Sunday, September 04, 2016

This is not good.

Even if Obama doesn't care, China does.

//Well, China, as host of the current G-20 summit, rolled out the red carpet -- or at least the red-carpeted airplane stairs -- for the arriving leaders of such countries as Britain, Australia, Germany and Russia.

For President Obama, arriving yesterday on Air Force One, there was no such dignified reception. Instead, there was a shoving match with the press and a confrontation with National Security Adviser Susan Rice, in which a Chinese official shouted "This is our country. This is our airport." For lack of any portable stairs rolled to the front door of the presidential plane, Obama was left to jog down the aircraft's own stairs at the back.

Obama downplayed the insult, telling reporters "not to over-crank the significance."

Maybe that makes sense in the bubble-world of the Ben-Rhodes-foreign-policy narrative, where the tide of war is forever receding, the arc of history bends toward justice, the oceans rise and fall at the command of Obama's pen and phone, and the echo chamber, on cue, applauds.

But China's reception was an insult, pure and simple. No one need study the tea leaves to understand that this was a gesture of gross disrespect, seen around the world, putting the American president in his place -- especially as compared with the warm reception for Russia's President Vladimir Putin.

While the missing red-carpeted staircase is mainly symbolic, the realities behind it are increasingly dangerous. Among them are China's territorial grabs at sea, provocations toward the U.S. Navy, cyber attacks, military exercises with Russia and evident tolerance  -- despite United Nations sanctions -- of illicit traffic that enables North Korea's continuing nuclear missile program.//


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