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How the Snags in the Hu-Bush Visit Play in China

Not So Fast: Exit strategies are hard to come by for American and Chinese presidents. Thursday, President Hu headed for the wrong side of the podium (left). And in November, President Bush approached a locked door during a visit to China.
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Not So Fast: Exit strategies are hard to come by for American and Chinese presidents. Thursday, President Hu headed for the wrong side of the podium (left). And in November, President Bush approached a locked door during a visit to China.

Several gaffes characterized Thursday's meeting between President Bush and President Hu Jintao, from a vocal Falun Gong protester to a misidentification of China's proper name. But the incidents weren't reported in the Chinese media -- partly to protect Hu's standing in his party.

NPR's Beijing Correspondent Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing on the intricacies of the Chinese media covering President Hu's visit.

Protests from activists supporting Tibet, Falun Gong and human rights were virtually invisible to the Chinese viewing public.

The most glaring snag in the visit, however, was an announcer's statement that the crowd would soon hear the national anthem of "the Republic of China" -- which is Taiwan -- instead of the People's Republic of China, China's name.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anthony Kuhn is NPR's correspondent based in Seoul, South Korea, reporting on the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and the great diversity of Asia's countries and cultures. Before moving to Seoul in 2018, he traveled to the region to cover major stories including the North Korean nuclear crisis and the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster.