The ranch bit and the barbecue must be important to Jiang Zemin because these two presidents have already met twice elsewhere in the last twelve months. A third meeting is quite extraordinary when it is remembered that Mr Bush described China as a strategic competitor soon after taking office and that his earliest international crisis was the Chinese attack on a US spy plane.
The two nations seem to have reached an accommodation for the moment; a new generation is taking over soon in Beijing and Washington will be anxious to see what attitude it takes to US's support for the proindependence government in Taiwan.
China has played a neutral role over the Iraq resolution in the UN Security Council but will expect some return for this consideration, later if not sooner.
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