[EDITORIALS]A new generation in China

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[EDITORIALS]A new generation in China

The Chinese leadership is undergoing sweeping turnover with the participation of a younger generation with professional backgrounds. The Chinese Communist Party, which has represented the interests of workers and farmers, has opened its doors to entrepreneurs broadening it into a "national party." The message heralded by the emergence of the fourth-generation leadership headed by Hu Jintao, successor to Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, is very clear. Under the leadership of young and efficient technocrats, China will consolidate a socialist market economy, pursuing economic reform and an open-door policy. China is eager to upgrade itself to reach a par with advanced economies of the world.

For that, China will shuffle personnel to prevent corruption. It will also readjust the duty and role of the Communist Party to meet the needs of a market economy.

It is epoch-making change that the party adopted Jiang Zemin's theory of "three represents" -- with the party embracing the interests of entrepreneurs and other elites as it defends the working class -- as the new party ideology and enshrined it in the party constitution. How much the new theory will contribute to democracy in or out of the party and ease friction between the socialist political system and the market economy is to be seen. Mr. Jiang's future role is still in the dark, and there are people who question Mr. Hu's will for reform. But China's ambitious plan to quadruple its GDP by 2020 will gain momentum with the emergence of the technocrats.

China looms as South Korea's largest trading partner, outdistancing the United States, and it plays a vital role in the stability of the Korean Peninsula. With the rapid increase in trade and personal exchanges, diplomatic and trade frictions are also on the rise. We must build confidence with the new leadership in order to expand and deepen our existing relationships. It is timely that Hu Jintao's takeover of the presidency and the inauguration of our new government will fall in March and February, respectively. The government must prepare a long-term plan for relations with China and train China specialists.
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