As the man in line to be China’s president next year spends time in the United States, a mom in Spink County is very proud.
The Chinese leader is visiting old friends he made almost 30 years ago in Iowa. And Jean Bowers’ son is one of them.
It's not every day the town of Tulare in Spink County is tied to a national story, or an international one at that. But it is this time.
"I knew he would probably go far, you know, every mom does that. But I certainly never expected him to be friends with the next president of China that's for sure," Bowers said.
That's her son Doyle Tubandt Jean Bowers is talking about. He graduated from high school in Tulare and then the School of Mines before eventually ending up in Muscatine, Iowa.
That's where almost 30 years ago he got know an agriculture team visiting from China led by Xi Jinping, the man in line to be China's president next year.
Xi is now in Iowa visiting those old friends. Tubandt has been in the national media, including the CBS Evening News talking about it.
"Brought tears to my eyes, very happy, very proud of him,” Bowers said. “He's a quiet, humble person and I'm just very proud of him."
As he's with the possible future Chinese president, Bowers isn't in contact with her son. But she enjoys reading articles about him.
She talked with him earlier in the week and Tubandt said the Chinese leader will be hearing about his mother during their reunion.
"Just that he is what he is today because of me, that's what he said. But he's not like me, that's just what he says," Bowers said.
Bowers says her son didn't know the man he met almost 30 years ago would rise to power like he has any more than she knew her son would one day know a world leader.
As CBS News reported, the future president is meeting with a small group of people he spent time with when he was in Iowa on his agriculture trip. Bower says her son is included in that exclusive meeting.