Kirsters Baish| This past week, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made their way to Asia, visiting the different countries and building relations. The pair is being treated like royalty while on their very first official visit to China.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were granted a very special honor in the form of a very rare dinner at the Forbidden City. New York Daily News along with numerous other media outlets reported that this honor has not been granted to any foreign leader since the People’s Republic of China was founded 68 years ago.
President Trump and Melania Trump arrived in China on Wednesday as the third leg of their two-week trip to Asia. The pair landed in Beijing, and made their way to the Forbidden City alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.
The Forbidden City is an enormous palace complex. It was home to the imperial family for hundreds of years, and at this world renowned site, the leaders of two of our world’s most powerful countries sat down to enjoy a Peking Opera performance and a special dinner together. The Forbidden City was shut down for this occasion. It is important to take note of just how differently President Trump is being treated than former President Barack Obama was treated on his farewell tour.
Obama was looked at with extreme disdain by the Chinese when he visited Beijing during the G-20 summit last year.
A professor of garment and politics at George Mason University, Ming Wang, explained to CNN, “Xi is going to treat Trump almost like an emperor.” She argued that China “will give Trump an exceptional reception, essentially they’ll try to make Trump happy.”
We cannot be sure if President Trump will be swayed one way or another due to this lavish treatment. Our Commander in Chief is due to press the Chinese on issues that concern bilateral trading as well as North Korea. These two issues are hugely impacting the bilateral relationship at this point in time. President Trump has spoken very highly of China’s president in the past. He has been called China’s strongest leader in years many times. His administration has definitely antagonized the Chinese people on matters that impact the United States directly when it comes to strategic national interests.
Only time will tell if talks between President Trump and President Xi will be productive politically or will remain strictly ceremonial.