(Reuters) — A Chinese official confronted U.S. President Barack Obama’s national security adviser on the tarmac on Saturday prompting the Secret Service to intervene, an unusual altercation as China implements strict controls ahead of a big summit.
The stakes are high for China to pull off a trouble-free G20 summit of the world’s top economies, its highest profile event of the year, as it looks to cement its global standing and avoid acrimony over a long list of tensions with Washington.
Shortly after Obama’s plane landed in the eastern city of Hangzhou, a Chinese official attempted to prevent his national security adviser Susan Rice from walking to the motorcade as she crossed a media rope line, speaking angrily to her before a Secret Service agent stepped between the two.
Rice responded but her comments were inaudible to reporters standing underneath the wing of Air Force One. It was unclear if the official, whose name was not immediately clear, knew that Rice was a senior official and not a reporter.