Bush The Riverboat Gambler

His China overture risks a congressional backlash unless Beijing responds

This time, by golly, no one would call George Bush timid. Quite the contrary, the President made a rare appearance as Bush the riverboat gambler. By sending a high-level delegation to Beijing to confer with Chinese authorities who only six months earlier had ordered the massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators near Tiananmen Square, Bush knew he would stir up a hurricane of outraged protest. And for what? The slender chance that China would respond with concessions that could begin to melt the ice in U.S. relations with the world's most populous nation.

A week after the return of the envoys, National Security...

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