The New York Post reports on Obama’s White House dinner party with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Interesting to see who attended.
One was Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his pregnant wife.
Among the many tech and media titans who were invited, a few who came to kiss Xi’s ring at the Sept. 25 dinner hosted by President Obama and First Lady Michelle also asked for something in return.
Zuckerberg spoke to Xi in Mandarin and asked if he would do him and wife Priscilla the honor of giving the baby she is expecting an honorary Chinese name.
Xi’s terse reply: “No.” While a spokesperson for Zuckerberg told us, “This was not correct,” a second source insisted that Xi did decline to nominate a name for the Facebook founder’s unborn baby girl and politely added that it would be “too much responsibility.”
However, Zuckerberg wasn’t the only mogul in the room who had a request turned down by a stone-faced Xi, with others boldly asking for business-focused favors.
Zuckerberg, who was seated at the head table with the Obamas, the Chinese president and his wife, Peng Liyuan, is trying to persuade Beijing to lift a ban on Facebook. Presumably, he wasn’t brave enough to ask for that favor over dinner.
Two days earlier, Zuckerberg had met with Xi at the US-China Internet Industry Forum in Seattle and wrote on his Facebook wall, “On a personal note, this was the first time I’ve ever spoken with a world leader entirely in a foreign language. I consider that a meaningful personal milestone. It was an honor to meet President Xi and other leaders.”
Other guests at the state dinner included Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, which sells millions of iPhones in China; Satya Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft, which wants China to approve sales of its latest operating system, Windows 10; Oracle’s Larry Ellison; DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg; American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland; and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
And we wonder why the culture votes against us.
Also among the 200 invited guests were “Empire” creator Lee Daniels and R&B singer Ne-Yo, who was performing later in the night, both bringing their moms. Former Labor Secretary and spouse of Senator Mitch McConnell, Elaine Chao, took her dad. That tells something, doesn’t it?
Michelle Obama, wearing Vera Wang, welcomed former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Democrat senator Chris Dodd who is now chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America. Ninety-two-year-old Henry Kissinger attended as well.
Guest chef Anita Lo, a past Top Chef competitor,
Here’s how the White House website describes the dinner prepared by guest Chef Anita Lo, a former Top Chef competitor:
The courses begin with a consommé of locally grown mushrooms,
hinted with black truffle and Shaoxing Wine. It is finished with
slivers of squashes from the White House Kitchen Garden, crisped
squash seeds, and drizzled pumpkinseed oil.
The Fish Course pairs a Butter Poached Maine Lobster with
traditional rice noodle rolls embedded with morsels of spinach,
shiitake mushroom, and leeks. It is then gingerly coated with the
lobster reduction and dotted with tomalley butter.
The Main Course showcases a Grilled Cannon of Colorado Lamb
garnished with garlic fried milk, a surprisingly crunchy variation
of a savory panna cotta dipped in a light tempura, then fried into a
crispy perfection. This is complemented with a crisped sauté of baby
broccoli from a local farmer’s market.
The Dessert Course is made up of layers of lightly buttered artisanal bread accented with a delicate egg custard, including a Meyer lemon curd and lychee sorbet. Meyer lemons are thought to have originated
in China and were introduced in the U.S. in the early 1900s. “A Stroll Through the Garden” is a dessert display that is a tribute to the beauty of gardens composed of a handmade chocolate pavilion and bridge, pulled sugar roses and white lotus flowers that symbolize good fortune. A selection of miniature pastries including pumpkin mooncakes, peanut sesame bars, mango kiwi cups, maple chocolates, and apple cider tart celebrates Chinese and American cuisine by fusing traditional Chinese ingredients sourced from New Hampshire, Maryland, California, and Virginia.