For around 30 minutes in the late afternoon of the 16th of November 2009, airspace around China's capital city, Beijing, was closed off to general civilian traffic. Beijing Capital Airport itself came to a standstill for around 20 of those minutes- there were no take-offs or landings EXCEPT for the EIGHT- I say again- EIGHT aircraft belonging to the entourage of the President of the United States of America who landed one after another on Runway 36R. President Obama's plane, Air Force One (a special Boeing 747-200) was the 3rd aircraft to land on Runway 36R. The aircraft vacated left on taxiway 'Whiskey 5', and then 'Mike 6', before turning around on taxiway 'Zulu 3' towards the VIP parking bays (stands 710 to 714). The VIP terminal and parking area for aircraft is quite a distance away from the main passenger terminals, and even media are not allowed to go without extra special permission. I took these photos from around 2 miles away (from Terminal 3!), and it'll probably be the closest I'll ever get to Air Force One. While the aircraft are on the ground, they are manned by hundreds of staff from the Chinese and American national security guard 24 HOURS a day. The President's Air Force One parked neatly in between the two Air Force Two aircraft.
President Obama had come over from Shanghai, where yesterday (Monday the 16th), he greeted a group of about 500 Chinese students at the Museum of Science and Technology. His trip to Beijing was to boost further the relationship with China, and to have dinner with President Hu Jintao. Both of the Presidents met in private off Tiananmen Square here on a freezing Tuesday morning to discuss issues like trade, climate change and further boosting positive relationships, in a session that signalled the central role of China on the world stage. Beijing was in a lockdown for most of the day. President Barack Obama also toured the Forbidden City in Beijing.
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