Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rise of Xi Jinping in China

Yuba Nath Lamsal
It has been an avowed practice in China to effect change in the top political leadership once in a decade. China’s leadership change takes place after a long and meticulous homework, which is the prime factor for a smooth transfer of power and greater political stability. This practice has been in place after the rise of Deng Xiaoping to political limelight after Mao’s demise in 1996. Deng’s rise marked a new beginning in the modern history of China. As a continuity to this tradition, leadership change in the highest political level has taken place in China recently.
The week-long 18th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), in which more than 2000 delegates took part, was successfully convened in Beijing’s Great Hall of the Peoples, a symbol of victory of Chinese Revolution in 1949. The 18th National Congress elected a 250 member central committee under XI Jinping as party’s new general secretary and the chairman of the Central Military Commission. The National Congress also elected a seven member powerful standing committee comprising senior leaders including Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Wang Qishan, Zhang Gaoli, Yu Zhengsheng, Zhang Dejiang, and Liu Yunshan. With Xi’s elevation to the top position of the CPC, fifth generation has assumed the leadership of China.
Xi, son of a revolutionary guard who had fought along with Mao Zedong and other first generation leaders during the revolution that established People’s Republic of China in 1949, will also be elected as new president in March 2013 by the People’s Congress, China’s parliament. With this, China’s leadership transition will be over for at least for a decade. Accordingly, Le Keqiang will take over premiership of China replacing Wen Jiabao.
In China, Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and some other leaders that led the 1949 revolution are said to be the first generation leaders. Deng Xiaoping and his team are addressed as the second generation leaders, while former Presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao represent the third and fourth generation of China’s leadership respectively. With Xi in the helms of affairs, China’s leadership has been transferred to the hands of fifth generation, which is more enthusiastic, energetic and more reform-minded and outward-looking.
Every generation of Chinese leadership has played its own role and made contribution which has been hailed in China and elsewhere with high esteem. Mao led the Chinese revolution and emancipated China from imperialist occupation and feudal exploitation establishing People’s Republic of China, which made the people master of their own destiny. The Chinese revolution is one of the world’s greatest political events of the 20th century, which inspired national intendance movements across the globe especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Mao became a political icon and a role model for proletariats and revolutionaries in the world, who were and are fighting revolutionary war with the objective of establishing Chinese model of communist system in their respective countries.
Vladimir E Lenin applied and developed Marxism into Marxism-Leninism in Russia during the October Revolution and later while it was further developed into Marxism-Leninism and Maoism/Mao Thought in China after the success of Chinese Revolution. Mao’s role is important not only in China but in the world as he contributed ideological input and impetus to world’s revolutionaries. 
While Mao heralded an important and historic era of emancipating China from feudal exploitation, Deng’s contribution is equally important. Deng reemergence in politics marks a new era of China’s history. It is Deng who introduced economic reforms and modernization that totally transformed China. Once a poor and backward country, China has now emerged as economic superpower. Former President Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao followed and strictly pursued Deng’s policy with more innovation. As a result, China has achieved stunning progress just in the period of three decades, which would be virtually impossible for any other country to achieve that level of development in such a short span of time.
Now Xi has taken over the leadership of China. His responsibility is huge. There are numerous opportunities as well as challenges before the new Chinese leadership. He has opportunity to write down his name in the history of China as a great and successful political icon along with his predecessors like Mao, Zhou, Deng, Jiang and Hu. At the same time he has tremendous challenges to live up to the expectations of the Chinese people as well as the world because people at home and abroad have much expectation on Xi and his team. As a global power, China definitely has more international obligation which the new leadership will have to address to the greater satisfaction of the people both at home and abroad.

Xi has the challenge not only to maintain the present tempo of economic development but also give additional drive in order to make his presence felt in China as well as in the international arena. The economic growth rate seems to be slowing down recently which may cause decline in its overall economic performance in the years to come. This would be certainly a matter of worry for the new leadership. Xi will, therefore, require additional energy to keep the pace of economic development going. But this is not an easy task. Given his track record as he has already served as the vice president under Hu Jintao, Xi, perhaps, knows where the problem lies and where to focus. He is, therefore, expected to overcome all challenges and problems and give Chinese economic an added momentum.
