A resurfaced photograph capturing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s younger days at the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is causing waves on social media, adding a touch of nostalgia to the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. Shared by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on X (formerly Twitter), the image depicts President Xi beaming against the backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge during his earlier years.
The intriguing revelation unfolded as President Joe Biden, during their face-to-face meeting in San Francisco, presented the photograph to President Xi on his cellphone. In her post, Ms. Chunying disclosed the lighthearted exchange, quoting President Xi’s response, “Oh yes, this was 38 years ago.”
Since its circulation, Ms. Chunying’s post has garnered over 1.1 million views and 7,500 likes, sparking a range of reactions from social media users. Some expressed hopes for improved China-US relations, while others emphasized the significance of mutual understanding and cooperation between these influential leaders.
“It’s cool. Mutual understanding and cooperation of these two powerful leaders are needed at this time,” commented one user. Another echoed the sentiment, saying, “A better world for all of us starts with these two world leaders.”
Pointing to a photo in his phone with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, President Biden asked President Xi, “Do you know this young man?” “Oh yes,” said President Xi, “this was 38 years ago.”🌞 pic.twitter.com/r65Em6Z7oS
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) November 16, 2023
While the historic summit between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping saw discussions on crucial matters, including the restoration of high-level military communications and the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI), lighter moments punctuated the talks. The leaders acknowledged the imperative need to address the risks associated with advanced AI systems and enhance AI safety through US-China government dialogues, as highlighted in a White House readout.
Despite discussions on contentious issues such as alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, and the Taiwan question, President Biden referred to President Xi as a “dictator” after the meeting. However, the summit also featured more personal exchanges, with President Biden playfully reminding President Xi of his wife Peng Liyuan’s birthday, coincidentally sharing the same date as President Xi’s own birthday. The embarrassed Chinese president acknowledged being immersed in work and thanked the US President for the timely reminder.
As this viral throwback photo creates ripples on social media, it adds a unique dimension to the recent summit, showcasing a blend of history, diplomacy, and personal anecdotes between two global leaders.