Chinese Vice President Tours Port, Talks Trade In L.A.
It's the first time in 13 years that some of the highest Chinese officials visited Los Angeles. Before Xi's visit this week, Villaraigosa had vowed to strengthen the local economy by expanding Chinese trade, tourism and investment in L.A. while boosting local business in China.
During his visit, Xi met with business leaders who trade with China. “Once out of Washington and the political atmosphere, the key concerns, particularly in Los Angeles, will focus on economic issues related to trade and investment,” said Stanley Rosen, director of the East Asian Studies Center at USC from 2005 to 2011. “There is unhappiness for a variety of reasons (currency issues, cyber attacks, forced technology transfer, favoritism toward Chinese companies, and so forth) in the American business community and Xi will meet and talk with the business community here about some of their concerns.”
Peter Winter, managing editor at US-China Today, said he thought the visit would be important for L.A. in terms of the city's cultural and economic connection with China. “With the country's largest port and the U.S. entertainment industry based in the L.A. area, some of the most salient and at times divisive issues in the U.S.-China relationship are embodied in the city,” He said. He also pointed out Hollywood's significant influence on Chinese cultural industries.
Some Chinese scholars have chosen not to focus much on Jinping's visit, because he is being shown around as the apparent successor in a system that has a rare chance to change bosses.
In the economic forum, Villaraigosa proposed to open a tourism office in Chongqing, a city in Southwest China. It would be L.A.’s second Chinese bureau. The first office was opened in Beijing in 2006.
Xi, 58, will be the first Chinese leader to have had a second marriage after first president Mao Zedong, which is somewhat frowned upon in the country. After his divorce, he married folk singer Peng Liyuan in 1987. The couple usually live apart due to their separate lives. Their daughter, Xi Mingze, enrolled at Harvard University in the fall of 2010 under a pseudonym.
Xi began working in Yanchuan County, Yan'an at 16, under Mao’s Down to the Countryside Movement. He served within the Party before leaving at age 22. He then studied chemical engineering in the national prestigious Tsinghua University from 22 to 26.
In his political life, he became a party secretary in Zhengding County within Heibe, and later served in several parts of the country. He transformed Zhejiang's economic model and managed to maintain more than 13 percent GDP growth. His leadership there was characterized by a tough stance on corruption, which brought him attention from the national media and the country's top officials.
Xi kept a low media profile while governor of Zhejiang. He seldom accepted media interview requests or answered reporters’ questions after his governmental report. As leader of Fujian, he talked about the idea of small government in many occasions, saying there should be a limited government providing effective services.
Reach Staff Reporter Shako Liu here.