While all of you were busy trying to drink away the cold weather (or was that just me), something important was brewing in a land, far, far away.
The White House is to throw a lavish reception for the Chinese leader, Hu Jintao, on Wednesday in an effort to patch up relations after a difficult year dominated by tensions over currency rates, jobs, North Korea and other international issues. President Hu is due in Washington tomorrow for the start of a four-day visit, the highlight of which is to be a state dinner at the White House on Wednesday evening.
Isn’t that cheating?
How can America make relations with China, behind our backs? Wasn’t it just last November when President Barry America swept us off our feet by uttering those magic words “Permanent Member of the Security Council”. Whenever our other diplomatic initiatives were rebuked by other countries, we took solace in the fact that maybe one day, we would take our rightful place, right next to America, and both of us together would heal the world and make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race!
Is this why we gave you billions of dollars of our hard earned money, Barry? Is this how you repay us? How can you do that to us, Barry? What about all the nice things you said to us in the backseat of your plush limo? Were those a lie too? Did you think we would never find out? This is a slap in the face of the awesome future we had planned together. How can you do that to us, Barry? HOW CAN YOU SLAP?
Tell us that it’s not true, Barry. Tell us you’re only doing it because you owe China some money.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh got a state dinner when he came here in 2009 as President Barack Obama's first state guest. Chinese President Hu Jintao is getting one too, but commentators are discussing it as if it was completely unexpected.
This and other comparisons are being drawn between India and China in a triangular relationship with the US, going right up to the White House itself, unsolicited and unprompted. Shortly before Hu arrived on Tuesday, Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters not to expect deliverables to match those of the India visit.
See? Barry could never do that to us. His mouth may say Kung Pao Chicken, but in his heart there is only place for Chicken Malai Tikka.
It’s okay with us, Barry. We understand your relationship with China is just fiscal! We can’t always be together. We’re not jealous. In fact, we have a confession to make. It seems like we might have had a short fling with France (it’s how you say “hello” in France), a one night stand with
the poor man’s Canada Britain (but that was basically pity sex. We feel bad for the fella. Nobody even asks him out anymore. Even his neighbours ignore him all the time), and we even fondly remember the time when Russia date raped us (Bygones. Can’t blame him, though. He was in Delhi). What we want you to know Barry is that we were thinking about you all the time!
Both of us may stray, Barry, but we know that each of us will come back home! At the end of the day, our relationship is the winner!
That’s what everybody else seems to be thinking too:
Even the think tanks seem a little under-enthused. Though papers are being presented and talks are being hosted, the buzz is missing. "The bottom line is that no one expects dramatic breakthroughs with the Hu visit," said Richard Fontaine of the Centre for New American Security. Though corporate deals worth billions are expected to be announced over the next two days, the high-voltage success of Obama's visit to India in November might have raised the bar for visits of this kind.
"This is a little different from our trip to India. The economic relationship that we have with the Chinese is different on a scale with what we do with India," Gibbs told reporters.
ZOMG! In this relationship, we are the Betty Cooper to America’s Archie Andrews. And China is mean ol’ Veronica Lodge, with all her money and charm and her scandalous short skirts. Archie may take Veronica dancing every Saturday night, but he always spends Sunday afternoon making cookies with Betty. Betty might have to do all the work while Archie just sits there watching teevee, but, still, Betty loves to make cookies. In fact, Betty lives for all those Sundays she can make cookies for Archie. If Betty could spend the rest of her life making cookies for Archie, she would consider it a life well spent.
In fact, we have so much trust in Barry’s love that we even wrote a song* for him:
Barry, can you hear me?
Barry, can you see me?
Barry can you find me in the night?
Barry are you near me?
Barry, can you hear me?
Barry, can you help me not be frightened?
Looking at the skies I seem to see
A million eyes which ones are yours?
Where are you now that yesterday
Has waved goodbye
And closed its doors?
The night is so much darker;
The wind is so much colder;
The world I see is so much bigger
Now that I'm alone.
Barry, please forgive me.
Try to understand me;
Barry, don’t you know I had no choice?
Anything I'm saying
Even though the night is filled with voices?
I remember everything you taught me
Every book I've ever read...
Can all the words in all the books
Help me to face what lies ahead?
The trees are so much taller
And I feel so much smaller;
The moon is twice as lonely
And the stars are half as bright...
Barry, how I love you...
Barry, how I need you.
Barry, how I miss you
Kissing me good night...