Obama's Gum-Chewing Sparks Controversy At China Economic Summit

| by Lisa Fogarty

President Obama is being snubbed yet again – but the most recent admonitions against him have nothing to do with his foreign policies and everything to do with his gum-chewing, "rapper" ways.

After the Chinese government pulled out all the stops to make their country look attractive to the world at a major economic summit taking place in Beijing, Obama was criticized for snapping gum as he emerged from a U.S.-supplied security vehicle, looking like an “idler” or impolite “rapper,” according to some Chinese social media users, reports USA Today.

“We made this meeting so luxurious, with singing and dancing, but see Obama, stepping out of his car chewing gum like an idler,” wrote Yin Hung, a professor of journalism at Tsinghua University on the Sina Weibo blog.

The televised event, which is the biggest the country has hosted since the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, showed the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation emerging from classic limousines to attend the meeting at the Water Cube. But Obama reportedly rejected this limo service in favor of an American vehicle, which many did not appreciate.

The Communist Party reportedly prepared for six months prior to the summit. Chinese officials even reportedly made sure an app that displays the U.S. air pollution level next to the Chinese pollution level “disappeared” on Monday afternoon after it was discovered that air pollution had reached “very unhealthy” levels, according to the U.S. Embassy measurement.

Obama is reportedly a user of nicotine gum, which helped him kick a smoking habit he has had since he was a teenager, reports the Washington Post. He has famously chewed gum at several events, including while on the campaign trail and while speaking at World War II commemorations.

Sources: USA Today, Washington Post

Photo Credit: AP