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China has significantly moderated its attitude toward its neighbors in Southeast Asia, without withdrawing any of its territorial claims in the South China Sea.
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Barely a week after the White House warned of a "negative impact" on the U.S.-China relationship because of Hong Kong's decision to allow Edward Snowden to depart for Moscow, the United States has moderated its tone dramatically to emphasize the importance of the overall Sino-American relationship.
The monthlong sojourn of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden on Chinese soil ended with his departure for Moscow and other parts after Hong Kong's refusal to issue a warrant for his arrest despite an American request.
Earlier this year, the state-run China Daily newspaper published an article in which it asked, "How can China make more friends?" This question is apt, especially since the latest 25-country poll for the BBC World Service shows that opinion of China has dropped to its lowest level since such polling began in 2005. In countries tracked by the BBC, 41 percent of respondents held positive views on China with 39 percent negative.
The two-day summit in California between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping has been hailed on the Chinese side as having "blazed a new trail" and for having "set the tone" for Sino-American relations in the coming decade.
Eighteen months ago, U.S. President Barack Obama hurled a challenge at China, telling it to behave like a "grown up" and stop "gaming" the international economic system. Last week, China picked up the challenge.
The sudden visit to China of Vice Marshal Choe Ryong-hae, the personal envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, appears to be an attempt by North Korea to break through the diplomatic isolation that has resulted from Pyongyang's defiance of the international community by continuing to pursue a nuclear weapons program.
While Taipei and Manila continue their very public dispute over the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman by members of the Philippine coast guard, lurking in the background is China, whose presence is very much felt by both parties.
The questioning of Japanese sovereignty over the Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa, by Chinese scholars appears to reflect a new Beijing approach towards antagonistic foreign governments.
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Chinese officials have certainly been busy.
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