ivanka trump
Ivanka Trump attends US President Donald Trump's strategy and policy forum with chief executives of major US companies at the White House in Washington, US, February 3, 2017. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Ivanka Trump's participation in Chinese New Year at the Chinese Embassy has signalled hope that the US and China's relationship would be strengthened. Ivanka's public meeting showed a different direction on her father's decision not to send personal greeting during the occasion. It was a deviation from the standard White House tradition.

Her public meeting was lauded in China's press. According to Dennis Wilder, senior director for Asia at the National Security Council (NSC), Ivanka’s embassy visit has made China's leaders extremely pleased as it advanced the personal connection to President Trump and his family.

Ivanka's public meeting came after the extensive dialogue between her husband, Jared Kushner, and Ambassador Cui Tiankai. According to a White House official, the dialogue during the private meeting was positive. Jared was considered to play a crucial role in the administration as it acted as a power centre alongside with Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and Kellyanne Conway.

It was reported that Ivanka and Jared played a role to help the president to win the election. Jared was accounted for supervising Trump's private phone conversations in the past. “One aide recalled having a private phone conversation with Trump when he heard Kushner’s voice unexpectedly. Trump was talking on speaker phone, the aide realised, while Kushner was in the room,” Fortune reported.

Trump has confirmed through his statements that he was optimistic about his son-in-law entering the White House. “I have a feeling that Jared’s going to do a great job. He’s going to do a great job. You’ll work with him,” Trump said during the pre-inaugural gala in January.

The president was a vocal critic of China. He has questioned the One-China policy, accused the government of manipulating its currency and criticising the leaders in China for failing to do more against North Korea.

China's President Xi Jinping responded through a speech addressing the global elites to reject protectionism and trade. Wang Fan said that the Chinese government has been testing and trying different ways to avoid a major confrontation with the US. He said that Alibaba founder Jack Ma's visit to Trump Tower was an example of the approach. Wang is the director of China Foreign Affairs University’s Institute of International Relations.

Ruan Zongze, vice president of the China Institute of International Studies, said that family courtship was part of China's broader strategy to maintain stable relations between two powers. It was perceived that Trump's family would help in a stable relationship between the US and China.

“At this moment, there is no obvious China point person in his cabinet. All the previous China hands have gone," Fan said. Terry Branstad was Trump's choice to be the ambassador to China.

On Feb. 1, Ivanka was filmed with her daughter Arabella listening to traditional music, playing with puppets and admiring crafts. Ivanka later posted on Twitter a video of her daughter singing a song in Mandarin.