The new Chinese leadership appears to have visualized the problems and accordingly accorded appropriate priorities.  Xi has hinted that he would give continuity to the policies initiated and pursued by his predecessors with a little more focus on political stability. Uplifting the life of the working class people would be Xi Jinping’s domestic priority, which he has made public in his first-ever speech after he was elected CPC general secretary. As a vanguard of the party, he has vowed to work sincerely as per the party’s trust and people’s expectations, which according to him, are the source of tremendous inspiration for the CPC leadership.

Sincerity, hard work and people’s trust are what the new Chinese leader considers as the cardinal principle. He has pledged to ensure dignified life of the people and said that ‘prosperity for all’ will be his motto. Xi way back in 2001 had said, “Knives are sharpened on the stone and people are refined through hardship", urging the ranks and file of the communist party to work hard for better result and for winning trust of the people. This speaks of how he values the labor and hard work and it tells what his priorities would be in the domestic front.
In the foreign policy front, we cannot expect drastic change because he has already hinted that he would give continuity to the policies of his predecessors. China is a country that does not make frequent shift both in domestic as well as foreign policy fronts. Moreover, Chinese foreign policy is always guided by its set principles. But one thing is sure that China, unlike in the past, will not a mere inward looking country. With its increased international strength, clouts and obligation, China under Xi Jinping is expected to be more outward-looking with more firmly asserting its role in the international arena. China’s increased and assertive role is necessary not only for Beijing itself but for the entire Third World given the present international balance of power. China still considers itself as a member of the developing world and its international diplomacy is often targeted to build more Third Worldism.
With the end of the Cold War, bi-polar world turned into the uni-polar one with the United States remaining as the only super power. The uni-polar world had both advantages and disadvantages. Given the developments in the international arena after the end of the Cold War, bi-polarism has become a boon for the big powers and bane for the poor, backward and weak countries in the Third World. In the absence of balance of power, most developing countries suffered have suffered on various ways and forms. The period of Cold War saw more conflicts and wars in the world killing more people than those killed during the two world wars. The much desired peace dividend became elusive for the Third World countries. In such a situation, other international power pole was necessary to fill the power vacuum. With the rise of China and some other international powers, the state of unipolar world is likely to be over, which would give rise to a different world with newer balance of power.
Against this backdrop, new leadership has taken over the political helms of China. Xi Jinping is seen to be well aware of the domestic as well as international challenges and the role it has to play. Xi is expected to consolidate stability in the domestic front and perfectly cooperative and friendly relationship with the neighbors. More focus of China’s policy may be to build good rapport with the neighboring countries including Nepal. Indications are that South Asia is likely to be the area of greater focus and priority of China in the tenure of Xi Jinping, which will be in the mutual benefit of both South Asia and China.

South Asia where US meets with China

Yuba Nath Lamsal
Two important events took place in the international arena recently, which definitely will have far reaching impact on global politics and economy. These events include Presidential election of the United States and the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. The US presidential election was held on November 6 in which the current President Barak Obama was re-elected. Obama’s rival conservative Mitt Romney was defeated by a slight margin in terms of popular votes. This election has given continuity to the present policy because Obama is not likely to take any drastic steps in his second term. But some new initiatives may be taken on certain issues which were long overdue for years. Economic recovery plan and immigration reforms will receive top priority of the second term of Obama presidency in the domestic front. Both of these issues will have repercussion in the world. The United States is the militarily, economically and technologically a superpower. The global economy is so closely tied with US economy that policy changes in Washington send ripples worldwide.
