Mixed Hospitality

Reforming China welcomes one visitor and snubs another |

TO MOST EAST ASIANS, CHINA IS THEIR GREECE AND Rome: the great fount from which their civilizations sprang. Today, as China struggles to find new directions with the help of neighbors, it still expects its due in homages -- even though two recent visits to Beijing showed how hard it remains to reconcile the past and present. Emperor Akihito, the first Japanese sovereign ever to set foot in the Middle Kingdom, was constrained by domestic politics to stop short of apologizing for Imperial Japan's brutal 1931-45 occupation of much of China. Many Chinese still painfully recall the period's atrocities, but Akihito,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!