Row on tarmac an awkward G20 start for U.S., China

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice (L) and Secretary of State John Kerry talk at a Paris agreement climate change event ahead of the G20 Summit, at West Lake Statehouse in Hangzhou, China September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice (L) and Secretary of State John Kerry talk at a Paris agreement climate change event ahead of the G20 Summit, at West Lake Statehouse in Hangzhou, China September 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A Chinese official confronted U.S. President Barack Obama’s national security adviser on the tarmac on Saturday prompting the Secret Service to intervene, an unusual altercation as China implements strict controls ahead of a big summit.
Row on tarmac an awkward G20 start for U.S., China

The stakes are high for China to pull off a trouble-free G20 summit of the world’s top economies, its highest profile event of the year, as it looks to cement its global standing and avoid acrimony over a long list of tensions with Washington.

Shortly after Obama’s plane landed in the eastern city of Hangzhou, a Chinese official attempted to prevent his national security adviser Susan Rice from walking to the motorcade as she crossed a media rope line, speaking angrily to her before a Secret Service agent stepped between the two.

Rice responded but her comments were inaudible to reporters standing underneath the wing of Air Force One. It was unclear if the official, whose name was not immediately clear, knew that Rice was a senior official and not a reporter.

The same official shouted at a White House press aide who was instructing foreign reporters on where to stand as they recorded Obama disembarking from the plane.

“This is our country. This is our airport,” the official said in English, pointing and speaking angrily with the aide.

The U.S. aide insisted that the journalists be allowed to stand behind a rope line, and they were able to record the interaction and Obama’s arrival uninterrupted, typical practice for U.S. press traveling with the president.

A White House spokesman and China’s Foreign Ministry both did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

The altercation occurred out of sight of Obama, who greeted ambassadors and other officials before the presidential motorcade pulled away with Rice.

The incident is an illustration of the image-conscious ruling Communist Party’s efforts to control the media as its seeks to orchestrate what it hopes will be a flawless event.

China has taken extensive security measures in preparation for the G20 summit opening on Sunday.

On Saturday, many roads and shops in Hangzhou were deserted and shuttered in the usually bustling city with a population of 9 million.

The Chinese government has broad control over domestic media and prevents many foreign media outlets from publishing in the country, including by blocking their websites.

Obama has raised issues of freedom of the press on previous visits to China, which insists that media must follow the party line and promote “positive propaganda”.

Foreign reporters are often physically prevented from covering sensitive stories, but altercations involving foreign government officials are rare.

Rice met Chinese dissidents before her last trip to China in late July, when she held talks with President Xi Jinping and other senior officials.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: Reuters “Row on tarmac an awkward G20 start for U.S., China”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


5 Comments on “Row on tarmac an awkward G20 start for U.S., China”

  1. johnleecan says:

    What I’ve read is that China was angry with Obama because they received intelligence report that Obama ordered the destruction of Israeli company SpaceX rocket for fear of the Chinese acquiring its technology. SpaceX agreed last August 24 to the sale of the company to China’s private company Beijing Xinwei Technology Corp. The sale is to be made if the Amos 6 satellite is successfully launched.

    A video of the destruction was recorded and in a slow motion video, you can see an aircraft passing the rocket after which it immediately exploded. Intelligence sources said it was a Northrop Grumman X-47B drone that was equipped with a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. high-energy laser type weapon the US Navy was testing.

    That is why the Chinese even refused to provide stairs for Obama at the front so he had to come down from the stairs at the back of the plane. That’s why Susan Rice was accosted.


    • Joseph says:

      SpaceX builds lousy rockets constantly blow up. Who wants to acquire their technology? China has already launched Yang Liwei into space when those spoil kids at Google had a idea of private rocket launch. These kids are too much. They are likely to invent story because their stocks blew up with those rockets. Even if Chinese companies want to buy SpaceX, they’d ditch SpaceX dangerous rockets and use Chinese made rockets instead.
      Obama didn’t get the stairs simply because he is not VIP anymore. With so many world leader coming, why did he get the priority? He is not even a member for China-friendly lounge club.


  2. Fu Man-Chu says:

    The “War-Mongrel” Bl**dy Obama and his officers should be grateful President Xi allow them on Chinese soil and that Chinese people were asked not to express themselves freely at Obama’s presence.

    After all the insults, smears, slanders, threats, intimidations, bad mouthing, bullying, and unceasing negative propaganda about China and Chinese, passions and anger are running high amongst the Chinese people against the unfriendly hypocritical lying Obama and his Administration such that millions of ordinary Chinese would had spontaneously come out in protest at his presence armed with rotten eggs and tomatoes, had they not deferred to President Xi’s wishes.

    Quite a turnaround I assure you, from the Chinese welcome to a statesman like former American President Richard Nixon. Obama, in comparison, is a turd of a president, sowing chaos and tensions, anger, and conflicts wherever he goes.


  3. Joseph says:

    Obviously little Susy Rice behaved unprofessionally on the Tarmac. Even if she is a national security advisor of who-knows-what country, she would have to display her security pass. Obviously she never watch that 1998 American-made Godzilla movie. Even in America itself, no pass no access, whoever you are. Moreover, not even in America itself that everyone knows what little Susy look like, so why would she expect everyone in China know what she look like. If some harmless pesky reporters masquerading as little Susy could pass security details, it would be embarrassing for airport security. If some little Susy look alike terrorist without a pass could go in only by saying ‘I am little Susy Rice, let me in’, who’d get blamed if she blew up the precious Air Force One, along with its precious VIP passenger on Chinese airport? Would the American blame their secret service agents, Of course they would blame Chinese airport security.
    Blame it to American reporters who often barge to place they want to go with the pretext ‘we are American, we can go anywhere we want, to hell with your law’. Geez, even in America, reporters cannot go freely anywhere like those reporters would want to go in other countries. Despite ‘freedom of press’, in America those reporters would break the law by committing trespassing. So why would those pesky reporters think it will be any different in other countries


  4. Steve says:

    When in Rome do what the Romans do. This is US propaganda at it’s hypocritical best, orchestrated for the world to hear the planned questionnaire between the US President and US reporters. All other nations has no problem attending a state function upon arrival allowing the host country China to exercise it’s security for the benefit of high profile guest and head of state.

    Can China do what the US did at a US tarmac, with disruptive behaviour and taking the law into it’s own hands.? The Chinese official said this is our country, this is our airport. For a moment, I thought the US was practising FONOT -Freedom Of Navigation On Tarmac.