On Wednesday, President Donald Trump became the first US president to be given a state dinner in one of the most famed palaces in the world, located in the Forbidden City. Upon his arrival in the country, Trump was greeted by an elaborate welcome ceremony, including a group of children, all waving American and Chinese flags.
As reported by the New York Daily News, Trump visited China as part of his 12-day tour of Asia. He was welcomed by President Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, whom Trump previously hosted at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, earlier this year.
Trump is officially the first US president to receive a state dinner in the Forbidden City, a world-famous palace complex located in the center of Beijing that has been used by China’s ruling dynasty for centuries. He was also treated to a performance by the Peking Opera and had the opportunity to learn about restoration efforts at historic Chinese sites.
The decision is thought to be an attempt on the part of China to repair relations after repeated criticism by US officials regarding the nation’s handling of North Korea.
Trump has repeatedly called on China, who is North Korea’s largest trading partner, to stop supporting Pyongyang.
During a speech to South Korea’s National Assembly, Trump stated that “all responsible nations” need to take part in isolating North Korea. He even threatened Pyongyang directly, saying, “Your weapons are not making you safer… Do not underestimate us. Do not try us.”
Xi was recently confirmed for another term during his party’s conference in October. Trump has expressed admiration for the tone of Xi’s presidency, even stating, “Now some people might call him the king.”
Trump told spoke with reporters after attending a show in the Forbidden City, saying, “We’re having a great time, thank you.”
He also posted a tweet thanking Xi and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, for this hospitality, which read, “On behalf of @FLOTUS Melania and I, THANK YOU for an unforgettable afternoon and evening at the Forbidden City in Beijing, President Xi and Madame Peng Liyuan. We are looking forward to rejoining you tomorrow morning!”