Behind the scenes at the 6-party talks

Beijing blogger Joseph Bosco apparently has a scoop that you’re not going to read in the papers regarding the 6-party talks — namely, that Chief American delegate James Kelly used a symbolic gesture to make it clear the talks were a joke and there was no reason for him to stick around for the last day.

What was not reported was that allegedly Mr. Kelly had his bags packed and sent to the airport well before that day’s talks began. According to Chinese sources this reporter trusts, Kelly did not do this quietly, as a simple matter of efficiency for a busy man. He did it in such a fashion that it was an unspoken diplomatic statement to his fellow negotiators–but not so that it would fly into the radar of the press corps–something on the order of: This is crap, I’m outa here.

Joseph stresses he didn’t hear this live from the horse’s mouth, but that, considering his sources, he has no reason to doubt it.

If the talks are a topic of any interest to you, head over to Joseph’s site for an informed perspective and some excellent links. Joseph was called on by CCTV-9 to be a commentator on the talks, and he offers some good insights — especially into why Kelly’s little stunt will do little to improve the Bush administration’s reputation in Asia. Quite the opposite.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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