Friday, April 16, 2010

Balancing Domestic Politics and International Role

The Straits Times, Singapore
Apr 16, 2010
Chinese leaders cut trips

PRESIDENT Hu Jintao has cut short his visit to Latin America to rush back to China, while Premier Wen Jiabao has postponed a visit to South-east Asia next week.

Describing Wednesday's earthquake that killed more than 610 people in Qinghai province as a 'huge calamity', Mr Hu told reporters in Brazil: 'That is why I decided to bring forward my return to China.'

Mr Hu and the other leaders of the world's top four emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China (Bric) were in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia to discuss global economic issues and trade promotion.

The Bric summit was brought forward by a day so that Mr Hu could leave last night, Brazilian officials said.

The foursome were expected to push their demands that the Bric and other developing countries be given more say in global financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Mr Hu also postponed his planned weekend visits to Venezuela and Chile to return to China to deal with the earthquake in north-western Qinghai province.

Mr Wen arrived in Yushu county, the earthquake zone, yesterday to inspect quake relief efforts and visit the earthquake victims. The Premier was scheduled to visit Indonesia, Brunei and Myanmar from April 22 to 25.


Questions to Ponder:
  1. Compare China's current role in international politics versus how it used to react in th 1970s-1980s
  2. What is the impact of having top officials rushing back to inspect relief efforts?What are they trying to achive?

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