Feb. 25 - Chinese President Xi Jinping makes a surprise visit to a residential street in Beijing. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS CONVERTED MOBILE PHONE FOOTAGE ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised Beijing residents on Tuesday (February 25) by visiting courtyard homes and chatting with pedestrians near a popular shopping street, drawing praise from social media users for his unusual public diplomacy. Unscripted interactions between politicians and the public are uncommon in a country where even leaders' birthdays or family backgrounds are often closely held secrets. A shaky video of Xi's visit posted online shows locals applauding him as he nears. He then stops to ask residents how long they've lived in the neighbourhood before ambling away. The central Beijing shopping street, frequented by young Chinese and tourists alike, is lined with stands selling popular street snacks like octopus balls and red bean cakes, as well as clothing and souvenir stores. Xi's few forays into ordinary public settings have attracted widespread praise from the Chinese public. Heavy smog has been at a high for the past few days in Beijing, and many netizens expressed approval that the president was exposing himself to the same toxic air as everyone else without even donning a mask.