However, foreign policy is the one that impacts the world more than any other issue. Although not much change is expected in US foreign policy in the second term of Obama Presidency, he is likely to be more decisive and assertive with certain countries and issues. Iran’s nuclear ambition is the matter of serious worry for the United States and President Obama. The United States has been using every possible diplomatic and other means to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Washington and its allies are convinced that Iran is developing nuclear bomb, which, if materialized, would jeopardize political, security and military balance in the Middle East and North Africa. Apart from diplomatic overtures, Washington has imposed economic sanction against Iran in order to force Teheran to abandon its nuclear program. But Washington’s efforts have, so far, been not successful to completely bring Teheran to US terms. Iran has said that its nuclear programs are for peaceful purpose and it in no way is trying to use it for military purpose. But Washington and Western countries are not convinced with Iran’s logic and they are mulling some other coercive and forceful measures so that Iran’s nuclear program is aborted. The United States and its Western allies are contemplating military use against Iran. However, President Obama was a bit cautious to use force because it may contribute to tension in the oil rich Arab World that may hit supply of oil and energy to the United States and the world. Given the tone and rhetoric that President Obama has used on Iran’s current regime, Washington is likely to use force against Iran in anytime soon during the second-term of Obama administration. If US attacks on Iran and war flares up in the region, it will have negative impact on already recession-hit global economy in general and Europe and Asia in particular because these two continents are heavily dependent on the Middle East to meet their energy demand.
East and South Asia is other region which has drawn US foreign policy focus. In East Asia, the US foreign policy focus will be China. The United States and China are already in the condition of face off in East Asia. The issue that is likely to cause tension between China and the United States is territorial claims in East and South China Sea. China has already claimed its ownership over some inhabited and some uninhabited islands in the East China Sea and South China Sea, which, according to Beijing., historically belong to China. But countries including Japan, Philippines, Vietnam alike have counterclaims. If these disputed are not settled peacefully and diplomatically in time, tension may flare up, which may lead to military confrontation in the region. The United States has heavy military presence in the region and Washington has already made its intent public that if tension and conflict broke out, it will support the militarily weaker countries, which implies that US support would go against China. The US overtures have emboldened the countries of East Asia and the Pacific to confront with China. If tension flares up, this will negatively impact economy and trade in the Asia and the Pacific.
The US is more concerned with the events and development sin East Asia because this is the region hat is going to challenge Washington’s power and prowess. China has already emerged as the second largest economy, Japan is third largest economy and countries like South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and India are growing economically in leaps and bound. It has been already predicted that the 21st century would belong to Asia and the international political power will be controlled by Asia. If so happens, the position and the clout that the United States has enjoyed will be lost. Thus, the United States has used every possible means to ensure that Asia does not rise in a way it may challenge the supremacy of the United States in the international power politics. China is in the forefront of this race to challenge the domination of the United States. Washington has, therefore, been applying all possible means to check China. Thus, Washington has adopted the policy of encircling China from all sides and weakening it so that it may not emerge as Washington’s challenger and competitor. Guided by this principle, the United States has further consolidated and enlarged its military presence in Asia and the Pacific region. Obama has declared ‘Asia pivot’ scheme with this objective, which has concerned the countries of this region accordingly and more seriously.
South Asia has emerged as a vital region for US foreign policy priority and interest. South Asia that comprises eight countries—Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan— is home to world’s one-fifth population. South Asia is important for Washington for strategic/security and economic purposes. During the Cold War, US got heavily engaged in South Asia because of Soviet Union’s presence in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union sent troops to Kabul and installed its own puppet regime in Afghanistan, which irked not only the United States but also the entire world. But India is the only country in South Asia that recognized and supported the Soviet-installed puppet regime in Kabul, while the entire South Asian countries condemned the Soviet aggression in Afghanistan. With the backing and support of the United States, in which Pakistan played key role, Soviet troops were ultimately compelled to withdraw.
After the end of the Cold War US foreign policy priority suddenly changed in South Asia and Washington’s definition of friends and foes also changed. The Unites States deserted the closest ally of the Cold War era, while it embraced the Cold War era’s critic as a bosom friend and strategic partner. It was because Washington’s principal enemy changed in the international arena. Until the existence of the Cold War, Soviet Union was Washington’s main rival. But the sudden collapse and disintegration of the Soviet Union, the US emerged as the sole superpower without any immediate challenger. The United States then suspected China to be the future challenger and it accordingly changed strategy with the objective of strategically containing China. Thus, the United States developed strategic partnership with China’s rivals and enemies. Pakistan was the frontline country in the fight against Soviet aggression in Afghanistan while India had backed Soviet aggressive policies. But suddenly US changed its policy to embrace India after the Cold War deserting Pakistan. This was because China and Pakistan are close friends and partners in various ways, whereas India is China’s rival in this region. India and China had already fought border war and their border dispute remains to be settled. Thus, US chose India and propped up New Delhi against China. This policy has been at work right after Bill Clinton came to the White House and it was reinforced during the presidency of George Bush junior, to which Obama, too, has given continuity.
