China has welcomed Trump with the most spectacular display of diplomacy in the country’s history

    Donald Trump is in China as part of his two-week presidential tour of Asia. China treated Trump to a private tour of the Forbidden Palace and an opera performance. Xi Jinping, who cemented himself as the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, is hosting him. The extravagance of the trip is likely to impress Trump, experts say.

China is pulling out all the stops for Donald Trump.

The US president arrived in Beijing on Wednesday, and has already been whisked off for a private tour of the city’s imperial palace and for a traditional Peking Opera performance.

His visit has been dubbed a “state visit-plus” by Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the US, according to the state-run newspaper China Daily. The Trumps were also invited to dine inside the Forbidden Palace – marking the first time a foreign leader receives such an honour since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Over the course of his three-day visit, Trump is expected to take part in talks, a military honour guard, a formal banquet, and other “special arrangements,” Cui said.

Take a look at the extravagant state visit below.


Trump and his wife, Melania, arrived in Beijing on Wednesday, and descended from Air Force One on a red carpet with gold nosings.


They were flanked by soldiers and children waving US and Chinese flags as they arrived.


Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, came to welcome the Trumps in person.


The Trumps were treated to a private tour of the Forbidden City, a palace that housed Chinese emperors for 500 years.

Beijing closed off the Forbidden City – now a major tourist site – to host the Trumps, CNN reported. The country did the same during President Barack Obama’s first state visit in 2009.

The Trumps were also invited to dine with Xi in the Jianfu Palace, one of the buildings inside the walled city. It would be the first time China hosts a foreign leader inside the Forbidden City since the founding of the modern People’s Republic of China in 1949.


Here are the first couples posing in front of the palace.


They also managed to squeeze in a tour of the Forbidden City’s Conservation Scientific Laboratory, where scientists were restoring historical artefacts.


The Trumps were also treated to an opera performance at the Forbidden City. Here they are with Xi and Peng, seated and ready for the performance.

source
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

“The Chinese government know who they’re dealing with,” Beijing-based historian Jeremiah Jenne told CNN, referring to Xi’s hosting Trump at the Forbidden City.

“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.”

David Lampton, a professor China studies at Johns Hopkins-SAIS, also wrote in the South China Morning Post: “Trump is a president who loves to be flattered – and the Chinese know how to flatter.”


Peking Opera is a traditional performance that combines music, dance, and mimes, with performers sporting elaborate face paint and costumes.



The performance took place in the Changyin Pavilion — also known as the Pavilion of Pleasant Sounds — a theatre within the Forbidden City’s grounds built in the 18th century.


Donald and Melania Trump, Xi, and Peng posed with the performers after the show.


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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The country also held a grand military parade for Xi, Peng, and the Trumps at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday.

Chinese President Xi holds welcome ceremony for Trump

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a grand ceremony to welcomeU.S. President Donald J. Trump, who is on a three-day state visitto China. #XiJinping #TrumpinChina

Posted by China Xinhua Newson Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Chinese President Xi holds welcome ceremony for Trump

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a grand ceremony to welcomeU.S. President Donald J. Trump, who is on a three-day state visitto China. #XiJinping #TrumpinChina

Posted by China Xinhua Newson Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Chinese President Xi holds welcome ceremony for Trump

Chinese President Xi Jinping holds a grand ceremony to welcomeU.S. President Donald J. Trump, who is on a three-day state visitto China. #XiJinping #TrumpinChina

China Xinhua News

Trump called the parade “magnificent,” The Washington Post reported.

“I already had people calling from all parts of the world,” said the US president. They were watching. Nothing you can see is so beautiful.”


This is Trump and Xi’s third meeting in person — but Trump’s first on Chinese soil.

They first met in Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida golf club, in April, where Trump told Xi of his military plans for Syria over chocolate cake.

They met for a second time in July at a G-20 summit in Hamburg.

Since their last meeting, Xi has gained a second term as China’s president, and had his name written into the Chinese constitution – cementing him as the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong. Trump said he congratulated him “on his extraordinary elevation” at the time.


The two leaders have much to celebrate — their countries signed $9 billion (£6.9 billion) worth of business deals hours after Trump landed.

source
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Businesses in the two countries signed 19 deals in the bioscience, aviation and smart manufacturing sectors, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Chinese official media.

Wang Yang, the Chinese vice premier who oversaw the signing of the deals, said Wednesday was just a “warm-up” and that there would be more “good things” to come.

On Wednesday, CNBC also reported that Chinese investment holding giant Tencent had purchased a 10% stake in Snap.

The New York Times noted, however, that these were all business agreements, rather than top-level trade pacts. During his presidential campaign, Trump called China a currency manipulator, and said the US had to stop letting China “rape our country,” before changing tack earlier this year.


The extravagant trip is likely to impress Trump, who has previously heaped praise on Xi, while criticising China’s economy and its response to North Korea.

“He’s a powerful man. I happen to think he’s a very good person,” Trump said of Xi last month, according to the Associated Press.

“People say we have the best relationship of any president-president, because he’s called president also. Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president.”

Beijing-based journalist Michael Schuman tweeted of the trip: “Xi is very obviously trying to flatter Trump’s ego to distract him from real hard issues the US prez should be addressing, like forced tech transfers, blocking US Internet firms & Chinese aid to North Korea.

“Don’t worry. It will work.”


Trump might find a few fans in China, too — many Chinese netizens have openly written about their admiration for the businessman and his family.

Yin Hao, a Weibo user who translates American news and comedy clips to his one million followers, told Reuters: “Chinese people are impressed that he is extremely rich, he loves things splendid and magnificent, and he loves to show off. Not every billionaire is like that.”

Many twenty-somethings in China also look up to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who to them embodies professional success and beauty. Ivanka has been called a “goddess” on Chinese social media, The New York Times reported.

A video of Ivanka’s daughter, Arabella, singing in Chinese also went viral in China earlier this year. When showed another clip of Arabella’s singing on Wednesday, Xi gave her an “A+” and said he hoped she could visit China in the future, Xinhua reported.