Earlier this week, U.S. President Joe Biden finally had a substantive meeting — albeit virtually — with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

Although a well-informed senior U.S. administration official described the summit as “nothing to report,” an editorial by China’s Global Times was more optimistic in calling the outcome of the meeting “relatively positive.”

After the meeting concluded, there was speculation among some circles in Tokyo that Biden might participate in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games’ opening ceremony next February, on grounds that Washington often prefers Beijing to Tokyo when it comes to protecting core national interests of the United States.