The first face-to-face meeting between President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping is set to take place at President Trump’s family-owned resort situated in Florida. The serene setting is meant to provide a warm atmosphere for the two powerful world leaders to iron out various issues, but government ethics professionals question the appropriateness of the meeting location.
In the past, US Presidents have hosted key leaders in government properties such as Camp David, but for Trump, a personal touch would suffice. As pertains to trade, the relationship between China and the US has been on uneven grounds in regards to the expansion of China and North Korea into the South China Sea.
Margaret Brennan, a CBS News Correspondent, reports that way before Trump came into the presidency, he had been heavily criticizing China, and particularly Beijing saying that their practices were equivalent to “theft” and “rape.” This was according to earlier statements Trump had made, saying that America was giving heads of China state dinners as they were ripped America from the right and left.
Today will see the head of state try to mend that relationship as he welcomes China’s President accompanied by his wife at the Mar-a-Lago resort. The former Director of National Security Commission China, Evan Medeiros said that the location of the meet is excellent as it shows that President Trump is interested in developing a personal relationship with the China leader.
The two influential leaders have a lot on their plate just between the North Korea threat and trade disputes. It became a Congress concern as to where those conversations would exactly take place especially after Mr. Trump’s open discussions about North Korea’s missile tests with Shinzo Abe (Japanese Prime Minister) at a dinner in February.
Probes by the government accountability office into whether Mar-a-Lago can facilitate classified communications is underway. The probe will also look at the screening measures by the secret service carried out on resort guests and how the government will make sure that travel-associated expenses are reasonable and fair.
Trump in a statement said that he was to meet on Thursday and Friday with China’s President in Palm Beach, Florida and that he thinks the talk will be very interesting. The question that’s running around is whether Trump’s family stands to benefit from the high-profile visit at the resort.
Kathleen Clark, a government ethics expert, says that the visit by the Chinese leader is a source of major publicity both domestically and internationally. Before his inauguration, Trump gave up his seat as the club president with Donald Trump Jr taking up the mantle as CBS News reports.
Clark continues to say the meeting taking place in one of Trump’s branded properties just shows how Trump’s using his office for private gains. The White House has provided no responses as to whether the Chinese team will cater for their own expenses while in Mar-a-Lago.