Donald Trump is the First Foreign Leader to Eat in China’s Forbidden City in Modern Chinese History

Continuing his tour of Asia, President Trump has arrived in China to meet with President Xi Jinping, where they, along with First Ladies Melania Trump and Peng Liyuan, toured the Forbidden City. It was later learned that Xi bestowed upon Trump the honor of being the first U.S. President to dine in the Forbidden City — an honor not granted since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, according to CNN.

Although the exact location of the dinner has yet to be confirmed, officials believe that they will be dining in the Jianfu Palace. Built in the eighteenth century and restored in 2005, Jianfu Palace is perhaps the best preserved portion of the Forbidden City and ideal for hosting important visitors.

Officials believe that the invitation to dine in the Forbidden City is a carefully planned tactic to impress the U.S. President. “The Chinese government know who they’re dealing with,” said Jeremiah Jenne, a historian based in Beijing. “It’s another in a long line of fairly shrewd moves by the Chinese government and something (Trump is) going to be very impressed with.”

In true Trump fashion, the U.S. President tweeted about his excursion to the Forbidden City — a move that would have been otherwise impossible for any other visitor. Perhaps all-too aware of Trump’s love affair for the social media platform, Chinese officials allowed the president to break through the Great Firewall, with U.S. officials saying they had brought “gear” to “make it happen”.

In addition to tweeting about Xi and the Forbidden City, Trump also tweeted a short video about North Korea, warning them to “NOT TRY US”.

It remains to be seen what is on the menu for Trump’s exclusive dinner and whether it will be a repeat of catering to his tastebuds, like Japan, or a more traditional fare, like South Korea.

Feature Image via Twitter / realDonaldTrump

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