China’s deal to allow blind dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng to exit the country to study in the US, the Bo Xiliai purge, successful bilateral talks with the US, and other developments indicate that Beijing may be committed to some reforms – and warming relations with Washington.
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.
Chinese dissident Chen's escape is inopportune. President Obama is in a tough election battle. China faces a leadership change. Washington's angst over how to protect Chen without infuriating Beijing is matched by Beijing's desire to silence him without incurring world disdain.
The Bo Xilai saga of power, wealth, corruption, and murder has brought the issue of China’s princelings (offspring of Communist Party’s leaders) to the top of international discourse on China. But Bo's privileged rise is not the norm for the contemporary Communist Party.
The dismissal of Bo Xilai, China's controversial Politburo member, shows that Xi Jinping, slated to be China's next president, and top Communist Party members will move forward with reform step by pragmatic step, not backward to Maoist nostalgia or cult-of-personality populism.
Tibetans around the world are in mourning for the more than 25 Tibetans who have immolated themselves over the past year in protest against China's oppression. These self-immolations are also desperate cries for support from the international community. Americans can help.