The Chinese government has invited Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, President Trump's daughter and son-in-law, to visit Beijing later this year, a U.S. official confirmed Tuesday morning.
China's invitation is an apparent effort to cultivate closer ties to the Trump administration and is an indication of the young couple's expanding role in foreign affairs on behalf of the president. It was first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed by a U.S. official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because no formal announcement had been made.
Kushner plans to travel to the Middle East this week as a Trump envoy to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials in hopes of crafting a lasting peace deal. He also visited Iraq in April, while Ivanka Trump made a solo trip to Germany earlier this spring to speak at an economic forum. Both Kushner and Ivanka Trump are presidential advisers with West Wing offices and have been a regular presence in the president's visits with foreign leaders and also have attended meetings and functions at foreign embassies across Washington.
Kushner has helped manage the administration's relationship with China, as well as Canada, Mexico and countries in the Middle East. He helped orchestrate Trump's summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's private estate in Palm Beach, Fla.
Trump has not visited China as president, though presumably a visit there by his daughter and son-in-law could help lay the groundwork for an eventual presidential trip. Trump is scheduled to visit Asia in November to attend summits in Philippines and Vietnam, and he also has committed to visiting Japan before the end of the year.
The Chinese invitation to Ivanka Trump and Kushner comes as the newly sworn-in U.S. ambassador to China, former Iowa governor Terry Branstad, prepares to set off for Beijing.
Kushner and Ivanka Trump are no strangers to China. Kushner's family real estate business, which he ran before joining the White House, drew scrutiny this spring over its attempts to court Chinese investors by offering green cards through a U.S. visa program. Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump's line of fashion and accessories has won approval in recent months from the Chinese government for sought-after trademarks.