When I first saw this book by Warren Reed, a onetime Australian spy and my former colleague in Tokyo diplomatic circles, I was intrigued by its unusual title. It is actually an old Malay proverb, meaning that someone can see a louse as far away as China but is unaware of the elephant on his or her nose. The saying sits nicely in the story, where it is used to measure where the non-Asian world stands today in trying to understand the new power plays underway in the Asian region and the rise of China.
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