China seems to have comprehended this US strategy in collaboration with India in South Asia. Against this background, China’s leadership has changed. In the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping was elected general secretary of the CPC and is going to replace President Hu Jintao in March 2013. Having already worked as Vice President, Xi is well aware of the global situation and South Asia. Indications are that Xi is likely to accord more priority to the neighborhood more particularly in South Asia. Already heavily engaged, China under Xi Jinping intends to make significant contribution for peace, stability and development through applying its soft power image. South Asia is China’s own backyard and Beijing’s interest and priority are understandable. Partnership between South Asia and China is in the mutual interest of the countries in South Asia and Beijing. China has already expressed its intention to develop trilateral strategic partnership with Nepal and India with the objective of harnessing development potentials and contributing to uplifting the life of the people in the region. If the trilateral strategic partnership at all materializes, Nepal would be placed on a center stage and Nepal’s role and strategic significance would automatically go up. Nepal can play the role of a genuine bridge between these Asia’s two economic giants. However, this can be materialized only if similar approach was demonstrated by India. India’s response, so far, is lackluster which implies that New Delhi may not be forthcoming in Nepal-China-India trilateral strategic partnership. This could be because of New Delhi’s strategic partnership with Washington. As a result, India and the United States will further hobnob and act jointly in South Asia, which may obstruct any kind of cooperation and partnership between South Asia and China. Given these developments, South Asia is growing as the region where the US and China are likely to clash.

Friday, November 23, 2012

President Obama re-elected: New mandate, newer challenges

Challenges Ahead For President Obama
Yuba Nath Lamsal
The US presidential election has become a global election in two ways. Firstly, US citizens living every corner of the world can participate in the election to choose their president. Secondly, the US election is watched globally because the US election has its global impact and implication. As the only super power, the United States has its global stake and presence and the change of leadership in the White House not only brings about changes in the US domestic policy but also sends ripples worldwide.
Several issues dominated the electoral debate in the US presidential election this year in which President Barak Obama won by a slight margin against his Republican challenger Mitt Romney. Economic issue was by far the strongest and most pressing one as the US economy is in history’s worst recession that has rendered tens of millions people jobless. American voters, therefore, scrutinized the economic policies of both the candidates more meticulously than anything else. Both Obama and Romney had promised to bring about change in the US economy and create more jobs. But voters trusted Obama more than Romney and gave Democrats four more years to rule the mightiest country in the world.
Economy was, indeed, the primary concern for the American voters and major factor that dominated the entire US presidential election campaign— world’s longest election campaign, which did play crucial role in changing the pattern of the election results. It was true that Obama had not been able to accomplish what he had promised four years ago when he was elected to the White House first time in 2008. There are many Americans who are not happy with the way the Obama administration handled the economic crisis. It is this reason why President Obama secured only a slim margin over Romney in terms of popular votes. But Romney’s prescriptions for curing US economic ills, too, were not promising.
If we look at the voting pattern, economic policy was not the sole determinant factor in this election. The changing demographic pattern in the US helped Democrats. The large percent of Latino (South Americans in general and Mexicans in particular) population favored Obama and democrats simply because they are more liberal and friendly to immigrants and non-white population including African Americans, Hispanic people, and Asians. In contrast, Republicans are more conservatives and less accommodative to non-whites, Asians, African Americans and Latino population.
