TL;DR – One time, two times, three times, four.
Donald Trump was in Hamburg recently for the G20 meeting. The meeting was a showcase of the ineptitude of the current US State Department. The US State Department is the equivalent of Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
Here are four mistakes US State Department committed at the G20 meeting.
1. Not getting a hotel room for Trump
Apparently, Trump’s team apparently waited too long to book accommodations for the President and his staff. As a result, none of the major hotels had any vacancies. It is ironic that an owner of a hotel chain ended up not having a room in a hotel to stay.
Curious where they put Trump up eventually? The Senate Guest House.
2. Allowing Trump to mistake PM Lee as President Jokowi
Things didn’t get any better at the meeting proper. Trump met PM Lee Hsien Loong at the sidelines of the G20 Summit. In case you’re wondering what Singapore’s doing there in Hamburg for the G20 summit when we’re not a G20 member, PM Lee’s invited to be the Chair of the Global Governance Group (3G) and he’s there in that capacity.
Although PM Lee had spoken with Trump twice over the phone, this was the first time Trump and PM Lee met in person. And Trump saw it fit to post it on Instagram. Which perhaps bodes well for US-Singapore relationship.
Except for a covfefe-style error:
We wonder whether Trump actually knew that he was talking to the Prime Minister of Singapore and not the President of Indonesia during the entire meeting. We know that Trump is well-known for posting alternative facts on his social media. Perhaps his staff really have no control over what he posts. But if they did, then it’s really sloppy of them not to properly vet what Trump posted. Meanwhile, PM Lee has humourously assured everyone that it was indeed him Trump was speaking with.
For what it’s worth, Trump (or someone in his team) did eventually rectify the error.
3. Calling Xi Jinping the President of Taiwan
This time, an official statement by the President of the United States had referred to President Xi Jinping as the President of the Republic of China.
Huh. Wait. Republic of China is correct, right?
President Xi Jinping is the President of the People’s Republic of China.
The Republic of China is the official name of Taiwan. That’s right. The US statement referred to Xi Jinping as the President of Taiwan.
4. Referring to Shinzo Abe as the President of Japan
But he’s Prime Minister Abe, not President Abe.
(Featured image via)