VIEWED from one angle, a hopeful tableau of Chinese-American relations unfolded over the weekend on a pier in Brooklyn: US and Chinese pyrotechnicians loading three barges with equipment for a major fireworks display in honour of Chinese New Year, using Chinese-made explosives and American-made hardware.
Viewed from another angle, however, the scene was nothing more than a bunch of guys doing a hard job in the bitter cold. With gusts sending the wind chill into double-digits below zero, Phil Grucci, who was overseeing the operation, was not going to expend too much energy finding deeper meaning in the situation.
"They're all saying, 'What the heck are we doing out here?'" he said on Sunday,...