Mar-a-Lago diplomacy: Trump to host Chinese President Xi Jinping at his private golf club

The president is bringing yet another foreign leader to his country club for rich people

By Matthew Rozsa
March 13, 2017 7:37PM (UTC)
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Donald Trump; Mar-A-Lago (Getty/Gary Gershoff/Shutterstock)

President Donald Trump may be adding a new conflict of interest to the ones he has already accumulated concerning the nation of China — namely, his reported decision to host a two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Trump is planning a key meeting with the Chinese leader at his Palm Beach estate, Axios is reporting, with "tentative dates" set for April 6 to April 7. The summit is intended to diffuse tensions between the two countries on a number of geopolitical and economic issues.


Reuters could not verify the Axios report.

In February President Barack Obama's chief ethics czar Norm Eisen told The Washington Post that "we’ve had a lot of presidents who hosted foreign leaders away from the White House, but we’ve never in history had one do it in a place where he’s selling memberships for hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop. Trump just could not resist the opportunity to make an infomercial for his property. He’s worked hard all his life to generate free media. Now he’s hit the mother lode, and he’s not going to stop.”

Trump has previously used his Mar-a-Lago resort for other important foreign meetings. Last month the resort's guests mingled with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and watched the leaders of Japan and the U.S. act during an international crisis involving North Korea.


The Mar-a-Lago resort has been criticized by former Secret Service and intelligence officials for its vulnerability to espionage. According to a Politico report, many guests can enter the property without a background check and the president's frequent visits make his presence there a prime opportunity for eavesdroppers and spies trying to compile information about his personal habits.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Mar-a-lago Xi Jinping