While campaigning in 2016 President Trump bashed China. He has bashed China as President. Somehow President Trump becomes first foreign leader to dine in Forbidden City.
During President Trump's first visit to the communist nation the Chinese response was unbelievable. They unthinkably invited Trump to dine in the Forbidden City. This makes President Trump the first foreign leader to dine in the ancient royal enclave since the founding of modern China.
Turns out talking tough isn't such a bad thing.
On Wednesday President Trump and First Lady Melania landed in Beijing. An extravagant meeting ceremony was waiting with top leaders waiting. Dinner was served in a palace that has housed Chinese emperors for 500 years.
The Chinese are clearly looking it impress Trump.
"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."
Ming Wang, a professor of government and politics at George Mason University, said the Chinese "will give Trump an exceptional reception, essentially they'll try to make Trump happy -- that will work to China's advantage." ...
"(Xi's) going to treat Trump almost like an emperor," said Ming.
Using the Forbidden City in this manner is a dramatic shift from how the palace was viewed in the early decades of the People's Republic, the successor to the revolutionary government which overthrew the Qing Empire.
"What was once known as the 'palace of blood and tears' is now being used for a state visit," Jenne said. "This is an example of how the narrative (within China) has shifted, particularly in the last 25 years, it's no longer about emphasizing class revolution, in recent years it's been much greater emphasis on the glories of Chinese civilization."
Normally the Chinese like to parade U.S. presidents around in embarrassing ways. For President Trump this is very different.