Maybe, with hindsight, China would have done things differently.
If it had not made such a huge fuss about the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, the world’s press would not have come to Oslo in such large numbers to report on the ceremony.
And if China had not tried to strong-arm countries with diplomatic representation in Norway and persuade them not to send their ambassadors to the ceremony, then it would not have got into a contest with Europe and the United States – something it was never going to win.
As it was, only 16 other countries, many of them heavily dependent on China, boycotted the award.
Some who changed their minds, like Serbia, showed clear signs of being counter-strong-armed by Europe or the US.
It is unwise to get into diplomatic battles of will with this degree of publicity unless you are likely to win them.
Read it all. More from Dan Drezner. This entire affair has been a calamity for Chinese diplomacy, from front to back.