G-20 Opens With Snubs, Posturing, and Missiles (VIDEO)

G-20 Opens With Snubs, Posturing, and Missiles (VIDEO)

G-20 Opens With Snubs, Posturing, and Missiles (VIDEO)

This is President Obama’s last G-20 conference, and his last scheduled visit to China before the end of his presidency. And China is apparently treating Obama like a lame duck already. The Chinese couldn’t even be bothered with bringing Obama stairs at the airport so he could actually get off Air Force One.

Obama arrives on Air Force One on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Hangzhou, China. (photo: AP/Mark Shiefelbein)
Obama arrives on Air Force One on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Hangzhou, China. (photo: AP/Mark Shiefelbein)
Obama definitely wanted to downplay it:

But the optics were pretty obvious:

Well, this is off to a swimmingly great start, isn’t it? Especially because it looks like China is bent on throwing around a little weight at this summit. They are the hosts, and they are trying to set the agenda – even if other countries want to point out that they are part of the problem.

Opening the Group of 20 meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping appealed Sunday for governments to resist pressure to raise trade barriers. At the same time, a European leader highlighted the conflicts looming over the summit by calling for action on China’s bloated steel industry.

China made trade a theme of the gathering in this lakeside city southwest of Shanghai even as it faces complaints a flood of low-cost steel exports are threatening U.S. and European jobs, fueling demands for trade curbs.

“We should build an open world economy,” Xi said before an audience that included U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May and leaders from Japan, South Korea, India and other governments.

Governments should “avoid taking new protectionist measures” and “take effective action to promote trade growth,” Xi said.

Shorter Xi: Look, we can put the screws to you with cheap steel if we want, so you’d better just learn to accept it.

Of course, sometimes China playing hardball ends up backfiring.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told his South Korean counterpart that China is opposed to the deployment of a powerful U.S. anti-missile system in her country.

During their bilateral meeting on Monday’s final day (sic) of the G-20 meeting, Xi warned that “mishandling the issue is not conducive to strategic stability in the region, and could intensify disputes.”

China has responded angrily to Seoul’s decision to base the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system south of the South Korean capital, Seoul.

While Seoul and Washington say the system is intended solely to defend against North Korea’s missile threat, Beijing says it will allow the U.S. military to peer deeply into northeastern China.

Beijing’s reaction has also stoked public outrage, threatening everything from tourism exchanges to appearances by K-pop stars in China.

And about a half hour after the AP posted the above update about the summit, this happened.

Good old Kim Jong-un. He sure knows how to throw a tantrum. Not that the Chinese will back down regarding the anti-missile system, but now that Little Kim has decided to embarrass them at the moment, who knows how that will continue to damage relations between China and North Korea.

China clearly wants to set itself as the big heavy in Asia. Snubbing Obama was a calculated move, especially while they roll out the red carpet for Putin. The opening remarks by Xi shows just how much they want to have a bigger piece of the pie when it comes to trade. Sure, North Korea just spit in their eye while they were trying to be tough with South Korea, but cutting off Kim Jong-un’s supply of caviar and basketballs will probably remind him who’s the boss.

The next president better be prepared to deal with a China who has bought and clawed its way to the top of the economic heap, and will do almost anything to stay there. Obama did exactly nothing to stop it from happening, and put us even further in debt to them. No wonder the Chinese don’t respect him. The bigger question is, will they respect either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?

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Ava Gardner