China Plays Bin Laden Death Straight

A national holiday on Monday kept official reaction to the event to a minimum.

BEIJING -- China's official Xinhua News Agency led its websites, in both Chinese and English, with news of the death of Bin Laden under the banner headline Osama Bin Laden Killed in U.S. Operation, making no mention of Chinese ally Pakistan's claim to having been instrumental in locating and killing the man in a luxury compound an hour outside Islamabad.

Monday was the May Day holiday in China, and no statement regarding Bin Laden's death was forthcoming on the websites of either the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the State Council Information Office, the online platforms where statements from the leadership of China's one-party government tend to surface if not directly through Xinhua.

China is not a part of the largely Western coalition against terror sparked by the 9-11 attacks. Beijing has sent humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and briefly made news in connection with the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, when several detainees there turned out to be Chinese Muslim minority Uighurs who did not wish to be repatriated to China for fear of discrimination. They ended up in the tiny South Pacific nation of Palau instead.