VP VISIT: China’s vice president begins his trip to Iowa in Muscatine but Wednesday night a state dinner is being held for him in Des Moines

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will begin his Iowa visit in Muscatine Wednesday afternoon, but then he’s heading to Des Moines for a formal state dinner.

Xi is visiting a farm in Muscatine that he last stopped at in 1985. A private reception is being held at the farm and then Xi will get the key to city and spend about an hour with old friends.

Governor Terry Branstad is calling Xi’s visit the biggest since the pope’s. Xi is expected to be China’s next president.

Wednesday night, Vice President Xi will come to Des Moines, where there will be a formal state dinner at the Statehouse. There, Governor Branstad will announce details of a new trade deal with China.

Iowa Public Television is streaming the opening remarks and toasts from the state dinner live on its website at 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday morning the governor’s office released the full menu for the state dinner and it features Iowa products from start to finish.

About 650 guests will start with BLT bites and smoked trout. The main course includes Eden Farms bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, Angus beef tenderloin and Maytag white cheddar twice baked potatoes. For dessert, they’ll serve guests crème apple pie cupcakes with Iowa maple syrup frosting, Maytag blue cheese with Iowa honey drizzle and mini Iowa sweet corn cheesecake.

Guests will also enjoy Iowa-made wines and beer.

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