In what has been widely perceived as a diplomatic snub, President Obama has been forced to ride a log-flume to the opening of the G20 in Hangzhou.
Although other world leaders were allowed to disembark from their planes by conventional means, Obama’s team were informed that the only transport available to Obama was ‘the log flume’. The leader of the world’s largest economy, who is on his final tour of Asia, was forced to disembark from Air Force One riding inside a fibre-glass log.
The flume ran from the backend of Airforce one, twisted to the North-East, ascended along a rising sequence of trestles, turned South East and then plunged into a body of water beneath a ‘viewing platform.’
Hollande is splashed
Other G20 leaders were invited to watch Obama’s ride from the viewing platform.
Jorge Guajardo, Mexico’s former ambassador to China, said he was convinced Obama’s treatment was part of a calculated plan to make him look “like a damn-fool.”
Putin enjoys the show
Willard Bishop, a China expert, has pointed out that Obama was not even given a rain-poncho for his ride yet those on the viewing platform were given such protective clothing to guard them from the splash of the log flume.
“Jumping Jesus,” he said, “you give a man a rain poncho when he rides the log-flume.”
“It’s common curtesy.”
Obama is reported to have enjoyed the log-flume, despite getting “soaked through”.