Xi’s career has been lent a touch of glamour by his wife, folk singer Peng Liyuan, who for much of their marriage was far better known than he was. Although Xi isn’t known to have visited his daughter at Harvard, Xi Mingze’s American education adds to Xi’s unusually rich exposure to the U.S., having made up to half a dozen trips to the country.
Xi, who likes the Hollywood film ‘‘Saving Private Ryan,’’ showed a human side during an official visit to the U.S. earlier this year. He took in a Los Angeles Lakers game and stopped in Iowa to visit families who hosted him during a study tour there in 1985. Asked by California schoolchildren about his hobbies, Xi listed reading, swimming, and watching sports, but said to laughter that finding more personal time was ‘‘mission impossible.’’
Former U.S. ambassador to Beijing Jon Huntsman said Xi is a man ‘‘who is quite different from Hu Jintao’’ in that Xi appears at ease.
‘‘He’s someone who you can connect with,’’ Huntsman said.