older, the better. After a lapse of 27 years, he felt especially happy to be able to come back to the City of Muscatine once again and reunite with his old friends, Governor Terry Branstad, Mr. and Mrs. Lande, Mr. and Mrs. Dvorchak, and his other old friends. He said that his memory of the short but wonderful time spent here 27 years ago was everlasting.
"The State of Iowa was my first stop to get to know the United States. You are the first group of American friends I got to know. We learned a lot from the inspection trip. We not only learned advanced agricultural technologies, but also got a preliminary understanding of the American society. My outstanding impression is that the American people, like the Chinese people, are honest, hardworking, enthusiastic, and friendly. There are a lot of common things between the people of the two countries. The Chinese people and the American people can become good friends and partners having mutually beneficial cooperation. I would also like to point out that through that trip, I deeply felt that the state-and-province cooperation and the people-to-people exchanges can achieve amazing results and have great potentials, especially in the current situation, they can play a strong role in promoting the development of China-US cooperative partnership," said Xi.
Xi said that since China and Iowa established partnership, the pace of mutually beneficial cooperation has been speeding up. In the past 10 years alone, the exports of Iowa to China increased by nearly 13 times. As China develops, the two sides will see broader prospects for the cooperation in the field of agriculture, financial services, wind power, infrastructure, and other areas.
"History is created by people. Based on my personal experience of visiting the City of Muscatine twice, it is my deep feeling that China-US relations have a strong public base. The people of the two countries have good feelings toward each other and have great interest in each other. China-US relations can not develop without the enthusiastic participation and strong support of the people. Further enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the 1.6 billion people in China and the United States will determine the future of bilateral relations. The economy and trade of the two countries are highly complementary. China and the United States are each other's second largest trading partners. China is the third largest export market and largest source of imports for the United States; while the United States is one of the largest sources of foreign investment in China. There is no reason for the two countries not to be friendly and cooperative. I hope that you will continue to care for and support China-US relations, encourage more Americans, especially the young generation, to participate in the great cause of China-US friendship," said Xi.
Governor Terry Branstad, Mr. and Mrs. Lande, Mr. and Mrs. Dvorchak, and Xi's other old friends said that the people of Iowa all would like to express warm welcome to Xi's second visit and have been expecting his visit with great excitement. "We all regard you as a great friend of Iowa. We consider that this visit has built up a bridge between the past and the future, has renewed the special bond and friendship we forged 27 years ago, and has set a good example for the friendship between the people of the two countries." They also said that friendship is a big thing that transcends time and space. A world full of friendship will be a peaceful world. They expressed the hope and belief that Xi's visit will promote the better development of the cooperative partnership between the United States and China.
Subsequently, the mayor of Muscatine presented the golden key of the city again to the Vice-President Xi. "In the history of the city of Muscatine, you're the first one who has ever been awarded two golden keys. This shows the special friendship between us, of which we are very proud. We look forward to your visit again," said the mayor.