U.S.-China Talks Are 'Colourful', Says Media

By R. Siva Kumar - 08 Jun '16 15:09PM

High-level US-China talks at Beijing spiralled high on serious issues, including climate change, currency and space exploration.

The seriousness of the talks seemed to be reflected by the richness of the metaphors too, say US-China watch. The language is rather colorful.

With China being an ancient country, Chinese President Xi Jinping quoted a poet from a thousand-year-old Song Dynasty.

"Thick mountains could not stop the river from flowing into the sea," Xi said on Monday. "In fact, all rivers have to travel a meandering course before reaching their destination."

An apt response was given by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who gave diverse Chinese selections. The general theme was built around "working together".

"Even a thousand-story tower starts with small piles of earth," Kerry said.

There was more flow in the consequent working sessions. At the very end of a press session, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew talked about the "folly of greening the power sector while continuing to build coal plants."

"It's like trying to fill a bucket with water when the bucket has holes. It just doesn't work," Lew said.

Hence, the Chinese and American leaders are involved in detailed and tangled images.

"If you use the flowery metaphors, it gives them a little cover, but also allows them to make a point," says Jonathan Aronson, professor of communication and international relations at the University of Southern California. "So poets are always good, ancient philosophers are always good [to quote]. Because no one understands exactly what they said."

He explained that it is like tower-building. It helps people to say something, but nothing specific.

"We should be ambitious, in building that tower," Kerry said Monday.

Fun Stuff

Join the Conversation

The Next Read

Real Time Analytics