Beijing's Dinners and Revolutions

At high-powered dinners, China's old establishment and its successors break bread with their Western counterparts


Beijing's opening ceremonies welcome Olympians to a new China.

Saturday night's dinner amidst the gardens of the Jianfu Palace, tucked away in the Northwest corner of the Forbidden City, brought together the power brokers who had forged the ties that today bind China and the United States. Blue bloods and red bloods, you might say, gathered for a valedictory celebration of their achievements: Hosted by Hong Kong real estate developer Ronnie Chan, the purpose was to put a punctuation mark at the end of an era — an exclamation point, not a period.

The formal name of the palace, built in 1740 and recently...

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