‘‘I’d say he impressed me with his views,’’ said Guo, who, like most Chinese people used to watching stiff and dour Communist Party leaders, enjoyed watching Romney charm the audience. ‘‘Even when I compare him to Bush and Clinton [who also spoke at Tsinghua University in 2002 and 2003, respectively], I think he is good."
Later . . .
But the students’ interest in the US economy and American management was sharp, and Romney’s reminiscences about his days as head of Bain Capital had the audience hooked.
The room broke into laughter when Romney described the economic success of Bain Capital as ‘‘almost as good as China’s economic growth.’’
While many American leaders have annoyed their Chinese hosts by speaking up boldly in favor of democratic reform in China, Romney’s subtle but pointed words on how ‘‘debate and discussion’’ ultimately create the best policy went down well.
‘‘I really appreciated his view,’’ said Chen Weima, a 20-year-old senior. ‘‘Though Americans have very different perspectives from China sometimes, I think this approach shows he wants to understand our side.’’
I have yet to read anything but rave reviews from audiences Romney addresses. He truly has a gift.