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China Reacts To Obama's Victory, Preps For Own Power Handoff

XINHUA, GLOBAL TIMES, PEOPLE'S DAILY (China) BBC (UK) LA STAMPA (Italy)

Worldcrunch

BEIJING - Barack Obama's hard-fought reelection coincides with the once-in-a-decade handover of power in China, as the Communist Party Congress opens this week in the capital.

But all this superpower politics has produced comparably little mainstream Chinese coverage -- either of Tuesday's noisy conclusion of the U.S. campaign or the much quieter opening of the political watershed event.

The Xinhua news agency did offer the insidery basics of Obama's road to a second term: a road-tested and star studded campaign crew, including the energetic support of former commander-in-chief Bill Clinton; a bump in support for his skillful handling of Hurricane Sandy; and a strategy of focusing on early voting that they dubbed the "Michelle Plan."

But meanwhile, the People's Daily, the organ of the Communist Party, did take a nice swipe at the States on Wednesday, predicting failure of Obama's vows to usher in new policies: "America's Problem: Money Politics Seldom Supports Reforms"

A law professor and Chinese blogger Li Kaisheng noted the Chinese public's general support for Obama was based on the fact that Mitt Romney was seen as posing a much tougher posture towards China and characterized Beijing as a "currency manipulator." Nevertheless, Li believes Obama is increasingly focused on challenging China's influence in Asia.

BBC's Chinese-language website reported that Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the "Global Times" (a populist Beijing daily) expressed his "blessing" for the President's next term. "I hope that Obama has the vision and ingenuity on the issue of China. It should encourage the peaceful rise of China so that we can get rid of the tragedy of Great Power Politics and the world will be peaceful forever."

La Stampa noted that the U.S. vote was the top subject on Sina Weibo, the top Chinese version of twitter, with some 25-million microblog postings.

But to the authorities in Beijing, the far touchier topic is the 18th Communist Party Congress. And the coinciding of the U.S. elections is a reminder that China's own leaders are not elected by the people. All that counts is who is more pro-China.

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