Xi of China Tells U.S. Defense Secretary That Japan Must “Rein In” Behavior

The Wall Street Journal, WORLD NEWS, Thursday September 26, 2012

Panetta Urges Beijing to Resolve Island Spat

Presumed Next Leader Xi Tells Defense Secretary That Japan Must Rein In Behavior; Ministry Warns of Trade Impact

Beijing–“U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met Wednesday with China’s presumed next leader and urged a peaceful solution to a territorial dispute with Japan, an issue that a Chinese official said could damage coming trade talks and economic ties between the two Asian powers…

But Mr. Xi also offered a pointed denunciation of Japan.  China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that Mr. Xi told Mr. Panetta that the Japanese purchase of disputed islands was a ‘farce’ and that Tokyo should ‘rein in its behavior.’

The term to rein in usually refers to a rider reining in a horse or pulling it back, slowing it down.  In this case China wants  Japan to slow down.  This is not necessarily a sports idiom, but it certainly is a metaphor that is appropriate for the article.  Jockeys have reins as do most riders.  I am not sure we had reins when we hopped on old, retired  cow ponies in Nevada as they were so well trained to do their jobs.  They would turn with body language and knees.  The ponies were perfect for children to ride, as they would stop if we fell off.  They had been trained for cattle roping as well as other work.

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