How English-language Chinese media have covered President Xi Jinping’s visit to this “east Pacific coast city.”

Share story

Although the Pope’s U.S. visit stole headlines across the United States, Seattle is the focus in China — for a few days, at least.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit dominated headlines in English-language Chinese publications.

Stripped across the top of China Daily: “Seattle lays down the welcome mat for Xi.”

Xinhua reported the president arrived in the “east Pacific coast city” of Seattle “with a beaming smile” and “to spontaneous applause.”

“In genial early fall sunshine, the plane carrying the Chinese delegation touched down and taxied to a stop at Paine Field under the earnest gaze of a jubilant welcoming crowd,” the website reported.

Aside from pleasantries, the Chinese news organizations focused on increasing goodwill between the U.S. and China.

China Daily, reporting on the president’s meeting with several U.S. governors, noted that Xi singled out Washington state as a particularly important place:

“Xi said Seattle and Washington are important gateways to China and Asia. He reviewed the history of Liu Lin Hai, a vessel of China Ocean Shipping Group Co that sailed into the Port of Seattle in April 1979, the first Chinese-flag ship to call on a U.S. port since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.”

China Daily quoted Xi saying:

‘It marked the start of U.S.-Chinese maritime relations. Now Washington State has the largest exports to China among all the states in the U.S. … For the future, the city of Seattle as well as Washington State need to work together with China to ‘change gear and speed up’ for cooperation and development.”

Xinhua called Seattle “the U.S. West Coast technology and aviation hub,” and highlighted student-exchange programs and Xi’s desire for “non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”

Xinhua called out Washington’s environmental leadership:

“For example, Xi said, the state of Washington, rich in experiences in environmental and coastal protection, can cooperate with Chinese provinces which are making large investment in this respect.”

People’s Daily offered flowery coverage of President Xi’s visit and included a Q&A with Bill Gates. The Microsoft co-founder lauded China’s development efforts on poverty and scientific research.

The news organization’s website also featured a hilariously transparent piece of propaganda in which young people from across the world compliment Xi on video, accompanied by a strange rendition of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

“His face is a little bit cute. Everybody looks at him and they just like him,” says an Austrian student.

“If my future husband is like him, I would be happy,” says a Korean girl.

He’s “like a big brother, or maybe I can say like a father,” says an Indonesian boy.

Another compared him to Winnie-the-Pooh.

The coverage, at least, is smothered in honey.