Iowa’s governor is scheduled to have another meeting with China’s new president.
Governor Terry Branstad and China President Xi Jinping have had five face-to-face meetings. The first came 28 years ago. Xi was a lower level Communist Party official visiting Iowa, in a delegation of people from Iowa’s Chinese sister state. This past Friday Branstad left for a four-day trade mission in China and he’s scheduled to see Xi today.
Branstad says the value of this long-standing relationship with the man who is now China’s president “cannot be overstated.” According to Branstad, “Iowa is the preferred provider to feed China’s growing population and our agriculture exports to China continue to grow.”
Branstad was on a trade mission to China in 2011 when he met Xi for the second time. By then, Xi was China’s vice president. During a visit with Branstad, Xi pulled out a copy of the itinerary of his 1985 trip. Branstad invited Xi back to Iowa. During a February, 2012 visit to the United States, Xi stopped in Muscatine to visit with the hosts of his 1985 trip and then he flew to Des Moines for an elaborate state dinner in the capitol. A few months later Branstad was back in China, for a reunion with Xi and the other Chinese members of that 1985 sister-state delegation.
The Republican governors of two other states are along on this latest trade mission to China, but Branstad’s staff did not indicate whether Wisconsin’s Scott Walker or Virginia’s Bob McDonnell will be in on the meeting with Xi.