hile G7 leaders were having an unusually friction-filled meeting in Quebec City, everything was all perfectly hunky-dory over in China where central Asian leaders met and Vladimir Putin tried his hand at making some stuffed Chinese buns.
Chinese state media has aired a video of the Russian leader attempting to make some baozi and jianbing under the tutelage of a Chinese chef at a banquet in Tianjin on the sidelines of the 2018 SCO Summit in Qingdao. However, it seems like Putin might want to stick to his day job.
“Please remember, I made this,” he tells Xi before they both take bites of the crispy Chinese-style crepes:
It’s not clear if Xi was also polite enough to take a bite of Putin’s baozi. The Chinese leader has been inextricably linked with the snack ever since he made a surprise visit to a Beijing chain shop in 2013, earning himself the nickname “Xi Baozi,” a moniker that has resulted in jail time for some.
Putin’s baozi-making course came under the guidance of a chef from Goubuli (狗不理), also sometimes referred to in English as “Go Believe,” a baozi brand from Tianjin that was founded all the way back in 1858. As part of its company history, Goubuli has evidently 3D-printed an exact replica of Putin’s stuffed bun for preservation.
Attended annually by the leaders of most countries in Central Asia, the unity and normality on display at this year’s SCO summit is being sharply contrasted with the chaos of the G7 summit, which took place on the same day and ended with US President Donald Trump flying off early to go meet with Kim Jong Un in Singapore while tweeting that the US would not endorse the joint communique that the leaders had agreed to at the summit, insulting Canadian President Justin Trudeau, calling him “very dishonest and weak.”
Later, Trump aides also trashed Trudeau in words typically not used against America’s enemies, much less its closest ally, with trade hardliner Peter Navarro saying that there is a “special place in hell” for the Canadian president.
Chinese state media have wasted no time in pointing out the differences between the two summits. On Weibo, China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, put up these two contrasting photos. The post has received a whopping 353,000 likes and 52,000 shares:
In a speech at the SCO summit, Xi took the opportunity to throw yet more shade Trump’s way by strongly endorsing free trade and saying that the world should “reject selfish, shortsighted, and closed” policies.
Meanwhile, Axios reported earlier today that during a meeting on April 24th at the White House, French President Emmanuel Macron told Trump that they should work together as they both have a “China problem.” To which Trump responded that the European Union is “worse than China.”
— Jonathan Sullivan (@jonlsullivan) June 9, 2018