President Donald Trump is going into his summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping without key aides to advise him on China policy, Politico is reporting.
He will rely on son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner with some help from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, according to the website. But Trump has not filled important posts, including assistant secretaries of state and defense for East Asia, Politico noted.
"Those are very key players, and without people in those positions, it is hard to imagine that the administration in this short period of time has been able to come with a comprehensive China policy," said Dennis Wilder, former CIA deputy assistant director for East Asia and the Pacific.
Others warn Xi could try to exploit any weaknesses on the Trump team when they meet on Thursday.
"I think Xi Jinping is far better prepared than Trump, but Trump likely has a sense of what he would like to achieve," Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Dr. Scott Kennedy, deputy director of the Freeman Chair in China Studies told The Daily Caller: "Trump is not prepared for a full-fledged summit and detailed negotiations, but he is ready for a short event where the focus is on developing some modicum of a personal relationship and laying out (America's) general goals and concerns about the relationship
In contrast to Trump, Xi is coming to the summit with advisers who have decades of experience in dealing with at least three successive American presidents, Politico noted.
And he wants to show other world leaders that the U.S. and China are two equal superpowers, said Jonathan Adelman, a former China adviser to the State Department and Pentagon.
"The basic problem is that Donald Trump doesn't have any experience with the Chinese and his State Department itself doesn't either," said Adelson, who noted that in addition to the top players, the Trump administration is "missing a whole lot of lesser people.
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