The 2008 Olympics is of such huge symoblic significance in the history of China, and also in the history of the Communist Partry of China, I wonder what kind of deals might be possible to resolve some of the outstanding problems out there ahead of the big day.
Some recent news stories have indicated the Chinese government is reaching out to some of the sports stars who have defected from China over the years – people like basketballer Wang Zhizhi – to try to get all the black sheep back home for this key moment.
What other problems are there that could see progress? Taiwan? Unlikely given the current approach being taken by Chen Shui-bian.
How about Tibet? If a deal could be done that would allow Tibet some kind of at least cultural autonomy – some terms that would allow the Dalai Lama to attend the opening ceremony of the Games in Beijing – wow. That would send a powerful message to the world. Chinese communists would be cuddly again in a way they have not been since 1979.
The Dalai would presumably be up for a deal. He is not getting any younger, and if he dies with no progress on the issue, then that is the end of the story.
But for Mr Hu of Zhongnanhai? Major opportunity, definitely worth pondering.