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EDITIONS
 Saturday, 16 November, 2002, 13:47 GMT
Press split on Jiang's successor
A Beijing resident reading the People's Daily
Chinese papers expect current policies to continue
In China and the surrounding region, newspapers differ over the importance of Beijing's leadership change.

China's official newspapers emphasize that the Communist Party's new general secretary, Hu Jintao, will continue the policies of his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, whose successes at the party congress have received far more coverage and comment than Mr Hu's promotion.

There is much trumpeting of the elevation of Mr Jiang's "Three Represents" into the pantheon of Chinese communist ideology alongside Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory.

The People's Daily says that "all party comrades are deeply convinced" that Mr Hu will stick to his predecessor's path.

A new era has begun in China... a new era of President Jiang Zemin

South China Morning Post
According to the editorial in the mouthpiece of the party's Central Committee, they believe the he "will hold high the great banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory, fully implement the important thinking of the 'Three Represents' ".

The party is convinced that China's future development will be "even more promising" as Mr Hu carries on with "unfinished tasks" and continues to "press forward courageously", it adds.

Clean sweep

Elsewhere in the region, some commentary predicts that Mr Jiang will continue to control things from behind the scenes while other editorials see hope for the new arrival to sweep in change.

In Japan, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun is glad to see the back of "the unabashedly anti-Japanese Jiang Zemin regime".

"The Hu Jintao regime has the potential to serve as a turning point in the improvement of Japan-China relations," it declares.

In Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post takes a less optimistic line on Hu Jintao's leadership.

It declares that "a new era has begun in China" before explaining:

There are many people who question Mr Hu's will for reform

Chungang Ilbo
"It is not that of Vice- President Hu Jintao, who has taken over the top post in the Communist Party. Rather, it is a new era of President Jiang Zemin".

"His influence will be undiminished," it says.

A separate commentary is more positive, expecting the new leadership to stress the market economy over revolutionary ideology - hopefully strengthening the doctrine of "one country, two systems" and keeping communism out of Hong Kong.

Future dangers

There are fewer worries among China's other neighbours, although South Korea's Hangyore predicts that "China's future will not always be a broad and steady one."

Chungang Ilbo notes that "there are many people who question Mr Hu's will for reform" but is encouraged that Seoul and Beijing will get new governments at the same time.

The way has been charted, the blueprint has been drafted, and the horn has been blown

Jiefangjun Bao
"It is timely that Hu Jintao's takeover of the presidency and the inauguration of our new government will fall in March and February, respectively," the paper says.

Back in China, the army daily stresses - in an editorial that doesn't mention the new leader by name - there will be continuity.

"The way has been charted, the blueprint has been drafted, and the horn has been blown," Jiefangjun Bao declares.

"Let us rally closely around the Central Committee, unite as one, work hard, constantly push forward the socialist drive with Chinese characteristics, and jointly create our happy life and beautiful future," the newspaper concludes.

China Daily carries little comment on Mr Hu, but he features prominently in factual reports.

We will live up to the great trust of the entire Party and the expectations of people across the country

Hu Jintao in China Daily
Under the headline "Hu leads party to blaze new trails", the English-language paper reports on Mr Hu's first media briefing as general secretary.

"We will live up to the great trust of the entire Party and the expectations of people across the country," Mr Hu promises in remarks reported by the newspaper.

Across the Taiwan Strait, an optimistic China Times sees signs that the new leaders will be more modern and open than their predecessors.

With few memories of the bitter struggle that brought the Communists to power in China and saw Taiwan go its own way, the hope in Taipei is that the new generation will make for easier dealings between the two sides.

However, the United Daily News and the China Post, among others, call for the new leaders to bring more democracy to China, saying that without it Taiwanese would be unlikely to agree to reunification.

Echoing the theme that China's leaders remain distant from its people, the Liberty Times goes further.

It sees the leadership change as a one-man show directed by Mr Jiang and warns that one-party rule is the biggest threat to stability in China.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Adam Brookes
"Its an endorsement of capitalism"
  The BBC's Francis Markus
"In his speech, Mr Jiang sets out his blueprint for bringing the party up to date"
  The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes
"The opening of this congress was a carefully choreographed ovation to Jiang Zemin"

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