In its effort to cultivate foreign influence, the Chinese Communist Party boldly mixes economic incentives with requests for political favors. Its dealings with Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) this year offer a success story for Beijing. Last month Daines announced a breakthrough in his long-standing effort to win access for Montana’s beef exports to China — a $200 million deal with a leading Chinese retailer.
Then, on Dec. 5, the regime of Xi Jinping got something at least as valuable from Daines. The senator hosted a delegation of Chinese Communist Party officials who oversee Tibet, at the request of the Chinese Embassy — thereby undercutting a simultaneous visit to Washington by the president of the Tibetan government in exile.