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Indian media assess Xi’s challenges


New Delhi : Corruption and sustaining high economic growth were amongst the biggest challenges that faced Xi Jinping who has been chosen China’s new leader, a large section of the Indian media said Friday.

Xi’s elevation Thursday to the top of China’s political hierarchy got wide play in the front pages of most newspapers here.

The Hindu said it was clear that Xi’s leadership would have to be “far bolder than the previous generation of leaders, both in thought and in action”, while the Hindustan Times noted that Xi took over the wheels of the party at a time when it’s beset with multiple problems.

An article in the Op-Ed page of the Indian Express said ties between India and China had been complex and at times rocky against the backdrop of the unresolved boundary dispute and the Tibetan issue.

It added that trade cooperation has become “key to the normalisation of ties”.

China’s new leaders are up against the “big challenge of catapulting China into becoming the world’s largest economy, replacing the US”, the article said. “The new leadership will be forced to take some tough economic decisions.”

The Hindu said in an editorial that “corruption is only one of several challenges confronting Xi”.

“…Anger against local-level corruption is one the rise, sparking tens of thousands of protests every year.

“China is also facing an urgent challenge of delivering more balanced growth. The urban-rural income gap today is 68 percent higher than it was in 1985. The transformation of China’s economic model away from state-driven export-led growth will also require difficult measures to curtail the rising influence of state-owned companies.”

Hindustan Times said in its reportage from Beijing that the new Standing Committee is being “perceived as a more conservative one rather than one up for reforms”.

It pointed out that the country was facing many challenges.

“The economy is slowing down, a number of high-profile corruption scandals have rocked the party, several pollution related industrial protests across China have forced industrial expansion to be stopped or suspended, wages are rising and the number of protest suicides in Tibetan areas have seen a sharp disturbing increase.”

“Xi knows the problems well…,” the report added.

The Times of India report from the Chinese capital said that Xi hopes to “emerge as a conciliating force in Chinese life”.

“With his affable nature, Xi could just be the man to bring about the much needed moderation in public discourse, which is increasingly veering towards shrillness and worse against corruption,” it said.

It added that over the next 10 years, “the most important test before Xi would be to navigate political and economic reforms through the all-powerful PolitBureau Standing Committee, which now has four members known for their strong conservative views”.