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2013年3月16日 (土)

習・李体制へ 威圧外交で高まる中国異質論

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 16, 2013)
China's overbearing diplomacy only boosts its 'alien' image
習・李体制へ 威圧外交で高まる中国異質論(3月15日付・読売社説)

Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping has been named president at the National People's Congress, succeeding the retiring Hu Jintao. Xi now holds the country's top three titles, including the top party and military posts.

On Friday, Li Keqiang is set to succeed Wen Jiabao in the premiership. Then the transition of power that began in autumn last year will be complete and the Xi-Li regime can begin to move.

China, now the world's second-largest economy, is being urged to play a much larger role in the international community than it did when the Hu-Wen regime began 10 years ago. We hope China will respond to the demands of the global community and fulfill its responsibility in stabilizing the world situation.


Aiming to be a maritime giant

President Xi, who has said achieving the "great revival of the Chinese nation" is the goal of his administration, is expected to pursue wealth- and military-building policies over his two five-year terms, aiming to transform China into a superpower on par with the United States.

Backed by a strong military, China has been striving to become a "great maritime power." It is quite clear that the country will continue its hard-line stance against Japan, Vietnam, and other neighbors in the East and South China seas.

China's lawmaking body, the National People's Congress, passed government organizational reforms to achieve this aim.

The reforms consolidate maritime patrols under the State Oceanic Administration (SOA)--activities that had been previously administered independently by law enforcement bodies such as the SOA, Agriculture Ministry and Public Security Ministry. This therefore represents a massive increase of the SOA's authority. Above the SOA, a state oceanic commission will be created to direct the country's maritime strategy.

The Xi administration is expected to step up cooperation between the navy and the SOA to maintain and strengthen its demonstrative activities around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. The administration has reportedly been studying the possibility of sending a survey team to the islands to set survey markers and create an accurate map of the islands.

This situation is very worrying for Japan. We cannot accept such a violation of Japan's sovereignty.

Japan needs to increase alertness over China in cooperation with the United States, and prepare for China's ever-escalating provocative actions.

As part of the organizational reform, China has decided to dissolve the Railway Ministry. Dubbed an "independent kingdom" with its own police force and court system, the ministry has been criticized as a hotbed of corruption in the wake of seemingly endless bribery cases. The Xi administration's leadership will be tested over its ability to direct a new railway organization to put customers first and place top priority on safety.


No visible achievements

During the last decade, the Hu-Wen administration sought sustainable economic growth that took the environment into consideration and worked to correct income disparities. However, it failed to produce visible results. Furthermore, the new administration must appropriately deal with the suppression of the human rights of minority groups, such as those in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Xi will need to squarely face difficult problems that could shake the foundation of the country. If the government continues to inflame nationalist sentiments with its forcible, overbearing diplomacy only to distract people from their hardships, it will only give more credence to ideas in the international community such as that China is an alien nation or is a major threat to other countries.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 15, 2013)
(2013年3月15日01時38分  読売新聞)


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