All Roads Lead to Beijing, by Pepe Escobar

Who knew that diplomacy and time-tested wisdom might have a place in international relations? From Pepe Escobar at

This is the tale of two pilgrims following the road that really matters in the young 21st century.

This is the tale of two pilgrims following the road that really matters in the young 21st century; one coming from NATOstan and another one from BRICS.

Let’s start with Le Petit Roi, Emmanuel Macron. Picture him with a plastic grin in his face strolling alongside Xi Jinping in Guangzhou. Following the – long and gentle – sound of classic “High Mountain and Flowing Water”, they enter the Baiyun Hall  to listen to it played by the 1000-year-old Guqin (a beautiful instrument). They taste the fragrance of 1000-year-old tea – and muse on the rise and fall of great powers in the new millennium.

And what does Xi tell Le Petit Roi? He explains that when you hear this eternal music played by this eternal instrument, you expect to be in the company of a bosom friend; you are in synch as much as the high mountain and the flowing water. That’s the deeper meaning of the ancient tale of musicians Yu Boya and Zhong Ziqi, 25 centuries ago in the Kingdom of Chu: bosom friendship. Only bosom friends can understand the music.

And with that, as Chinese scholars explained, Xi brought up the concept of Zhiyin. After Zhong Ziqi died, Yu Boya broke his Guqin: he thought that no one else could understand his music. Their story imprinted the term “Zhiyin”: someone who understands music, with the added meaning of close friends that can completely understand each other.

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