China gives Trump a grand welcome

US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania posing for a photo at the Forbidden City yesterday. They were accompanied during the visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan (at far right).
US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania posing for a photo at the Forbidden City yesterday. They were accompanied during the visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan (at far right).PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • The sprawling imperial palace of the Ming and Qing emperors, the Forbidden City, was the first stop for visiting United States President Donald Trump at the start of his three-day visit to China.

Mr Trump and his wife Melania, together with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan, drank tea at Baoyunlou, or the Hall of Embodied Treasures.

The US first couple were also treated to a Beijing opera performance, as the Chinese pulled out all the stops to fete the American leader. Mr Trump is the first state guest of Mr Xi after the Chinese Communist Party's 19th national congress last month, at which Mr Xi consolidated his power.

Mr Trump, who is on a five-nation tour of Asia, was in Japan and South Korea before arriving in China.

In South Korea, he urged all responsible nations to isolate North Korea by implementing United Nations sanctions, downgrading diplomatic ties and cutting off all trade links with the regime.

Also yesterday, China and the US signed business deals worth about US$9 billion (S$12.3 billion).

The hard work of Mr Trump's visit starts today, when the two sides try to iron out huge differences over the North Korea nuclear crisis and the enormous trade deficit the US has with China.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2017, with the headline 'China gives Trump a grand welcome'. Print Edition | Subscribe