China: Saving Face All Around

Saving Face All Around

For almost a year, the status of Fang Lizhi has been the No. 1 impediment to improvement in U.S.-China relations. Last week the two sides settled on a deal that allowed the dissident astrophysicist and his wife Li Shuxian to leave the U.S. embassy in Beijing, where they had been trapped since the June 1989 crackdown. They headed for Cambridge, England.

The deal was a classic face saver. Fang acknowledged that in opposing a political system of class struggle he had violated China's constitution. He made a vague promise not to engage in activities contrary to China, though not necessarily contrary...

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