While Pope Dazzles America’s East Coast, Asian Leaders Quietly Visit The West

As we reported last week, Pope Francis has just completed a ground-breaking visit to Cuba and the United States. The most interesting fact of his visit might have been that the leaders of the world’s two largest countries had overlapping visits to the US, yet went virtually unnoticed by anyone who does not work in the technology industry.

While the pontiff addressed millions on the US East Coast, Chinese President Xi Jinping conducted a six-day visit, most of which was spent on the West Coast. The highlight of his trip was a stop in Seattle where he attended an event alongside the leaders of America’s largest technology companies. The conversation was reportedly somewhat tense, with US executives voicing strong objections to Chinese regulations that are widely seen as hostile to foreign business. Xi, for his part, stood firm and offered no indications that change might be on the horizon.

Simultaneously, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi traveled to Silicon Valley on a whistle stop tour of America’s technology sector. Modi met with many of the same technology luminaries that hobnobbed with Xi, as well as many Indian executives now working in America. Modi appears to have received a warmer reception than his Chinese counterpart. India’s population of 1.2 billion is quickly becoming one of the world’s dominant Internet users. While the Chinese government has banned Facebook, the company now has more users in India than any other country except America.

Photo Credit: The Economic Times – India

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