Behinds story of China`s rising power,leaders authority under question

Discussion in 'China' started by anoop_mig25, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

    Aug 17, 2009
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    Behinds story of China`s rising power,leaders authority under question
    By DAVID E. SANGER and MICHAEL WINES Published: January 16, 2011 NYT

    BEIJING — With President Hu Jintao at the helm, China has become a $5 trillion industrial colossus, a growing military force, and, it sometimes appears, a model of authoritarian decisiveness, navigating out of the global financial crisis and sealing its position as the world’s fastest rising power.

    But as Mr. Hu prepares to visit Washington this week in an attempt to defuse tensions with the United States, Obama administration officials are grappling with what they describe as a more complex reality. China is far wealthier and more influential, but Mr. Hu also may be the weakest leader of the Communist era. He is less able to project authority than his predecessors were — and perhaps less able to keep relations between the world’s two largest economies from becoming more adversarial.
    Mr. Hu’s strange encounter with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates here last week — in which he was apparently unaware that his own air force had just test-flown China’s first stealth fighter — was only the latest case suggesting that he has been boxed in or circumvented by rival power centers.:twitch::twitch::suspicious::suspicious:

    American officials have spent years urging Mr. Hu to revalue China’s currency, rein in North Korea, ease up on dissidents and crack down on the copying of American technology, and they have felt at times that Mr. Hu agreed to address their concerns. But those problems have festered, and after first wondering if the Chinese leader was simply deflecting them or deceiving them, President Obama’s top advisers have concluded that Mr. Hu is often at the mercy of a diffuse ruling party in which generals, ministers and big corporate interests have more clout, and less deference, than they did in the days of Mao or Deng Xiaoping, who commanded basically unquestioned authority. China’s military has sometimes pursued an independent approach to foreign policy. So have many of China’s biggest state-owned companies,

    Brent Scowcroft, the former national security adviser and Mr. Gates’s mentor, said Saturday. “The military doesn’t participate in the system the way it once did. They are more autonomous — and so are a lot of others.”

    In past meetings, Mr. Hu and his prime minister have indicated that they would let China’s currency gradually rise. But the Commerce Ministry promptly labeled the move a “catastrophe” for the Chinese economy. Despite Mr. Hu’s repeated assurances that the Chinese market would continue to open up to foreigners, business leaders complain that regulators have made it more difficult for foreign energy, communications and banking concerns to compete with China’s state-backed favorites.

    Mr. Hu has repeatedly asserted China’s disinclination to challenge American power; his designated foreign policy coordinator, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, recently wrote an article reaffirming Mr. Deng’s warning, made back when China’s modernization was beginning, that the country should bide its time before seeking a global role.

    Adding to the uncertainty about Mr. Hu’s power is an expected leadership change in 2012. It is at once a choreographed transition to a new generation of leaders and a volatile minefield for all contenders, none of whom wish to be viewed as risk-takers, or as subservient to the United States.

    China’s hawkish military undid years of careful diplomacy in the last two years as it flexed its muscles in the South China Sea, harassing American naval vessels and alarming neighboring countries.

    No one questions China’s civilian control of the military. Mr. Hu and his presumed successor, Xi Jinping, sit atop the Central Military Commission, the body that oversees the military. But as with other parts of the bureaucracy, it is unclear how firm his grip is.

    Abraham M. Denmark of the Center for a New American Security in Washington says there are “many, many examples” in which the military has blindsided civilian leaders with weapons displays or statements that appear to flout official policy. The issue, he said, is not whether the military is loyal to its civilian leaders but whether Mr. Hu and others can make it bow to the government’s broader foreign policy goals, like closer ties to the United States.
    i have omitted many paragraphs . original text can be read at link provided above

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