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China's new leadership and potential new strategies forward

Comments on Sheryn Lee “Taiwan–China relations under the new Chinese leadership”, 19/12/2012, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2012/12/13/taiwan-china-relations-under-the-new-chinese-leadership/

While it is true that China now is faced with many challenges, arguably there are also positive factors that may allow it to better overcome key challenges.

Inequality in income distribution: the transition from labour surplus to shortage would mean wages are likely to rise more rapidly than in the past and that will be conducive to reducing inequality.

Corruption: the new leadership could make a new and fresh start in fighting corruptions using a new approach. They could first draw a line in time from then any new corruptions will be dealt with severely and at the same time to let the past be past. This way will mean much less resistance than the past approach and is likely to be more effective. Of course, a lot of work must be done and public relations must be managed to create an environment so such a policy can be introduced.

Dispute with other regional countries: China should realistically assess the costs and benefits of possible worsening relationships with those countries and the implications for its own interests as a whole. It is not too difficult to come to the realisation that peaceful resolutions are the way to go and compromises will have to be made from all sides including China. I would say it should use examples of land border settlements with some countries in the past couple of decades or so and use that experience to settle disputes in the seas.

Taiwan unification: China could learn from its experience in the one country and two systems that have applied to HK and possibly think more boldly along the line of a confederation. Even keeping the current status quo will be working in China's favour as the two sides will get closer in many ways, such as a gradual and more liberalised China and stronger and closer economic integration.

I think the next 10 years should be a test for China and the new leadership, but the key strategy should still be peace and development. Every effort should be made to achieve this overarching objective.

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