La, la, la, la, la, la...
"Hey Jintao. Have the umeboshi; there from my home district in Gunma. Yes, Madame Liu, there are stones in them. Sorry, forgot to warn you about that.
Hey, there's a historical geography quiz in the paper. 'Name five countries that existed in between the end of World War I and the end of World War II that have not reemerged since the collapse of the Berlin Wall.'
OK, I give up. Let's look at the answers. Oh, there's the Dominion of Newfoundland and Labrador--it joined Canada only in 1949. Wow, did you know that? Then there's the Tuvinian People's Republic or Tannu Tuva, annexed by the Soviet Union in 1944. Does it freak you out when you hear those Tuvans do that voice thing? Scares the pants off me. Then there's Manchuguo/Manshūkoku --oh dear, our bad. Not really much of a country--there are hardly enough native Manchu speakers left to fill an izakaya nowadays. Bad idea it was. I can officially confirm here and now that we are really, really sorry about all the whole Pu Yi thing. Honest, we really are. Moving right along, there's Republic of East Turkestan--hey that's present day Xinjiang Province. Then there's...oh...a mountainous kingdom. No, not Sikkim--Sikkim did not win sovereignty until after World War II--another mountain kingdom. You know...rhymes with "kismet"...that one.
I know you say it has never been independent. We agreed to disagree on that point. I know that in your opinion you did not agree to disagree. "Agree to disagree" is the default option. Have your Foreign Ministry call my Foreign Ministry, OK?
Hmmm...when you look at a map, four out of the five abolished countries were on China's periphery. You guys have three of the four under your thumb--not bad. If you add to your absorption of those sovereign nations your claim on Taiwan and your puppet state on the Korean Peninsula...you guys have managed to put a heck of a lot of effort into keeping the empire thing going well into the post-imperial age. Makes me wonder how you have any energy left for our little tiff over the Senkakus and the bed of the East China Sea.
What? What? Why are you looking at me like that? It was just a quiz..."
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