The Magazine

Legation Nation

A good laugh while darkness lurks around the corner.

Nov 26, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 11 • By ANDREW ROBERTS
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A prize for prescience must go to, of all people, the Japanese consul-general of 1932, who, even at the very moment that his country was bombing Shanghai, remarked to Lampson that “in a hundred years’ time, China might have absorbed Japan.” There are 20 years still to go, after all. China is buying up the world’s raw materials on every continent, building fleets of aircraft carriers, and starting to contest hegemony in the South China Sea. Plus, it’s pretty hard to imagine any present-day Chinese minister playing Drunken Coachmen.

Andrew Roberts is the author, most recently, of The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War.