Weary from the rigors of serving as China’s paramount leader, Xi Jinxing is making plans to visit the United States for a vacation.
“It’s easy being President of the People’s Republic of China, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and the Chairman of the Central Military Commission,” Xi purportedly said, “but when they also make you the chair of every committee and the leader of every commission, the workload can get brutal.”
Not one to pass up a good deal on international flights and accommodations, Xi will combine his holiday with an official state visit to Washington, his first since taking over the ruling Communist Party in 2012.
Cui Tiankai, the country’s ambassador to the US, told China Daily over the weekend that he was discussing dates and details with American officials.
Xi, no doubt, will want to keep the subject matter between the leaders of the world’s two most influential and powerful countries light and breezy—restricting conversation with his US counterpart to simple fare like cybersecurity, tensions between China and its neighbors, controlling greenhouse gases and who to disinvite from the White House state dinner.
US President Barack Obama, who has been plagued with reflexive and unthinking opposition lately, will also likely seek advice from Xi in a private moment on how to put political foes in their place.
Most, if not all, of Xi’s former antagonists have been, uh, methodically neutralized.
Xi, truth be told, might ask Obama, who is probably the most fit American president ever, for some workout tips. The rotund Xi could lose some pounds, as a 9-year-old pointed out in a letter recently that went viral on Chinese social media before it was censored.
Xi last visited the US in June 2013—a purposely informal affair that occurred in California and did not include a stopover to Washington, said the Washington Post.
Xi came to the US on an extended visit as president-in-waiting in 2012, and visited Muscatine, Iowa, where he had spent some time on an agricultural exchange program in the 1980s, as well as Los Angeles, where he took in a Lakers game when the Lakers were still worth watching. (They beat the Phoenix Suns that day 111-99.)
Xi last met with Obama in November after an APEC meeting in Beijing.
To avoid missteps and possible national embarrassment, Xi reportedly has been reviewing China’s 64-page Guide to Civilized Tourism and Travel, a handbook of etiquette for Chinese tourists abroad.
While not picking your nose in public and not slurping noodles too loudly are no-brainers, many Chinese nationals have a tough time remembering not to lie down in public or leave footprints on the toilet seat.
Xi presumably would like to devote the bulk of his vacation spending quality time with his daughter (an undergrad at Harvard), shopping (China’s national pastime) and seeing the sights (Americans in their natural habitat).
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