Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Obama’s China State Dinner

President Obama will host his third official state dinner Wednesday when Chinese President Hu Jintao and friends assemble at the White House for fancy grub amid promises of closer ties between the two countries.

There is much tongue wagging over the possibility of Obama assailing China on such hot-button issues as North Korea, currency manipulation, human rights, and its challenges to American naval supremacy in the Pacific. He might also want to demand that the Chinese government stop hacking into US military computer systems if his country is to be considered anything but an enemy.

The truth is that Obama will get nothing Hu and the Chinese don’t want to give him. They have already decided on what that will be, and a “beggar’s banquet” is on the menu.

Will the news media, always overprotective of Obama as one of their own, take this opportunity to question the details or even the existence of Obama’s China strategy? Does he have one? And if so, does it involve anything more substantial than wondering if General Tso is a black belt at Chop Suey?

George W. Bush nixed a state dinner for China over their human rights record, but that is no impediment for Obama, who will honor Hu with a 21-gun salute.

The question foremost on the minds of many is whether Obama will bow again to Hu when they greet each other in front of cameras? Probably, because Hu represents the sort of government (Communist) that is very much in harmony with Obama’s personal beliefs and in direct opposition to the traditional values of Western Democracy. Obama has a sad history of bowing to people who don’t deserve it and Hu meets those qualifications.

Guests: Plenty of Democratic big-wigs and donors. The Salahis? Do they dare try? Security personnel no doubt have familiarized themselves with their photos. But the likelihood of someone or other without papers gaining entry past the borders of the Obamas’ imperial gate always seems possible.

Gifts: The Obamas are notorious for their ill-conceived gifts, such as giving the Queen of England an iPod with his speeches on it, and more of the same are expected to be presented to Hu. Here are the odds-on favorites:
1. An iPod with an MP3 file of the president playing “Chopsticks” on the piano with two fingers
2. That White House toilet paper they sell in the DC souvenir shops
3. Together We Thrive t-shirts

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