White House Accidentally Calls Xi Jinping President of Taiwan

By That's, July 10, 2017

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UPDATE (July 12, 2017 at 12.13pm CST): The US has apologized for the embarassing gaffe. Read more.

The White House mistakenly referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as the leader of Taiwan, in the latest diplomatic gaffe by the Trump administration.

The factually incorrect reference happened when the White House's Office of the Press Secretary released a statement on Donald Trump's 90-minute meeting with Xi at the annual G20 summit, which just wrapped up in Hamburg, Germany. 

Noting that the two spoke about North Korea, the statement identified Xi as the leader of the Republic of China, otherwise known as Taiwan. ("It’s an honor to have you as a friend," Trump was quoted as saying to Xi during the meeting).

Trump administration Taiwan

“What a bunch of amateurs,” China expert Bill Bishop tweeted in response to the faux pas.

That apparently wasn't the only awkward moment between the two leaders during the G20. According to The Guardian, Trump didn't exactly warm up to Xi during a talk on trade:

"Trump, according to one western diplomat, sat with arms folded and a 'face like thunder' as he listened to China’s President Xi Jinping speak on trade during a working lunch for leaders. Disagreements between the countries on the question of steel dumping have not been resolved by this latest encounter."


[Images via The Guardian, @matthewyglesias]

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