Russian President Vladimir Putin and Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, seemed to have a nice time at the official leaders’ dinner at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Beijing.
The two seemed to chat politely before something interesting happened.
“Then Mr. Putin, a former Soviet spymaster who rides horses bare-chested, made his move,” as described by The New York Times. “He whipped a tan coat from beneath the table and slipped it over Ms. Peng’s shoulders as she stood up.”
And here’s how Didi Tang of Associated Press described the scene: “It was a warm gesture on a chilly night when Vladimir Putin wrapped a shawl around the wife of Xi Jinping while the Chinese president chatted with Barack Obama. The only problem: Putin came off looking gallant, the Chinese summit host gauche and inattentive.”
Times Editor Rick Gladstone said that the moment looked “more like Putin chivalrous charm, not an inappropriate pass at Chinese host’s wife, but still pretty wild.”
You can see the scene play out at around 0:32 on CCTV footage that Chinese censors did their best to scrub from the web:
An interesting note is that this is not the first time Putin has charmed a powerful woman in this way:[tweet https://twitter.com/niktwick/status/532109147677130752 align=center]