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美好的回忆 长久的友谊——习近平与艾奥瓦友人的故事 Iowans share memories of trips Xi made

中国日报网 2022-05-25 13:34



Iowans ranging from a former governor and ambassadors to local farmers fondly recall Chinese President Xi Jinping's two visits to the Midwestern state. The connection forged over the years made quite a few Iowans "old friends" of Xi, as he calls them.



Terry Branstad, former United States ambassador to China, was governor of Iowa when Xi first visited in 1985 and again in 2012.



At a high-level US-China agricultural dialogue held online recently, Branstad recounted his interactions with Xi over the years.



When he first became governor, Branstad signed a sister state-province agreement with Hebei province in 1983 and brought a 50-person delegation to Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei, the next year.



"So then in the spring, 1985, a delegation of five young men, led by a county-level Party secretary named Xi Jinping, came to Iowa. We wanted to treat them as we were treated in Hebei. So we went all out," Branstad recalled. The delegation was taken to a birthday party, got a taste of barbecue and visited the Mississippi River, as Branstad recalled.

"1985年春天,习近平作为河北省正定县委书记率领一个五人代表团访问艾奥瓦州。我们在河北时受到了款待,所以我们也热情迎接,精心安排了这次接待活动。”布兰斯塔德回忆道。 他说,他们安排代表团参加了一个生日聚会,品尝了烧烤,并参观了密西西比河。




What's more, upon Xi's request to experience ordinary life in the US, it was arranged for him to spend two nights at a Muscatine resident's house.



Through the arrangement by Sarah Lande, then president of the Iowa Sister State Friendship Committee, Xi slept in Gary Dvorchak's Star Trek-themed bedroom while the latter was away at college.



Xi also dined at Lande's house and saw her go to a neighbor's house to get some ingredients to make a meal.



Years later, Lande described her impression of Xi as a man "who was bright, curious, well-mannered, fun and friendly, who had a smile that transcended into lasting friendship. He was curious … to learn everything that was new when his visit came in Iowa."



The two-week visit was so memorable to Xi that when Branstad visited China in 2011, Xi received him in the Great Hall of the People.



"He had an itinerary from 1985. He went on and on and called us old friends and mentioned all the people," Branstad said. "I think we did make a very good impression."

"他拿出了1985年的访美日程表,侃侃而谈当年的很多事,称呼我们'老朋友',所有人他都还记得,”布兰斯塔德说。 "我认为我们确实给他留下了非常好的印象。"


In February 2012, Branstad met Xi when he visited the US as China's vice-president.



"We went into the archives and found a picture of him and his delegation with me behind my desk on April 29, 1985," Branstad said. "I autographed it and gave it to him and said, 'Now, would you autograph one for me?' And he did."

布兰斯塔德说:“我们查看档案,找到了一张1985年4月29日拍的老照片,是我与习近平及其代表团成员在我办公室里的合影。我签了名送给他,然后说,'现在你能给我这张签个名吗?' 于是他也签了名。”


Xi visited Muscatine to enjoy a reunion with his friends from more than 20 years before. Xi told them: "My impression of America came from you. To me, you are America."





Xi also visited a local farm where he visited a farmer's house and tried his hand on a tractor.



Farmer Rick Kimberley remembers Xi's visit vividly.



"The day of the visit started very early. A lot of security and media arrived early before Vice-President Xi. That ramped up the anticipation and the nerves," Kimberley recalled.



Once Xi arrived, Kimberley felt more at ease and relaxed. "It put me at ease because he had smiles on him. A warm greeting by him kind of helped with the nerves. I could tell he wanted to be there, wanted the discussion. It's almost like a friend at that time," Kimberley said.

习近平到达后,金伯利感觉自在轻松多了。 "他面带微笑,我马上就放松了。他热情的问候缓解了我的紧张。我看得出,他很想看看这里,想和我们交谈。我们一见如故。”金伯利说。


The home and farm visit lasted about an hour, and Kimberley said he was impressed by Xi's knowledge of agriculture. "The questions he asked about agriculture, I knew he knew quite a bit about it."

家庭和农场访问持续了大约一个小时,金伯利说他对习近平的农业知识印象深刻。 "他问到一些关于农业的问题,我一听就知道他是个内行。”


The visit put Kimberley on a path to promote agricultural exchanges between the US and China. By his own account, Kimberley has visited China about 20 times since Xi's visit to his farm. He is involved in a major project to build a Kimberley Farm model in Hebei to help China farm more efficiently.

此次访问后,金伯利成为中美农业交流的推动者。 据金伯利自述,他去过中国20多次,还参与了河北的金伯利农场项目,帮助中国提高农业生产效率。




During Xi's second visit to Iowa, then governor Branstad hosted a state dinner in honor of Xi.



Kenneth Quinn, former president of the World Food Prize Foundation and former US ambassador to Cambodia, was especially touched by one particular remark made by Xi at the dinner.

世界粮食奖基金会前主席、美国前驻柬埔寨大使肯尼思· 奎因被习近平在晚宴上的一段话深深打动。


"He quoted Mark Twain, who wrote about 19th-century life along the Mississippi River and American Midwest. He spoke about how the memories of seeing the sun over the Mississippi River were so deeply ingrained within him," Quinn said. "I could not recall ever hearing a foreign leader speak so movingly about my country. That brought home to me the power of citizen diplomacy."



The next day, while escorting Xi to the agricultural symposium there, Quinn told Xi that he might be one of the few Iowans who shook Xi's hand as well as Xi's father's hand, when Xi Zhongxun went to Iowa in 1980.



"The vice-president literally stopped in his tracks; his eyes got very big, a big smile on his face, and he said to me, 'You have two very interesting stories,'" Quinn said.



Xi Zhongxun visited Iowa in 1980 as the governor of Guangdong province, while Quinn, as a Pearson fellow at the US State Department, was tasked to escort the senior Xi around Iowa.



To this day, Quinn said he believes that the senior Xi's visit to the Amana Colonies, a former communal living structure, might have helped China's leaders push for agricultural reform in China, which dramatically increased China's food production.



Later, Quinn commissioned a local artist to do a painting about Xi's and his father's visits to Iowa with the president's words as the title Two Interesting Stories. It now hangs at the World Food Prize Hall of Fame.

后来,奎因委托当地一位艺术家,创作了一幅关于习近平和他父亲访问艾奥瓦州的画作,标题就是“两个有趣的故事”。 这幅画现在挂在世界粮食奖名人堂。


Quinn said the bonds forged between Xi and Iowans prove that the US and China, which have quite different philosophies of governance, could have a genuinely friendly relationship. "There could be this experience that would be so meaningful that it could override some of the other irritants in the relationship," Quinn said.

奎因说,习近平和艾奥瓦州人民之间建立的深厚情谊充分证明,中美两国,虽然治理理念不同,但仍可以建立真正友好的关系。 “习近平与美国艾奥瓦人民交往的美好经历意义深远,可以帮助两国关系在遭遇困难时,超越分歧聚焦合作,”奎因说。