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Could five-year-old Arabella Kushner save US-China relations?

The President's granddaughter is winning hearts across China with a video that shows her singing in Mandarin

    Arabella Kushner.
    Arabella Kushner. Ivanka Trump / Instagram

    Some Americans may be hoping rocky relations with rival world power China can be smoothed over with the help of a new envoy.

    While Donald Trump has yet to phone Xi Jinping, the leader of the Asian powerhouse, his five-year-old granddaughter has already proven to be something of a diplomat.

    Dressed in red to mark Chinese New Year, Arabella Kushner visited the embassy in Washington, alongside her mother, Ivanka Trump, this week for the celebrations.

    Tensions have been mounting in recent months as the two countries have confronted one another over trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea.

    But the First Family won much needed praise in the state-controlled Chinese press after mother and daughter attended the reception. On arrival Ivanka shook hands with Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai, while later the two were filmed listing to traditional music, admiring crafts and playing with puppets.

    And if that was not enough to quell Chinese criticism of her father, Ivanka later posted an online video of Arabella singing a song in Mandarin, together with a new year’s message on Instagram. The video has been viewed millions of times in China.

    A White House official, who chose not to be named, told Bloomberg News that the high-profile celebration came about after behind-the-scenes meetings between Cui and Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner, who is adviser to the president.

    China’s Global Times ran an editorial describing Trump’s lack of new year greeting as “a hard-line stance toward China”, while Ivanka’s visit “ was seen as balancing Trump's harsh posture”.

    Arabella has apparently been learning Mandarin since she was just 18 months old.  This was the third year in a row that she recorded a new year’s message.

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