China invites Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to Beijing, sources say
Visit could pave way for trip by US president, according to Chinese official
China has invited US President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law to visit later this year, according to people familiar with the matter, in the latest sign of the first family’s growing influence over foreign affairs.
Details of the possible trip by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both of whom have official jobs in the White House, were still under discussion, according to a US official and a Chinese official who asked not to be identified. The visit might also help prepare for a trip by the president himself, said the Chinese official, who asked not be identified disclosing plans that haven’t been announced.
Kushner and Ivanka Trump hosted the US’s newly sworn-in ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, for an introductory dinner on Sunday at the Trump Hotel in Washington, according to the US official, who asked not to be identified confirming a meeting that hasn’t been made public.
The former Iowa governor, who has known Chinese President Xi Jinping since the 1980s, is expected to depart on Friday and arrive in China next week after meetings in Honolulu.
The discussions highlight Trump’s reliance on the couple to manage some of the US’s thorniest issues. Neither Ivanka Trump, 35, who has been an executive in her father’s company and started her own fashion line, or Kushner, a 36-year-old property tycoon, has any prior government experience. Kushner will to travel to the Middle East this week to push for a Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. He also visited Iraq in April.
Kushner’s family business has been criticised over its use of a visa programme to woo wealthy Chinese with green cards in exchange for investing in US projects. The real estate company has seen talks for three major projects quashed, including negotiations with China’s Anbang Insurance Group to refinance the family’s marquee Manhattan office tower.
Ivanka Trump and Kushner’s invitation followed a verbal offer from Xi during his trip to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, the Chinese official said. The timing would depend in part on the date of the Communist Party’s twice-a-decade leadership reshuffle, which might also affect planning for any Trump visit, the official said.