After an unexplained, nearly two week absence, the presumptive next leader of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping, met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Beijing on Sept. 19. Though he asked the United States to stay neutral on the regime’s Senkaku Islands dispute with Japan, he was the following day admonished in a state-run, nationalist newspaper, for “fantasizing” about the United States.
The editorial, published by Global Times, a rabble-rousing nationalist newspaper supervised by the People’s Daily, the Party’s official mouthpiece, titled the editorial “China Won’t be Able to Persuade the US to be ‘Neutral’ With Only its Lips.”
Xi met Panetta in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. At the meeting Xi said that China takes a serious stand on the dispute. “We hope that the U.S. can look at it from the point of stabilizing local peace and be cautious not to interfere with the dispute and do anything that can aggravate the conflict and complicate the situation.”
The editorial takes the tone of educating Xi, saying: “It is not possible that China can succeed in persuading the United States to stay truly neutral. China should not fantasize about the United States.”
It is uncommon for a state-run media to write open criticism of high-level Party officials’ statements. Global Times is often described an “ultra-left” state newspaper with links to the Jiang Zemin and Zeng Qinghong faction, which favors a hardline approach to domestic and foreign policy. Factional struggle reached a peak this year with the Bo Xilai scandal, and is thought to be continuing in the mere weeks that are thought to remain in the lead-up to the 18th Party Congress, where a new generation of communist apparatchiks will be ushered in to take over the Party.
The editorial continued: “It’s not enough to just orally warn the United States. China must validate its words with actions in the dispute with Japan, so the United States will believe that China means what it says.”
Read the original Chinese article.
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