Entries in Hu Jintao (4)


China Hints at New Leadership

George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- China has given its strongest indication yet of who its next generation of leaders will be.

At the close of the week-long Communist party meeting, China’s state run news agency, Xinhua, released a list of the ten top names on the Central Committee.

Vice President Xi Jinping, who met President Obama in February, is at number one.  At number two is outgoing President Hu Jintao’s protege: Li Keqiang.

Also included is Wang Qishan, who is well known in the U.S. as an economic problem solver -- former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson once called him "decisive and inquisitive."

And for the first time in China’s history, a woman joins top leadership: Liu Yandong.

The official Standing Committee -- the seven to nine members that will essentially rule the country for the next decade -- is expected to be announced Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Superpower in Transition: China‚Äôs National Congress Kicks Off

GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images(BEIJING) -- Just days after the U.S. election, China is gearing up to announce its own new leadership.

The 18th National Congress kicked off in Beijing Thursday, signaling a transition of power at the top of the Communist Party.

But unlike the U.S., there are no debates, no campaigns and no election in China.  Instead, the signs of political change are marked by a massive security presence in Beijing as over 2,000 Communist party leaders gather to formally announce the country’s next generation of rulers.  Very little is known about the process to appoint new leaders, even less about the man expected to take the helm.

Outgoing President Hu Jintao delivered his farewell remarks from a podium in the Great Hall of the People, flanked by stoic and nearly silent party members.

In a speech meant to highlight his role in transforming China into a global, economic powerhouse, Hu’s focus was surprisingly negative.  He said the country’s social problems -- disparity of wealth, pollution and food safety, to name a few -- are "unsustainable" and could bring about the "collapse" of the country.

Hu said China faces a "period of great change" that includes a sagging economy under "complicated domestic and international circumstances."  He mentioned corruption no less than 16 times.  And yet, he urged the next generation of party leaders to maintain "firm control" -- signaling political reform is far from given.

Vice President Xi Jinping, the man expected to be named party secretary and president, and later chairman of the military, sat quietly onstage throughout.  He is expected to be formally announced as China’s new ruler on Wednesday.

All eyes will be on the seven party members who will make up the new Standing Committee -- the core faction that essentially runs the country.  As far as reading tea leaves on how China will handle the next decade, the resume of those on the Standing Committee may offer the best take on which direction China will take.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hillary Clinton Makes Likely Last Trip to China as Secretary of State

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages(BEIJING) -- In what she described as very likely her last trip to China as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton met with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing Wednesday to mend fences in a somewhat battered U.S.-China relationship.

In the past year, the two countries have engaged in tense diplomatic negotiations over blind dissidents, trade regulations, disputed territories and human rights abuse.

Widely criticized in state-run media in the lead up to the visit, Clinton nonetheless described relations as being “on a strong and solid base.”  The two countries, she said, “literally consult almost on a daily basis.”

Among the talking points for Clinton’s visit is the issue of China’s territorial disputes with its Asian neighbors.  Recent tension over small but potentially energy-rich islands in the South China Sea has pitted China against ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The U.S. is pressing for China to resolve its issues multi-laterally. China is insisting on working bi-laterally. The general consensus is that bi-lateral negotiations give China the upper hand. Some say that could come back to haunt China, as the smaller Asian countries involved gravitate toward the U.S. for support.

Clinton clearly stated that the “U.S. does not take a position on territorial claims.”  However, she added that the U.S. has an interest in the “freedom of navigation and…we do believe it is everyone’s interest that [China and ASEAN] work together towards a shared goal on a code of conduct.”

Despite the Global Times headline, “Hillary, a Figure Who Deeply Exacerbates U.S.-China Mutual Distrust,” Clinton’s take would be quite the opposite.  She said that the two countries have been able to “explore areas of agreement and disagreement in a very open manner.”   

Clinton had been scheduled to meet with Hu’s likely successor, Xi Jingping.  At the last minute, the meeting was cancelled.  No official reason was given for the change in plans.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Xi is suffering from a bad back. He cancelled meetings with other high level officials from Singapore and Russia. Xi did send Clinton his wishes for a “productive meeting” via his foreign minister.

Clinton will continue her tour through Asia for the rest of the week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Vice President Biden Bonds with Chinese Counterpart

ABC News(BEIJING) -- Vice President Joe Biden was formally welcomed to China Thursday morning by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in an elaborate ceremony at the Great Hall of the People.

Biden is on a week-long mission to East Asia that includes four days in China, where the administration says he will invest in the future of Sino-American relations by trying to get to know Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping better.  Xi is expected to become China’s next leader.

In opening remarks, both Xi and Biden recognized the increasing interdependence between the two countries, as well as their common challenges -- the economy in particular.  They both stressed that cooperation was imperative; that's pretty much a given considering how much U.S. debt China owns, and how many products from China are imported into the States.

The two men will be spending a lot of time together during Biden’s China visit, which was described as a unique opportunity to “regularize and personalize” a relationship with the future Chinese leader.

In a background briefing, senior administration officials described Thursday's meetings as “candid”  but readng through the diplomatic speak could mean "heated" or "argumentative."

They described the two men as having a genuine back and forth, talking about a huge range of issues, from security issues like North Korea, Iran and Pakistan to the economy.  The American official found it "frankly unusual for leaders to engage so deeply on such a broad spectrum."  They engaged so deeply that the smaller, closed press meeting between Biden and Xi ran 45 minutes into "overtime."

The senior administration officials said that in stark contrast to what is being said in the Chinese media about the U.S.’s economic prospects, Xi and his delegation are actually bullish on the U.S. economy, especially after the debt deal that the officials said that Biden was instrumental in ushering through.

As for Xi himself, the officials found him to be a “cool,” “deliberate,” ”confident,” and “extremely engaged” leader, who was “clearly relishing the opportunity to sit down with a global peer.”

On Friday, Biden will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio