Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will make a two-day stop in Iowa this week that may result in deeper agricultural ties between China and the US, Reuters reported. Xi, the clear favorite to replace Hu Jintao as China’s next president and Communist Party chief, plans to visit an Iowa soybean farm, attend a gala dinner with farm producers and attend the first-ever US-China agricultural symposium, after meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington, DC. Farm exports now make up about one-fifth of American sales of goods to China. China bought US$20 billion, or a total of 14%, of US agricultural exports last year, largely soybeans, corn and pork, of which Iowa is a major producer. Policy experts say increasing agricultural trade could be a stabilizing influence on US-Sino relations, which have been fraught with tension over tarriffs, market access and the Chinese currency. China is a huge importer of agricultural crops, as it accounts for one-fifth of the world’s population but only 9% of its arable land.