View Full Version : "Coming Out" Party for the PRC

12-09-2006, 10:25 AM
9 December NY Times - China, Shy Giant, Shows Signs of Shedding Its False Modesty (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/09/world/asia/09china.html?ref=world) by Joseph Khan.

China’s Communist Party has a new agenda: it is encouraging people to discuss what it means to be a major world power and has largely stopped denying that China intends to become one soon...

Until recently China’s rising power remained a delicate topic, and largely unspoken, inside China. Beijing has long followed a dictum laid down by Deng Xiaoping, the paramount leader who died in 1997: “tao guang yang hui,” literally to hide its ambitions and disguise its claws.

The prescription was generally taken to mean that China needed to devote its energy to developing economically and should not seek to play a leadership role abroad.

President Hu Jintao set off an internal squabble two years ago when he began using the term “peaceful rise” to describe his foreign policy goals. He dropped the term in favor of the tamer-sounding “peaceful development.”

His use of “rise” risked stoking fears of a “China threat,” especially in Japan and the United States, people told about the high-level debate said. Rise implies that others must decline, at least in a relative sense, while development suggests that China’s advance can bring others along.

Yet this tradition of modesty has begun to fade, replaced by a growing confidence that China’s rise is not fleeting and that the country needs to do more to define its objectives...