Indefinite article with country's name? The New York Times article has it



The paragraph from the New York Times reads...

Rarely has any world leader come full circle the way Mr. Modi has: Denied a United States visa for nearly a decade as punishment for his handling of religious riots that broke out in the state he then led, Mr. Modi flies into New York as an immensely popular leader and a sought-after strategic partner, viewed as uniquely capable of balancing the might of a rising China.

I wonder this indefinite article. What am I missing?

Maulik V

Posted 2014-09-26T11:45:57.693

Reputation: 66 188

1Of course there's only one China, and it actually is rising. But using an indefinite article here creates a kind of distance (to that fact you would rather ignore, but you can't). – mic – 2014-09-26T12:06:32.013

has article to do anything with adjective when it actually refers to a proper noun? May I say myself a good Maulik? :) – Maulik V – 2014-09-26T12:18:16.773

1Yes, assuming there is a also bad Maulik. In this instance, you would be good. – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2014-09-26T12:32:20.983



"a sagging Euro", "a rising China", "an ideologically divided USA"

The indefinite article is correct usage in such locutions, where it means that the quality or property is "now | currently | at this moment in history" true or in effect for the noun in question (at other times, it might not be true).


Posted 2014-09-26T11:45:57.693

Reputation: 116 610

May I say.. "A struggling Tim Romano?" – Maulik V – 2014-09-26T12:26:42.197

1Yes, locations like "a struggling US economy" and "a struggling {person-name|proper noun}" imply the same thing, the quality or feature is currently in effect for the noun in question. Newcaster: a struggling Chelsea side overcomes Manchester City in overtime. – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2014-09-26T12:29:58.053

using that way with a noun is okay. I learned this thing used with proper noun. New to me! – Maulik V – 2014-09-26T12:46:41.447