A new Chinese leadership

The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), meeting in the plenary session of the 18th Party Congress, elected the new Central Committee. In turn, the Central Committee elected the Politburo and its Standing Committee. It also elected the new General Secretary of the CCP, Xi Jinping.

For the Philippines and other countries in the ASEAN, it means a respite from the pressures of Chinese domestic politics as competing groups within the CCP momentarily close ranks around the new leadership. The tensions of border disputes in the West Philippine Sea (or the South China Sea) are expected to de-escalate although the position of all parties, including China, remains the same.

Related story: ASEAN to press China over sea tensions

What is expected, on the other hand, is an intensified diplomatic offensive by the new Chinese leadership to regain lost ground in terms of regional goodwill brought about by the disputes. On a more strategic level, it has to match the re-elected US Obama administration’s own diplomatic offensive.

The United States has made hay while China was embroiled in the border disputes. It has tightened relations with the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam and dramatically opened lines to Myanmar. It also pursued its “Asian pivot” policy more vigorously.

With President Obama’s re-election, there is a fresh mandate for existing US Asian policy and it is to be expected that handling China—within the context of the latter’s emerging as a global power—will be the centerpiece of this policy. China’s new leadership is challenged to respond to this from an unfamiliar new perspective; its handling of its neighbors may well test its capacity as a responsible global power.

Also related: China unveils new leadership with Xi at helm

China’s domestic challenges revolve on its maintaining its growth momentum in an increasingly failing global economy. The fast-paced growth of the last 30 years has not benefited all sectors of the Chinese people and instead—rather paradoxically for a socialist-oriented country—produced great gaps between the rural and the urban dwellers, between the entrepreneurs, the middle classes, and the blue-collar and rural labor. Corruption has become so pervasive that the new leadership made it a serious campaign to undertake.

The economic prosperity and disparity brings its own challenges to the political sphere with pressures coming from both the affluent middle classes and impoverished urban and rural poor for more say in governance. The CCP itself feels this pressure internally as separate groups formed within to articulate the competing reforms that challenged the status quo.

How the new leadership of the Chinese Communist Party balances all these pressures is still to be seen. What is clear at this point is that the situation will not remain the same. Procrastination on reforms has its own dangers. China as a world power is both a great opportunity and its own danger. The dragon is already  awakened.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • The ‘All You Need’ 2015 Isuzu D-MAX launched
    The ‘All You Need’ 2015 Isuzu D-MAX launched

    Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) just recently introduced the 2015 Isuzu D-MAX pick-up truck at the Clark International Raceway to show that their pick-up model can conquer any kind of terrain.The high-end LS variant and standard LT 4x4 is now equipped with a more powerful engine, the 4JK1-TC (Hi) 2.5-liter engine which with Common Rail Direct Injection and an intercooled Variable Geometry System (VGS) turbocharger. IPC also introduced a new standard ride variant, the LT-X 4x2 manual …

  • Limited Edition Honda CR-V and Jazz now available
    Limited Edition Honda CR-V and Jazz now available

    If you’ve always wanted to be part of an exclusive group of car owners, now might be the time for you to consider getting a Honda CR-V or Jazz.  Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) just came out with their limited edition All New Jazz and New CR-V. …

  • ToyotaPH hit its highest monthly sales last March
    ToyotaPH hit its highest monthly sales last March

    Toyota Motors Philippines hit its highest monthly sales to date last March, registering 10,237 units sold.  This recent CAMPI report puts Toyota’s market share at 43.5% last month. …

  • VolkswagenPH launches Child Safety Initiative
    VolkswagenPH launches Child Safety Initiative

    Volkswagen Philippines just  launched the VW Child Safety Initiative (CSI) campaign which aims to support child safety on Philippine roads at the just concluded Manila International Auto Show (MIAS). The World Health Organization’s road safety facts show about 1.24 million die each year globally as a result of vehicle related accidents. Child restraint systems like child seats and booster seats also reduce risk for children by about 70% for infants and upto 80% for small children. This …

  • Pacquiao pleads for Indonesia to spare death row Filipina
    Pacquiao pleads for Indonesia to spare death row Filipina

    World boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao took time out Monday from final preparations for his $400 million megafight with Floyd Mayweather to plead for the life of a Filipina on death row in Indonesia. Pacquiao, a national hero in the Philippines, added his voice to a chorus of global opposition led by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the executions of a group of eight foreign drug convicts, including compatriot Mary Jane Veloso. The eight-division world champion, who will face …

  • Thousands beg Australia not to deport autistic Filipino boy
    Thousands beg Australia not to deport autistic Filipino boy

    A 10-year-old autistic Filipino boy made an emotional plea Monday for permission to stay in Australia, as tens of thousands called for him not to be deported despite the potential cost of his condition. Tyrone Sevilla, who arrived in Australia from the Philippines legally as a two-year-old with his mother Maria Sevilla, has written to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton asking to stay. The letter, which reads: "Dear Mr Dutton, can I stay in Australia please... Tyrone," was the first one her son …

  • Indonesia to look into condemned Filipina's case: Philippines
    Indonesia to look into condemned Filipina's case: Philippines

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo is "sympathetic" about the plight of a Filipina facing death for drug trafficking and has promised to look into her case, a spokesman for Philippine President Benigno Aquino said Monday after he made a personal appeal. While the comments seemed to indicate a faint prospect of reprieve for Mary Jane Veloso, the Indonesian leader is seen as extremely unlikely to change course on the executions which he has insisted for months are essential to halting a national …

  • Halt Indonesia drug executions until graft claims probed: Australia
    Halt Indonesia drug executions until graft claims probed: Australia

    Australia urged Indonesia Monday to ensure the trials of two men sentenced to death on drugs charges were corruption free before their executions go ahead, as family members readied to say their last goodbyes. "Bali Nine" drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan could face the firing squad within days, along with others from Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and an Indonesian prisoner. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke to her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on Sunday evening, …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options