April 5, 2015 – “China and Japan bicker over cherry blossoms” (Sydney Morning

“The elegant flowers have long been associated with Japanese culture and aesthetics, a graceful metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. More than a century ago, Japanese authorities gave Washington 3000 cherry trees to brighten up the city’s swampy Tidal Basin. It’s still one of the most effective (and affecting) acts of public diplomacy to this day. But in a region where resentments over the past are at the forefront of political conversations in the present, even the fleeting bloom of a cherry blossom can inflame nationalist sentiments.”