many titles, but he’s purportedly especially fond of a regal one bestowed upon him by US President Donald Trump.i Jinping is a man with
At a Republican fundraising dinner in Washington on Tuesday, Trump spoke about his relationship with Xi, pointing out that he likes to call the Chinese leader “king” and remembering how Xi reacted when he brought up this honorific.
He said, “But I am not king, I am president.” I said “No, you’re president for life, and therefore you’re king.”
He said, huh. He liked that. I get along with him great.
Of course, Trump’s account of anything shouldn’t be taken as the gospel truth. He claims to have had this conversation with Xi during his state trip to Beijing in November 2017, but the Chinese constitution was not changed to remove presidential term limits until months later.
However, Trump was actually calling Xi Jinping “king” as far back as October 2017, evidently in response to reports that following the 19th Party Congress, Xi had become the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao with hispersonal ideology enshrined in the Communist Party constitutionand a Politburo Standing Committee team that includedno apparent replacement for him waiting in the wings.
“People say we have the best relationship of any president-president, because he’s called president also,” Trump said of Xi in a Fox News interview at the time. “Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president.”
As far as we can tell, no one else has called Xi Jinping “king.” It’s unclear if Trump is familiar with the term “emperor.”
President Xi and I have a very strong and personal relationship. He and I are the only two people that can bring about massive and very positive change, on trade and far beyond, between our two great Nations. A solution for North Korea is a great thing for China and ALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2018
At every opportunity, Trump has lavished praised upon Xi while attacking China for its trade policies. In 2018, Trump launched a trade war with China which saw Beijing hit back with retaliatory tariffs. The two sides agreed on a temporary truce in December but since then have reached no resolutions as deadlines have been set and passed.
A new round of trade talks begins on Wednesday in Washington.