World’s policeman or bully?

“I think that America goes around starting fires and then leaves,” was an initial proclamation from a rather outspoken Chinese professor across the table from me.

This was a highly unusual and bellicose statement from a Chinese academic. Chinese are generally immensely polite and, in most cases, totally uninterested in world politics.

But this was an outsider from Beijing who had escorted a Korean agriculture expert to this university in west-central China where I was helping entomologists with English editing.

I had been asked to join this lunch because their Korean guest spoke English but not Chinese, so I could assist the conversation.

“Give an example,” I asked.

“Libya,” he replied.

“You are absolutely correct,” was my response, taking him by surprise.


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