President Xi Slept Here: How a Trip to Iowa in 1985 Changed U.S.-China Relations

As Chinese leader Xi Jinping makes his first state visit to the U.S. as president, interest in all things China will be at a near-term peak over the next few days, just as surely as the Shanghai Composite reached a top on May 1, 2015, which happened to be the Labor Day holiday in China. The concern in the West about China's growing economic and geopolitical influence is not unjustified, although "concern" is probably not the correct word to apply to the situation. Learning to co-exist with a large and formidable competitor is never comfortable, but the integration of China into the ROW ("rest of world" in business-speak) is an unadulterated positive for both China and the West. We already experienced the alternative with the Communist block during the Cold War, with less than optimal results.

A state visit like this offers pundits unlimited opportunities to deliver opinions on how China could make our lives better, and being a part-time pundit myself, I will do likewise. But my views are influenced by a unique -- and somewhat surreal -- experience that I will share with you. My home state, hometown, and family occupy an unexpected position in the history of U.S.-China relations....1417 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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