February 16, 2012
-- Article by Brian Wellner, photo by Kevin Schmidt, Quad-City Times; reproduced by permission.
Weizhi Feng got closer to China's Vice President Xi Jinping in Muscatine than he ever would have in China. And they're from the same hometown.
Feng, a student at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., had the good fortune Wednesday of watching Xi visit the home of Roger and Sarah Lande from a house across the street.
"It's phenomenal. What are the chances?" he said. "This is probably the biggest thing to happen to me."
Feng's family is from Fuping, in Shaanxi Province. Fuping also is Xi's ancestral home.
Feng has his college roommate, Max Potthoff, a Muscatine native, to thank for his good fortune.
Potthoff's aunt, Cheryl Weiskamp of Muscatine, is a close friend of Melissa and Bill Snydacker, who are neighbors of the Landes.
For several hours before Xi arrived, Feng was giddy with excitement, texting friends and having his photo taken in the Snydackers' front yard. He and Potthoff even carried a sign to a gathering of international journalists on the street, saying he's from Xi's hometown.
Feng is studying economics at Knox. Potthoff is studying environmental science. The two met exactly a year ago on a bus to a Chicago Bulls game. They hit it off so well that Feng invited Potthoff to China for a month last summer. On Wednesday, Potthoff said he was returning the favor.
Original story: Chinese student at Knox College from Xi's hometown
Copyright 2012 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.