President Obama arrived in China for his final appearance at a G-20 economic summit, and things have gotten off to rather shaky start. A few days before Obama's arrival, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau defied the White House by reaching an agreement with China to apply for membership in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Then Russian President Putin arrived to cheering crowds of welcoming Chinese citizens.
Obama, however, received a more frosty reception. In fact, he really got no reception. Air Force One landed on a runaway without the usual fanfare. The red-carpet staircase and high-level Chinese diplomatic officials were absent. Obama was compelled, like an ordinary citizen, to exit the plane on ordinary metal stairs.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that "China provides a rolling staircase for every visiting foreign leader, but the US side complained that the driver doesn't speak English and can't understand US security instructions."
The Chinese officials also prohibited journalists traveling with the President from approaching him for security reasons. This led to a heated verbal exchange between White House Staff Chief Susan Rice and the Chinese Airport Security Official who flatly told her,
"This is our country, this is our airport."
Scuffles have reportedly broken out between Obama's entourage and Chinese security details.
The US Corporate Media outlet, The Wall Street Journal fumed that "The Chinese barred Mr. Obama from including his travelling press contingent in the motorcade. The hosts have also refused a White House request for a joint press conference with Mr. Xi, and they also plan to block Mr. Obama's solo press briefing from appearing live on Chinese television."
The Chinese media---which is largely state-run---has, of this writing, even yet to report on Obama's arrival in China. Although there are several articles and photographs of President Xi greeting other leaders. Xinhua News did provide a summary, of sorts on the meeting between Xi and Obama, which reads more like a standard press release. In fact, there has really been more coverage of Putin gifting Xi with the Chinese president's favorite brand of Russian ice cream than much of anything Obama has said or done.
We suppose that it is understandable---after tolerating 8 years of our Administration's arrogance---that China would let the American elites know what they really think of them.
In more relevant news, post-BREXIT British Prime Minister Teresa May made an important commitment to strengthening Sino-British economic ties, heralding the beginning of a 'Golden Age' of free trade.
"This is the beginning of a Golden Age of UK-China relations" May said at a press conference, "The message I will bring to the G-20 is that Britain is now open for business, as a bold, confident, outward-looking country, we will be playing a key role on the world stage."
Ironically, Obama---who threatened that Britain would "go to the back of the trade queue" if it ratified BREXIT---arrived in China via the back-exit of an airplane, while Britain forged new trade ties.
Obama's staff scuffles with Chinese officials...
As does the US media.