The Chinese military issued an unsual statement envisioning strikes against the home ports of Somali pirates:
For counter-piracy campaigns to be effective, we should probably move beyond the ocean and crash their bases on the land... It is important that we target not only the operators, those on the small ships or crafts conducting the hijacking activities, but also the figureheads.Any military action on foreign soil is a departure from the consistent Chinese rhetoric of non-interference in the sovereignty of other countries.
I bring up this piece of news as an opportunity to share a historical vignette related to the China-India theme of this blog. The picture of the giraffee in the Ming court in 1414 is a famous icon of the voyages of Zheng He. In seven voyages the admiral made several visits in Somalia and reached as far as Malindi, a port in south Kenya. He distributed gifts and collected tribute from these East African states including, perhaps, the girafee. However, a more favored account traces the girafee to the menagerie of the ruler of Bengal who gave it as a gift to China. How the giraffee was delivered to Bengal is a bit of a mystery. What's clear is the joint effort so I suggest the giraffee be considered a symbol of the potential for cooperation.
Shashi Tharoor pointed out the fishing nets of Kochi are the natural symbol of Sino-Indian cooperation/synthesis but he can incorporate giraffees into his next essay on the same theme.