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12:02AM

Xi summoning his inner T.R.?

Xi will be walking the tightrope for a solid decade.  He needs to reform - but he's a princeling.  He needs to keep the country growing - but he needs to tame its many excesses (especially industry's rampant abuse of the environment).  And all the while he needs to assert China as a true global power - without taking on any unnecessary or risky fights.

If Xi Jinping isn't China's Teddy Roosevelt, that nation is going to end up wishing he was.

[And if you think I mischaracterize TR in any way, you need to read up on your Edmund Morris, for TR started no wars and actually was the first sitting POTUS to win a Nobel Peace Prize.]

Good sign (first cite below) is his early edict that Chinese officials need to cut down on all the pagentry and red carpets and flower arrangements and "empty talk" and spend more time touring the less fortunate parts of their mini-kingdoms.  You know, see how the other half lives now and then.

Very TR.

Bad sign (second cite) is China cutting exploration cable of Vietnam's national oil company as it tries to explore what it considers to be its chunk of the South China Sea bed.

A bit bully, to coin a phrase, but also a bit TR, who was famous for not taking crap off the powers-that-have-been.

We will want to see only the good stuff, and will cringe at the assertiveness, but the two must go hand in hand. Only Nixon could go to China, as they say.  You want Xi to fix things at home?  Well, then he'll need to prove things abroad.  There is a yin-yang balance to national shame and national pride.  Both work to drive a population and its leaders toward "positive" change.

China won't go meekly into its necessary future - nobody does.

The man has his work cut out for him - as towering as task as TR regrading the economic landscape of this country and centering our politics on the middle class.  Third cite notes that "China's murky shadow banking system could amount to nearly 50 percent of GDP and debate is raging about the effectiveness of how it is regulated."

Let's hope Xi is a suitable "traitor to his class."

After all, we lucked out and got two Roo-se-velts [thank you Netherlands!].

And became the greatest power the world has ever known.

The more China replicates that journey, the better off this world is.

And that's the God's honest truth.

Speaking this morning at Walt Disney World at a political post-election gathering of sorts.  I am preaching the progressive gospel to all who will listen.  Hallelujah brother!  Give me a high-four Mickey!

References (3)

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Reader Comments (2)

Good to hear some sensible, positive talk about China. I admit you caught me off guard comparing a Chinese leader to Teddy. TR was a very complicated individual. Much deeper than the brash, hunter, rough rider exterior he was known for. FDR, I believe, saved our country from a violent internal conflict. He understood that he was the President of all the people and that each and every American counted.

December 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTed O'Connor

"Third cite notes that "China's murky shadow banking system could amount to nearly 50 percent of GDP and debate is raging about the effectiveness of how it is regulated."

The regulation of the financial market will be a main task for any Chinese leadership. However, the question will be if they really want to regulate it ("traitor for its class") or--at the opposite--further deregulate it.The World Bank report for China demands more liberaliszation of the Chinese financial markets.Also the internationalizartion of the Renminbi makes progress, which means in the mid- and longterm that a lot of capital controll will disappear if the Chinese want to make the yuan a convertible currency.The danger is that this deregulations could lead to a financial bubble that will burst and have implications on the Chinese and by this the world economy.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRalf Ostner

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