Foreign policy will stay on China's backburner

29 November 2012   |   Commentary   |   By Linda Jakobson

Foreign policy is not likely to be elevated to a key priority of China's new leadership, writes Linda Jakobson, East Asia Program Director at The Lowy Institute, on CNN's Global Public Square.

Key Findings
Foreign policy will remain a low priority for China's top leadership.
Politburo member and former international relations professor Wang Huning may be put in charge of education.
Party Secretary Xi Jinping will focus on domestic issues and may not outline a foreign policy vision for another two years.

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    A Chinese colleague remarked to me some years ago that he felt sorry for Yang Jiechi because, during state visits, China’s foreign minister is relegated to fifth or sixth in the hierarchy. In other countries, in contrast, the foreign minister is typically seen as the second or third most important person in a delegation, following the head of state and possibly the finance minister. In China, though, rank is determined according to one’s position in the Communist Party of China (CPC). All of the Politburo’s 28 members outrank Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi – he is merely one of 205 Central Committee members.

    Governments around the world have looked to China in hope that it would take a more active role in managing or resolving a host of global problems. Yet for China’s top leaders, foreign policy still does not look destined to become a key issue.

    The full article is here.