Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have reportedly received an invitation to visit China, potentially in order to pave the way for US President Donald Trump’s first visit to the country later this year, in the 21st century equivalent of Henry Kissinger’s secret mission to Beijing in July of 1971.
Of course, in this case, the two trailblazers are the president’s own daughter and son-in-law, both of whom will come with heavy baggage that includes questionable business dealings in the country. Since Trump took office in January, Ivanka’s brand has been securing Chinese trademarks left and right, while Jared’s family business has been pitching wealthy Chinese on investing millions in luxury real estate projects in New Jersey in return for US visas.
Along with bringing peace to the Middle East and reforming the criminal justice system, Kushner has also been tasked with serving as the top liaison between his father-in-law and the Chinese government, an arrangement that Chinese officials are well-accustomed to. In China, business, family and politics are often deeply intertwined with Kushner filling the familiar role of a powerful “princeling” in the eyes of China’s elite.
Meanwhile, Ivanka has been demonstrating a softer approach to US-China relations, paying a visit to the Chinese Embassy during the Spring Festival earlier this year alongside her Chinese-singing daughter. When Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan visited Mar-a-Lago in April, they were serenaded by Trump’s granddaughter singing the Chinese folk song “Mo Li Hua.”
On Sunday, the White House power couple had a “get-to-know-you” dinner with the recently confirmed US ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, and his wife, which of course took place at the Trump Hotel in Washington.
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