On Wednesday, China delivered President Trump one of the most extravagant receptions extended to any American President. As part of this reception, President Trump was also extended an exclusive invitation to dine in Beijing’s famed Imperial Palace or, “The Forbidden City.” An honor never extended to any American President before Donald Trump.
The Imperial Palace, or the “Forbidden City,” was the former seat of Imperial Dragon Throne stretching from the Ming Dynasty through the Qing Dynasty. Construction began in 1406 and concluded in 1420. The Forbidden City served as the home of emperors and the hub of all Chinese government and ceremonial matters for almost 500 years. The “forbidden City” ceased to be the home of the Chinese government in 1912 with the abdication of the last Chinese Emperor, Puyi.
As President Trump arrived in China he was greeted with a crowd of cheering children waving both Chinese and Americans flags. “President Trump is being treated like a royal during his visit to China,” the New York Post wrote.
The People’s Republic of China is possibly the most important stop on the President’s 12-day tour of Asia. President Trump is attempting to enlist the help of Chinese President Xi JinPing as it pertains to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. President Trump is also sure to address matters surrounding the trade deficit that has existed between China and the United States since the mid 1980’s. Economic negotiations between the U.S. and China was a staple on the campaign trail and remains so within the President’s current platform.
President Trump’s reception was starkly different from the reception delivered to former President Barack Obama upon his arrival to the 2016 G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China. President Obama was the only world leader attending the G20 Summit that did not receive a “red carpet” welcome. The Chinese government did not even arrange a staircase for President Obama to use in exiting Air Force One. The New York Times reported, “The reception that President Obama and his staff got when they arrived here Saturday afternoon was bruising, even by Chinese standards.”
President Obama’s chaotic reception descended into heated altercations with Chinese officials as they made their way onto the tarmac. One Chinese official went so far as to remind the Obama staff “This is our country! This is our airport!”
With such an opulent reception for the current President, it appears the Trump Administration has begun calming the waters the Obama Administration muddied up. A much needed change if the United States wishes to enlist China’s assistance in thwarting any North Korean threat, be it nuclear or conventional.