BEIJING, Sunday, Nov. 20 - President Bush began a one-day visit here on Sunday with a first set of meetings with President Hu Jintao of China t even as o defuse a host of tensions,many in Beijing argue that he will be able to apply little true pressure on the world's fastest-rising power.
We don't quite know who those "many" are who are arguing that Bush will be able to apply "little true pressure" but, evidently, from the first paragraph we see that you have to "apply true pressure" to "defuse a host of tensions," since, after all, why else would you place those two phrases in that context?
But wait; it gets better:
Mr. Bush arrived in Beijing amid evidence that China has little intention of speeding the decontrol of its currency, which Mr. Bush has said fuels the country's trade surplus, or of curtailing its crackdown on the media and on academic and religious freedoms. On Sunday morning, he underscored his concerns about
That visit was a highly symbolic one: His huge motorcade - more than 50 cars - took him to the church, off an alley near
The church was carefully selected - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went there earlier this year - and emerging from it, Mr. Bush chose his words carefully: "You know, it wasn't all that long ago that people were not allowed to worship openly in this society. My hope is that the government of
So, let's see, Bush goes to a state-approved Church. He gets to be able to go. Unlike his Saudi allies who forbid Bush from going to their only state-run church, and who tolerate absolutely no freedom of religion, the Chinese allow Bush to go to their state run church.
In a measure of the wariness felt by the Chinese, the government said that it could only guarantee television coverage for Mr. Bush's visit when he goes bicycling with Olympic athletes on Sunday.
He's an unpopular lame duck who's been a pain in the ass to most of the world, Americans included. Why should they give him the time of day, except to defuse nuclear tensions?