A WORLD LEADER
In January 2017, President Xi went to Geneva, a place that has long been witness to the development of China's diplomacy, and delivered the speech "Work Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind."
In 47 minutes, Xi won more than 30 rounds of ovation. At key parts of his speech, almost every sentence was greeted with applause.
He described this community of shared future as an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the United Nations would join China in promoting world peace and development, and in realizing the goal of a community of shared future for mankind.
In February, the 55th UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD) approved a resolution that called for more support for economic and social development in Africa by embracing the spirit of building "a human community with shared destiny."
It was the first time that a UN resolution incorporated the important Chinese concept.
In June 2016, at the arrival ceremony of a China-Europe freight train in Warsaw, Xi and Polish President Andrzej Duda tasted Polish apples together. Today, products like the apples are brought to China with the help of the Belt and Road Initiative.
As the chief architect of the initiative, Xi has provided an inclusive platform for countries to speed up their development. Over 100 countries and international organizations have expressed their support for, or participated in, the initiative.
In May 2017, Xi presided over the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the most prestigious international gathering China has ever initiated. Representatives from the world's major economies including all G7 countries were present.
To the international community, Xi is a firm advocate for economic globalization. He was the first Chinese head of state to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos.
His speech there was impressive: "Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war."
German newspaper Handelsblatt commented that the Chinese president was advocating a more just globalization in his speech. At Davos, the leader of the world's biggest Communist Party would become the biggest advocate for free trade.
Advocating shared growth through discussion and collaboration in global governance, Xi pushes for a more just and reasonable international order, and proposes upholding justice while pursuing shared interests.
He wants new thinking on common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security; open, innovative, and inclusive development that benefits everyone; and cross-cultural exchanges characterized by harmony within diversity, inclusiveness, and mutual learning.
These concepts were to the fore at the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, the G20 Hangzhou Summit, the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Beijing, the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia held in Shanghai, and other international podiums.
In the past five years, Xi has visited 57 countries and major international, regional organizations covering five continents; a combined travel distance equal to circling Earth 14 times. According to protocol officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, his schedules for overseas visits are always tight and busy with one event closely following another.
When presiding over the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in South Africa, he was still attending bilateral meetings at midnight. During the BRICS Summit in Goa, India, he left the hotel at eight in the morning and did not return until almost one o'clock the next morning after his day's work.
He has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin over 20 times since taking on the mantle of president of China. Their solid friendship has led bilateral ties into the best time in history. He has had candid talks with both former and current U.S. presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, enhancing trust while reducing suspicion and setting out the future of bilateral ties.
He is the first Chinese head of state to visit the headquarters of the European Union. He has visited all major European countries, exploring each one's special relationship with China. Europe is home to almost one third of the 57 founding members of the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
He proposed neighborhood diplomacy of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. He visited Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, advancing China's diplomacy on all fronts.
The Wall Street Journal reported that, "On the global stage, Mr. Xi has portrayed China as an alternative to the West, with a unique political system and culture, and as a leader in areas including trade, inequality and climate change."
Many believe Xi's wisdom and solutions have helped avoid a "clash of civilizations," the so-called "Thucydides Trap" and "Kindleberger Trap."
At the 19th CPC National Congress, Xi said that major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics could "foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind."
This is a philosophy long held by Xi, out of an emotional commitment to serve people worldwide as his duty. It is a global vision and the undertaking of a major leader, combining China's own development with that of the whole world, transcending traditional Western schools of thought on international relations based on the zero-sum game and power politics.
Xi's extensive knowledge of literature and the arts makes him a consummate communicator in the international arena. When being interviewed, he named more than 10 Russian writers and a host of Russian masterpieces; when visiting Europe, he talked of several French and German cultural celebrities, bringing himself closer to the locals, and voicing his opinions with literary and artistic expression.
In describing "the Chinese road," he often uses vivid language-- China is a peaceful, amicable, civilized lion; China is a big guy; China should not be compared to Mephisto. "Welcome aboard the fast train of China's development."
Xi treats everyone with sincerity, warmth, attentiveness, and forthrightness. Putin once said Xi sent him a birthday cake during the APEC meetings in 2013 and they "drank vodka with sandwiches." In July 2016, President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso visited China for the 14th time. Xi gave him a collection of over 70 photographs of his previous visits as a gift. As civil wars in Sassou Nguesso's country had damaged archives, he said that was the most precious gift he had ever received.
When presenting an award to a Russian veteran who fought for China during World War II, Xi saw the difficulty the old soldier had in moving and said at once, "Let me come over to you. You can stay there." He cherishes old friendships and honored his words with a visit to the family of a late friend, Jim Bacon, in Australia.
A selfie of football star Sergio Aguero and Xi drew a large number of views online. In Argentina, he happily accepted a No. 10 jersey with his name on it. When being interviewed, Xi said he likes sports, including football, basketball, volleyball, and boxing. He also takes time out of his busy schedule to swim over 1,000 meters a time.
His wife Peng Liyuan accompanies the president on some trips abroad and has also become a star of China's diplomacy. In the autumn of 2015, Peng walked onto the podium of the United Nations and delivered two speeches in fluent English, one on her Chinese dream: "I hope all children, especially girls, can have access to good education. This is my Chinese dream." The other was about her stories with children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Details of their visits abroad show the warmth of a Chinese family. Whenever the cabin door of their plane opened, the couple always walked down the stairs hand in hand, with matching style and gestures. In June 2013, they visited a rural household in Costa Rica. When the host brought them snacks, Xi picked one up and said, "We two can share this one."
Countries often extend an exceptional welcome to Xi on his visits. The Russian Ministry of Defense and the command center of military force opened their gates to a foreign head of state for the first time in honor of Xi. The Queen Mother of Cambodia Norodom Monineath Sihanouk invited Xi to sit in the chair where late King Father Norodom Sihanouk often sat. The chair has been cherished by the royal family since the King Father's passing and had never been used until Xi's visit.