Source: Wang Yi from Reuters (access date: 23 March 2013).
Monday, April 1, 2013
Xi Jinping Administration: The “Great Renaissance” of China
After the Chinese parliament approved, Xi Jinping finally took power – over party, state, and military – as the leader of China. On 17 March 2013 during his first speech after he took office from Hu Jintao, Xi called the nation to fight for the “great renaissance of the Chinese nation.” In his speech, he pushed for the “continued realization of the great renaissance of the Chinese nation and Chinese dream (Nation 18 March 2013),” the vision of stronger military and ever-higher living standards. Unfortunately, Xi’s concept of a “great renaissance” was just slogan without any firm commitments and specific reform (Sankei Shimbun 18 March 2013).
Xi appointed Li Keqiang as the Prime Minister to replace Wen Jiabao. During Li’s over 90 minute press conference after people’s congress, the Chinese prime minister emphasized:
China has an unwavering commitment to peaceful development. We also have an unshakable determination to safeguard our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity….. These two are not contradictory to each other … In fact, they are essential to regional stability and world peace.… There are more than 1.3 billion people in this country, so we are on a long journey toward modernization.... For that we would require an international environment of lasting peace…. Even if China becomes stronger, we will not seek hegemony because we have learned from our own bitter experience in the modern period that one should not impose on others what he himself does not desire….(Kyodo News 17 March 2013).
Source: Yang Jiechi from Getty Images (acess date: 23 March 2013).
Li appointed his cabinet with Wang Yi as China’s foreign minister and Yang Jiechi, foreign minister since 2007, was elevated to the State Council, charging primarily foreign policy of China. Li named Cui Tiankai who graduated from School of Advanced International Studies at John’s Hopkins University, as a new ambassador to the United States. But, neither Wang nor Yang, unfortunately, is a member of the 25-members Politburo, which is the power of Chinese politics. Furthermore, all seven members of Politburo Standing Committee, which has the most political decision-making power in Beijing, are not foreign policy experts. The western media has described the new government as having no foreign policy experience at all (International Herald Tribune 20 March 2013).