Xi – Abe Handshake: Awkward!

There is much written on the importance of a good handshake, a ritual that for some can speak volumes of a person. In a world where first impressions are imperative, a handshake can leave a lasting impression. The worst has to be the “dead fish” handshake; aside from being uncomfortable it just reeks of distrust and insecurity. The significance of the handshake as a mode of communication opens it to intense scrutiny in the public forum, where the manner of the handshake is construed by the media as conveying some meaning, as we saw last week at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Beijing.

The awkward moment of the summit was without doubt the handshake between China’s President Xi Jinping and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Xi adopted a defensive stance and did not engage Shinzo who appeared to speak with him, conveying a message that much is still to be done to repair relations. The atrocities committed by Japan against China in the World War II era were abhorrent so Xi’s position is understandable. Maybe the message he conveyed was ‘you are lucky you have your big brother (the US) protecting you’!

Unsure of the type of handshake that fits the situation for someone you have no time for? You could always take the approach this cheeky Chelsea mascot did with Liverpool’s Stephen Gerrard in 2006. Classic!

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