This is how it usually unfolds.
The main deck door with rolling staircase.
Barack Obama ‘deliberately snubbed’ by Chinese in chaotic arrival at G20
The US president was denied the usual red carpet welcome and forced to ‘go out of the ass’ of Air Force One, observers say
China’s leaders have been accused of delivering a calculated diplomatic snub to Barack Obama after the US president was not provided with a red carpet staircase to leave his plane during his chaotic arrival in Hangzhou before the start of the G20.
Chinese authorities have rolled out the red carpet for leaders of India, Russia, South korea, Brazil and the U.K., who touched down on Sunday morning.
But the leader of the world’s largest economy, who is on his final tour of Asia, was forced to disembark from Air Force One through a little-used exit in the plane’s belly after no rolling staircase was provided when he landed in the eastern Chinese city on Saturday afternoon.
The belly door
When Obama did find his way on to a red carpet on the tarmac below there were heated altercations between US and Chinese officials, with one Chinese official caught on video shouting: “This is our country! This is our airport!”
“The reception that President Obama and his staff got when they arrived here Saturday afternoon was bruising, even by Chinese standards,”the New York Times reported.
Jorge Guajardo, Mexico’s former ambassador to China, said he was convinced Obama’s treatment was part of a calculated snub.
“These things do not happen by mistake. Not with the Chinese,” Guajardo, who hosted presidents Enrique Peña Nieto and Felipe Calderón during his time in Beijing, told the Guardian.
A Chinese official said there was no intended snub.
“It would do China no good in treating Obama rudely,” the official, who declined to be named, was quoted as saying.
“China provides a rolling staircase for every arriving state leader, but the US side complained that the driver doesn’t speak English and can’t understand security instructions from the United States; so China proposed that we could assign a translator to sit beside the driver, but the US side turned down the proposal and insisted that they didn’t need the staircase provided by the airport,” the official added.
The US president offered a diplomatic reply when asked to comment on the airport “kerfuffle” on Sunday during a joint press conference with Theresa May.
“I wouldn’t over-crank the significance of it because, as I said, this is not the first time that these things happen and it doesn’t just happen here. It happens in a lot of places including, by the way, sometimes our allies,” Obama said, adding that “none of this detracts from the broader scope of the relationship”.
Obama suggested his Chinese hosts might have found the size of the US delegation “a little overwhelming”.
“We’ve got a lot of planes, a lot of helicopters, a lot of cars and a lot of guys. If you are a host country, sometimes it may feel a little bit much.”
The Americans always operate big, and the delegation travelling with the president providing support is no exception. At least two giant C-17 Globemaster transports accompany the President. One carries the “Beast”, the armoured car like presidential limousine. As well as Secret Service support vehicles and equipment. Another one carries “Marine One”, the presidential helicopter, other support helicopters may also be part of the contingent.
With this huge presence landing at your airport, and we know how the Americans sometimes can be assertive and over-bearing, the Chinese figured proper protocol was out the door. Thankfully, Obama said enough of this noise, use the retractable metal stairs.
The Beast unloaded
Marine One being unloaded
Support suburban with a super machine gun, the infamous mini-gun.
When disembarking in war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan the belly door is used.
Postscript: Donald Trump said it was a terrible snub by the Chinese. He said if that happened to me, I would have closed the doors and flew the hell out of there. Trump would flee the highest level economic summit in the world, because he didn’t get stairs with a red carpet!