Since this is not a political blog, I am not going to get into the politics of the G20 taking place in China. Instead, I am going to comment on the body language of US President Obama and China’s leader Xi Jinping. The bottom line is that there was a lot of tension between the two. As you can see in the photo above, their their interaction was frosty..They are both giving one another the “cold shoulder”as both of them have their shoulders raised in relation to the other, Their bodies are also turned away from one another and there is tension in both of their mouths and in their lower law and jin indicating anger towards one another.
Their photo op with a handshake was also very tense. Both of their lips are pursed and there was tension in their lower jaws. their bodies are turned away from one another. While Xi literally gives Obama the “cold shoulder” as you can see as he turns out with his body facing the camera. Obama attempts to turn his body towards Xi. Xi’s thumb is on top as the two of them shake hands for the photo op. This is a demonstration of a power play where Xi appears to literally be on top and in control.
In another pose where the two leaders are shaking hands for the camera, Xi’;s thumb is still on top of Obama’s as he seems to be the one tightly grasping on to Obama’s hand,.Obama shows anger here as his hand is balled into a fist as there is tension in the muscles in his hand. There is also a great deal of tension in Obama’s body as he appears stiff. While his shoulder is facing Xi, his head is also leaning towards Xi, but Xi’s head is leaning away from Obama which further indicates tension and perhaps even dislike towards Obama, as though he is repelled by Obama. The dislike is apparently not one sided as Obama feels the same way towards Xi. His facial expression says it all. as his eyes are tight and lips are pursed in a phony smile. The fact that they are both looking n different directions is also a signal of negativity between them. Xi also has a phony smile and is extremely stiff with tension as she stands next to Obama. One can actually feel the tension in this awkward moment between the two.
When th When the two of them are sitting down next to one another, things do not fare much better. Obama has his arm covering his upper body which is a signal of defensiveness. The fact that his hand is curled up in a ball shows that he is also angry- angry and defensive when sitting next to Xi. Obama’s anger is also reflected in the tense muscles in his lower jaw. as he purses his lips. Xi does try to lighten up as he leans more in Obama’s direction in an attempt to be more engaging towards Obama. But the reality is that his true feelings towards Obama has leaked out through his pursed lips and tense smile.
The bottom line is that they both appear to be very uncomfortable and even disturbed by one another. No matter how they try to appear cordial in front of camera, the body and face do not lie. In essence, there is no love lost between these two world leaders .