When Xi Smiles

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http://As%20China's%20presumed%20leader-in-waiting,%20Xi%20Jinping%20has%20embarked%20on%20something%20of%20a%20charm%20offensive%20over%20the%20last%2012%20months,%20meeting%20world%20leaders%20around%20the%20globe.%20Unlike%20current%20President%20Hu%20Jintao,%20Xi%20seems%20more%20comfortable%20in%20his%20skin,%20and%20is%20often%20photographed%20grinning%20or%20glad-handing.%20But%20his%20real%20thoughts%20and%20views%20about%20the%20world%20are%20as%20much%20as%20a%20mystery%20as%20Hu's%20when%20he%20took%20office%20nearly%2010%20years%20ago.%20As%20businessmen,%20journalists,%20and%20observers%20the%20world%20over%20try%20to%20get%20a%20handle%20on%20Xi's%20policies%20and%20what%20his%20leadership%20will%20mean%20for%20a%20rising%20China,%20Xi%20has%20offered%20little%20more%20than%20anodyne%20public%20statements%20and%20a%20smile.%20 %20%20%20%20%20%20Above,%20Xi%20waves%20to%20Thai%20students%20during%20%20a%20visit%20to%20Chulalongkorn%20University%20in%20Bangkok%20on%20Dec.%2024,%202011.

As China's presumed leader-in-waiting, Xi Jinping has embarked on something of a charm offensive over the last 12 months, meeting world leaders around the globe. Unlike current President Hu Jintao, Xi seems more comfortable in his skin, and is often photographed grinning or glad-handing. But his real thoughts and views about the world are as much as a mystery as Hu's when he took office nearly 10 years ago. As businessmen, journalists, and observers the world over try to get a handle on Xi's policies and what his leadership will mean for a rising China, Xi has offered little more than anodyne public statements and a smile.  

Above, Xi waves to Thai students during a visit to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on Dec. 24, 2011.

http://Xi%20beams%20during%20a%20meeting%20with%20U.S.%20%20President%20Barack%20Obama%20in%20the%20Oval%20Office%20of%20the%20White%20House%20in%20Washington,%20DC,%20%20on%20Feb.%2014,%202012.
Xi beams during a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on Feb. 14, 2012.

http://A%20friendly%20Xi%20shakes%20hands%20with%20bagpiper%20Neil%20Carey%20at%20Bunratty%20Castle%20on%20a%20visit%20%20to%20County%20Clare,%20Ireland.
A friendly Xi shakes hands with bagpiper Neil Carey at Bunratty Castle on a visit to County Clare, Ireland.

http://Chinese%20%20Vice%20President%20Xi%20Jinping%20smiles%20while%20shaking%20hands%20with%20Luiz%20Inacio%20Lula%20da%20Silva,%20then%20Brazil's%20president,%20during%20a%20meeting%20in%20Brasilia%20on%20Feb.%2019,%20%202009.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping smiles while shaking hands with Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, then Brazil's president, during a meeting in Brasilia on Feb. 19, 2009.

http://Above,%20German%20%20Chancellor%20Angela%20Merkel%20greets%20Xi%20in%20Berlin%20%20before%20confronting%20him%20on%20human%20rights%20issues%20on%20Oct.%2012,%202009.
Above, German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets Xi in Berlin before confronting him on human rights issues on Oct. 12, 2009.

http://Xi%20wears%20an%20amiable%20expression%20as%20he%20and%20U.S.%20Vice%20President%20Joe%20Biden%20watch%20a%20dance%20%20performance%20during%20a%20visit%20to%20International%20Studies%20Learning%20Center%20on%20Feb.%2016,%20%202012%20in%20South%20Gate,%20California.
Xi wears an amiable expression as he and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden watch a dance performance during a visit to International Studies Learning Center on Feb. 16, 2012 in South Gate, California.

http://Xi%20grins%20at%20Egypt's%20president,%20Mohamed%20Morsy,%20during%20a%20meeting%20in%20the%20Great%20%20Hall%20of%20the%20People%20in%20Beijing%20on%20August%2029,%202012.
Xi grins at Egypt's president, Mohamed Morsy, during a meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on August 29, 2012.

http://U.S.%20Vice%20President%20%20Joe%20Biden,%20perhaps%20the%20only%20U.S.%20politician%20whose%20grin%20can%20match%20Xi's,%20takes%20a%20%20stroll%20with%20the%20Chinese%20veep%20in%20the%20southwest%20province%20of%20Sichuan%20%20on%20August%2021,%202011.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, perhaps the only U.S. politician whose grin can match Xi's, takes a stroll with the Chinese veep in the southwest province of Sichuan on August 21, 2011.

http://Costa%20Rican%20President%20Laura%20Chinchilla%20smiles%20with%20Chinese%20Vice%20%20%20President%20Xi%20Jinping%20at%20the%20Great%20Hall%20of%20the%20People%20on%20August%2017,%202012%20%20%20in%20Beijing.
Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla smiles with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People on August 17, 2012 in Beijing.

http://United%20Nations%20Secretary%20General%20Ban%20Ki-moon%20and%20Xi%20Jinping%20force%20a%20couple%20smiles%20at%20the%20Great%20Hall%20of%20the%20People%20on%20%20%20July%2018,%202012%20in%20Beijing.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Xi Jinping force a couple smiles at the Great Hall of the People on July 18, 2012 in Beijing.

http://Xi's%20smile%20can%20be%20contagious,%20however.%20Or%20maybe%20he%20just%20really%20likes%20basketball.%20Above,%20Xi,%20California%20Gov.%20Jerry%20Brown,%20and%20Los%20Angeles%20Mayor%20Antonio%20Villaraigosa%20attend%20the%20Los%20%20%20Angeles%20Lakers%20and%20Phoenix%20Suns%20NBA%20basketball%20game%20at%20Staples%20Center%20on%20%20Feb.%2017,%202012%20in%20Los%20Angeles,%20California.
Xi's smile can be contagious, however. Or maybe he just really likes basketball. Above, Xi, California Gov. Jerry Brown, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attend the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns NBA basketball game at Staples Center on Feb. 17, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

http://Chinese%20Vice%20President%20Xi%20Jinping%20shares%20a%20toast%20during%20a%20state%20dinner%20%20%20at%20the%20Iowa%20State%20Capitol%20on%20February%2015,%202012,%20in%20Des%20Moines.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping shares a toast during a state dinner at the Iowa State Capitol on February 15, 2012, in Des Moines.
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