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奧巴馬國宴請胡錦濤 禮節很高抗議聲更大 Hu Jintao Heckled at State Dinner

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Published on Jan 19, 2011

周三晚間,中國國家主席胡錦濤出席美國總統奧巴馬為他舉辦的國宴。

奧巴馬總統和身著紅色長裙禮服的奧巴馬夫人在國宴廳外面迎接了胡錦濤主席。

據美聯社報道,國宴將是典型的美國風味,席間台上將演奏爵士樂。

這是美國13年來首次為中國領導人舉辦國宴。

President and Mrs. Obama welcomed China's President Hu Jintao to a glittery state dinner for 225 Wednedsay night, with guests ranging from Wall Street titans to a human rights champion, to a pair of former presidents -- Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton -- and a clutch of entertainers and business leaders.

The event also featured an all-American dinner capped by apple pie and ice cream and the news flash from Obama that China will let Washington's National Zoo keep Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, its adorable loaner pandas, for another five years. After the toasts came a jazz concert.

Most guests arrived via a ground floor entrance and walked across the marble floor past a media scrum -- there was no red carpet, this being the White House, not the Golden Globes -- and it's not clear whether any of them noticed the dozens of protestors across Pennsylvania Avenue. The protestors spent much of the day demonstrating against China's crackdown on the religious group Falun Gong and against China's tough policies in Tibet.

Kenneth Roth, who heads Human Rights Watch, stopped to talk to reporters on his way to cocktails and addressed that very issue when he said, "I take it that was the reason I was invited, as a statement to President Hu...These days the Chinese accept human rights as a topic of conversation. That is a step forward from the past."

This state dinner was the smallest of the three the Obamas have hosted -- there were more than 300 guests at the 2009 dinner for the Indian prime minister and some 260 honoring the Mexican president. This is also the first one held exclusively inside the White House, rather than under an enormous tent outdoors.

Guests were seated in three adjoining rooms, and although a state dinner invitation is, by definition, a hot ticket, best bragging rights arguably went to those in the State Dining Room. The Obamas and Hu -- who eschewed a tux for a dark business suit and necktie -- sat at a long rectangular head table for 20. Ten smaller round tables were arranged throughout the room. The rest of the guests were in the Red and Blue Rooms, which where equipped with large TV monitors so everyone could see and hear the toasts that came at the end of a long day of events dealing with trade and security.

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