Trump Receives Honor from China No Foreign Leader Has Ever Earned Before

Donald Trump

President and first lady Donald and Melania Trump made history in China on Wednesday.

The president and first lady dined Wednesday in Beijing’s Forbidden City — an honor not given to any foreign leader since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, according to The Daily Caller.

The Trumps toured the Forbidden City Wednesday along with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.

“China is receiving Trump almost the way the King of Saudi Arabia did,” said Shi Yinhong, an international relations expert at People’s University in Beijing. China is “giving Trump lots of face, vanities and protocol.”

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Although Trump often used China as a foil in his campaign speeches, as president he has worked to build a collegial relationship with Xi.

“I think we can say that so far, our measures have been relatively successful,” said Wu Xinbo with the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Trump and Xi “have established a good working relationship,” he added.

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Although the two leaders have had contentious debates on trade, Trump has praised China for going further to support U.S. efforts against North Korea than it has ever gone before.


Trump registered his reaction on Twitter.

The Forbidden City, a complex of multiple palaces, was the residence of the imperial family more than 400 years. The site was shut down for the visit, during which the leaders enjoyed a Peking Opera performance as well as dinner, the South China Morning Post reported.

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“Xi is going to treat Trump almost like an emperor,” said Ming Wang, a professor of government and politics at George Mason University, who also stated that China “will give Trump an exceptional reception, essentially they’ll try to make Trump happy.”

China’s Ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, promised that Trump’s visit would be a “state visit-plus.”

“The Chinese government know who they’re dealing with,” said Beijing-based historian Jeremiah Jenne. “It’s another in a long line of fairly shrewd moves by the Chinese government and something (Trump is) going to be very impressed with.”

“Some of those spaces are incredibly opulent and done with a much greater level of detail than the (public areas),” Jenne said. “I’m sure he’s going to be in for quite a treat.”

Prior to Trump’s arrival, presidential behavior was much on the mind of the media during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One, with a White House official identified in the briefing as a senior administration official.

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“Do you think he should tweet while he’s in China? Do you see any problem with that? Is there any reason why the president shouldn’t tweet while he’s in China?” one reporter asked.

“The president will tweet whenever he wants. That’s his way of communicating directly with the American people,” the official replied.

“Including in China?” the reporter asked.

“Yeah, why not. Why not,” he said. “So long as he can access his Twitter account because Twitter is banned in China. So is Facebook and, of course, most of the other social media.”

“So can he access it? Logistically, can he access it?” the reporter asked, to which the official gave a simple reply.

“I’m sure we’ve got the gear aboard this airplane to allow that to happen.”

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