Keen to replicate the success of state broadcaster CCTV’s recent video featuring foreigners who couldn’t get enough of China’s WWII military parade, government mouthpiece People’s Daily has cobbled together a group of foreign students bewitched, beguiled and bewildered by President Xi Jinping.

Released to coincide with Xi’s visit to the United States, the series of interviews takes you on a whirlwind tour of the capital’s university campuses, profiling a wide array of students lauded online as “desperate for visa renewals.”

Stand-outs from the cast include: a young Japanese woman who dreams of marrying a man like Xi; an American who “would love to read” his copy of Xi’s book; another American who puts on her best sajiao voice to send her love to the chairman; a pair of grown men who confess that they “like [Xi] so much”; and, seared in the minds of viewers forever, an Austrian who gushes that Xi is “so cute.”

Ryan Kilpatrick

Ryan Kilpatrick is a local writer, journalist and editor. Formerly National Online Editor for the That's magazine group in China, his work on the history and politics of the region has earned him the CEFC Award in Modern China Studies and has also appeared in China Economic Review, Asian Studies Review, China Green News, e-International Relations, Shanghaiist and various publications at his alma mater, the University of Hong Kong, where he is currently enrolled in the Master of Journalism programme.