Xi Jinping’s State Visit to the United States

图解:巧克力、一号球衣、药酒……习近平访美的八则小故事Xi Jinping’s State Visit to the United States

New York Times: PEN Appeals to Xi Jinping for Release of Imprisoned Chinese
  • On the eve of Xi Jinping’s state visit, 44 writers and public intellectuals, mostly from the US, issued an open letter to the Chinese president, calling on him to release Liu Xiaobo and other writers, scholars and intellectuals politically imprisoned in China.
People’s Daily: 历史经验启示中美关系未来 (History reveals the future of US-China relations)
  • A conciliatory article in the People’s Daily highlights how the US aided and fought alongside China during the World Anti-Fascist War. The article calls on both sides to channel that historical experience to strengthen and broaden cooperation.
Communist Party of China news portal: 阮宗泽:期待习主席访美带来“惊喜” (Ruan Zongze: ‘Pleasant surprises’ await in Chairman Xi’s visit to the US)
  • Commentator sees reasons for positive outcome to Xi’s state visit to the US.
People’s Daily: 习近平对美国进行国事访问并出席联合国成立70周年系列峰会 (Xi Jinping conducts state visit to the United States and attends United Nations for 70th anniversary summit)
  • Special report on Xi Jinping’s trip, with videos, infographics, interviews and list of stops

People’s Daily:美书店启动 《习近平谈治国理政》等图书销售月活动 (Washington, D.C. bookstore launches Xi Jinping’s The Governance of China as book of the month)

Washington Post: The insecurity underpinning Xi Jinping’s Repression
  • Legal scholar Jerome A. Cohen argues that despite Xi Jinping’s image as a confident strongman, insecurity resulting from internal power struggles and the country’s economic slowdown are actuating Xi’s crackdown on dissent and pluralism.
New York Times: Xi Jinping of China Arriving in US at Moment of Vulnerability
  • President Xi Jinping’s arrival in the US comes at a moment when the leader is facing setback at home. Experts say this will reduce his willingness to make concessions to the US on issues of contention.
New York Times: Xi Jinping Hears Tough Complaints of American Business
  • American technology moguls and executives greeted President Xi in Seattle, where some voiced concerns about cyber theft and discrimination against American companies in China. Xi said that cooperation in developing China’s internet must proceed in line with the country’s “national realities.”
New York Times: Xi Jinping’s Inner Circle Offers Cold Shoulder to Western Officials

“One of the problems we have in US-China relations now is that we basically don’t know these people,” said David M. Lampton, director of China Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. “I don’t think we have a great understanding of who below Xi Jinping speaks for him.”

New York Times: US and China Seek Arms Deal for Cyberspace
  • According to inside sources, US and China are negotiating the first arms control accord for cyberspace. Both countries will pledge not to launch crippling attacks on the counterpart’s infrastructure during peacetime.
New York Times: China to Begin Cap-and-Trade Program to Limit Emissions
  • During his state visit to the US, President Xi announced a national cap-and-trade program which will impose costs on greenhouse gas emitters. The announcement marks China’s first substantive plan to act on its ambitious commitment to halt the growth of China’s emissions by 2030.

Who is Xi?

New York Times: Cultural Revolution Shaped Xi Jinping, From Schoolboy to Survivor
  • President Xi Jinping rarely speaks publicly about his experience in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution. However, accounts written by close contemporaries paint a picture of a teenager hardened by adversity into “a combative street survivor.”
The Guardian: Xi Jinping: Does China truly love ‘Big Daddy Xi’ – or fear him?

Orville Schell, a veteran China watcher who has been following Chinese politics since the Mao era, is among those grappling with the mystery that is Xi Dada. Schell had a front row seat to observe China’s then vice-president when Xi travelled to the US to meet Joe Biden in 2012. “His face reminded me of the Mona Lisa: a kind of a flicker of an expression but it never breaks into anything telling, as if he were really, consciously trying to withhold his reactions,” he remembered. “It is incredible.”

New York Times: A Guide to Xi Jinping’s Cultural Shout-Outs in Seattle
  • President Xi’s speech in Seattle went beyond the standard practice of offering a few cultural references to the host country and instead offered a window into Xi’s education and taste in Western literature.
People’s Daily: 名师出高徒!盘点中国领导人的恩师们 (Famous teachers train fine students! A list of the teachers that taught China’s leaders)
  • This article compiles a list of teachers that molded Chinese leaders. Xi Jinping’s thesis advisor, professor of Marxism Liu Meixun, is cited as an influence on the current president. The thesis written under her guidance, “China Rural Market Research,” asserts that the abolishment of the rural and urban hukou is a historical inevitability.

Dictating Popular Culture

New York Times: Bon Jovi Adds Taiwan Show After China Cancellations
  • Following the cancellation of his shows on the mainland, reportedly due to the band’s public stance of solidarity with the Dalai Lama, Bon Jovi has changed some of his tour plans to include shows in Taiwan.
People’s Daily: Sci-fi writers urged to play a part in national revival
  • Vice President Li Yuanchao met with a group of prominent Chinese sci-fi writers and encouraged them to realize the Chinese Dream through their work. Among the writers present was Liu Cixin, author of “The Three Body Problem,” which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015.

Tianjin Explosion and Pollution in China

People’s Daily: 天津港爆炸事故点将建生态公园立纪念碑 (Plans to construct memorial park to commemorate the Tianjin explosions discussed.)
  • 25 days after the disaster, local Tianjin government officials discuss plans to construct a memorial park to commemorate the citizens and emergency response staff who perished or disappeared in the aftermath of the massive explosions that rocked the city.
New York Times: Q. and A.: Louie Cheng on Chemical Contamination in Tianjin
  • Interview about Tianjin explosion and aftermath with an ex-US Army chemical warfare engineer who currently runs a company dedicated to improving air and water quality in Shanghai.
People’s Daily: 花更大力气治“小”污染(生态论苑)(Spend greater energy on solving “small” pollution (ecology discussion lunyuan)
  • Commentary in the People’s Daily discusses rising complaints regarding “small” pollutants, mainly soot/lampblack from restaurants. Law enforcement has failed to penalize small businesses that pollute because of bureaucratic loopholes that allow owners to sidestep fines, or at least draw out the process.
The Guardian: More people die from air pollution than Malaria and HIV/Aids, new study shows
  • A landmark study found that over 3 million people a year are killed prematurely by outdoor air pollution. The study estimates domestic energy use causes a third of the 1.4 million that die annually in China because of air pollution.
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