After President Trump’s awkward 19 second handshake with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Mr. Trump promised the Chinese government he would shake President Xi Jinping’s hand for at least 20 seconds.
Mr. Trump’s handshake with the Japanese Prime Minister was quite memorable. Some photographers were shouting in Japanese “look at me”, which Mr. Abe translated into English for Mr. Trump. But Mr. Trump seemed to think that was a direct request from Mr. Abe and proceeded to stare deeply into his eyes.
This long and intense handshake apparently was received in China as a horrible insult and setup a diplomatic crisis that Mr. Trump only was able to end with a promise of a 20 second handshake with Mr. Xi. While it’s still unclear if Mr. Trump’s handshake with Mr. Xi will include the intense gaze, some are speculating that Mr. Xi will demand Mr. Trump look in his eyes, in a continuation of China asserting its dominance over Mr. Trump. Only time will tell.
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