China’s censors are having a field day as Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and world leaders converge on Beijing.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit has so far been carefully choreographed, with delegates arriving on a glitzy red carpet while being entertained by crowds of dancers and fireworks in a lavish ceremony covered by state media.

The first day of meetings on Monday saw President Xi Jinping diplomatically sandwiched between President Obama and President Putin.

Cheery pictures of the Chinese leader surrounded by delegates from 21 counties were beamed across the country, with state news agency Xinhua showing them planting symbolic “trees of friendship”.

But the perils of over-friendliness were demonstrated later in the day, when President Putin’s apparently chivalrous gesture of draping a shawl around President Xi’s wife’s shoulders went viral on the Chinese version of Twitter.

CCTV, the state broadcaster, showed the pair chatting while sitting next to each other at a grand Apec event at a Beijing Olympics venue.

The first lady, Peng Liyan, was seated between the newly single Putin and her husband, who was looking the other way chatting to Obama as the Russian slipped his snappy camel shawl around her.

She discreetly gave it to an attendant seconds later but that did not stop commentators picking up on the moment, which was cut from the footage and posted by major Chinese news outlets as it circulated on social media…. see more

source: independent UK