Lifetime memories are made of this

Updated: 2012-02-17 07:06

By Kelly Chung Dawson, Zhang Yuwei and Tan Yingzi (China Daily)

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Vice-president returns to Iowan town 27 years after his first visit

MUSCATINE, Iowa - Hanging by the door in the Victorian house that Vice-President Xi Jinping visited in Muscatine, Iowa, on Wednesday, was a colorful Chinese folk painting.

Xi's host, Sarah Lande, has been a long-time admirer of China and the small Mississippi River town, once known as "Pearl City" for its pearl-button factories, put on a traditional Iowan welcome.

The vice-president returned on Wednesday 27 years after staying in the town as a young official from Hebei province, Iowa's sister state.

Lande and her husband Roger were one of several families who hosted or spent time with Xi during that visit. Xi spent two nights, in 1985, in the home of Eleanor and Tom Dvorchak. The couple flew back especially from Florida, where they now live, to see Xi again.

Lande said the gathering was "very warm" and "went very nicely". Seventeen people he met from 1985 were invited to the gathering on Wednesday.

Xi was able to recall many details of his 1985 trip, Lande told China Daily after Wednesday's reunion.

She said that Xi told the group that when he was in Washington, US officials asked him why he was going to Iowa.

Lifetime memories are made of this 

Vice-President Xi Jinping catches up on old times at the home of Roger and Sarah Lande in Muscatine, Iowa, on Wednesday. Liu Jiansheng / Xinhua

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