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December, 10, 2016

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Commentary > China Post > Frank Ching
Virtually on the eve of Xi Jinping's visit to the United States, both the Chinese and American governments took steps to ensure a smooth summit with Barack Obama. Xi sent a special envoy, Politburo member Meng Jianzhu, to Washington to defuse the issue of cybersecurity and, the following week, the U.S. for the first time sent one of China's most wanted fugitives back to the country.
 
China showed in its Sept. 3 military parade that that it wants to be viewed not just as an economic power but as a major military and diplomatic player as well. And, while it trumpeted its desire for peace, the display of its military prowess is bound to spur concern in other capitals.
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While China's dazzling military parade last week can be understood on several levels, the underlying purpose of the entire show, in which 30 heads of state or government participated, was clear and straightforward: It was to rewrite history.
 
President Xi Jinping's impending state visit to the United States will focus attention on the widening differences between the two countries rather than their common interests despite a slowing economy and other domestic Chinese problems.
 
Hong Kong is panicking at the discovery that the drinking water supply at several of its housing estates is contaminated, with samples showing lead that exceeds the World Health Organization's guideline of 10 micrograms per liter.
 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe failed to grasp the nettle when he delivered a much-touted address on the 70th anniversary of his nation's surrender at the end of World War II.
 
Despite strong opposition from China, the South China Sea issue was vigorously discussed by ASEAN foreign ministers at their annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur last week, as well as by foreign ministers of the United States, Japan and other countries.
 
Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Kenya, his father's birthplace, for the first time since becoming president in 2009. Also on his itinerary was Ethiopia. It was the first time for a serving American president to visit either country.
 
Two and a half years after the Philippines first sought international arbitration in its disputes with China over the South China Sea, the first hearings were finally held in The Hague this month by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, despite China's refusal to take part and its contention that the tribunal lacks jurisdiction.
 
The historic agreement reached by the world's major powers and Iran on that country's nuclear program marked the Obama administration's biggest diplomatic achievement in six years. China was one of the P5+1 countries negotiating with Iran. What was its role?
 
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