It's not hard to come across as more human than former Chinese President Hu Jintao -- a man the Financial Times once said "made R2D2 ... look like a thing of flesh and blood." But ever since his first public speech as head of the Chinese Communist Party -- which began with a warm apology for running late -- people both at home and abroad have been struck by the charms and charisma of the country's new leader.
The Wall Street Journal rhapsodized about Xi Jinping's "burly frame," his "deep, sonorous voice" and his "glamorous wife." The Global Times bragged about the new leader kicking around a Gaelic football while on a visit to Ireland, during which he "quickly charmed the world." A column in the South China Morning Post even used the word "folksy" to describe the former princeling.
Xi, who will be doing some gripping and grinning with Barack Obama when they meet in California this week, likely recognizes that China's problems are far too big to be solved by charm alone. But it can't hurt, right? Here's a look at some of Xi's finer man-of-the-people moments.
Above, Xi shakes hands with Chinese construction workers at the site of the Couva Children's Hospital in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on June 1, 2013.