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Obama plays down China airport row

Sunday, September 04, 2016 - 01:28

President Barack Obama says a row between U.S. and Chinese officials at the airport upon his arrival shouldn't be overblown. Yiming Woo reports.

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American and Chinese officials argue at Hangzhou airport as President Barack Obama arrives for the G20 summit. The White House press aide was instructing foreign reporters on where to stand as they filmed Obama walking down from the plane. (Chinese official says "This is our country. This is our airport") The altercation occurred out of Obama's sight - he was greeting ambassadors and other officials. He was asked about the row at a news conference: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "I wouldn't overcrank the significance of it, because as I've said, this is not the first time that these things happen, and it doesn't just happen here. It happens in a lot of other places, including by the way, sometimes our allies. Part of it is, we also have a much bigger footprint than a lot of other countries. We've got a lot of planes and a lot of helicopters and a lot of cars and a lot of guys. You know, if you're a host country, sometimes it can feel a little bit much." The same Chinese official blocked National Security Adviser Susan Rice on the tarmac, and shouted at another U.S. official trying to get journalists closer to Obama. It's an awkward start for the image-conscious Communist Party, which is hoping for a flawlessly orchestrated G20 summit.

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Obama plays down China airport row

Sunday, September 04, 2016 - 01:28