British Prime Minister David Cameron has committed a major fashion faux pas. On his way to the G20 summit in Seoul, South Korea, he offended several Chinese officials in Beijing by wearing a poppy on his lapel. The poppy, which the British wear each November to remember war victims, triggered another grim reminder for the Chinese: They lost two Opium Wars with the Brits in the 19th century. Those two losses led to the "century of humiliation."
But The New Yorker's Evan Osnos pointed out why the Chinese shouldn't be so offended:]
(Nobody, it seems, stopped to point out that the British corn poppy, Papaver rhoeas, used as a symbol of Remembrance Day, is a different flower than the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, that gave China so much grief.)
Cameron resisted, and his poppy went on stage unmolested. If that is any preview of the next few days, it is an inauspicious start.
Read the full story at The New Yorker.