Russian President Vladimir Putin lent his coat to China's first lady during dinner, and it is apparently a scandal, reports Foreign Policy. Chinese state media censors have apparently scrubbed all references to Putin's quasi-flirtatious interaction with Xi Xinping's wife.
Putin was seated next to Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan during a dinner at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing on November 10th, which President Obama also attended. This video captures him speaking to her briefly, then producing a tan coat from under his table and placing it around her shoulders. The first lady wore it for a moment, then handed it off to an attendant. The action starts at 0:35, toward the right end of the table:
Having viewed the video, I agree that it raises a number of important questions. For instance:
- Why did Putin have a coat hidden under the table?
- Where exactly was the coat?
- No but seriously does he have a secret Bond villain compartment under there?
- Whoa, really? What else does he keep in there?
- Doesn't the first lady agree that it's a little weird to borrow a coat from someone at dinner and then hand it off to some rando five seconds later?
- Where did the aforementioned rando take the coat?
- Didn't she know that it was Putin's coat?
- Okay but then why didn't she just hand it back to him?
- Is Putin sad that he did not get his coat back?
- Was it a special coat that he loved?
- Was it hard for Putin to continue with dinner knowing that his beloved secret-compartment coat had been cruelly stolen from him?
- Has that issue been raised through formal diplomatic channels?
- Has anyone considered that perhaps the real scandal here is that dinner was being held in a room so cold that multiple coats became involved before the first course had even been served?
- A man was in charge of the thermostat, wasn't he?
- Is he aware of the scientific research showing that women's extremities get cold more easily than men's, thus making women more likely to become uncomfortable in chilly rooms?
- Did he not even care?
- Have there been any attempts to resolve the coat dispute via back-channel communications with Kuzya the tiger?