Jane Perlez on Trump’s visit to Beijing


How a confident China, led by the newly emboldened Xi Jinping, dealt with an unusually unpredictable and unreliable American leader.

Credit: U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania arrive on Air Force One at Beijing, China, November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Jane Perlez is the Pulitzer Prize-winning Beijing bureau chief of the New York Times, and her own reporting focuses on China’s foreign policy, in particular its relations with the United States and China’s Asian neighbors. She was previously on Sinica in March 2017 to discuss Chinese foreign relations in a new age of uncertainty. In this episode of Sinica, she discusses Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing on November 8 and November 9, 2017.

In this podcast:

  • Is Trump’s rapport with Xi genuine?
  • How did his performance in China compare with his performance in Japan and South Korea?
  • Were human rights discussed?
  • Was Taiwan mentioned as a bargaining chip?
  • What do Chinese leaders actually think of Trump?
  • Was Trump’s “I don’t blame China” line intended as strategy, or an off-the-cuff remark?
  • And, most importantly, how has this visit changed U.S.-China relations?


Jeremy: Huang Fei Hong Spicy Crispy Peanut, which you can buy online or at some Asian grocery stores in the U.S.

Jane: Pachinko, an excellent historical novel about the Korea-Japan relationship by Min Jin Lee. Also see an interview with the author (paywall) on the New York Times by Jonathan Soble.

Kaiser: World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech, a book on the perils of monopolistic behavior by Google, Facebook, and Amazon, by former New Republic editor-in-chief Franklin Foer.