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Obama Has Priceless Reaction After Chinese President Shuts Down Reporter


Posted on November 12, 2014, at 12:25 p.m. ET

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.

Petar Kujundzic / Reuters

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.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

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.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Here's the exact moment:

ABC News / Via

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.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

“In Chinese we have a saying, ‘the party which has created the problem should be the one to resolve it,’” Xi said. “So perhaps we should look into the problem to see where the cause lies.”

Watch the video

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.