Presidential slip-ups fuel conspiracy theories
Kenji Fujimoto was accepted into Kim Jong-il's inner circle during a 13-year stint serving North Korea's first family. The Japanese sushi chef gives Julian Ryall his take on the communist dynasty'...
Conspiracy theories abound on the internet about whether the US deliberately let slip a series of humiliations during President Hu Jintao's visit to the White House. You have heard about the English-speaking announcer declaring China as 'the Republic of China' - as in that renegade province across the Taiwan Strait - and a rather notorious Falun Gong figure interrupting Mr Hu's speech from the press stand. Falun Gong and Taiwan: what could be worse?
There was also US Vice-President Dick Cheney donning a pair of shades during the ceremony. Who knows - it was a really sunny day in the American capital. At least Mr Bush didn't avail himself of a pair too.
But rumour has it that the president was especially annoyed when, trying to leave the stage by the wrong staircase, he was yanked back by his sleeve by Mr Bush, who looked like he was redirecting an errant child.
I am inclined to give Mr Bush the benefit of the doubt. Remembering how he looked a tad clueless (below) while attempting a similar exit during his November visit to Beijing, he might have been trying to avoid a similar embarrassment for his Chinese counterpart.
What is it about these ceremonial stages? Great presidents seem to be forever heading towards the wrong exit.