China's new leader wins approval of netizens

Xi Jinping praised for approachable, low-key style during Shenzhen trip

Mr Xi (third from left) chairing an economic forum in Guangzhou on Sunday. The Chinese leader said China has to move fast in its economic restructuring or risk losing opportunities on the global stage. -- PHOTO: XINHUA

BEIJING - In a rare show of approval for their top leaders, China's usually caustic netizens have gone gaga over the Communist Party's new chief, Mr Xi Jinping, who won them over with his crowd-pleasing ways during his tour of Shenzhen last week.

A photo of Mr Xi travelling around the southern metropolis in a nondescript mini-bus instead of a limousine - and smiling and waving to residents through the window - has gone viral in Chinese cyberspace.

It has been forwarded more than 86,000 times since last Friday, when Mr Xi took his first trip out of Beijing after becoming China's top leader on Nov 15.

Netizens have posted more than 22,000 comments, many of which praise Mr Xi for his low- key and no-frills two-day visit.

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