18:42 GMT +317 February 2019
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    U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping (not pictured) before the G20 Summit at the West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 3, 2016.

    'Classy As Always China': US DIA Tweets, Deletes, Apologizes

    © REUTERS / Wang Zhao/Pool
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    US Defense Intelligence Agency today posted a sarcastic tweet criticizing China for not being able to properly welcome Barack Obama, but later claimed it was a mistake.

    The arrival of US President in Hangzhou for the international G-20 summit was marked with controversy over China's inhospitality. Unpleasant incidents reportedly came one after another, stirring frustration among both US and Chinese delegates.

    It all started with reports that no rolling staircase was prepared for Obama to gracefully exit Air Force One and descend on the red carpet. However, a Chinese foreign ministry official later said that the accusations were groundless as it was the US side that decided they didn't need a staircase because the driver didn't speak English and couldn't understand security instructions.

    But when the US head of state eventually took off the plane from an alternative exit, US journalists were not allowed to approach him. White House officials wouldn't back down and insisted the US would set the rules for its own leader, but received a sharp response from the member of Chinese delegation: "This is our country! This is our airport!"

    A Chinese official demanded that reporters leave the landing strip and even tried to keep Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, and her deputy, Ben Rhodes, away from the president.

    And there was more to come, as tensions escalated after Obama started his program of meetings in Hangzhou. Arguments between Chinese and US officials reportedly broke out and nearly led to a fistfight in a room where Barack Obama was expected to negotiate with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

    Someone in the US Defense Intelligence Agency took the New York Times' report about the continuous confrontation to heart, as the spy agency's official Twitter account on Saturday spit out a sarcastic "Classy as always China".

    But, whoever the author of the straightforward tweet was — apparently someone responsible for DIA's activity in social media — it looks like he forgot to ask for approval from the bosses. The tweet was immediately deleted and replaced with a different one that read:

    "Earlier today, a tweet regarding a news article was mistakenly posted from this account & does not represent the views of DIA. We apologize."

    Several US media outlets wrote that the series of quarrels between US and Chinese officials in Hangzhou was a reflection of a growing gap between the two countries, and more than DIA's apology is needed to mend it.


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    summit, G20, Xi Jinping, Barack Obama, United States