Bush wrapped up his 40-hour visit to China today with no breakthrough on key issues with the Chinese leadership, but was able to squeeze in a bike ride after a quick prayer session at the Gangwashi Church. Probably the most progress made during Bush’s trip was on the issue of China’s mammoth $200 billion annual trade surplus, which dwarfs the Japan trade surplus of the late 80s — Bush was able to coax out of Hu the commitment to “unswervingly press ahead” to ease the trade tension. China did, however, commit to buy $4 billion in Boeing airplanes, but reports are that announcement was premature and the Chinese will still want to negotiate on the price of each plane and the contract. Meanwhile, China’s massive collection of US Treasury Bonds, rampant US government spending coupled with mounting debt, and the domestication of the dog, continued unabated.
On the issue of human rights, religious and political freedoms, China responded with house arrests of activists and denying Christians a seat at Bush’s church of choice in Beijing. Hu offered more straight talk saying China will improve human rights according to “the actual situation.” All the political negotiating with the Chinese appeared to take its toll G.W. and when one reporter asked him about this he quipped, “Have you ever heard of jet lag?” (At least he didn’t vomit on anyone important.) Bush heads off to Mongolia today where discussions on what makes a better hot pot broth, spicy or bland soup, will undoubtedly take place.
Chinese boy says Bush’s hands “very hairy” (ESWN)
Photograph by the AP.