(National Sentinel) Foreign Policy: President Donald J. Trump was given a welcome by Chinese government officials that no foreign leader has ever received before.

Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, made history when they dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Forbidden City – an honor not bestowed on any foreign leader since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, according to The Daily Caller.

The first couple toured the city along with Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan.

“China is receiving Trump almost the way the King of Saudi Arabia did,” said Shi Yinhong, an international relations expert at People’s University in Beijing.

China is “giving Trump lots of face, vanities and protocol.”

Trump often criticized China on the campaign trail, citing massive trade imbalances and Beijing’s unwillingness to help reign in North Korea.

But he’s worked hard since taking office to build a cordial relationship with a country most U.S. foreign policy experts believe will be America’s greatest strategic challenge for many years into the future.

“I think we can say that so far, our measures have been relatively successful,” said Wu Xinbo with the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai.

The U.S. and Chinese leaders “have established a good working relationship,” he noted further.

The president took to Twitter to thank Xi and the Chinese government.

“On behalf of Melania and I, THANK YOU for an unforgettable afternoon and evening at the Forbidden City in Beijing, President Xi and Madame Peng Liyuan. We are looking forward to rejoining you tomorrow morning!” Trump tweeted.

He added:

“Looking forward to a full day of meetings with President Xi and our delegations tomorrow. THANK YOU for the beautiful welcome China! @FLOTUS Melania and I will never forget it!”

The Forbidden City contains multiple palaces and was home to the imperial ruling family for more than four centuries.

The location was shut down for the Trumps’ visit, though a Peking Opera performance was held as well as dinner, the South China Morning Post reported.

“Xi is going to treat Trump almost like an emperor,” said Ming Wang, a professor of government and politics at George Mason University, who also stated that China “will give Trump an exceptional reception, essentially they’ll try to make Trump happy.”

“The Chinese government know who they’re dealing with,” said Beijing-based historian Jeremiah Jenne. “It’s another in a long line of fairly shrewd moves by the Chinese government and something (Trump is) going to be very impressed with.”

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