01:26 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Ivanka Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump, listens during a meeting between President Donald Trump and women small business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, March 27, 2017

    Charming China: How Ivanka Trump is Selling the US to the Celestial Empire

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    First Daughter Ivanka Trump has recently won approval from China for three new trademarks for her company, adding to the 16 already registered and more than 30 pending applications. It came on the very same day she dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Sinologist Mikhail Korostikov talked to Sputnik about Ivanka's role in Sino-US relations.

    The Chinese government has recently given provisional approval to Ivanka Trump's company for three new trademarks for jewelry, spa services and ladies' bags. The First Daughter's company already holds 16 fully registered trademarks in the country. And it received provisional approval for two other bag trademarks on February 20 and March 6.

    The news came on April 6, the very same day she and her husband Jared Kushner dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

    Sinologist Mikhail Korostikov commented to Sputnik China on the role Ivanka plays in the promotion of Sino-US relations.

    "Ivanka Trump Marks LLC brand is actively expanding its sales geography and line of products, making no secret of the sibling connection between its founder and the new resident of the White House," Korostikov said in a written comment to Sputnik.

    "Both Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner act as special envoys of the White House in tackling delicate issues in the bilateral relationship with China's top officials," he explained.

    Many in the US view such an intertwinement of political and business ties as inadmissible.

    Ivanka Trump Store
    Ivanka Trump Store

    "Ivanka has so many China ties and conflicts, yet she and Jared appear deeply involved in China contacts and policy. I would never have allowed it," said Norman Eisen, chief White House ethics lawyer under Barack Obama.

    Korostikov pointed at the extensive ties of the Trump family with Chinese business. Last year Jared Kushner's company pushed for hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate investments from Chinese insurance, banking and financial holding Anbang Insurance Group, which is said to have close ties with the Chinese government.

    Ivanka Trump Jewelry
    Ivanka Trump Jewelry

    After the negotiations became public, the deal fell through.

    The sales of Ivanka Trump's brand in China, he said, were more successful: for the first quarter of 2017 it has increased by 40 per cent. It has 16 already registered trademarks in the country and more than 30 pending applications. Among those registered are for cosmetics, jewelry, spa services, ladies' bags and suitcases.

    Korostikov explained that Ivanka needed the approval to prevent the theft of the intellectual property: after the election of Donald Trump many Chinese companies rushed to register trademarks with the name of his daughter in the hope of cashing in on her popularity in China.

    Ivanka's biography has been recently translated into Chinese and is selling well. There is almost a cult around the First Daughter in China, as the young Chinese ladies view her as a beautiful and very successful business lady, who preserves ties with her father and respect for him, which is of extreme importance to Confucian culture, the sinologist said.

    Ivanka Trump Book
    Ivanka Trump Book

    Ivanka's attorney Jamie Gorelick recently said that Ivanka and her husband would steer clear of specific areas that could impact her business, or be seen as conflicts of interest, but are under no legal obligation to step back from huge swaths of policy, like trade with China.

    Under the rules, Trump would recuse herself from conversations about duties on clothing imported from China, Gorelick said, but not broad foreign policy.

    Meanwhile, Korostikov noted, Ivanka is very active in promoting Sino-US relations. He recalled that her daughter Arabella performed in Mandarin in honor of President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan's official visit to the US and that the five-year girl has been learning Chinese from her early childhood.

    ​In February, Ivanka and Arabella visited the Chinese embassy for the lunar new year celebrations and were hosted by Ambassador Cui Tiankai, which was broadcasted live by the Chinese television.

    Many in the US, Korostikov said, are sure that Ivanka and her husband have played a major role in the preparation of the first ever meeting between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump.

    Tags:
    US foreign policy, US-China relations, business, politics, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC, Mikhail Korostikov, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, China, United States
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