(LinkAsia: November 16, 2012) Yul Kwon: So who is Xi Jinping? Neighboring Japan is keenly interested to know what the leadership change means for the future of its strained relations with China. Here's Japan's public broadcaster NHK with its take on the new Chinese leader.
NHK World NEWSLINE Airdate: November 9, 2012
Reporter: Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping is 59 years old. He comes from Shanxi Province. Communist Party leaders named Xi Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission in 2010. He's taken an active role in diplomacy as well as domestic affairs.
Xi Jinping: China is committed to defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will try to settle disputes with our neighbors over land and sea rights through friendly negotiations.
Reporter: Xi Jinping's father was a Vice Premier. So Xi became part of China's informal princeling network. Princelings gain power by taking advantage of their parent's status and ties to influential figures. But Xi didn't have it easy. Authorities ousted his father and jailed him during the cultural revolution. Xi was forced to work in the countryside as a teenager. He went to a prestigious university in Beijing from 1975 to 1979. And then he spent the next quarter century holding down key positions in the Communist Party and the government in Fujian, Zhejiang and Shanghai.
Reporter: Xi gained domestic and international prominence in 2007. He skipped the stage of Politburo member and went straight into the Politburo's standing committee. Xi's wife is a well known figure in her own right. Peng Liyuan is popular singer in the troupe belonging to the People's Liberation Army. Analysts say her star status and support from the military has helped Xi's career. Xi has spent the past couple of years cementing his position as successor to President Hu Jintao. He visited the U.S. in early 2012 to promote relations. His counterpart, Vice President Joe Biden was with him for much of the visit.
Xi Jinping: We will, in light of China's national conditions, continue to take concrete measures and craft effective policies…to promote social fairness, justice and harmony, and push forward China's cause of human rights.
Reporter: Xi said that on some issues, the two governments will not necessarily see eye to eye.
(LinkAsia: May 4, 2012) Yul Kwon: Here's Japanese broadcaster NHK with a report explaining who Chen Guangcheng is and how the Chinese government is responding to his escape.
NHK World NEWSLINE Airdate: May 2, 2012
Susumu Kojima, NHK World: Civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng lost his sight as a child. He taught himself law and started campaigning for the disabled. He also spoke out against forced abortions under the government's one-child policy.
Chen was detained by police in 2006 and spent the next four years in prison. His ordeal continued after his release in 2010. The dissident was put under house arrest with his family in Shandong province.
Sources close to Chen say the dramatic escape happened on April 22nd. He is said to have broken out, climbing over the wall around his house. The sources say he managed to slip past the guards and arrived in Beijing four days later.
After the escape, Chen posted a video message on the internet. It is a direct appeal to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. He demands an investigation into his case. He says his house arrest is illegal and claims he and his family members have been beaten up.
Chen Guangcheng: More than 10 men pushed my wife down to the floor and covered her with bedding, then repeatedly beat her for several hours.
Susumu Kojima: On Wednesday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson accused the US embassy of being deeply involved in Chen's case. Observers say that while the Chinese government wants to draw a line under the issue, public reaction could force it to make a stand against the US.