Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A687-W426

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A687-W426


Release Date: Jan. 29, 2012



Topic: Xi Jinping's Upcoming Visit to the USA -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:习近平访美 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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Xi Jinping's Upcoming Visit to the USA

-- Wei Jingsheng



Next month, February 14, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will visit the United States.  Just as when last year the Vice President of the United States visited China, this visit is causing great interest in the international media.


The reason for the great interest about U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit to China last year was because he did not follow the routine by focusing his visit on the top two figures (President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao) in China, but instead paid attention to the internally designated successor of the Communist Party.  This diversion means that the United States puts its hope in dealing with China on its next generation of leaders, and does not have much more interest in the current leaders.


Why so?  The main reason is that Sino-US relations have not had any positive development over the years of Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao's ruling.  Not only has there not been the slightest progress on human rights and political issues, there was not any positive content on trade and other economic issues either.  This lack of progress has forced the United States to gradually move toward a trade confrontation.  Its policy adjustment in the political and military aspects has already begun.  There is a stronger and stronger smell of gunpowder from various political, economic and military confrontations between the two countries.


This year is a big US election year that includes a presidential election.  Intertwined with economic and political issues, politicians' behavior on the China issue has become the main topic of this election.  President Obama does not have an absolute advantage.  So, the U.S. administration is determined to obtain economic and political concessions during Xi Jinping's USA visit this time.  Otherwise the Obama administration will lose the trust of voters and supporters.  Such a loss could be the biggest challenge for the ruling Democratic administration before the official start of this year's elections.


From the attitude of both countries, the strategic adjustment of the USA has already formed a great deal of pressure against China's international politics.  On the issues of the South China Sea, trade, and Iran, the recent behavior on the China side is all somehow confused, as if it does not know to move left or right, to advance or retreat.  Yet, the problems in the South China Sea and the trade friction are also directly related to the domestic situation in China, as well as the succession of the leadership there.  Thus, the current leaders conveniently yielded and kicked the ball to the successor, guiding people to pin their hopes on Xi Jinping.


Therefore, Xi Jinping will encounter a lot of pressure during his visit to the U.S. this time.  Only now, when the visit is approaching, have they made the announcement.  This delay illustrates that the struggle within the Communist Party regarding this visit is fierce.  Various cliques bargained and struggled, yet to the end failed to reach unanimous agreement for everyone to accept.  Therefore, I feel that this visit by Xi Jinping will not meet the needs of the United States.  Xi will not bring the needed chips for the Americans.  His visiting agenda is an indication.


Of course, as a formal visit, Xi has to visit the US capital, Washington DC.  In addition, he will be visiting Iowa, which he visited before, and California where the largest Chinese population in the US lives.  Both options are good for him to play a sentimental card, in an effort to dilute the failure of his visit.  At least, he can add some sentimental show in the Chinese media, so he will not be too embarrassed.  This show is also what Xi Jinping needs for his domestic politics.  Otherwise, the visit will become the target of political opponents and shake his position as the successor in the contention.


To speak in detail, if Xi makes major concessions regarding trade and the exchange rate, it will affect the interests of big capital in both countries.  That will cause some defections to support his rival, and thus for sure affect the personnel arrangement for the 18th Congress of the Communist Party and even his own position in the future.  However, this concession will receive the support of the majority of Chinese, and is also in line with the U.S. interests.  These competing interests in the form of large-scale cooperation could be the key deciding point.  To choose is indeed very difficult and needs great wisdom and great courage.  I reckon that before Xi gets his real power he will choose a strategy of delay and avoidance, which will disappoint the Americans.  From his selection to visit Iowa and California for some sentimental show, you can see some clues.


In the past few years the United States has taken an aggressive posture on the issues of Iran, the South China Sea and Taiwan, but the Chinese side does not really have the power for true confrontation.  So its policy is inevitably wavering and unsure.  The United States is most likely to make concessions in these areas, but Xi Jinping must make concessions in economic areas.  Without a concession that is big enough to influence U.S. elections, there is no need for the Obama administration to make concessions to Xi Jinping.  This exchange of interest is almost naked.


So what concessions could Xi make?  From the most recent behavior by Wen Jiabao, making small-scale retreats on human rights and the exchange rate are more likely.  However, whether this concession meets the needs of the election show for the US administration will be the content of the face-to-face bargaining.  I estimate that a bargain between the weak-charactered Obama and strong-charactered Xi will not give the US too much of a good deal.


Then what could Xi Jinping take back home?  With the election of Ma Ying-jeou, there is no need for the U.S. to help on Taiwan's issue.  There is already an Iranian government concession on the Iran issue.  After all, lifting oil sanctions does not conform to the interests of the petroleum companies of both the U.S. and China.  So the only things left are the international disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea.  The United States will make some concessions to Xi Jinping on these issues, which will help Xi to consolidate the support of patriotic public opinion.  The American voters will not be very concerned about the territorial size of Japan and the Philippines.  These will be a common interest that both the USA and China can accept.


In short, this upcoming Xi Jinping's visit to the United States is related to the upcoming changes of the leaders in both the USA and China.  It is also related to the future economic and political development of both countries.  The relationships between these two countries and the different interest groups within both countries are very complicated and need both sides to apply their own political wisdom to balance.  Using the words of an average Chinese, it is a time to watch a good drama.



To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's related commentary, please visit:



(Written and recorded on January 27, 2012.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A687-W426

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A687-W426


Release Date: Jan. 29, 2012



Topic: Xi Jinping's Upcoming Visit to the USA -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:习近平访美 -- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生







为什么会这样呢?最主要的原因是胡锦涛、温家宝执政多年来,中美关系没有任何正面的发展。不仅在人权和各项政治议题上没有丝毫的进展,而且在贸易等经济议 题上也没有任何正面的内容。这迫使美国逐渐走向了贸易对抗的局面,在政治和军事方面的政策调整已经开始。中美两国在政治经济和军事各方面对抗的火药味越来越浓。










说得详细一些,这次他如果在贸易和汇率方面作出大的让步,就会影响到中美两国大资本的利益。其中必然会有一些人倒戈支持他的竞争对手,必然会影响到十八大的人事布局,甚至他本人的地位。但是这种让步会得到大多数中国老百姓的支持,也符合美国的利益。这种大开大合的利益之争,可以说是关键的一搏。选择起来确实很难,需要大智慧和大勇气。估计习近平在还没有真正掌权之前,会选择拖延和回避的策略,也就是说会让美国人失望。这从他选择访问爱荷华州和加利福尼亚州 温情秀的动作上,可以看出一些端倪。






但是习近平能带回去什么呢? 台湾问题因为马英九的当选,已经没有需要美国帮忙的事情了。伊朗问题已经有了伊朗政府的让步,取消石油制裁也不符合美国和中国石油公司的利益。剩下的只有南海和东海的国际争端了。美国在这些问题上给习近平一些让步,有利于巩固习近平获得爱国主义舆论的支持。而且美国选民不会很在意日本和菲律宾的领土有多大。这是中美双方都可以接受的共同利益。















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