- Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad tapped as China ambassador
- Xi Jinping visited Iowa in 1985 and returned in 2012 to Muscatine to visit "old friends"
This piece was originally published in November 2012. It has been updated to reflect the latest developments.
(CNN)The leader of the world's most populous nation sits in the halls of power in Beijing, but a part of him remains in the American heartland.