A Chinese official angrily confronted U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice on the tarmac as she arrived to the G-20 summit on Saturday, prompting the Secret Service to intervene.
Reuters reports that shortly after President Barack Obama’s plane landed in the eastern city of Hangzhou, a Chinese official attempted to prevent Rice from walking to the motorcade as she crossed a media rope line, raising his voice to her before a Secret Service agent stepped between the two.
Reuters says that Rice responded, but her comments were inaudible to reporters standing underneath the wing of Air Force One.
This same official shouted at a White House press aide who was instructing foreign reporters on where to stand as they covered President Obama disembarking from the plane.
“This is our country. This is our airport!” the official said in English, pointing and speaking heatedly with the aide.
The U.S. aide went back and forth with the Chinese official, insisting that the journalists be allowed to stand behind a rope line, as is customary practice for the U.S. press corps traveling with the president.
It was unclear whether the still-unnamed official knew that Rice was a senior official and not a reporter.
The Chinese government has broad control over its domestic media and prevents many foreign media outlets from publishing in the country, including by blocking their websites, according to Newsweek Asia.
Reuters also reports that Rice met with Chinese dissidents before her last trip to China in July, when she held talks with President Xi Jinping and other senior officials.