Tags: Barack Obama | Obama | China | visas | economy | Xi Jinping

Obama Ignores Chinese Public to Focus on Leader

Obama Ignores Chinese Public to Focus on Leader
(Kyodo/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 11 November 2014 08:01 AM

President Barack Obama will devote most of his three days in China to building a rapport with President Xi Jinping, the country's top leader, and largely forgoing efforts to reach ordinary citizens, The New York Times reported.

Unlike during his 2009 visit, there will be no town hall gatherings, speeches or television interviews. The government in China controls both the conventional and new media and blocks Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, according to USA Today.

In 2009 Obama granted an interview to a Guangdong Province newspaper with a reputation for challenging government censorship. That interview, too, was ultimately censored by the authorities, according to the Times.

For this visit, the White House granted China's official news agency, Xinhua, a written interview to guarantee that people there know about the visit.

The president has been careful not to cause offense to his host,s answering a question about Hong Kong by saying, "We don't expect China to follow an American model in every instance. But we're going to continue to have concerns about human rights," according to the Times.

Obama's short stay in China encompasses a state visit and an economic summit. He announced a mutual visa deal that allows U.S. citizens in China to be granted student visas for five years, and business and tourist visas for 10 years. The same would apply to Chinese students, business people and tourists coming to the United States, CNBC reported.

On Tuesday the two leaders are scheduled to appear in public and make statements. So far the Chinese have rejected U.S. requests to take questions from the press, the Times reported.

Meanwhile, Obama was criticized by bloggers commenting in the country's controlled social media for chewing smoking-cessation gum during live televised coverage of the Asia Pacific Economic arrival ceremonies.

"We made this meeting so luxurious, with singing and dancing, but see Obama, stepping out of his car chewing gum like an idler," wrote Yin Hong, who teaches journalism at Beijing's Tsinghua University, USA Today reported.

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President Obama will devote most of his three days in China to building a rapport with President Xi Jinping and largely forgoing efforts to reach ordinary citizens, The New York Times reported.
Obama, China, visas, economy, Xi Jinping
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2014-01-11
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 08:01 AM
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