Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 marks a historic day for the Quad City Area as the Vice President of China prepares a daylong visit to Iowa.
Vice President Xi Jinping is in the United States for five days and is flying into the Quad City International Airport this afternoon after spending Tuesday in Washington, D.C. Yesterday, President Barack Obama welcome Vice President Xi to the White House. The President says it was a good opportunity to improve relations between the two countries. The two leaders spoke about a wide range of issues, including areas where the U.S. and China disagree, like trade imbalance and human rights.
Vice President Xi is expected to land at the Quad City international Airport between 3pm and 4pm today. He'll be greeted by Quad City Mayors as well as Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon and Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds before a motorcade takes him west to Muscatine, Iowa.
His visit to Muscatine, will not be his first. The group that greeted Vice President Xi during his first visit to Iowa in 1985 reunited yesterday at the Muscatine Public Library to plan his upcoming visit. Officials say Vice President Xi's interest and background in agriculture is putting Iowa in the national spotlight and his time here could set the tone for a future relationship between the Midwest and China.
"We can make an impact in the world, and in a small way, it could be something big," says Jim Sichterman, who owns a computer business in Muscatine.
"It's always good to be friendly and open to people because you just never know in the future what consequences it's going to have," says Vince Lawson, who hosted the 1985 visit.
Vice President Xi will spend an hour or so in Muscatine at a private reception before heading to Des Moines to spend some time with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and state lawmakers.
News 8 will have complete coverage of his visits throughout the day on WQAD and on WQAD.com.