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About The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 6, 2017)
ASIA / PACIFIC
Page 4 n THE ASIAN REPORTER
November 6, 2017
Make China Great Again! Xi leads
China into muscular new era
By Christopher Bodeen
The Associated Press
EIJING — In this summer’s
Wolf Warrior II, Chinese
action star Wu Jing portrays
a tough super-patriot who rescues
oppressed Africans with help from
the People’s Liberation Army.
Audiences loved what became
China’s biggest-grossing movie ever.
Some reportedly sang the national
anthem as the movie closed on an
image of a Chinese passport and the
words, “Please remember, at your
back stands a strong motherland.”
This red-blooded nationalism has
been channelled skillfully by presi-
dent and ruling Communist Party
leader Xi Jinping as he seeks to
strengthen the party’s role in
Chinese life and shepherd the
country’s rise to prominence at a time
when the United States and others in
the west are seen to be in retreat.
Xi’s muscular foreign policy could
become even more assertive following
the national congress of the ruling
Communist Party, where delegates
agreed to support his policies and
endorsed his second five-year term as
party secretary general, observers
“Xi’s on a roll,” said June Teufel
Dreyer, professor of political science
at the University of Miami. She pre-
dicted he would continue expanding
China’s influence by gradually
countries, a tactic seen in Beijing’s
steady island-building efforts in the
South China Sea, for instance.
In an address to the opening
session of the congress, Xi reiterated
that China pursues an “independent
foreign policy of peace” and
maintains a defensive military
posture. However, he also warned
other countries not to underestimate
China’s willingness to stand up for
“No one should expect China to
swallow anything that undermines
its interests,” Xi told delegates at
Beijing’s hulking Great Hall of the
For years, after its emergence from
hardline Marxism in the late 1980s,
China stuck to reformist leader Deng
Xiaoping’s dictum to “keep a low
profile and bide one’s time, while also
getting things done.”
That began to change after the last
decade’s global financial crisis, from
which China emerged relatively
unscathed, and the country’s foreign
policy has since shifted into high gear
China has succeeded in leveraging
its booming economy and mountain of
influence other nations and further
its global ambitions. A key watershed
came this year, when the People’s
Liberation Army began manning
China’s first overseas base in
Djibouti, reversing decades of
rhetoric eschewing such facilities as
imperialist Cold War holdovers.
The overall goal seems clear:
Restore China to its traditional role
as East Asia’s leading nation and a
global economic and cultural force.
APPLAUDING APP. A woman plays Tencent’s smartphone game
that allows users to clap for Xi Jinping by pressing on their phone screen
as many times as possible in 19 seconds. Ordinary young Chinese may
not have paid close attention to Xi’s three-and-a-half hour marathon
speech, but they’re happy to “applaud” the president in the newest
viral phenomenon to sweep China’s internet. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Viral smartphone game lets
ordinary Chinese “clap” for Xi
BEIJING (AP) — Ordinary young Chinese may not
have paid close attention to Xi Jinping’s three-and-a-half
hour speech last month, but they’re happy to “applaud”
the president in the newest viral phenomenon to sweep
Tencent, the internet giant behind the Wechat
messaging app, rolled out a game that allows users to clap
for Xi by pressing on their phone screen as many times as
possible in 19 seconds. Within three days, the game
racked up 1.2 billion plays, as many shared their scores on
social media and challenged friends.
Xi kicked off the ruling Communist Party’s 19th
national congress and declared a “new era” of China’s rise
on the world stage. Delegates granted him a second
five-year term as party leader.
MONUMENTAL CONTROVERSY. A worker sweeps in front of
the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, in this June 3, 2013 file photo. India’s famed
monument of love, the white marble Taj Mahal, is finding itself at the heart
of a political storm with some members of India’s ruling Hindu right-wing
party claiming that the mausoleum built by a Muslim emperor does not
reflect Indian culture. (AP Photo/Pawan Sharma, File)
Monument of love, the Taj Mahal,
at heart of political storm
LUCKNOW, India (AP) — India’s famed Taj Mahal is
finding itself at the heart of a political storm, with some
members of the country’s ruling Hindu right-wing party
claiming that the mausoleum built by a Muslim emperor
does not reflect Indian culture.
