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President Donald Trump broke with tradition during his Asia trip on Thursday as he refused to take reporter questions during or after his meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

The decision makes him the first president since George H.W. Bush to not take questions during a visit to China in more than two decades. 

While Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping warmly welcomed each other, the U.S. president turned a cold shoulder to the press as they both declined to take reporter questions. 

Unlike the United States, which guarantees a free press through the First Amendment, China has no protections for the press, and the government has severely limited restrictions on publishing. President Xi visited the important state-controlled media outlets as recently as 2016 to demand they follow the Chinese Communist Party agenda. 

“Chinese Presidents haven’t wanted to do it with those 3 US presidents either. But the White House made a point of insisting they take at least one question each in the past,” CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond said in a tweet. 

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that it was at the Chinese insistence that there were no questions. 

SEE ALSO: Japan’s prime minister falls over and rolls into a bunker while playing golf with Trump

“It was at the Chinese insistence there were no questions today,” Sanders said, according to reports. 

Former press secretary under President Obama Jay Carney blasted the decision.

“The Chinese try this every time. It’s a test of will and principle. Letting them dictate press access is an embarrassing capitulation,” Carney said in a tweet. 

Trump’s next stop is Vietnam where he’ll attend the APEC summit that brings together all major countries bordering the Pacific Ocean. 

SEE ALSO: Trump and Putin to meet on Friday

He will then head to the Philippines where he’ll sit down with controversial President Rodrigo Duterte. 

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