Changing China

Giant on the move

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An Unlikely Couple


Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao, arguably the world’s two most powerful men, stand shoulder to shoulder for their respective national anthems in Beijing on Tuesday.

But there are few smiles ahead of a morning of bilateral meetings on everything from the value of China’s currency to global warming. With their nations’ fates so bound to the relationship, and faced with the challenge of juggling trade and Tibet, it’s anyone’s guess what’s going through their minds.

It doesn’t help when a slightly disorientated Obama bumps into Hu’s back. But the Chinese President comes to the rescue with a gentle tug in the right direction.

“Which way are we going?” Obama asks Hu (who is not known to speak much English) as they leave their joint press briefing.

“Wonderful Tonight”


                                              By Lucy Hornby

The setting for Barack Obama and Hu Jintao’s “date night” on Tuesday was magnificent — the Gold Room in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, with its lush red carpets and elaborate murals. 

On Obama’s trail in Beijing


Guan Yongning is a senior cameraman with Reuters Television in Beijing . In  15 years in the field,  he has covered stories ranging from natural disasters to politics and major sporting events.  Guan was one of the chosen few reporters able to follow U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit in China up-close.  He tells the story of what reporters have to go through to capture a few precious shots of the U.S. leader.

The reporters able to cover Obama’s visit up close might be considered the lucky ones. Following the American commander-in-chief means long hours working days,  skipping meals, lugging around heavy gear and enduring the harsh Beijing winds. But would they give up the chance?

China kinder to Obama than Bush?


How does one measure how U.S. President Barack Obama was received by the Chinese government?

I like to read the tea leaves and decided one measure might be to compare the reception Obama got in comparison with that given his predecessors.

U.S. expats discuss Obama’s visit over a beer


Beijing’s local Americans believe Obama can maintain his popularity with the Chinese public just as long as he focuses on their main interests - trade relations and the fate of the huge Chinese holdings of U.S. government debt.

Tim’s Texas BBQ restaurant offers Beijing’s several thousand expat Americans grilled ribs, beer and live TV coverage of the President’s visit to China, from  November 15 to 18.  Chinese President Hu Jintao and American President Barack Obama are expected to discuss a wide range of issues from trade to currency imbalance and climate change to human rights.

Hair, wax Obama models


U.S. President Barack Obama’s first state visit to China has sparked a creative urge among Chinese sculptors to produce models of him, ranging from  traditional sculptures to some truly unique designs.

(Hairdresser Huang Xin and waxwork sculptor Er Baorui)



Video Credit: Christina Hu and Anita Li

Beijing’s American acupuncturist


The U.S. President may be in China but it is business as usual for Beijing’s American acupuncturist.
 Connecticut born Bryan McMahon is treating a Chinese patient in his traditional courtyard in the backstreets of Beijing.
  Bryan has spent years studying Chinese traditional medicine in both Beijing and Shanghai.
 He says that part of the reason he chose Chinese medicine over its western alternative was the way in which it is so deeply rooted within Chinese culture.
Bryan’s patient Sai Na  believes the American-Chinese approach to acupuncture offers a new and improved form of treatment.

Obama arrives in Beijing


Shivering journalists jostled around the airport flag pole in the chilly Beijing afternoon to catch the Chinese flag being lowered and replaced by the U.S. stars and stripes to welcome President Barack Obama to China’s capital city.

After several hours of waiting and heavy security checks, Air Force One landed…

Freudian Slip?


U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk had an amusing slip of the tongue during remarks to U.S. businessmen in Beijing on Monday, ahead of the arrival of his boss, President Barack Obama.
Talking about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Kirk referred to her instead as “President Clinton”.
Click on the video to see his good-humored comeback from what he called his YouTube moment.

A snowy message to Obama.



A wintery climate change warning from Beijing’s Great Wall – and a snowy hike for those involved.





This chilly climate change message led Beijing Oxfam volunteers, organisers and journalists on a long hike along a deserted and slippery Great Wall and across fields before finally setting up for a photoshoot which would send an unexpectedly snowy climate message to U.S. President Barack Obama.