Beijing is taking great pride in being the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympics. I first visited the great city just before the 2008 Olympiad and have just returned from a visit during the current winter event. The atmosphere could hardly be more different, which attests to both China’s development and to its conscious decoupling from the multilateral foreign policy followed by every leader from Deng Xiaoping to Hu Jintao.
Most senior US analysts of China say Beijing fully expects Washington to send troops to defend Taiwan if it is invaded. Whether this belief would make a difference to Xi’s actions is unclear.