As Barack Obama is in China for the G20 summit, an annual forum for world leaders, a fresh controversy has erupted over the lack of red carpet treatment for the US President.
It is being alleged that the US President wasn't given the red carpet treatment as the communist nation was irked with Obama's recent warning that China would have to face 'consequences' over defiance of an international ruling on China's claim in the South China Sea.
The lack of red carpet treatment for Obama even dominated analysis of the meeting between leaders of the world's two superpowers.
During an interview with CNN, Obama had warned China of "consequences" due to its aggressive behaviour, and asked the country to restrain itself from worrying its neighbours in the disputed South China Sea region.
"You know, when we bind ourselves to a bunch of international norms and rules, it's not because we have to, it's because we recognise that, over the long-term, building a strong international order is in our interests. And, I think, over the long-term, it will be in China's interests, as well," he said in the interview before leaving for China's Hangzhou.
"So where we see them violating international rules and norms, as we have seen in some cases in the South China Sea or in some of their behaviour when it comes to economic policy, we've been very firm. And we've indicated to them that there will be consequences," Obama said.
What the US has tried to emphasise to China is that if it is working within international rules and international norms, then they should be partners, he asserted. "There is no reason that China and the US cannot be friendly competitors on the commercial side and important partners when it comes to dealing with the many international problems that threaten the two countries," Obama said.
Obama noted China has been run during his lifetime by a Communist party that has been "much more anti-Western" in the past. "We went through a period over the course of 20 years, in the '90s and on through maybe the onset of my presidency, where, because state-sponsored capitalism and an export-driven model was very successful, China was less interested in making waves," Obama said.
"But, you know, you've got over a billion people, one of the largest economies now in the world. And so it's to be expected that they will want a bigger seat at the table when it comes to international affairs. And what we've said consistently is we welcome the peaceful rise of China, consistent with international norms. That's good for everybody. An impoverished and collapsing China would be dangerous for everybody," Obama said.
-With inputs from PTI