Trump to get ‘state visit-plus’ experience in China

By Li Ruohan Source:Global Times Published: 2017/11/6 21:53:39

Chinese public keenly follows Asia trip

Amid tremendous public curiosity over the visit of US President Donald Trump, China is pulling out all the stops in its preparations for the leader who has fascinated many with his outspoken remarks and strong personality.

Trump's trip to Beijing, from Wednesday to Friday and coming after his trip to Japan and South Korea, will make him the first foreign head of state to visit China after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

China and the US are working to ensure President Trump's state visit is a "historic success," said Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

Using this opportunity, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump will have strategic communication on significant issues of common concern to build a new consensus, enhance mutual understanding and friendship, and promote bilateral relations in all spheres, Zheng said.

According to Zheng, China will provide a "state visit-plus" experience for President Trump and his family. "Apart from the red-carpet ceremony, formal talks and a banquet, President Xi and his US counterpart will have some informal get-togethers," Zheng elaborated.

"A 'state visit-plus' refers to arrangements that could show the personal relationship between the two presidents and the places will be typical areas that can help the US president have a better understanding of Chinese history and culture," Wu Xinbo, director of Fudan University's Center for American Studies in Shanghai, told the Global Times.

Although there's no official announcement of where the two presidents will meet, speculation is running high that the US president will visit the Forbidden City.

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

"The visit will be different from routine arrangements and there will be surprises," Ni Feng, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of American Studies, told the Global Times.

Meanwhile, China will also prepare top-level security measures for the visit, together with a package of trade and economic agreements for Trump, Ni said.

Public attention

Many Chinese are concerned about the future of the bilateral ties, and how the two countries will interact over the Korean Peninsula issue during the visit, said An Gang, a senior research fellow at the Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank.

Chinese entrepreneurs will be keeping a keen eye on trade issues during Trump's visit, with a focus on whether industry and financial reform in both countries will bring more cooperation or confrontation, and what the Chinese government will do to avoid risks brought by Trump's tax and economic policies, said An.

Aside from major issues, the visit has also attracted wide public attention, as many are very curious about the forthright Trump, whose public remarks reflect his strong personality.

The public also expressed their interest online, such as whether the 71-year-old president will visit the Great Wall or open an account on Sina Weibo, the Chinese Twitter-like platform with nearly 340 million users.

The hashtag "Trump's visit to China" had received more than two million page views on Weibo as of press time.

On online forums, posts about what outfits First Lady Melania Trump might wear are also popular, while some have expressed disappointment that first daughter Ivanka Trump will not come to China with her father.

However, Wu noted that the public may see little of Trump, as the schedule is already tight with the trade and economic agendas.

"Meanwhile, unlike Barack Obama, who included the mission of spreading US culture and values to Chinese people in his visit to China, Trump is focused more on  selling US products and bringing economic opportunities to the US, so interaction with the Chinese public is not on  his agenda," Wu added.

Newspaper headline: ‘State visit-plus’ for Trump in China

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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