Islamabad : Did former Chinese president Jiang Zemin have a crush on US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice? Her biographer Marcus Mabri thinks so and goes on to narrate how Jiang asked her for a dance during one of his US visits.
A ballroom dance enthusiast, Jaing asked her: "Waltz or tango?" "Waltz!" said Rice.
"It was widely speculated that the former Chinese president Jiang Zemin had a crush on Condi", Mabri records in Rice's authorized biography "Twice As Good".
After excerpts from the biography on how Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz tried to impress Rice with his "gigolo-like" manners, the Pakistani media has dug out more from the book.
The Nation said Thursday in a report that, according to the book, the first thing Rice said in 2002 when she sat down with Jiang was, "The US is not interested in seeing a weak China. We want to see a China that succeeds and is a good partner, based on being confident."
It was a winning statement. Jiang, who otherwise spoke entirely through an interpreter, paused and said in English, "I like your talking."
Rice, her biographer claims, had to suffer "sexist, racist and communist" ways from a Chinese leader she met.
Some of the foreign men, the biographer says quoting an unnamed American official, "don't get it… She has a really strong will, and I think people sometimes 'misuderstimate' her."
Being a woman required a certain toughness, too. Rice encountered prejudices that her predecessor Colin Powell hadn't, nowhere more so than in the Middle East and Asia. Many Asian leaders had never met an African American woman, much less negotiated with one representing the last superpower.
Some of the men were simply star-struck, since Rice's outreach to local TV journalists often made her foreign arrivals a national event, writes Rice's biographer.
As for what the biography has to say about the Pakistani prime minister, The Nation wondered why Rice's biographer "singled out Aziz for his venom" and accused Rice of making "candid revelations bordering on narcissistic arrogance about world leaders".