Chinese soldiers and children holding U.S. and Chinese flags line up on the tarmac to greet President Donald Trump as he arrives at Beijing Airport, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, in Beijing, China. Trump is on a five country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
China’s government is known for using high-level foreign visits to conduct tests of new military equipment such as missiles and stealth aircraft, and the White House is hoping Beijing does not conduct provocative tests while President Trump is visiting the country this week.
The most notable example was the January 2010 visit to China by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, when the Chinese military sought to sabotage the trip by flight-testing the first J-20 stealth fighter. Mr. Gates wrote in his memoir that the People’s Liberation Army nearly “wrecked” the visit. Two hours before he met with then-Chinese President Hu Jintao, China released photos of the new J-20 in what Mr. Gates called “about as big a ‘f– you’ as you can get.” Continue reading