Charles Krauthammer writes:
The president of the United States lands with all the majesty of Air Force One, waiting to exit the front door and stride down the rolling staircase to the red-carpeted tarmac.
Except that there is no rolling staircase. He is forced to exit — as one China expert put it rather undiplomatically — through “the ass” of the plane.
This happened Saturday at Hangzhou airport in China:
Did President Xi Jinping directly order airport personnel and diplomatic functionaries to deny Barack Obama a proper welcome? Who knows?
But the message, whether intentional or not, wasn’t very subtle. The authorities expressed no regret, no remorse and certainly no apology. On the contrary, they scolded the press for even reporting the snub.
No surprise. China’s ostentatious rudeness was perfectly reflective of the world’s general disdain for President Obama. His high-minded lectures about global norms and demands that others live up to their “international obligations” are no longer amusing. They’re irritating.
Foreign leaders have reciprocated by taking this administration down a notch knowing they pay no price. In May 2013, Vladimir Putin reportedly kept the U.S. secretary of state cooling his heels for three hours outside his office before deigning to receive him.