25 October, 2020

Back-Breakingly Dull Affair

China wants to make gloves, not war. It means business, nothing more.

Back-Breakingly Dull Affair
"One mountain (allows for only) one tiger," warns the old Chinese proverb. It's a shame the ancient sage didn't copyright it, for the phrase has been recycled mercilessly over the years to describe the ebb and flow of geo-politics between the so-called Asian Tigers. This week, it was trotted out for China and the new big cat on the block, India, which came calling in the form of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The state-controlled China Daily said the Indian premier's visit would be a "pivot on which the dragon and the elephant will dance more closely on the global arena". A tortuous enough metaphor made all the more uncomfortable for the PM—who has only just stopped worrying about his government collapsing under its own weight and could probably do without having to prop up anything else. In the end, the trip was a back-breakingly dull affair.

At most international summits, things often get decided only when the top international leaders get together. In China, nothing ever happens when the top international leaders get...


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