31 January 2008

Or as Daniel Drezner quipped “like Benjamin Barber after a three-day coke bender in Macao.”

There are alot of things that I find disagreeable about Parag Khanna’s NYT Magazine cover story “Waving Goodbye to Hegemony”, I’m gonna just pick on one line:

Without firing a shot, China is doing on its southern and western peripheries what Europe is achieving to its east and south. Aided by a 35 million-strong ethnic Chinese diaspora well placed around East Asia’s rising economies, a Greater Chinese Co-Prosperity Sphere has emerged.

OK.

The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was something Imperial Japan talked about while engaging in fun things like invading other countries and installing puppet governments. It was ostensibly about getting Asians out from under the thumb of the White Man, but funnily enough all the big partner “nations” in it were under the thumb of the Japanese. It may come as a surprise to Mr. Khanna, but this handy little turn of phrase he’s used is both wildly inaccurate as well as probably one of the most appalling things you could say to Chinese people.

I’m trying to think of something that shoves your foot down your throat as much as comparing the Chinese diaspora to a system that included slave labor and drug trafficking built on the ruins of invasion and atrocities, but I’m blanking at the moment. Perhaps some sort of “yo momma” joke?



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