Immigration reform is a big and controversial political issue which has taken a center stage in the contemporary political debate in America. This is mainly because of the presence of more than 12 million undocumented (illegal) immigrants in the country. The Democratic Party have been advocating comprehensive immigration reforms, under which President Obama favors a legal pathway to citizenship to the undocumented immigrants, who have been living and working in the United States for years without valid documents. Republicans and Mitt Romney were against the comprehensive immigration reforms and legal pathway to undocumented aliens, which antagonized Asians and Latino voters during the election. Over 75 per cent Asian Americans and Latin/Hispanic Americans voted for Barrack Obama. Similarly, over 90 per cent African Americans cast their vote for President Obama. The demographic pattern in the US continues to change with non-white population rising rapidly.
Already almost 30 per cent, the non-white population is expected to grow further and it will be a determent factor in the US election in future. If Republic Party ignores this fact and continues to pursue its anti-immigrant (if not racial) policy, it will have to pay a big political price in future. It, thus, bodes for Republican to change their anti-immigrant policy and back the comprehensive immigration reform policy in order to accommodate undocumented immigrants.  It should be taken into notice and knowledge that the United States is a country built by the immigrants and it should adopt immigrant friendly policies and laws so that aliens are not harassed and exploited in a country of Abraham Lincoln. The Democratic Party is well aware of this reality but Republicans seem to be more anti-immigrants and racial which has already cost them dearly. Way back in 70s, Republican President Ronald Reagan had announced a mass amnesty to all undocumented aliens, which helped the Republicans to control the White House for continued 12 years until Bill Clinton defeated George Bush senior. If Republicans were to regain the White House, they need do some deep soul searching in their policy and stance on several issues especially on matters concerning immigrants and immigration reforms.
Some other factors, too, did play the role in bringing the election result into Democrats’ fold. The gender issue figured prominently in this election in the US more than any time in the past. Majority of women voters seemed to have favored Democratic Party and President Obama. On gender issue, too, Democrats are more liberal compared to the Republican Party and its presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The issue concerning abortion right also had some role in female voting pattern. Democratic Party is pro-choice and the Republicans are against it. Pro-choice groups became extra active during the election to appeal the women voters to cast their ballots and make sure that Obama won. The electoral analysis shows that women constitute more than half of the electorates in the United States. Majority of female voters were found to have favored the Democratic Party and helped re-elect Barrack Obama.
 Although foreign policy figured prominently during the presidential debate, it had not much influence on the voters. Most Americans did not take foreign policy into consideration while voting. Foreign policy was a matter of concern more for the people outside the US border than the American citizens, except a small group. Although liking and disliking of the people outside America do not matter in the US presidential election, Obama was a better choice for most of the world, except, perhaps, Israel.  In the first place, Obama was a familiar face with whom world leaders have already worked for four years and they knew his mind, heart and style of working. Moreover, Obama was more accommodative to the world than his Republican challenger, which he proved during his four years in the White House. For both allies and enemies of the United States, Obama was, therefore, a better choice than Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Even for the arch critics of the United States like Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea alike, Obama could be better and more accommodative than hawkish Republicans. However, Israel could be an exception. Tel Aviv’s choice could be hawkish White House than the dovish Democrats because of its geo-political vulnerability surrounded by anti-Zionist forces.
Although his record in tackling domestic issues is not what American citizens had expected earlier, his performance in foreign policy front is definitely better and more noticeable. He has already done what he had promised in Iraq by withdrawing US combat troops from the war-ravaged region. Now the democratically elected Iraqi government has been in place and entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining Iraq’s security in which, it has, to a large extent, been successful. Secondly, US war on terror has achieved some degree of success with smashing and weakening international terrorist network of Al Qaeda and its allies all over the world. The capture and killing of Al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden did mark some degree of morale boosting success in tackling international terrorism for President Obama.
There are some conflict spots in the world in which the United States has much stake and obligation. Middle East remains to be a flash point of conflict with Israel and Palestine still not in comfortable relationship. Syria is in trouble due to ongoing uprising against Bashar al Assad regime. Egyptian democratic change has not yet been stabilized and institutionalized. Arab Spring continues to flare up in several other countries of the Middle East and North Africa with demand of democratic change and reforms. Iran’s nuclear ambition has remained a global matter of concern. The tension in the North China Sea and East China Sea is also likely to have negative repercussion not only in East Asia and the Pacific region but also in the whole world as the tension, if it further flares up, may disturb the freedom of sea navigation in the Strait of Malacca, which is said to be the life line for trade between the East Asia and the rest of the world. 
