China's leadership change: US-PRC has many issues to resolve
Within a space of less than a week leadership in two global giants, the United States of America and the Peoples republic of China, were settled: Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term and Chinese Communist Party vice chairman and nation's vice president Xi Jinping was confirmed by the National Party Congress in Beijing as the next president of China.
Mr. Obama will be formally inaugurated to his second term on January 20 and Mr. Xi will take the reins in March.
Obama officials have asserted that the United States was "under-weighted in Asia, given the importance of the region, given the economic dynamism in the region, and strategic dynamism in the Asian region."
The Peoples republic of China, under Mr. Xi from next March, will in fact continue its thrust in the Asian region, militarily and economically.
The 18th congress opened on Thursday morning in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People with a speech from Hu Jintao, China’s departing president and party chief, who nodded to the challenges the party faces. “The whole party must keep in mind the trust the people have placed in us and the great expectation they have of us,” he said, in an apparent allusion to rising public concerns about official corruption and unbalanced growth. He added, “unbalanced uncoordinated and unsustainable development remains a big problem.”
Undoubtedly, the Obama White House and top U.S. Congressional committees in both the Senate and the House will keep a close look on the leadership changes in China.
Xi Jinping, who will take the mantle of the presidency next March had met President Obama during a visit to the United States last year, and toured the country with Vice President Joe Biden, with whom he is said to have a good relationship.
As reported by the Asian Tribune in a different column Chinese state media issued its own view of the American election on Wednesday, saying Obama's re-election offered an opportunity to improve ties after a first term that many senior Chinese officials viewed as saying things one way then in many ways acting differently.
Cheng Li, a senior fellow with the Washington-based Brookings Institution, added that as Obama has "by and large" welcomed the rise of China on the global stage, the relationship between the two countries has been able to withstand periodic episodes of tension.
As CNN puts "as President Barack Obama prepares for a second term in the White House, his administration is keeping an eye on another leadership transition now underway on the other side of the world in China. The ramifications will surely to have a global impact."
Challenges facing the Obama administration in its engagement with China are long and daunting. They include a gargantuan trade deficit, Chinese cyberespionage and theft of U.S. intellectual property, not to mention ever-increasing Chinese military expenditures, according to observers here.
But the relationship has become increasingly interdependent in today's globalized economy, and neither country is really in a position to let the relationship drift too far. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell recently referred to the bilateral relationship as the "most consequential" of the next decade.
Pushing for more structural reforms of the Chinese economy and opening itself up to more balanced trade flows between the two countries are likely to dominate the agenda with China in Obama's second term, administration official assert.
- Asian Tribune -