Kushner not visiting Beijing ahead of US leader's visit

Mr Jared Kushner helped broker the first meeting between Mr Donald Trump and Mr Xi Jinping in Florida in April.
Mr Jared Kushner helped broker the first meeting between Mr Donald Trump and Mr Xi Jinping in Florida in April.

HONG KONG • United States President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Mr Jared Kushner, did not accept an invitation from the Chinese to go to Beijing this month for a visit some expected would be in preparation for the US leader's visit to China, reported the New York Times.

A US official said on Tuesday that Mr Trump is likely to make a stop in China in November during his first official visit to Asia.

White House officials said no visit by Mr Kushner was scheduled, and hence, none was cancelled - a claim China specialists gave short shrift, reported The Guardian. Mr Bill Bishop, a well-connected Washington-based China expert, said: "They were definitely talking about it."

Mr Kushner, who helped broker the first meeting between Mr Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping in Florida in April, was once expected to function as a high-level conduit between the two countries.

But experts said Mr Trump's visit needs to be arranged through the proper channels rather than relying on his own family, reported the South China Morning Post.

Still, in a sign that Mr Kushner will continue to play a key role on China policy, Xinhua reported yesterday that Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi met him and US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster at the White House on Wednesday.

Both sides exchanged views on China-US relations and international issues. They also agreed to strengthen communication at all levels, expand cooperation and work together to prepare for Mr Trump's state visit to China later this year at Mr Xi's invitation.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2017, with the headline 'Kushner not visiting Beijing ahead of US leader's visit'. Print Edition | Subscribe