President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao have wrapped up a pivotal four-day summit in Washington, and "both sides came out of this I think rather well," former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on CNN on Sunday. Hu and Obama reached some trade deals and respectfully shared ideas, though Powell predicted that the visit won't affect China's human rights record because leaders in Beijing think being "authoritarian" is "the only way they can run a nation of 1.3 billion people, and they haven't done badly in recent years." So was the summit really a success? (Watch a discussion about Chinese-American relations)
Hu left singing a new tune: "China is suddenly talking up cooperation on North Korea, the economy, and other difficult issues," says The New York Times in an editorial. That's probably not all due to "Obama's pomp-filled welcome" of Hu, or the Obama team's "tough talk" leading up to the summit. But those factors helped. "Hu appeared eager to make his American hosts happy," bringing "several potentially significant concessions" on everything from trade to human rights.
"A newly cooperative China"
Obama looks "morally confused": There's a reason Reagan didn't throw a "celeb-studded gala" for Mikhail Gorbachev, says Rachel Marsden in Human Events. There's no good excuse for "kissing up" to a Communist dictatorship, even if it's today's global economic "hot chick." Obama tried to "rationalize" rolling out the red carpet by pointing out China's economic importance and taking the opportunity to "lecture" Hu on human rights. But that ignores a fundamental problem: "China doesn't play by the rules of the West."
"Obama: Blew Hu"
It is too soon to score the summit: "The reality of what the visit accomplished is harder to assess than the glitz," says The Toledo Blade in an editorial. Certainly "Hu's visit was useful in enhancing mutual understanding" between the world's two superpowers, but we won't really know the impact of the "winks and nudges" about trade, the Koreas, and human rights until the "pledges are examined in the cold light of dawn in Beijing and Washington."
"Obama and Hu"