In addition to Beijing’s relative cooperation with Chen, the following new developments seem to presage a new Chinese posture of rapprochement.
The latest far-ranging talks between China and the US appear to have gone smoothly. They took place in Beijing last week between a large American delegation led by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their Chinese partners. A smiling President Hu Jintao, together with heir-apparent Xi Jinping, showed up at the meetings, although the talks had not included Mr. Hu’s head-of-state counterpart, Mr. Obama.
There were positive signs that these bilateral discussions could lead to better Sino-American relations on several fronts: political, economic, and military. The Chinese leadership, displaying unusual friendliness, showed that Zhongnanhai, the “Chinese Kremlin,” had obviously appreciated the manner in which US officials had handled the sensitive Bo Xilai affair.