BEIJING — China’s future leader appeared energetic Wednesday in a meeting with the U.S. defense secretary, his first appearance with a foreign dignitary since dropping from public view and raising a flurry of questions about his health and turbulence in the succession process.
Vice President Xi Jinping and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met for more than an hour to discuss U.S.-China military relations, Pentagon press secretary George Little said.
Panetta said the meeting went over the allotted 45 minutes because Xi was so focused on finding a way to improve relations.
“Frankly my impression was that he was very healthy and very engaged,” he told reporters later in the day.
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