No - all of the solutions being discussed (CDN, SQL server, etc) involve placing servers that are physically located closer to the users, and directing users in the region to use those servers instead of the ones in the USA.
The problem is that it is impossible to improve latency beyond the speed of light (think of Scotty's famous line in Star Trek - "I canna change the laws of physics.")
Using Google Earth, I found that the straight line distance between Beijing and NYC is 11,011,281 meters. (This line goes across the N pole by the way - real networks will take a longer path than this) The speed of light is 3x10^8 meters per second. This yields a one-way trip time of 0.0367 seconds, and a round trip time of 0.0734 seconds - 73.4 milliseconds. And this is a beam of light that just goes the distance and bounces off of a mirror.
Light goes slower in fiberoptic cable - I found a figure of 1.9986x10^8 meters per second (about 1/3 slower)
So using that figure, a fiber from Beijing to NYC that was as short as possible - going straight through the arctic ocean - would have a round trip latency of ~ 110ms
A more realistic path from Beijing to NYC via N Japan and Vancouver yields a distance of 12M meters. This distance gives a round trip time of 128ms.
I'd say that the network performance rea1ity is seeing is good and probably cannot be improved any more - certainly not by a factor of 40ms.
(unless they were to drill a fiber straight through the mantle of the earth and take the true straight-line distance, but then the fiber would probably melt, and it would certainly cost more than using a CDN)
And compression wouldn't help latency - it can only help throughput. (to be fair, latency does affect throughput with TCP, it's unclear whether this is the root issue that the original poster is trying to address)
EDIT: for giggles, I calculated the latency in fiber "straight through the earth" as being about 96 milliseconds. If you had a tube through the earth and it was a vacuum inside the tube, then shined a laser through THAT, then the round-trip latency would be 64ms. That's the best that physics can offer without tachyons