Howard Dicus: There were remarkable parallels in 1988 between what happened in the Soviet Union and what happened in China. China too had a devastating earthquake and though Deng Xiaoping was no Mikhail Gorbachev, he did push some western ideas within the framework of a continued communist system. US companies found business opportunities in China. Kentucky Fried Chicken reported that its busiest single outlet was in Beijing and as Gorbachev was showing an amicable face to the west, Beijing sought friendlier ties with Moscow. Josh Weisberg watched as China played the Russia card.
Josh Weisberg: Exit the dragon, the year on the Chinese calendar that holds good fortune, but also potential disaster. For China 1988 was all that, but there were also significant developments in which China shares interests with its neighbors, the Soviet Union. 1989 maybe the year of Mikhail Gorbachev in China. He is expected in Beijing by next summer for the first Sino-Soviet summit since 1959. The communist super powers fell out in the 1960s until this year China cited key obstacle to normalize relations. But recently as trade and other contacts with the Soviets moved ahead, China has downplayed those. Gorbachev's visit will allow both nations to bury the hatchet and concentrate on their troubled domestic economies. Josh Weisberg Beijing.