Donald Douglas tweeted:
China Said to Have Made Call to Let Leaker Depart. (Of course. What better way to give Obama the backhand?) http://t.co/LlFAnUh5jf
— Donald Douglas (@AmPowerBlog) June 24, 2013
To which your host responded:
@AmPowerBlog Around here, we don't call it the "backhand," we call it the finger . . . or a bitch slap!
— Dana Pico (@Dana_TFSJ) June 24, 2013
The New York Times article Dr Douglas referenced:
By Jane Perlez and Keith Bradsher | Published: June 23, 2013
BEIJING — The Chinese government made the final decision to allow Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, to leave Hong Kong on Sunday, a move that Beijing believed resolved a tough diplomatic problem even as it reaped a publicity windfall from Mr. Snowden’s disclosures, according to people familiar with the situation.
Hong Kong authorities have insisted that their judicial process remained independent of China, but these observers — who like many in this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely about confidential discussions — said that matters of foreign policy are the domain of the Chinese government, and Beijing exercised that authority in allowing Mr. Snowden to go.
From China’s point of view, analysts said, the departure of Mr. Snowden solved two concerns: how to prevent Beijing’s relationship with the United States from being ensnared in a long legal wrangle in Hong Kong over Mr. Snowden, and how to deal with a Chinese public that widely regards the American computer expert as a hero.
More at the link, but here’s a pertinent paragraph further down:
The Chinese government was pleased that Mr. Snowden disclosed the extent of American surveillance of Internet and telephone conversations around the world, giving the Chinese people a chance to talk about what they describe as American hypocrisy regarding surveillance practices, said Mr. Jin and the person familiar with the consultations between Hong Kong and China.
Viewed in those terms, the better result for the People’s Republic would have been to hand Mr Snowden over to the United States, have the US put him on trial, and send him to prison for a very long time. That would give the Chinese credibility in a claim that the US treats its citizens no differently than does China.
But the better result is topped by the best result, and that’s the direct insult to President Obama that spurning the extradition denial makes. Hong Kong gave a flimsy excuse for taking the decision it did, but the Chinese have the concept of “saving face,” the concept of the respect a person has and deserves, and the concept of a sense of shame.
Translation: they let Mr Snowden go to deliberately show disrespect for President Obama. This weakens the President in his dealings with every Oriental country . . . and the adjective “Oriental” might be too limiting.
And you can count on it: President Vladimir Putin of Russia, whose lack of respect for our President has been apparent for years, will get, and will take, the next opportunity to figuratively bitch slap our President, by enabling Mr Snowden to continue on with his journey into some sort of safe haven, which is currently thought to be Ecuador.
To quote a blurb on Fox News, “Hong Kong’s decision speaks volumes about the Obama administration’s lack of real power in the world and the perception that the U.S. is turning inward.”
I believe it goes beyond that. It is a recognition that the Chinese don’t think a lot of President Obama, but is also an effort to weaken him further. My guess is that it’s working.