Chinese heir apparent's 'seven transcendences'
  • Wed, 02/15/2012 - 21:37

2012/02/15 20:04:01

aipei, Feb. 15 (CNA) Xi Jinping, who is set to take over the helm of the Chinese government this autumn, might look like a low-profile leader with few special features, but a China watcher in Taiwan said Wednesday that Xi has "transcended" his predecessors such as Jiang Zeming and Hu Jintao in seven respects.

First, Xi knows Taiwan better than Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang or Hu because he served as the No. 1 man in Fujian Province, which lies across the Taiwan Strait directly opposite Taiwan, and made friends with numerous Taiwan businessmen, said Lin Chong-pin, a professor of international affairs at Tamkang University.

Xi's knowledge of Taiwan and his proposed policy toward Taiwan, such as "winning Taiwanese hearts and using economics to push for unification," has become official in Beijing, according to Lin, who has served as a deputy minister in both the Mainland Affairs Council and the Ministry of National Defense.

Moreover, Lin added, Xi does not rule out the possibility of having dialogue with the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, indicating that once in control, he will be more flexible and forward- looking than China's previous leaders, which means that breakthroughs in cross-strait relations are more likely.

Xi's second "transcendence" over previous Chinese leaders is his understanding of the United States, where he stayed in 1985, according to Lin, who writes for the United Daily News and shared his views during an interview with UFO Radio Wednesday.

Xi loves Hollywood movies that promote the value of telling the difference between good and evil and is basically not anti-U.S., Lin said.

He predicted that under Xi's leadership, China will manage its ties with the U.S. well while steadily pushing ahead its grand strategy of "dominating East Asia without having to go to war."

Thirdly, Xi will take less time to get full control over the People's Liberation Army (PLA) than either Jiang or Hu because he has a 28-year relationship with the PLA from the time he served as a secretary of former Defense Minister Geng Biao.

Fourth, Lin continued, Xi's father, Xi Zhongxun, was a patriarch well respected within the Communist Party of China who left a legacy as a reformist and a fighter for justice.

Xi himself shed the baggage of "princeling" while working on a rural education camp when his father lost favor with Mao Zedong, accumulating a unique experience that is even more valuable than any gleaned by any Communist Youth Corps members, Lin said.

Based on his family background and personal experience, Lin said, Xi is likely to launch political reforms as well as campaigns to uproot corruption once he has gained a firm grip on power.

The fifth advantage Xi enjoys over his predecessors is his educational background, according to Lin, who noted that Xi has two Ph.Ds -- in chemical engineering and in political science.

As the first Chinese top leader to hold a doctorate since the People's Republic of China was established in 1949 and the first with a non-technology degree since China's reforms of 1979, Xi will enjoy a better position to make decisions, not just on sci-tech but also in the field of the humanities, Lin said.

Xi's sixth advantage over Mao, Deng, Jiang and Hu is that he has a "bright and beautiful" wife -- Peng Liyuan, a PLA major-general and a singer whose appearance on the international arena will dim the lights for all her previous-generation counterparts and is likely to add luster to Xi's stature, Lin pointed out.

Xi's seven strength that will likely help him achieve more than previous Chinese leaders lies in his sympathy with religion, Lin said, quoting a Wikileaks report that Xi has been close to Buddhist mystics, qigong experts and supernatural power researchers, while his wife is a devout Buddhist.

Lin forecast that once in power, Xi will likely be able to defuse the time bombs of the Tibetans and the Xinjiang Uighur issues, owing to his deep empathy with religions.

In conclusion, Lin said Xi's "seven transcendences" over the four previous Chinese leaders will play a significant role in the 10 years in which he is supposed to lead China in a close competition with the U.S. for a leading role in the world.

(By S.C. Chang)