Beijing has scored points in its handling of the case of Chen Guangcheng, first by agreeing to guarantee his safety by relocating him and his family to another city where he can study law and then, after the blind activist changed his mind and decided to go abroad, by publicly saying that he has the right of any "regular citizen" to travel and issuing him a passport.

The arrival of Chen, his wife and their two children in the United States marks an end to the crisis sparked by his taking refuge in the American embassy days before high-level talks between the U.S. and China were scheduled to convene. All the parties emerged more or less unscathed.

The U.S. is seen as again standing up for human rights, helping a victim of political persecution leave his country. Chen now has a chance to rest, recuperate and study law in an academic setting at New York University. And China has emerged looking like a responsible country that can make pragmatic decisions in a crisis and that can be counted on to keep its word.