China will witness a change of leadership in the Party Congress due to take place next year. The future leaders, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, come from very different backgrounds but seem to share a certain inexperience when considering the demanding challenges that loom on the horizon for the Asian giant.
Four months after Mohammed Bouazizi’s self-immolation sparked protests in Tunisia, there is no end in sight to the revolution spreading throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This has forced the US and other western countries to openly take sides in each country besieged by demonstrations, either diplomatically or, in the case of Libya, through the use of military power. In contrast, China has remained mostly quiet about the political situation in the region. However, this does not mean that China lacks a coherent strategy to deal with the Arab Spring. Beijing’s policy seems clear: Prioritize economic interests, leave the most difficult issues to the West, and start cultivating relations with the new regimes.