These are some of the challenges that the United States under President Barrak Obama needs to be tackled with more maturity and flexibility. President Obama’s crucial test lies to keep the promises he has made to the American citizens during the election campaign that include the revival of ailing US economy and comprehensive immigration reforms allowing more than 12 million undocumented aliens a legal pathway to US citizenship. At the same time, his ability to handle the sensitive international affairs only fostering US security and its broader interests and also ensuring greater security, peace, and prosperity of the world will determine the success and failure of Obama presidency.

Leadership change in China: Xi Jinping takes over

Yuba Nath Lamsal
China’s once in a decade leadership change has been completed with current vice-president Xi Jinping assuming the powerful position of general secretary of the Communist Party of China and also the title as the chairman of the Central Military Commission. Xi, son of a farmer and revolutionary general who had fought along with Mao Zedong and other first generation leaders during the revolution that established People’s Republic of China in 1949, will also be elected as new president in early 2013 by the People’s Congress, China’s parliament, when it will be convened. With Xi, 59, taking over the helms of political affairs, the fifth generation leaders would be steering China towards further stability and greater prosperity. In other words, it can be said that Xi era has begun in China.
Mao represented the first generation that laid the foundation of modern China. After the death of Mao, Deng Xiaoping came in representing the second generation leadership and spearheaded reforms and opening up in the economy that revitalized China economically to become an economic superpower of 21st century. China has now stood in the global arena as a formidable power, which is largely attributed to Deng’s pragmatic and liberal policies, which were followed with more innovation and new vigor by the third and fourth generation leadership. Jiang Zemin belonged to the third generation and Hu Jintao led the fourth generation leadership of China. With Xi in the helms of affairs, China’s leadership has gone to the hands of fourth generation.
The week-long 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that was convened in the Great Hall of the People which symbolizes the triumph of the people in the 1949 historic revolution chose party’s leadership after a long and meticulous debate among over 2000 delegates that took part in the conclave. Besides Xi, the CPC Congress elected 250 member central committee, out of which a seven member powerful standing committee was selected comprising senior leaders including Xi Jinping Li Keqiang, Wang Qishan, Zhang Gaoli, Yu Zhengsheng, Zhang Dejiang, and Liu Yunshan. With Xi also taking over the chairmanship of the military body, China’s transition has now come to virtual complete.
Every generation of Chinese leadership has left its indelible benchmark in China’s political and economic spheres having a far-reaching impact also on the global level. While Mao heralded an important and historic era of emancipating China from feudal exploitation and foreign occupation and established an independent country capable of determining its destiny on the strength of its own people, Deng marked a new era of economic modernization and reforms that transformed China into a modern and prosperous country from earlier poverty-stricken and a backward nation. Jiang and Hu gave continuity to the process initiated by Deng and his team. Xi, on his part too, is expected to give continuity to the reforms initiated with focus on stability and improvement in the life of the ordinary citizens, which is evident in the remarks made by him after assuming the leadership of the party. In his first ever remarks after his election to the party’s top position, Xi said that he would work sincerely as per the party’s trust and people’s expectations, which according to him, are the source of tremendous inspiration for the CPC leadership.“The people’s desire for a better life is what we shall fight for,” Xi said adding his main job was to “steadfastly take the road of prosperity for all”. Xi is a determined leader much sharpened and hardened by his difficult childhood time when he spent many years working and living with poor farmers. He knows both the pain and pleasure of rural people mostly belonging to lowest strata of society. To him people are the real heroes and primary source of strength. "It's the people who have created history, and it is the people who are the true heroes. The people are the source of our strength," Xi told reporters in a packed press conference on the day he was elected to the top post of the CPC. Referring to his hard life during the childhood and later success, Xi had once said way back in 2001, “Knives are sharpened on the stone. People are refined through hardship."

