In addition to securing a major climate change pact with China, President Barack Obama was also able to convince Chinese President Xi Jinping to allow reporters to ask questions of the two leaders—something Beijing rarely allows.
At the news conference Wednesday, Obama called upon reporter Mark Landler of The New York Times, a paper that enjoys tense relations with Beijing because of its critical coverage of China's leadership.
Landler, stating he wanted to "grab [his] chance with the president of China," asked whether Beijing viewed the Obama administration's "pivot" to Asia as an effort to contain China, as well as whether China would open itself up to more foreign journalists.
Xi’s response? To initially ignore the question altogether and instead call upon a Chinese reporter.
ABC News correspondent Jim Avila said reporters in the room were "stunned."
In response to Xi’s unusual media strategy, the US president looked directly at the press, smirked, and shrugged.
Here's the exact moment:
Xi eventually did return to the questions, dismissing the suggestion of containment, and pointing the finger of blame at the news organizations themselves for any visa or censorship problems they may experience in China.
Watch the video
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact David Mack at email@example.com.
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