Forbidden City to welcome Trump, first lady on Wednesday: ambassador

By Li Ruohan and Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/7 13:40:39

The doors of the Forbidden City in Beijing will open to the first family of the US on Wednesday when President Donald Trump visits Beijing, according to the US ambassador to China.

"The Forbidden City in the first night will include the first families of China and the US, and I believe that will be very personal and special occasion," US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad told reporters on Monday.

The Forbidden City has a long history, it's a very historical and significant place in China. People want to learn more about the history of China, and the history found in the Forbidden City, Branstad explained when asked why the Forbidden City was chosen. 

The Forbidden City is right here in Beijing and it's a place where leaders can get together in an environment of great significance, he added. 

Trump is set to visit China from Wednesday to Friday. 

The Forbidden City will be closed on Wednesday for an "important event," a notice on its website says.

The Forbidden City was crowded as usual on Tuesday, and more police have been spotted around the area. Many visitors told the Global Times that they understand why the area would be closed for a day because it reflects China's courtesy and respect for the US president.

"China is a country of rites and courtesy and the people understand [the closure]. We also hope that China and the US will maintain their friendship and avoid confrontations, which are bad for both," an elder visitor surnamed Wang from North China's Shanxi Province told the Global Times. 

"This is my second time to visit China, and I think the Forbidden City is a great symbol of Chinese culture. I think cultural and language barriers won't be an obstacle between China and the US. On the contrary, the two countries should cooperate and learn from each other more, especially under such a global atmosphere," Caroline, a US tourist, told the Global Times. 

"Trump's visit to the Forbidden City will be different from normal visits, with special arrangements to be made to help Trump understand more about China," Ni Feng, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of American Studies, told the Global Times.

Trump's trip to Beijing will make him the first foreign head of state to visit China after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang said Trump and his family will be treated to a "state visit-plus" experience.

"There will be significant interactions between the two leaders. The First Lady [Melania Trump] and Madame Peng [Liyuan] will be together and visit schools," Branstad said. 

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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