China Prepares ‘Special Arrangements’ to Teach Trump Chinese History

After conquering Mount Everest, Philippine adventurer Carina Dayondon is planning to sail from Manila to southern China early next year aboard a wooden replica of ancient boats used for trade voyages hundreds of years ago
AFP NOEL CELIS

The Chinese government is preparing “some special arrangements” to teach American President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump Chinese history from the perspective of the ruling Communist Party, Chinese state media outlet Xinhua revealed on Monday.

Chinese ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai told Xinhua that Beijing has prepared “everything that is required for a state visit, but we want more than that,” including “some special arrangements.” Xinhua described the latter as opportunities meant for “Trump and the first family to learn more about Chinese history, culture and people.”

Xinhua did not elaborate on what these events would consist of, though cited other Chinese officials as guaranteeing a significant amount of time dedicated to personal interactions between Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping.

“Apart from the red-carpet ceremony, formal talks and banquet, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart will have some informal get-togethers,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told the outlet.

Da Wei, director of the Department of American Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), is also quoted as an expert on the piece, expressing confidence that “the informal arrangements will create a good atmosphere for a sound working relationship and personal friendship between the two leaders.”

China’s state-run Global Times newspaper has promised in a report Monday that Beijing will “pull out all the stops” for Trump. “China will provide a ‘state visit-plus’ experience for President Trump and his family,” the Times quotes Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang as telling Xinhua (all Chinese state news outlet regularly quote each other and share information).

Once again, the Times hinted at events “that can help the US president have a better understanding of Chinese history and culture,” quoting academic Wu Xinbo.

The People’s Daily, the state-run newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), also quoted some experts who proclaimed that the meeting will lead to closer cooperation between the two states despite their competition for influence on the global stage. A professor quoted in the People’s Daily, Lu Jinyong, expressed optimism “despite Trump’s unpredictable China policies and some possible conflicts on the trade and economic front.”

Trump will arrive in Beijing to greet a greatly emboldened Xi Jinping. Last month, Xi became the third man in the history of the CPC to have his name enshrined in the communists’ constitution, elevating him to the status of Mao Zedong. “Xi Jinping Thought”—a theory meant to replace Marxism with “socialism with Chinese characteristics” throughout the country—is now an official part of CPC doctrine. Children in Chinese schools will be indoctrinated in classes dedicated to Xi’s opinions.

“It is time for us to take center stage in the world and to make a greater contribution to humankind,” Xi told his party shortly before officially receiving Mao status in a three-hour speech in which he vowed to build a “world-class” military by 2050, arguing that Chinese socialism would guarantee full economy hegemony for Beijing and aggressively rejecting independence claims from the various breakaway regions China claims as its own, including Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Trump issued a statement following the congress congratulating Xi on his “extraordinary elevation” and joked that “some people might call him the king of China.”

“People say we have the best relationship of any president-president,” Trump said during an interview with Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs. “I happen to think he’s a very good person. Now with that being said, he represents China, I represent the USA, so you know, there’s going to always be conflict. But we have a very good relationship.”

Trump and Xi are expected to discuss a variety of economic and national security topics, paramount among them the threat of a nuclear North Korea.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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