In an unexpected turn of events, China has announced that is willing to throw face to the wind and reenter human rights talks with the USA.
“The Chinese side is willing to keep contact with the U.S. in all areas,” Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said today at the end of a Beijing press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, neither elaborating nor giving her the chance to respond. “We’re ready to resume the dialogue.”
Now we know that America’s own record when it comes to human rights has been called into question on numerous occasions in recent years, but the willingness on the side of the PRC to reevaluate its policy with other international bodies can’t be such a bad thing. Such talks had been declared officially off-limits since 2003. Whether this indicates an actual shift in policy or just pre-Olympic posturing remains yet to be seen, but until we have evidence to the contrary we will remain cautiously optimistic.