China treated President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania to two spectacular dinners during their two-night stay in the country—the third leg of his five-nation tour of Asia—which included Americanized versions of Chinese dishes and Chinese versions of Trump favorites.
China went to so much trouble because Trump reportedly has a horror of unfamiliar food.
On Wednesday, Trump became the first foreign leader since the founding of modern China to dine in the Forbidden City, the ancient Chinese empire’s seat in the heart of Beijing where Chinese rulers would host lavish banquets for their vassals and high-ranking ministers.
Thursday’s state dinner was hosted in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, where Chinese President Xi Jinping invited the American delegation and dozens of Chinese business leaders involved in the signing of lucrative deals the Trump administration claims are worth $250 billion.
On the menu was “Stewed Beef Steak in Tomato Sauce,” an homage to Trump’s love of steak with ketchup—which the Chinese claim to have invented hundreds of years ago.
Other dishes included coconut flavored chicken soup, seafood chowder, and Kung Pao chicken.
When the menu was posted online, it drew jeers from Chinese readers: “My mom can cook these dishes—next time just come over to my house!” said one. “How are such plain dishes fit for a state banquet?” asked another.
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