China’s Learning Curve

Gotta say this about the Chinese: They learn from past mistakes quickly. In 2003, they were largely opaque about SARS and blocked WHO aid to Taiwan. In 2008, they were already much more transparent about the Sichuan earthquake. Today, in the face of the swine flu scare, they’re signaling openness to Taiwanese participation in an upcoming WHO governing assembly.

That reflects improvements in cross-straits relations over the past year. But it also demonstrates a steep learning curve in terms of public diplomacy.