The most recent attack came when Sangeet Som, a
lawmaker from the Bharatiya Janata Party, called the
17th-century monument “a blot on Indian culture” that
was built by “traitors.”
But Som wasn’t the first to attack the mausoleum that
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built in the northern city of
Agra in memory of his favorite wife.
The federal government, led by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi, has also been accused of attempting to
rewrite history textbooks, especially where India’s past
Muslim medieval rulers are concerned.
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MCGA. A visitor looks at models of Chinese tanks at an exhibition highlighting China’s achieve-
ments under five years of leadership by Xi Jinping at the Beijing Exhibition Hall in Beijing. Xi’s
muscular foreign policy could become even more assertive following the recent party congress.
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Xi said as much in his opening allegedly cheating at trade, instead
address when he outlined a vision of offering measured responses. Xi,
raising China’s international stature. meanwhile, pulled off a successful
By 2050, Xi said, China would be “a visit to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida
global leader in terms of composite estate that was heavy on the sort of
national strength and international positive optics Beijing prefers. Trump
is soon travelling to Beijing.
In China’s latest border standoff
“Xi presents very bold visions for
where China should be headed and with India, Beijing agreed to a
what China must become,” said mutual pullback of forces just days
Jingdong Yuan, an Asia-Pacific ahead of a China-hosted summit of
security expert at Australia’s large developing economies attended
University of Sydney.
by both Xi and his Indian counter-
A more forceful post-congress part, Narendra Modi.
approach could include expanding
Beijing has also softened its ap-
China’s role in international bodies proach to charm Philippine President
and new China-sponsored initiatives Rodrigo Duterte, offering him infra-
such as the Asian Infrastructure structure investment and military
Development Bank. China could also assistance against Muslim rebels,
become more assertive in regional hot while agreeing to allow Philippine
spots such as the South and East fishermen to return to their
China Seas and its contested border traditional grounds in Scarborough
Shoal, which China seized in 2012.
Perhaps no strategy reflects Xi’s
The approach seems to be working.
vision more clearly than the “Belt and The results of a recent Pew Research
Road Initiative” launched around the Center survey show two-thirds of
time of Xi’s elevation five years ago. Filipinos believe strong economic
The massive undertaking seeks to relations with China are of greater
link China to Southeast Asia, Central importance, as opposed to 28 percent
Asia, Africa, Europe, and beyond who say getting tough with China
with a sprawling network of roads, over territorial disputes is more
railways, ports, and other economic important. When last asked the
projects valued in the hundreds of question in 2015, Filipinos were
billions of dollars. The goal is to make divided almost evenly on what was
China an indispensable economic more important.
partner with expanded political
influence, while offering new
Volvo’s electric car brand
opportunities for Chinese businesses
Polestar unveils first model
weighed down by overcapacity and
Continued from page 2
shrinking markets at home.
To do this, China has refined its
The market also faces competition
diplomacy to take advantage of from General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet
favorable global trends while not Bolt and BMW AG’s electric brand,
going so far that it would damage BMW i, which has released four
relationships with its neighbors and electric models. Volkswagen AG’s
the United States, Yuan said.
Audi unit plans an electric SUV next
In some areas, China has proved year.
unyielding. Beijing, for instance,
Sales of fully electric and hybrid
angrily rejected last year’s ruling by vehicles have risen, but last year’s
an international tribunal in The total was only 2.6 million, or about
Hague in a Philippine case that three percent of the global market.
China’s Navigant, a research firm, forecasts
territorial claims in the contested that will rise to about 3.7 million in
South China Sea.
2018 and to more than 9 million by
It has also taken a hard line against 2025, or about nine percent of sales.
South Korea’s deployment of a U.S.
Polestar expects China, where the
anti-missile system that Beijing calls government is promoting electric car
a security threat. South Korea has development, to account for about
been vilified in Chinese state media, one-third of global sales, according to
with Chinese group tours banned and Ingenlath.
South Korean businesses in China hit
China is the world’s biggest market
for electrics and hybrids. It accounted
However, the pragmatic approach for 40 percent of last year’s global
more often wins out.
demand with sales of 336,000 units —
Beijing has largely resisted the more than double U.S. sales of
urge to fire back when U.S. President 159,620.
Donald Trump lambasts China for
Geely also launched another new
not doing enough on North Korea or brand, Lynk & Co., in 2016.