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Optimism over a relaxation of tensions in the South China Sea generated by China's agreement to discuss a code of conduct with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next month is rapidly dissipating in the wake of Beijing's clear reluctance to reach an early agreement.
The Chinese Communist Party is using the prosecution of former Politburo member Bo Xilai to prove its determination to root out corruption.
According to the Chinese Constitution, "the People's Republic of China is a socialist state ... led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants."
The Liberal Democratic-New Komeito victory in the upper-house election signals the return of political stability to Japan for the first time in seven years.
In recent years, there has been a noticeable change in China's attitude: it now acknowledges that an increase in power means the country should assume greater responsibilities.
China has significantly moderated its attitude toward its neighbors in Southeast Asia, without withdrawing any of its territorial claims in the South China Sea.
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Barely a week after the White House warned of a "negative impact" on the U.S.-China relationship because of Hong Kong's decision to allow Edward Snowden to depart for Moscow, the United States has moderated its tone dramatically to emphasize the importance of the overall Sino-American relationship.
The monthlong sojourn of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden on Chinese soil ended with his departure for Moscow and other parts after Hong Kong's refusal to issue a warrant for his arrest despite an American request.
Earlier this year, the state-run China Daily newspaper published an article in which it asked, "How can China make more friends?" This question is apt, especially since the latest 25-country poll for the BBC World Service shows that opinion of China has dropped to its lowest level since such polling began in 2005. In countries tracked by the BBC, 41 percent of respondents held positive views on China with 39 percent negative.
The two-day summit in California between U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping has been hailed on the Chinese side as having "blazed a new trail" and for having "set the tone" for Sino-American relations in the coming decade.
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