America's tradition of openness led Chen Guangcheng to knock on its embassy door. Now that openness may allow him to study in the US. The strength of many a country lies in being open to people, ideas, and technology.
Pleas for US help like those from dissident Chen in China can wear down a superpower trying to reorient itself. Yet foreigners still look to American for moral leadership. A mature democracy should know how to resolve such dilemmas.
The US Embassy in Beijing tweets hourly air quality reports. While the Twitter feed reads 'crazy bad' and 'beyond index,' China far surpasses the US in its green investment efforts. China's air pollution won't change overnight, but it's on the right track. Congress, take note.