The consolidation of president Xi Jinping´s power is going to be the news story of 2014, says Kaiser Kuo, director international relations at China´s largest search engine Baidu in PRI. Kuo has a rather positive view on 2014, despite recent rise in international tensions.
“I think the big story is going to be Xi Jinping‘s continuing consolidation of power,” Kuo said. And one important way that process will unfold, Kuo forecasted, is through “a real stepping up of aggressive measures to crack down on corruption in China.”…
One China story that attracted a great deal of attention from western news outlets at the end of 2013 was the rising tension between China and some of its neighbors, especially Japan, over a chain of disputed Pacific islands. China’s surprise creation of an “air defense identification zone” that extended over the islands known as Diaoyu (in Chinese) or Senkaku (in Japanese) ruffled feathers in Washington, Tokyo and Seoul.
There is a risk of unforeseen consequences here, Kuo said. But things are calming down now. “I’m cautiously optimistic about it,” he said.
As for the Obama administration’s much ballyhooed Asia pivot, the Chinese view this particular US policy as an attempt to contain China. But Kuo said he would know containment if he saw it, and “this is not containment.”
“Still, it was poorly branded,” he added.
Kuo questioned the wisdom of the US rolling out a new emphasis for American foreign policy alongside a decision, for example, to deploy US Marines to the region.