Former US ambassador to China and one-time presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman is now on a visit to the island that calls itself the Republic of China, where he met with the leader of the party that would like the island to stop calling itself that.
The next generation of the Chinese leadership, headed by Xi Jinping, loomed large in discussions between Huntsman and Su Tseng-chang, head of the Democratic Progressive Party. Here’s what he said according to Want China Times:
“I believe that the leaders in China understand that change is inevitable,” Huntsman told Su during the public portion of the discussion.
“It can’t happen now — because it’s a political year,” Huntsman added, in reference to the Chinese Communist Party’s upcoming 18th National Congress, where Xi, currently vice president, is expected to replace Hu Jintao as the next leader of the country.
Once the national congress is over, changes will follow because Xi will be the first Chinese leader in three generations not to have been personally anointed by the late Deng Xiaoping, Huntsman said.
The new leadership in Beijing, however, will not be keen to proceed too quickly due to “concerns about instability,” meaning changes are unlikely to be implemented until Xi’s regime has stabilized, which may take two to four years, he added.