Analysis: China Heir-apparent Embarks on Regional Roadshow

From Reuters:

Chinese Vice President , likely to succeed Hu Jintao as president in 2013, on Monday joined a long line of China officials to woo as U.S. President Barack Obama canceled his return to a region he has called a priority.

Xi arrived in Dhaka on Monday on a tour that will also take him to Laos, New Zealand and Australia, criss-crossing a region where China’s economic growth offers both hope and cause for anxiety.

Beijing wants to press its message that it is not a threat and hopes to serve as a harmless regional adhesive, promoting trade and cooperation, and Xi is sure to hold to that theme.

“Especially since the financial crisis, China’s influence has grown, but in the region that influence is accompanied by mutual misgivings,” said Qin Yaqing, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University who has advised his country’s leaders.

“These visits by our leaders are intended in part to reassure nearby countries, to ease those misgivings.”

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