World leaders have arrived in Beijing, to celebrate what China calls an historic moment, the Olympic Games. Heads of state seem to have put aside any misgivings about China’s human rights’ failings, and it was all smiles as the opening ceremony approached.
President Hu Jintao told his guests that the Games are an opportunity for reconciliation across the world. But the grand banquet must have presented problems, with China desperate to ensure no-one sat next to a rival or potential enemy.
The top table reflected the balance of power. President Hu welcomed Bush, former Russian President Putin, and President Sarkozy, representing both France and the European Union.