The Presidential Planner Abroad

Nov 15, 2009 9:01pm

From Sunlen Miller: In his first visit to China, President Obama today will first visit with United States Consulate employees and their families in Shanghai, as he has at each stop on his week-long tour of Asia so far. This morning Mr. Obama will sit down with local politicians: Party Secretary, Yu Sheng, and the Mayor of Shanghai Han Zheng in the banquet hall of the Xijiao State Guest House. After their meeting the leaders will sit down for a working lunch together. In the afternoon at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Mr. Obama will host a town hall meeting with “future Chinese leaders.” Several hundred students, the youth of China, will join the President at the event, coming from many local universities. Beforehand the White House solicited questions online which the President will respond to during the town hall. White House aides estimate hundreds, if not thousands, have already been submitted online. The President will call on the roughly 400 college students in the audience at random and no one from US will have vetted their questions, The White House says.  Aides says this event "is the same as if it were in Iowa,” referencing the many town halls then-candidate Obama held during the 2008 Presidential campaign. The town hall will be live streamed on the White House website, an unblocked website in China, in order to reach the “broadest possible audience,”  Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes says. “We will stream the event live on WhiteHouse.gov, which is an accessible Web site to anybody with an Internet connection in China, which is hundreds of millions, I think. It's the largest Internet-using country in the world. So the portion that we control, which is our Web site, we will certainly be live-streaming the event. China — as to what the Chinese will do, we'll see.” White House and embassy officials are still negotiating with the Chinese as to whether Obama's town hall will be broadcast live on CCTV and local Shanghai stations, ABC’s Yunji de Nies reports,  a White House aide expects this back and forth to continue up to when the town hall begins. Mr. Obama will then fly to Beijing, his second city in China during his four-country tour. There will be a welcome ceremony at the Capitol International airport for his arrival. In the evening Mr. Obama will sit down one-on-one with China’s President Hu Jintao in Yangyuan Hall of the Diaoyutair State Guest house. The two leaders will then have dinner in the Banquet Hall. -Sunlen Miller
 

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