Monday, April 24, 2006

Guzzlers at Home

Daytona Beach News-Journal/April 24, 2006

A love-fest is the last thing the meeting between President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao at the White House was going to be last week -- and the meeting lived up to its ambiguous billing. For starters, note the difference in the way the two countries' officials framed the occasion. When outgoing Bush spokesman Scott McLellan confirmed it March 23, he called it "a meeting." The headline the next day in China Daily, one of China's English-language government newspapers, termed it a "summit," a word the White House never used in connection with this visit (though it's used it for lesser meetings with European or Latin American governments). Presidents given the full red-carpet treatment at the White House usually get a state dinner. Hu got lunch -- and public heckling from a member of a religious minority the Chinese government is suppressing, and an insult from a White House announcer, who introduced China's national anthem as that of "the Republic of China," which is the formal name for Taiwan, the flashpoint island country and U.S. ally that China has never recognized. Read the full editorial...