Donald Trump Xi Jinping
(Image: AP/Susan Walsh)

"The Balkans produce more history than they can locally consume," Churchill is said to have sagely and hilariously remarked. He didn’t of course. It’s from a rather brutal Saki short story, in which a dullard MP’s one genuinely witty remark in his entire career -- though the "more history" bon mot is about Crete -- leaves him convinced he has a talent, causing his wife to take an overdose.

This jolly take came to mind while reading the right and centre commentariat's eructations on the China problem. Or the America problem, depending on your politics. Or, really, the Australia problem, and the double game of verbally committing to the US alliance while ignoring our deliberately chosen dependence on China.