Over the weekend, Barack Hussein Obama was given a lesson in what happens when your enemies neither fear nor respect you.
At the G20 conference in Hangzhou, China, the US in general, and Obama, in particular, were subjected to a series of calculated insults by their Chinese hosts.
After Air Force One landed in Hangzhou, a Chinese official began shouting at White House staff after the traveling American press contingent was brought onto the tarmac, according to pool reports.
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The Chinese official also attempted to block Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes after they lifted a blue rope holding back press and walked to the other side of it, closer to Obama.
The press pool was brought under a wing of Air Force One where the pool was supposed to stay behind a blue rope. However, a member of the Chinese delegation began shouting at White House staff, demanding the pool leave the arrival scene.
A White House official said Obama was our president and Air Force One was our plane and that the press was not going to move from the designated area. The Chinese official responded, “This is our country.”
When asked later what happened at the airport, Rice said, “They did things that weren’t anticipated.”
In case you didn’t watch the video, the money quote from the Chicom security guy is “This is our country. Our airport. Okay?” This gives away the game. The security guy is obviously operating under orders to demonstrate who is in charge. In a totalitarian society, no apparatchik, particularly in a service that carries guns, is going to get in the face of a foreign diplomatic expedition headed by a head of state and possibly embarrass his superiors. This was a contrived incident meant to send precisely the message that was delivered: this is our country and our airport.
But it didn’t stop there:
At Westlake Statehouse, where the summit was being held, a group of White House staff arriving before Obama was stopped at a security checkpoint.
A heated argument between Chinese officials and White House staff, protocol officers and Secret Service, who were trying to enter the building separately from the press, broke out at the security gate.
According to the pool report, U.S. officials could be heard arguing in Chinese with Chinese officials over how many Americans could go through security at one time, how many White House officials were allowed to be in the building before Obama’s arrival, and which U.S. officials were on a security list.
“The president is arriving here in an hour,” a White House staffer was overheard saying in exasperation.
A Chinese official assisting the U.S. officials became angered by how the guards were treating the White House staff as the disagreement escalated.
“You don’t push people. No one gave you the right to touch or push anyone around,” he yelled in Chinese at one of the Chinese security officials.
Another Chinese official trying to help White House staff stepped between the two men arguing, as the security official looked like he was going to throw a punch, according to the pool report.
And the arrival of Obama brought more drama
When he exited the aircraft he did so from stairs at the rear of the aircraft and there was no red carpet on the tarmac. This is the White House spin:
China’s handling of President Obama’s arrival for the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hangzhou has created a narrative that the Chinese snubbed the American president. Some Beijing-controlled news outlets are pushing back, fanning nationalist anger by accusing the Americans of arrogance in the squabble.
The reality, American officials and diplomats familiar with China say, is both simpler and more complicated.
The United States military had flown in a set of rolling air stairs, as it does on all of Mr. Obama’s foreign trips, and the White House had received Chinese approval to use the equipment. But before Mr. Obama’s arrival, a senior administration official said, the Chinese suddenly reversed themselves.
The Americans were willing to use a Chinese stairway, this official said, but the Chinese insisted that the stairs be taken to the plane by a local driver, who the Americans said could not communicate with the White House team about even the simplest tasks. So the White House demanded that he be replaced with an English-speaking driver, a request the Chinese refused.
As Air Force One was landing, the Chinese relented and told the Americans they could use their own stairs. But by then, officials said, there was no time to make a switch.
So the White House decided to forgo the main doorway in favor of a smaller exit in the belly of the aircraft equipped with its own foldout stairs. Mr. Obama generally uses that door only when Air Force One arrives in places, like Afghanistan, with high security concerns.
If you believe this you believe in leprechauns and you deserve what comes with that belief. No detail of a visit by a US president anywhere is left unsettled.
Read the first paragraph again. Notice how “Beijing-controlled news outlets” is elided over as if it was a minor fact. Then decide if you believe the actions of Chinese security officials and others were simply a comedy of error. And it isn’t like this is the first time Obama has visited China. The Chinese know how it is supposed to be done:
There is no other way to view the incidents in China other than a calculated series of insults to impress upon our very nervous friends and allies on the Pacific Rim that China is the ascendant power, American influence is waning, and if you make strategic decisions based on American friendship you are probably choosing unwisely.
Only a year ago Barack Obama was crowing about how America has become much more respected under his leadership.
“People don’t remember, but when I came into office, the Untied States in world opinion ranked below China and just barley above Russia, and today once again, the Untied States is the most respected country on earth. Part of that I think is because of the work we did to reengage the world and say we want to work with you as partners with mutual interests and mutual respect. It was on that basis we were able to end two wars while still focusing on the very real threat of terrorism and try to work with our partners in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s the reason why we are moving in the direction to normalize relations with Cuba and the nuclear deal that we are trying to negotiate with Iran.”
He was wrong then, he’s wrong now. He is confusing people being unafraid of us with people liking and respecting us. They don’t. They’ve witnessed the slow motion freight train wreck that has been America’s foreign policy under the morons Obama has appointed and hired. China should be thanked for showing the next president the low esteem in which China holds the United States.