Talkative Li quoted Weber, Hegel, Jobs, said PM is large-hearted

For all the hard talk that marked Premier Li Keqiang's bilateral conversations with Indian leaders, the new Chinese PM also left an indelible impression of not being hostage to indoctrinated thoughts as he freely quoted Max Weber to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, sought to qualify philosopher Hegel's understanding of change to the Vice-President and brought in Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to explain the impact India had on him.

If that was not enough, he struck the right chord by referring to Gandhi and the seven qualities a politician should possess in his view. This was a Chinese leader who not only showed he was well read, but also that he represented a new generation which was willing to leave the pretense of old Maoist China.

At Singh's private dinner Sunday, sources said, Li had everyone's attention when he suddenly mentioned Weber to make the point that there are two classes of politicians — those who are in politics for business and those who are serious politicians.

He then added that those who see it as a business must be made to exit and do just business, leaving space for serious politicians. Weber was a German social philosopher whose theoretical underpinnings were at the heart of the capitalist West's ideological battle against the Communists who revered Karl Marx.

On Monday, in his meeting with Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Li went into a deep philosophical discussion.

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Talkative Li quoted Weber, Hegel, Jobs, said PM is large-hearted

When Ansari brought up Hegel, whose theory on dialectics was the one Marx built on to come up with his famous theory on dialectical materialism, the Chinese Premier made an unexpected qualification. This was nothing to do with dialectics, but the Hegelian thought on change for which he used the example of the Owl of Minerva that flies with the falling of the dusk but before the night sets in.

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