I was struck by this image of the Prime Minister of China that appeared in today’s NYTimes. I don’t know enough of Chinese art to be able to place the style of the image in the background, or to know if it is a reproduction or a valuable original, but it is interesting to me that he is happy to be shown in front of an image that depicts peacocks. Can you imagine Obama in such a pose? Or Sarkozy?
China is, after all, the oldest continuous civilization in existence, and the imagery of state power does change slowly. The Emperor simply changes his clothes.