Now a senior fellow in foreign policy and global economy and development at the Brookings, Lieberthal said at any given time, there were a lot of issues in US-China relationship. "But I thought we managed to keep the overall relationship in pretty good shape," he said.
To Lieberthal, top Chinese and US leaders communicate to each other better now because they see each other more often.
"I think in those respects the relationship is calmer and more subtle. And I think it has a much stronger base, and is more much institutionalized, than the media in each of countries treat it," he said.
The worst possible outcome here would be [that] the Chinese neither are prepared to guarantee the safety of Chen Guangcheng and his family in China, nor are willing to let us get him to the airport and get him out of China, [in] which case, we've got a long-term resident in U.S. facilities, and we have a long-term major irritant in our bilateral relationship.
The political earthquake in Beijing this year has been the Bo Xilai affair ... There are some people in China who I’m sure feel that all of that was a set up by the U.S. government to embarrass the leaders.