As China's 18th Communist Party Congress continues throughout this week, we here at the IB Times UK are continuing are spotlight on China. The political handover comes the same week as Barack Obama won a second term as US President, and many are wondering what relationship the two most powerful men on earth will have.
Thing's haven't been cosy between the two nations in recent years, clashing over trade, China's human rights record, and dealing on the international stage with the problems in Syria and North Korea. But perhaps the most important issue will be China's current standing with neighbours Japan. Since America's victory in the pacific during the Second World War, Japan had been the country's 'beacon of democracy' in the East. The territorial dispute over a rocky group of small, uninhabited islands known by the Japanese as the Senkaku and by the Chinese as the Diaoyu, is in danger of escalating as each side refuses to back down. Japan and the US continue to hold military drills in the area, a move that has angered Beijing. China's foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, recently said that Japan should not ignore the issue, and should be willing to negotiate.
He said, "Japan should not have any illusions anymore in this regard. Japan is supposed to face up to the reality, admit sovereignty dispute over the islands, correct its mistake and come to the negotiation table."
China's New Leaders find themselves in a sticky situation. In order to not appear weak and unpatriotic, they will continue to criticise Japan's claims over the islands, but they are also aware that any hostilities could have a disastrous effect on trade in the region and economic growth.
I am Ann Salter, thanks for watching. Follow us for the latest coverage of China's 18th National Party Congress, as the country undergoes this historic regime change.
Presented by Ann Salter
Written by Alfred Joyner