Xi predicts positive results from Trump visit
Chinese President Xi Jinping said yesterday that he believed US President Donald Trump’s state visit to China would achieve “positive and important” results.
Xi made the remarks at Beijing’s Palace Museum, or Forbidden City, at the start of Trump’s state visit to China.
Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan invited Trump and his wife Melania to tour the museum after they had flown into Beijing yesterday afternoon.
Xi and Peng treated their guests to afternoon tea at the Hall of Embodied Treasures in the Forbidden City’s southwest corner.
Welcoming his US visitors, Xi expressed his gratitude for the hospitality the Trump family had shown at the Mar-a-Lago estate when he visited the United States in April.
“I believe the visit will achieve positive and important results with concerted efforts of both sides,” Xi said, adding that the visit was being closely watched in China and the US, and in other countries around the world.
Xi briefed Trump on China’s current economic and social development as well as the achievements of the recent 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
Trump thanked the Chinese side for the considerate arrangements for his visit and offered his congratulations on the successful conclusion of the Party congress.
Earlier, Trump congratulated Xi on his re-election as the Party chief, tweeting: “I very much look forward to meeting with President Xi who is just off his great political victory.”
Over tea, Trump showed Xi and Peng a video of his granddaughter, Arabella Kushner, singing in Mandarin and reciting ancient Chinese poems.
Xi praised the child’s Chinese skills and said her performance deserved an “A.”
He said Arabella was already a child star in China and hoped that she would visit the country one day.
Built in 1915, the Hall of Embodied Treasures was once used to store antiques, but now serves as an exhibition hall for the museum’s history.
After leaving the hall, the two couples visited Taihedian, Zhonghedian and Baohedian, the three main halls of the Beijing complex.
In front of Taihedian, the Hall of Supreme Harmony, Xi and Peng took photos with their guests after walking through the Gate of Supreme Harmony.
Taihedian is one of the largest wooden structures in China and the largest hall in the Forbidden City. Emperors in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties held enthronements and wedding ceremonies in the hall.
During the tour, Xi briefed his guests on the history, architecture and culture of the museum, noting its importance in Chinese history and culture.
The couples also attended an antiques exhibition and watched some being repaired at the museum’s conservation workshop.
The workshop is the largest cultural heritage conservation center in China. It uses traditional techniques but is also equipped with advanced technology.
Trump praised work to repair a 300-year-old rosewood cabinet once used by an emperor, and marveled at the workmanship of an antique clock as “unbelievable.”
After leaving the workshop, the guests watched a Peking Opera performance at the Belvedere of Pleasant Sounds, the largest opera theater in the Forbidden City, initially built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795) in the Qing Dynasty to entertain the imperial family.
Peking Opera is one of China’s main traditional drama forms and on the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. It combines instrumental music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics.
The presidents and their wives took in pieces from three classic operas — “Spring Seedlings in the Pear Garden,” “Monkey King” and “The Drunken Beauty.”
They took pictures with the performers after the performance. As Trump posed for pictures with the cast, he exclaimed: “Beautiful!”
“We’re having a great time, thank you,” he said.
The Forbidden City, former residence of China’s imperial families during the Ming and Qing dynasties, is a national landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Trump’s official ceremonial welcome at the Great Hall of the People today will be broadcast live on national television.