Things got all kinds of awkward at the APEC summit

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Tuesday 11 November 2014 11:00
news

As leaders from 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region gathered for the annual APEC conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin took it upon himself to get chivalrous with China's first lady.

While Chinese President Xi Jin Ping was distracted speaking to Barack Obama in Beijing's aquatics centre, Mr Putin was speaking to Peng Liyuan.

Mr Putin suddenly stood up, and draped a large jacket around the first lady's shoulders... only for her to subtly slip it off moments later and have it replaced by a by-standing aide.

State broadcasters China Central Television (CCTV) caught the whole thing on camera according to Foreign Policy - with the commentator calling it a chivalrous move by Putin and the footage even made its way onto social networking site Weibo. But censors later kicked in to action and scrubbed all evidence of the footage within hours, fearful that it looked bad on the country's leaders.

Awkward diplomacy has been a running theme at the summit. When Mr Xi met Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe (below left) the pair exchanged what was possibly the least friendly handshake in recent memory...

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