The Asian Square Dance

I’m going to make a new category for the term “square dance” being used figuratively, so we can gain some insight into how it is being used that way outside of square dance circles.

The “Modern Diplomacy” website has an ongoing series about diplomacy in Asia, that it has entitled “The Asian Square Dance”. I think the figurative use of square dance in this case refers to how the situation in Asia involves more than just bilateral relations between two countries (i.e. one couple), but seems to be a constant stream of partnerships and disputes between a larger number of stakeholders. The image of a “grand square” comes to mind, but with more partners meeting up and setting off again, and not done in such an orderly or predictable way.

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