The month-long sojourn of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden on Chinese soil ended with his departure for Moscow and other parts after Hong Kong's refusal to issue a warrant for his arrest despite an American request.

From China's standpoint, this is the best resolution possible. It has been the main beneficiary of the whistleblower's accusations against the American government, and it will now be spared a prolonged battle in the Hong Kong courts over whether Snowden should be extradited.

Snowden turned up in the former British colony at roughly the same time as a summit meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping in California, at which time the American leader berated his Chinese counterpart for alleged involvement in large-scale cyber espionage against the United States