Shoving Match Involving Press Breaks Out in China


LAT‘s Mike Memoli reports from China that a “nasty shoving match” broke out between officials and members of the press pool in Bejing’s Great Hall of the People. Officials attempted to remove reporters who were trying to listen to V.P. Biden‘s speech. The V.P.’s staff came to their defense.

He wrote: “At this point the Chinese officials attempted to begin clearing press out of the room. Press and the VP’s staff argued to keep us in the room, since we had heard Xi’s full statement and had to hear Biden’s full statement.” … “As Biden was wrapping up, your pooler was in a shoving match with a larger Chinese official attempting to clear press from the room. Officials said Biden was going on too long, though he at that point had not spoken for more than 5-6 minutes, including the consecutive translation. Despite occasionally successful efforts at holding our ground, poolers were continually pushed further toward the exit. Once it was clear that Biden was concluding we departed. A number of fellow reporters and staff said they hadn’t seen quite that level of aggressive force attempting to remove us from such an event. Thanks to the VP staff for making their best efforts to keep us in as long as were.”

Later in an afternoon meeting in the Great Hall’s Fujian room…reporters were again treated strangely. Memoli writes, “As VPOTUS was winding down but not yet finished, Chinese officials again tried to dismiss reporters from the room. No physical pushing as there was this morning, but again an unwelcome move to both press and VP staff.”

A Bidenesque remark from a previous Pool Report… “After being introduced to one member of the Chinese delegation, Biden remarked: ‘Remember what I told you last time: if I had hair like yours I’d be president.'”