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Human Rights and State Dinners, Not Necessarily in That Order

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By Doug Powers  •  January 19, 2011 10:46 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

A couple of brief items. First, CBS News’ Mark Knoller was on the scene at the Obama/Hu press conference Wednesday and reported this spit-take inducing claim from China’s president:

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Ahem… Double ahem… triple ahem. Perhaps “the universality of what level of human rights” would have been an appropriate follow-up.

Hu seemingly ignored another question about human rights, blamed his lack of response on a glitch with the translation, reaffirmed China’s dedication to improving their human rights record and then sent the translator to a labor camp.

But that’s neither here nor there, because today President Obama was trying to move some American product off the lot:

“We want to sell you all kinds of stuff. We want to will sell you planes. We want to sell you cars. We want to sell you software,” President Obama told Hu Jintao at a press conference this afternoon.

Let’s start by selling China some paper towels so they can wipe the chapstick off Hu’s butt.

Click to watch what started out as a press conference morph into a sales pitch that might cause Zig Ziglar to initiate an intervention:

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Hu’s response? You guessed it: “Why you not kiss me before you do sex to me?”

President Obama also said “we welcome China’s rise.” So I guess that book about Ronald Reagan he supposedly read while on vacation didn’t sink in. Either that or it did and I missed the part where Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev, stack those bricks a little higher!”

As for the state dinner for the Chinese president, Michelle Obama appropriately enough wore a red dress, and in honor of the guests, an all-star cast of Broadway stars performed a rousing musical rendition of “If my friends could see me Mao” to close out the evening. A good time was had by all — especially select current and former Obama administration officials.

Update: Per Pasadena Phil’s recommendation in comments, here’s a bit of Donald Trump talking about Hu’s visit.

Update II: Obama’s toast at last night’s state dinner:

Paying homage to his guest, POTUS cited a Chinese proverb that says, “If you want one year of prosperity, then grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, then grow trees. But if you want 100 years of prosperity, then you grow people,” before toasting the growth of Chinese-U.S. relations.

“Growing people” is an odd choice of proverb when speaking about a country that encourages some 13 million abortions per year — many of them forced.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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