I would dearly love to be a fly on the wall this week as Li Lu, the former student leader at the Tiananmen Square protests, returns to Beijing to be feted as one of Warren Buffett’s key lieutenants.
Ever pragmatic, the Chinese leadership has no doubt glossed over the awkward detail that Mr Li is probably still on the black list of Tiananmen troublemakers who are supposed to be banned from entering the mainland.
Instead, his enormous success on Wall Street, where he is being talked about as a possible heir to Mr Buffett as the manager of the Berkshire Hathaway fund, has rehabilitated him.
This is not, according to Boxun, the Chinese news site, Mr Li’s first trip to the mainland, but it is the first time his presence has been made public.
No doubt his meetings will be extremely warm and cordial. It is thanks in part to Mr Li’s continuing faith in his homeland, despite his exile, that Berkshire Hathaway has made such important investments in China. That should give him plenty of face.
The Communist party may still be in denial about what happened in Tiananmen Square, and some of Mr Li’s fellow students are still in prison, but at least when it comes to making money, China’s leaders are proving once again that they can swallow their distaste and embrace a pragmatic approach.