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Ties with U.S., neighbors pose challenges to China's next leaders

Taipei, Oct. 29 (CNA) When Xi Jinping takes the helm of the Communist Party of China at the party's 18th National Congress next month, he will face a difficult task maintaining friendships with his country's neighbors and the United States. Under the leadership of outgoing leader Hu Jintao, China has come a long way in setting up its peaceful development strategy, but Xi will still face many challenges when he takes over the leadership of China's ruling party and eventually its government. He will have to deal with the United States' strategy of returning to Asia, his country's territorial disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines over islets in the South China Sea, and its territorial dispute with Japan over the Diaoyutai Islands. For all the common interests that China and the U.S. have around the world, the two have a fundamental difference: China is not a democracy and follows a value system quite different from that of the U.S., which leaves Washington keeping a vigilant eye on Beijing. They did not see eye to eye or even have completely opposite views on the Middle East, North Korea, Taiwan, global climate change, the value of China's currency, natural resources, freedom of shipping around the world, the Internet and military buildups. How Xi will cope with these issues after becoming the leader of the China's Communist Party will not only affect Beijing's ties with Washington but also the global situation, and whether he will take a tough stance on the Diaoyutais will influence China's foreign ties significantly. Most political observers agree that after the 18th National Congress, China will continue its policy of maintaining peace with neighbors while concentrating on its own development. Xi had expressed his intention to follow this approach when he told U.S. President Barrack Obama during a visit to Washington in February that China would like to improve mutual trust, broaden consensus, and expand cooperation with the U.S. on multiple international issues. In the eyes of Washington, as Obama put it in one of his campaign rallies, China is an adversary but also a potential partner as long as it follows international norms. That frames the challenge for Xi: How to get along with the U.S. and China's neighbors in Asia while maximizing China's interests. (By Huang Chi-kuan and Maubo Chang)

Updated : 2021-08-04 11:54 GMT+08:00