BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- In a photo released Sunday by Xinhua, Xi Jinping, in a dark overcoat, kicks a Gaelic football in Dublin's Croke Park in February 2012.
File photo taken in February 2012 shows Xi Jinping kicks a Gaelic football as he visits the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Ireland. (Xinhua)
Xi's skillful footwork quickly charmed the world. Before that, he visited the United States, during which Xi met President Barack Obama on Valentines' Day, and went to Muscatine, Iowa, for a reunion with Eleanor and Tom Dvorchak, who hosted Xi on their farm during his first U.S. visit in 1985.
Xi made his maiden voyage to the U.S. when he was secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Zhengding County committee. Among his assigned tasks was to acquire agricultural know-how for the mainly farming county. Iowa is a key agricultural area in the U.S.
The February trip was the fifth time for Xi, who puts great emphasis on China-U.S. relations, to visit the U.S.
At a luncheon in Washington, D.C. during his U.S. visit in February, Xi said that China-U.S. relations have "experienced ups and downs, but the general trend is moving forward."
"As a Chinese poet put it, 'Green hills can't block it, and after all, it is flowing eastward,'" Xi said.
The U.S. visit came amid his efforts to build rapport with the international community.
As Party chief of Shanghai for five months in 2007 when the World Expo was in its preparatory stage, Xi met with CEOs from Siemens, Carrefour, Citibank, Standard Chartered, Morgan Stanley, Blackstone Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Xi also met with Muhtar Kent and Robert Iger, CEOs of Coca Cola and Walt Disney, respectively, in the Great Hall of the People after being elected vice president in March 2008.
In the past five years, Xi traveled to many countries, including Italy, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Russia, Japan, New Zealand, Vietnam, Angola, South Africa, Mexico, Ireland and the U.S.
Now, it's a big guess which country Xi will first visit in his new capacity as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, and what new charm he will bring to the world.
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