The misunderstanding between the White House and the host of G20 summit first became evident from the moment the US president’s plane landed in Hangzhou, China.
There was no staircase for Obama to exit the plane and descend on the red carpet. Obama used an alternative exit to reach Chinese soil.
However, according to Chinese foreign ministry official it was Washington's decision to have US president disembark from his plane through a small bare metal stairway instead of the usual rolling red-carpet staircase, according to South China Morning Post.
“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 told the newspaper on Sunday.
Right next to the airstrip, a quarrel broke out between a presidential aide and a Chinese official who demanded that the journalists traveling with Obama be prohibited from getting anywhere near him, according to Associated Press.
Government official was not happy that reporters were under the wing of AF1. WH press aide would not back down. pic.twitter.com/C3JRVIe37K— Roberta Rampton (@robertarampton) September 3, 2016
It was a breach of the tradition observed whenever the American president arrives in a foreign place.
When White House officials insisted the US would set the rules for its own leader, their Chinese counterpart shot back.
“This is our country! This is our airport!” the Chinese official yelled.
We've been in China for about an hour and just witnessed our second physical confrontation pic.twitter.com/Ni9McxQfDa— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) September 3, 2016
Also, a Chinese official tried to keep Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, away from the president. “They did things that weren’t anticipated,” she said, CBS News reported.