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Tea Leaves

In US politics, the old rules get older

Could Asia lead the world into a more youthful new age?

From Left: U.S. President Donald Trump, new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Trump rival Joe Biden are all over 70. Chinese President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, is a mere 67. (Source Reuters and Nikkei)

A Sinologist friend of mine used to have a running joke. On anybody's birthday, no matter how aged or decrepit they seemed, he'd greet them cheerily: "Congratulations! In another 20 years, you'll be ready for the Chinese Politburo!"

With November's U.S. election down to two candidates who both qualify to become the oldest U.S. president ever, America may be giving Asia a run for its money when it comes to veneration of the elderly. Just as the country finds itself beleaguered by its inability to keep the COVID-19  pandemic in check, its future stewardship seems in the hands of the decidedly "high risk"  leaders in terms of age. 

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