Hu Jintao visit to the USA has all the makings of a media spectacle.
With leaders of the two ‘competing and dependent’ economic giants of world who barely share anything apart from economic interests meet in the most cordial manner, lot is on offering for media houses at large not just in the US or China.
Browsing through reports in the New York Times, the Guardian, BBC, CCTV and The Times of India, it was interesting to observe how differently they all approached the visit and reported.
The host scribes set their eyes on the deals and sales on offer and how the Obama leadership has rolled out red carpet and given the best welcome to the Chinese president.
The focus was the deals worth $ 19 billion and oer 1,00,000 jobs in store for the US and development of the ties between two nations. There was mention of noble laureate Liu Xiaobo, but it was business first.
This reminded me about the over the board euphoria shown by Indian media when Obama last visited in September 2010.
The British media focused on Human Rights, and the BBC and the Guardian harped on their concerns about what Hu said about human rights. Hu saying China still needed to do “a lot” over human rights was a sentiment that echoed across in stories at the BBC and Guardian.
The Guardian in one of the reports described how Obama administration recognised the meeting as meetings of equals unlike how Bush administration gave Hu a White house working lunch.
Chinese media did what it is perceived to do best, dish out information fed to it by the regimen.
As BBC’s Damian Grammaticas mentions : “Just hearing a Chinese president deal with direct questions on human rights is incredibly rare. In China the heavily state-controlled media doesn’t pose them”
The CCTV and others as the Guardian points out underplayed human rights remarks. A visit to their website reaffirms the same.
Amidst all this how can Indian scribes be far behind, a headline in The Times of India read ‘Hu-pla around Chinese President’s visit centers on American debt’ pun intended it gave away what can be broadly considered as playing away on average Indian sentiment when it comes to doing anything with China. Add to this the copy highlighted human rights issue and how Hu and Dalai lama were both treated by the White house.
Amidst all this frenzy over the visit for me what is interesting to see is that how the tines of both parties are changing US recognising the rise of China and the red dragon too gets to face the world and get a reality check on how world looks at them.
That apart it showed how a same visit can be portrayed to the world in so many different ways.