China is hosting the G20 this year in the beautiful tourist (don’t forget high-tech) city of Hangzhou.
As with any event where international leaders gather in China, it’s a huge deal for the CCP.
Everything is under control. Authorities have sent all residents out of town. Shops are closed, the streets emptied. Construction has stopped and surrounding steel mills have also suspended production. The air is alright.
But is everything too alright? Let’s take a look:
- It seems the measures taken by local authorities have made West Lake too unrealistically deserted. There are reports going around social media that authorities have started asking residents to come back out to make the prime tourist attraction seem more, well, attractive.
- There was a little snafu during President Obama’s arrival. The red carpet staircase wasn’t brought out, and there was no room for the White House press corps. But lest you think it was just a bit of mismanagement, some people, noting China’s absolute control over these orchestrated events, saw it as a highly coordinated, deliberate snub and show of power by China.
- Finally, reporters and press officers are finding security in Hangzhou to be a logistical nightmare and impediment to doing their jobs. The WSJ’s China Real Time Report notes that press briefings have been canceled because no one has clearance to enter the media center. My own conspiracy theory is that the CCP deliberately made it difficult to report on the meetings so that it can control the narrative, the narrative of “Cooperation. China’s great! Win-win. Everyone loves China! COOPERATION. CHINA!!!”
It’s going to be a huge success!
Update 8 September: And it was!