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Chinese Modernizers Save Their Bacon — and Ours

Add to our continuing coverage of the Chen Guangcheng saga this update:

A spokesman from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement today:

Chen Guangcheng is currently being treated in hospital. As a Chinese citizen, if he wants to study abroad he can go through the normal channels to the relevant departments and complete the formalities in accordance with the law like other Chinese citizens.

In a two-pronged approach, it looks like the clever, cosmopolitan elite that runs the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will 1.) try to allow Chen to study abroad, and 2.) bark angrily about U.S. interference in Chinese internal affairs. The first preserves a relationship with the US which they believe is necessary for China’s development; the second, they hope, will ensure them against criticism from their hardline rivals that they are bowing and scraping to the demands of a foreign power.

This is a very clever solution if they can make it work—and if it isn’t derailed by the people hoping to use the Chen saga to break up liberal control of the government.

Again, given the very aggressive posture of the U.S. in Asia in recent months, this announcement is a sign of almost breathtaking openness. There are some powerful people in China who really want to proceed on the basis of good relations with Washington.

Via Meadia is hoping they get their way.

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  • Luke Lea

    There is no justice in China.

  • Luke Lea

    “Poor CCTV,” said Li Zhuang, a lawyer who dared to defend one of Mr. Bo’s high-profile targets — and was sentenced to 30 months in prison for supposedly manufacturing false testimony in the case. “They can’t even protect their own children.”

    U.S. out of China!

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