[EDITORIALS]A positive move in China

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[EDITORIALS]A positive move in China

Jiang Zemin left his post as chairman of the military council of the Chinese Communist Party on Sunday, and Chinese President Hu Jintao will take over the position.
A new era in China has begun. The world is positively viewing this change in China’s governing circle. China’s politics will become more predictable and modernized, as its economy has done.
China has grown rapidly, but the politics of the country has been unpredictable and marred with conspiracy, similar to the former Soviet Union. Western investors were concerned about such uncertainty.
Those who despise China also made various speculations about the country. Such skepticism, however, ended with the recent bloodless handover of governing power, a rare incident in China’s modern history.
We cannot expect that Mr. Hu’s China will take a more moderate path than Mr. Jiang’s China in the international arena. Taking account of Mr. Hu’s background and Beijing’s “one China policy,” China will unlikely show appeasement gestures in issues associated with Taiwan, Tibet and human rights in Hong Kong.
The new generation of leaders of China, however, will show a clearly different view toward the world from the past leaders, who have been occupied with the rigid ideology of communism. Therefore, we have high expectations of China’s healthy contribution to the international community economically as well as politically and diplomatically.
Regarding the issues of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, China has made positive contributions in the six-nation talks and on Japan’s wrongful perception of history.
Furthermore, China has shown a responsible attitude as a regional superpower in the initiatives of economic cooperation of Northeast Asian countries and the Asean regional security forum.
China, however, is still fighting to win hegemony in the region, as we have seen in the recent history dispute based on a new form of Chinese centralism.
Therefore, Korea is holding a debate on whether China is a new friend or a nation with which there is the potential for conflict.
We expect that Mr. Hu’s China will become a trustworthy partner of Korea not only economically but also politically and diplomatically.
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