No Red Carpet, Tarmac Trouble: China Snubbing Obama at G20 Summit?

US President Obama’s last Asia trip hasn’t started off too well.

1 min read
US President Barack Obama arrives on Air Force One in Hangzhou, China on 3 Sept 2016 to attend the G20 summit. (Photo: AP)

China may be too aware that US President Barack Obama’s ongoing visit to China for the G20 Summit is his last Asia trip while in office. There’s been trouble from the American President’s very first step, which he could not take because there was no staircase for him to exit the plane and descend on the red carpet. The internal stairs of the President’s plane Air Force One had to be used.

Theresa Fallon, Director of a foreign policy think tank tweeted a photo of Prime Minister Modi’s descent from his plane relative to Obama’s with the caption, “Spot the difference”.

Andrew Beatty, AFP’s White House correspondent, replied to her tweet pointing out that because these were Air Force One’s internal stairs, the White House would have had to lay out the red carpet.


From near fistfights breaking out between a Chinese official and an American aide on the tarmac just before Obama’s arrival to his national security adviser Susan Rice being told off by the same official who may or may not have mistaken her for a reporter, it doesn’t seem like Obama’s trip got off to a great start.

And China doesn’t seem to want to make it any better.

For this trip, the Chinese have barred Obama’s travelling press contingent to be part of his motorcade and have turned down a request from the White House to hold a joint press conference with China’s President Xi Jinping. According to reports, they also plan to block Obama’s solo press briefing from airing live on Chinese television.

(Sources: AP and The Wall Street Journal)

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