China is now determined to consolidate socialism with its own character and ensure that its fruit goes directly to the people especially to those belonging to the lowest strata of the society. Xi has already spoken his mind and heart of giving continuity to what his predecessors including Mao and Deng have initiated. Xi has pledged to pursue the much hyped reforms and political stability that China requires to guide the country to the destination of prosperity which may be in the interest of over 1.3 billion people. XI believes that it can be best ensured only under the leadership of the Communist Party of China.  “The Communist Party would be proud but not complacent, and we will never rest on our laurels to work for the larger interest of the country and its people”, Xi said hinting his policy priority and commitment after assuming the leadership of the world’s largest political party—the CPC.  However, Xi as the chief of the ruling communist party as well as the President of the most populous and powerful country will definitely have enormous challenges to tackle ahead both at home and international level. As a global power, China definitely has its international obligation and it has to act accordingly in the international arena. The world, thus, is watching closely each and every development in China .
Although China is the second largest economy and one of the mightiest countries in the world, it faces enormous challenges in economic, social, administrative and cultural aspect. Politically, China is a stable country and it has to tackle many issues and problems in social and economic fronts more prominently than ever before. Some of these problems China has inherited from the past whereas some are newly emerged ones mainly emanating from global economic crisis. China is an export-based economy and the global economic downturn has already started hitting Chinese economy, which the new leadership has to tackle with greater wisdom and maturity. It seems that the new leadership is well aware of the situation and danger. As a man with high political and administrative acumen, XI seems to have set priority to tackle these problems  and issues.  Apart from vowing to pursue the policies of economic reforms initiated by his precedents with much vigor, he seems to be determined to curb the culprits that may eat up the initiatives taken for transforming China into a prosperous and powerful country. He has hinted to be tough against corruption in order to ensure good and transparent administer.  “The party ( and probably the country as well) suffered from problems of corruption, taking bribes, being out of touch with the people, [and] undue emphasis on bureaucracy and formalities,” Xi vowed to the people in front of the large gathering of media that he would make China free from graft culture. This is his commitment to build and pull up confidence of the Chinese people at home urging a sense of unity among the Chinese people to fight against all ills and odds. At the same time, he has vowed to work closely with the commoners and said “Our journey ahead is long and arduous and we must always have one heart and one mind with the people.”
 In the foreign policy front, not much change is expected. He is more likely to continue with the tough but mature foreign policy in order to defend its national interests and also to promote peace, goodwill, friendship and cooperation in the world. Some pundits have pointed out two clear choices with the new leadership of China. According to them, China under XI’s leadership will be faced with the choices of either focusing more on domestic issues according lesser priority to foreign affairs or vice versa. But this is not the issue. Domestic issues and foreign policy matters are not rival affairs. Instead, they are complementary of one another. China will definitely focus on both the issues with more pragmatic and people oriented domestic policy to ensure growth, development and people’s welfare and mature foreign policy to protect its interest abroad. Now China is facing some dire situation in the neighborhood especially in South China Sea and East China Sea areas. This is not the making of China but because of the extra-continental power which has instigated China’s neighbors against Beijing with the objective of encircling China and weakening Beijing‘s scope and power in the international scene. This particular situation demands more assertive foreign policy on the part of Beijing that may counter and foil the designs of powers that seek to weaken China. Against this background, China’s focus would be equally strong on domestic and foreign affairs to maintain China’s clout, image and influence intact.
The reports presented in the 18th Congress has stated that China never seeks hegemony and Beijing has no ambition of expanding its territory. This has sent a clear message to the world that China will always follow the path of peaceful development, and there is no need to worry about China’s rise. The report says that China will pursue policies for the larger welfare of the ‘mankind as a whole augmenting the common interests of the human race, a win-win opening strategy, an independent and peaceful foreign policy as well as promoting the democratization of international relations’.
China is the only global power that looks everything from the perspective of the Third World or developing countries, which is always in the interests of poor and weaker countries like Nepal. As a close neighbor, China’s rise and development are always good opportunities for Nepal. Throughout the history, China has never been a threat to Nepal, despite its huge strength. Instead, China has always been a true friend and partner that has always collaborated in the development endeavors of Nepal. It is, thus, expected that China under Xi Jinping’s leadership would further rise and be stronger that would create strong economy and vigorous political system to cater to the needs of its own people at home and help shape a new and a just world order.