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China's next leader has best understanding of Taiwan: NSB head

ROC Central News Agency

2012/03/10 16:38:44

Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who is set to become China's next leader, has the best understanding of Taiwan among China's top echelons, National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Tsai Der-sheng said in a recent interview with CNA that was published Saturday.

Tsai said that there will be "no risk" of political stability in the process of Xi's takeover this autumn from incumbent President Hu Jintao.

Tsai said this is because Beijing has established an "echelon succession" mechanism through which a younger generation of leaders takes over from the preceding one.

This is totally different from China's past, when only the winners of power struggles emerged as new leaders, said Tsai, a specialist in watching and analyzing China affairs.

In addition, a sound system that ensures good care is taken of retired leaders and allows their offspring -- the so-called "Taizidang" or Princelings Party -- to enjoy privileges in the business world, has also contributed to the reduced political risk in power succession, Tsai said.

Xi, the son of the late Chinese Vice Premier Xi Zhongxun, worked between 1985 and 2002 in Fujian Province, just across the strait from Taiwan, which gave him frequent contact with Taiwanese investors there.

But the NSB head pointed out that "as one who most understands Taiwan compared with his predecessors, what Xi will be doing toward Taiwan might fall short of the Taiwanese people's expectations," because "whoever is at the helm of China will not dare to compromise on such issues as sovereignty and territory -- defined by China as one of its core interests."

Beijing has reiterated many times that Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang are core interests that are off-limits to international interference.

Tsai also said that in the future, economic and social problems will pose the biggest threat to China.

He said Beijing will be fighting an uphill battle against the Internet world, given its rapidly increasing number of netizens, now estimated at about 500 million.

Although Tsai did not elaborate on what kind of challenges Beijing will face economically, many China experts are of the opinion that if China's economy takes a hard landing, it will result in massive unemployment and cause social instability in China.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, in a report to the National People's Congress several days ago lowered China's economic growth this year to 7.5 percent.

However, last year's "Arab Spring" democracy movement might prompt the Beijing authorities to rethink the importance of People's Republic of China founder Mao Zedong's statement that "political power grows out of the barrel of a gun," and allow members of the "Taizidang" to play increasingly dominant roles in the party, government and business sectors.

(By Chen Pei-huang & Bear Lee)

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