Hu Jintao’s visit to the US has been widely covered in both countries: in China playing as a show of mutual respect, albeit one of extreme pomp and circumstance, while in the US the visit has been a chance to weigh the push and pull of power politics.
Beyond the major media reports Evan Osnos, on his New Yorker blog, has added the best perspective for my money. He compares the glamor of the current visit with the missteps and slights of Hu’s last visit with Bush in 2006. He also points out Hu’s choosing to visit Chicago before returning home. Chicago Public Schools is home to a massive Chinese language program and one of it’s high schools houses the largest Confucius Institute in the world.
And what did Hu do while in Chicago? Visit the Confucius Institute. The institute visit even garnered a front page picture in the China Daily.
Osnos makes a point similar to one I mentioned here late last year about the influence of the Confucius Institute in Chicago, “Those kids are growing up to believe, at least on some level, that China can be a part of their lives.”