by Xinhua writers Luo Jun, Guan Jianwu
BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- With 24 tours across the globe in nearly four years after assuming office, Chinese President Xi Jinping has established a unique style of diplomacy that features heartwarming engagement with foreign publics and a vision for all nations to live together in peace and prosperity.
Rooted in China's commitment to mutual respect and win-win cooperation in international relations, his charisma has become a globally recognized signature and knit his country and the world together more tightly.
A WARM PERSONALITY
"President Xi has a nice unassuming personality. He does not overawe you and does not talk down," said Stephen Perry, the British 48 Group Club Chairman who met Xi during his state visit to Britain in October 2015.
"He has huge power and yet he talks to you like a friend. I understand why he is called papa (at home). He has that natural warmth of a grandfather," Perry told Xinhua in a recent interview, citing the virally popular name of endearment Chinese netizens have come up with for Xi.
"He said very kind words about my father and about me, and recalled the very important role of the icebreakers," Perry added, referring to the group of people from the British business community who were among the first Westerners to establish trade relations with China.
Recalling his interaction with the Chinese president, Perry said Xi is very warm but not pretentious. "He has a naturalness that is disarming because he speaks slowly and you can see that he means what he says."
"China he says believes in shared prosperity," Perry said, adding that "he can converse about any topic but never in an over confident way."
Echoing Perry's impression, Julijana Lula Zivojinovic, the widow of the famous Serbian actor Velimir Bata Zivojinovic in "Walter Defends Sarajevo," told Xinhua that "the recent meeting with President Xi is one of those miracles that only life can stage to us."
During Xi's state visit to Serbia in June this year, Julijana met the Chinese president at the welcoming banquet hosted by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic.
"It was our first meeting and I could instantly feel the warmth and kindness of Mr. Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. During our conversation we shared deep and sincere emotions and memories about Bata," said Julijana.
Yugoslavian films such as "Walter Defends Sarajevo", in which Zivojinovic played the role of Walter, and "The Bridge" were once quite popular in China.
"I felt immensely grateful and proud at the same time that in this way the first man of China, the great and friendly country, felt the need to show a wonderful human expression of respect and love towards our Bata, but also to all the people that live in Serbia," Julijana said.
In Poland, Xi's meeting with the Mazowsze Polish Folk Song and Dance Ensemble also left a sweet memory.
Anna Lapinska was one of the performers Xi met and talked to. "I wasn't expecting that President Xi would dedicate so much time to us. He turned out to be a truly jovial and kind-hearted person during our conversation."
"As a goodbye gift the president gave us a wonderful album to memorialize all of Mazowsze's trips to China, which was a clear sign that the meeting we attended had been carefully prepared," Lapinska said.
Mazowsze is regarded as a synonym for Polish folk music and dance. Since 1953, Mazowsze has visited China six times.
For Mohsen Firgani, an Egyptian scholar from Ain Shames University, the conversation he had with President Xi during his first overseas visit in 2016 to the Middle East was exciting and heart-warming.
Receiving an award from President Xi on promoting friendship between China and Arab nations, Firgani told the president an Egyptian saying, that he must drink water from River Nile, for then he will come back to Egypt again.
"President Xi told me that it was indeed not his first time to Egypt, which was very kind," Firgani said.
Robert Kuhn, a China hand and an international corporate strategist, remarked on President Xi's visit to the United States in September 2015.
"Xi met with ordinary Americans, especially those who are not from big cities, like New York and Washington, and that shows a sense of common humanity, even humility," Kuhn said. "And we like that in our leaders."
A SHARED DESTINY
Do Tien Sam, a renowned Vietnamese expert on China, told Xinhua that he is most impressed by President Xi's Belt and Road Initiative.
The Belt and Road Initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and aspires to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.
Over 100 countries and international organizations have taken part in the Belt and Road and some 30 countries have signed cooperation deals with China to jointly push the initiative forward.
China has inked production capacity deals with 20 countries and jointly set up 46 overseas economic cooperation zones in 17 Belt and Road countries, with an accumulated Chinese investment topping 14 billion dollars and creating 60,000 local jobs.
Meanwhile, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has entered into operation with 57 active participant countries, and the Silk Road Fund and the China-Eurasia Economic Cooperation Fund have also been established.
"President Xi has implemented a new foreign policy suited for the current developments around the globe and region," Sam said.
He believes that Xi has spent a lot of thoughts and efforts on developing his foreign policy, including a new kind of major country relations with the United States, good-neighborly relations with surrounding countries and creation of development projects such as the AIIB.
Ronnie Lins, CEO of a research and business center on China and Brazil, also called the Belt and Road "spectacular."
"These projects involve many countries, bring security to a very important region. In fact both sides get a lot out of it. There are advantages for everyone, such as economic, political and security benefits and good-neighborly relations," Lins said.
Yuri Tavrovsky, a professor with the People's Friendship University of Russia, said China's foreign policy has become more active and systemic under Xi's leadership.
He noted that the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has gained new content, adding that diplomats of the two countries now maintain more frequent consulations on key issues regarding the global order.
"Xi has adopted the diplomacy of establishing new global economic and financial institutions, like the BRICS Development Bank. Xi's famous Belt and Road has given new hope to the region," said Akram Zaki, Pakistan's former foreign secretary general.
The seasoned diplomat told Xinhua that Xi's plan manifests Chinese wisdom and strong sense of responsibility, and has attracted the whole world towards China.
"Xi has put forward a major concept to forge a community of shared destiny for mankind, after proposing to establish a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core. This concept is becoming another important banner of China's diplomacy," Zaki said.
"Regarding development, President Xi's era has proven fruitful for the under-developed countries, especially in Africa and also in Asia," he noted.
"Whether it's Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or Nepal, or the central Asian states, they all have been invited to ride the Chinese train of development to achieve prosperity," he said.
(Xinhua reporters Liu Tian, Ding Chao, Chen Xu, Liang Xizhi, Wang Xue, Le Yanna, Chen Weihua, Wang Yi, Zhou Meng also contributed to the story)