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Surprising Connections: Iowa Woman, 85, Reveals Decades-Long Pen Pal Relationship with China’s Xi Jinping

Wait, Xi Jinping has an 85-year-old pen pal in Iowa? (Photo: Google)

A recent state media story revealed that China’s President Xi Jinping wrote to an 85-year-old Iowa woman.

Wait, Xi Jinping has an 85-year-old pen pal in Iowa? (Photo: Google)

The Extraordinary Friendship Between Xi Jinping and an Iowa Resident

The study emphasizes Xi Jinping’s views on US-China diplomacy and joint diplomatic success. Sarah Lande, an Iowa resident and longtime acquaintance, wrote to Xi, establishing an unusual relationship between China’s most powerful leader and an elderly American.

When Xi Jinping visited Muscatine, Iowa, in 1985 as part of an agriculture mission, Lande and her husband were unusual Americans. Strong friendship evolved when Xi remained in Lande’s son’s bedroom. In a Xinhua interview, Sarah Lande, who coordinated Xi’s tour, remembered his insatiable inquiry and persistent smile during his early visit to Iowa.

China’s Vice President Xi Jinping visited the Landes’ Victorian house in Muscatine in 2012 on an official visit.

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Xi Jinping’s Ongoing Connection with Iowa Amidst Strained US-China Relations

This visit took place a year before Xi became China’s leader. Xi invited Lande and other “old friends” from Iowa to dinner at the 2023 APEC conference in San Francisco, underlining their longstanding friendship.

Xi previously wrote to Lande in 2022, complimenting Iowa and China-US relations. The Chinese leader displayed a photo from his 1985 cordial visit to the US to capitalize on nostalgia. Even though Xi and Lande are close, the US-China relationship has been damaged by military conflicts and diplomatic tensions.

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