APD Review | What did Trump learn in the Forbidden City?_Top News_Asia Pacific Daily

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APD Review | What did Trump learn in the Forbidden City?

Top News2017-11-11

By APD Commentator Wang Peng The U.S. President Donald Trump has finished his visit to China. The Chinese government has given him the highest-level reception of “state visit plus”. During the first day of his visit, Trump brought First Lady Melanie to the Forbidden City to see the relics and watch Peking opera performance. They also visited the cultural relics with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. Such a peaceful and friendly scene makes both American and Chinese people moved. Internet users of the both sides of the Pacific Ocean call for the close friendship of the leaders of the two countries in succession to praise each other instead of opposing each other. Some people also ask why Trump’s first visiting place in China was arranged in the Forbidden City? What does this suggest? As a matter of fact, anyone who understands the Sino-U.S. Relations knows that since the “ice-breaking” of Sino-U.S. Relations in the late 1970s, almost all of the seven presidents who visited China during the past 45 years placed the first leg of their trip to the oldest and most culturally representative monuments. The first choice is the Forbidden City and then the Great Wall. Of course, there are also more obsessed with traditional Chinese culture, such as Clinton, the first stop of his visit to China is the ancient capital of Xi’an, with more than 2,000 years of history. Surrounded by the terracotta warriors and horses, Clinton must see the rapid development of modern China. So it is no surprise that Trump, like his seven predecessors, chose the ancient Forbidden City as his first leg in China. Relatively limited history is a paradoxical existence for the United States, an influential power of the modern world. On one hand, in the wilderness of the New World, the descendants of Mayflower are “drawing on white paper” and building the “city upon a hill”. On the other hand, the rising United States had to face the “old world” after its great victory of the War. At this time, how to fulfill their duties in the international system, strategic constraints and order reconstruction has become the primary challenge that hampered a total of 13 presidents from Harry Truman and Donald Trump over more than 70 years. “History is mankind’s well-educated memory of the past affairs.” Only with enough profound and dialectical background can make it possible to draw a grand historic strategy. It is no wonder that American strategists are often willing to ask their British or European counterparts, for example, Paul Kennedy and Neil Ferguson from Scotland, Jewish Kissinger, a Germany-born Jew, and Polish Brzezinski, an exiled Polish high-blood, and so forth. And for President Trump, when he heard President Xi’s talk in the Forbidden City, “China’s history goes back five thousand years ago……Culture has not been cut off, and it has been inherited from China alone. People are almost the original people, dark hair, yellow skin, handed down, we call ourselves Dragon’s successor”, blurted out “This is wonderful” – the marvel behind words is in fact awe of history and culture. Only such a long history and bright culture can give birth to the revival of the great civilization-nation. It will not be easy to be intimidated by a book called The History of the Peloponnesian War and fall into so-called “Thucydides Trap” because of enlightenments such as “Qin-Jin Marriage” and “brotherhood among states” in its long history. China will not cast its plow as a sword when it is becoming increasingly prosperous and strong. Chinese leaders have promised to the world that “No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.” This is because its ancestors had taught the Chinese people “no matter how large the country is, it will perish when it becomes bellicose”. At the same time, China will never forget the humiliation in the past or neglect potential threat at present because of today’s prosperity. The ancient maxim taught Chinese people “be prepared for danger in times of peace”. More than thirty years ago, then U.S. President Reagan told Chinese reporters: “Our two countries are almost at the ends of the earth, and our language, customs and political beliefs may be very different, but for many of the key issues of our time, there is no distance between the peoples of the United States and China.” Today, more than three decades later, we are fortunate to see the leaders of the two countries standing side by side again in the palace of the former emperors, designing a better tomorrow for their people and the community of mankind. Wang Peng is the Research Fellow at the Chahar Institute and China Institute of Fudan University. (ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

By APD Commentator Wang Peng

The U.S. President Donald Trump has finished his visit to China. The Chinese government has given him the highest-level reception of “state visit plus”. During the first day of his visit, Trump brought First Lady Melanie to the Forbidden City to see the relics and watch Peking opera performance. They also visited the cultural relics with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.

Such a peaceful and friendly scene makes both American and Chinese people moved. Internet users of the both sides of the Pacific Ocean call for the close friendship of the leaders of the two countries in succession to praise each other instead of opposing each other. Some people also ask why Trump’s first visiting place in China was arranged in the Forbidden City? What does this suggest?

As a matter of fact, anyone who understands the Sino-U.S. Relations knows that since the “ice-breaking” of Sino-U.S. Relations in the late 1970s, almost all of the seven presidents who visited China during the past 45 years placed the first leg of their trip to the oldest and most culturally representative monuments. The first choice is the Forbidden City and then the Great Wall. Of course, there are also more obsessed with traditional Chinese culture, such as Clinton, the first stop of his visit to China is the ancient capital of Xi’an, with more than 2,000 years of history. Surrounded by the terracotta warriors and horses, Clinton must see the rapid development of modern China.

So it is no surprise that Trump, like his seven predecessors, chose the ancient Forbidden City as his first leg in China. Relatively limited history is a paradoxical existence for the United States, an influential power of the modern world.

On one hand, in the wilderness of the New World, the descendants of Mayflower are “drawing on white paper” and building the “city upon a hill”. On the other hand, the rising United States had to face the “old world” after its great victory of the War. At this time, how to fulfill their duties in the international system, strategic constraints and order reconstruction has become the primary challenge that hampered a total of 13 presidents from Harry Truman and Donald Trump over more than 70 years.

“History is mankind’s well-educated memory of the past affairs.” Only with enough profound and dialectical background can make it possible to draw a grand historic strategy. It is no wonder that American strategists are often willing to ask their British or European counterparts, for example, Paul Kennedy and Neil Ferguson from Scotland, Jewish Kissinger, a Germany-born Jew, and Polish Brzezinski, an exiled Polish high-blood, and so forth.

And for President Trump, when he heard President Xi’s talk in the Forbidden City, “China’s history goes back five thousand years ago……Culture has not been cut off, and it has been inherited from China alone. People are almost the original people, dark hair, yellow skin, handed down, we call ourselves Dragon’s successor”, blurted out “This is wonderful” – the marvel behind words is in fact awe of history and culture.

Only such a long history and bright culture can give birth to the revival of the great civilization-nation. It will not be easy to be intimidated by a book called The History of the Peloponnesian War and fall into so-called “Thucydides Trap” because of enlightenments such as “Qin-Jin Marriage” and “brotherhood among states” in its long history. China will not cast its plow as a sword when it is becoming increasingly prosperous and strong. Chinese leaders have promised to the world that “No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.” This is because its ancestors had taught the Chinese people “no matter how large the country is, it will perish when it becomes bellicose”. At the same time, China will never forget the humiliation in the past or neglect potential threat at present because of today’s prosperity. The ancient maxim taught Chinese people “be prepared for danger in times of peace”.

More than thirty years ago, then U.S. President Reagan told Chinese reporters: “Our two countries are almost at the ends of the earth, and our language, customs and political beliefs may be very different, but for many of the key issues of our time, there is no distance between the peoples of the United States and China.” Today, more than three decades later, we are fortunate to see the leaders of the two countries standing side by side again in the palace of the former emperors, designing a better tomorrow for their people and the community of mankind.


Wang Peng is the Research Fellow at the Chahar Institute and China Institute of Fudan University.

(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

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