Behind the heavy typeface that the release of confidential American diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks has generated lie smaller stories which sometimes tell us more about the way in which our world is changing than the headlines themselves. The U.S. ambassador in Paris met Michel Rocard, a former Prime Minister of France, in October 2005 for one of those sweeping, freewheeling chats that Gallic statesmen evidently specialise in. The bulk of the conversation deals with the French political scene but at the end, M. Rocard shares his concerns about the place of France and the United States in the new world order and proposes a joint Euro-American think-tank to prepare for the future. "Speaking of the growth of India and China, along with all the other challenges confronting both of us," the leaked cable quotes the senior French politician as saying, "We need a vehicle where we can find solutions for these challenges together - so when these monsters arrive in 10 years, we will be able to deal with them." So there we have it. Even as the Indian elephant and Chinese dragon circle each other warily, wondering how each will cope with the rise of the other, the Occidental mind which has enjoyed dominating the world and the global commons for two centuries is worrying about how to deal with the combined arrival of these two "monsters."