There’s always a Chinese way of doing things — which can be good or bad. That goes for public relations too.
China president Xi Jinping’s well-documented visit to the United States at the moment has certainly put him in the spotlight. Of course, he’s facing backlash and, as expected, protesters for several issues (including human rights) but there’s also been positive hype for the man known as “Xi Dada.”
He already impressed from the get-go with his speech in Seattle, making reference to American pop culture by mentioning the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” and the TV show “House of Cards.” He also had feel-good tours of Boeing’s plant in Everett and Microsoft’s campus in Redmond.
Not to mention the Chinese way of doing things was already put into action with the “$2.5 Trillion Photo” featuring CEOs and senior executives. According to this article by the South China Morning Post, there’s always a special meaning to where each person stands.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (front row, C) poses for a photo with a group of CEOs and other executives at the main campus of Microsoft Corp. September 23, 2015 in Redmond, Washington. Xi and top executives from U.S. and Chinese companies discussed a range of issues, including trade relations, intellectual property protection, regulation transparency and clean energy. (Photo credit: Getty)
Then, during his visit to Lincoln High School in Tacoma, he presented students with a ping pong table and invited 100 of them to study in China next year. They, in turn, presented him with a football and sang him a song in Mandarin.
His personality has won over some hearts in America too, despite criticisms from U.S. presidential hopefuls. Yes, there are those calling him “handsome”, “cute”, “charismatic” and, of course, this one student has the bar set high for her future spouse.
“If my future husband is like (Xi Jinping), I will be happy,” adds one straight-faced Korean girl.
But when it comes down to it, according to PR Week, the Chinese government “has taken a far more proactive stance in managing its key messages” during this visit to America.
Right now, he’s in Washington DC meeting with USA president Barack Obama to discuss more important issues while the two first ladies visited the National Zoo to see the giant pandas.
This entire trip — a well-orchestrated PR campaign — and his meetings with Obama could very well bolster Xi Jinping’s stature at home while deflecting some attention away from China’s economic problems.
If that’s the case, then chalk one up to “good” Chinese public relations.