One of Xi Jinping's most trusted, favorite retainers, Cui Tiankai, has made remarks that show a new atmosphere in China, one that tolerates moderate political and economic debate. (Nikkei montage/Reuters/AP)
Katsuji Nakazawa is a Tokyo-based senior staff writer and editorial writer at Nikkei. He spent seven years in China as a correspondent and later as China bureau chief. He was the 2014 recipient of the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist prize.
After disappearing from the public eye half a year ago, Chinese diplomat Cui Tiankai made a sudden appearance last month in Beijing, delivering what would become a widely talked about keynote speech.