The secret is now out. The historical US China announcement was not the plan of bureaucrats but an impromptu decision that came out of an informal chat between Xi and Obama held before their official meeting in Beijing.
This is what happened:
The two Presidents were chatting cheerfully about the upcoming APEC and G20 meetings and the health of their fellow world leaders.
“Angela is looking great” said Obama “Nothing like that party for 25th anniversary of the coming down of the Berlin Wall to give her a boost”.
“Yes,” agreed Xi,” and David is a lot chirpier. Must be the jump in his approval rating in the opinion polls. I am glad we don’t have to worry about such things in China.”
“Poor old Vlad is a bit down”, said Obama.”14 years at the helm of Russia would wear anyone down”.
Xi continued, “He has 80% approval in the opinion polls … but there’s all that messy business about Ukraine”.
“And to cap it all off, to have the budgie smuggler from down-under threaten to shirtfront you…” Obama rolled his eyes.
“Ah that’s what I meant to check, shirtfront … I looked up budgie smuggler this morning.” Xi motions to an aide who passes him the KRudd Chinese Dictionary of Aussie slang which Xi reads and then looks up surprised. “That’s a bit rich”.
Obama went on “We might have to do something to put him in his place. Remember how he kept pestering us all the first six months of this year to take climate change off the G20 agenda. And he did not want to do anything about Ebola”.
“Yes I couldn’t understand that. Even we in China are pretty worried about climate change. We can manage the economy but managing the climate is proving a bit trickier.”
Obama responded “Back home those extreme weather events and record temperatures have even got the Tea party a bit worried. In the end I went along with what Tony Abbott wanted. After all, there is a lot of talk and photo opportunities at talk fests like G20 – but no-one really expects anything productive to come out of them.”
Xi thought for a moment then said “Maybe this one could be different, I think it is time we started to take Climate Change a bit seriously. Maybe your country and mine could something together on Climate Change.”
“Hmm…” Obama responded, “US and China –could have electoral appeal – and it would certainly tip a bit of rain on Tony Abbott’s party.”
And so just two hours later President Xi and President Obama made their historic announcement.
Post script: The evening after his meeting with Obama, President Xi was leafing through his KRudd Dictionary. He called out to one of his advisers “What does fair suck of the tomato sauce bottle mean to you?”
And so now you know, and sometimes in the real world, truth is stranger than fiction.
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