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Chinese react favorably to Obama win

9:47 AM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
BEIJING -- Many Chinese reacted with pleasure at President Obama's re-election — and frustration at their own, tightly closed political system. Others expressed hope that a leadership transition that formally starts Thursday with a Communist Party congress will gradually introduce political reform.
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BEIJING -- Many Chinese reacted with pleasure at President Obama's re-election - and frustration at their own, tightly closed political system. Others expressed hope that a leadership transition that formally starts Thursday with a Communist Party congress will gradually introduce political reform.

Given the growing ties between the USA and China, the world's two largest economies, many Chinese doubted that the often harsh rhetoric toward China aired during the presidential campaigns would translate into significant policy change toward the Asian giant.

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday congratulated Obama, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported. Hu said in a message that China-U.S. relations made positive progress in the past four years as a result of joint efforts.

Also, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, in line to be named the new Communist Party leader next week, congratulated Joe Biden on his re-election as U.S. vice president.

The results came late Wednesday morning Beijing time, when most of China was at work, but some citizens followed closely online, on TV and at an election results party held in a Beijing hotel by the U.S. Embassy for Chinese guests and media to experience the U.S. system.

"Most Chinese prefer Obama, as we know more about him, he's shown his ability over four years," said He Minjuan, after posing for pictures at the event between life-size cutouts of the two candidates. He, 25, researches early American literature at a university in Hohot, Inner Mongolia, where she uses videos of Obama speeches to teach English classes. "I like his passion. My students can learn his values, how to be a good man and his views of the world."

She enjoyed participating in a mock vote - she went for Obama - and recalled her single experience of voting in China, for university representatives to the local people's congress, four years ago. "It's just formalism, as we don't know who any of the candidates are. The real power is with the Communist Party, not the people's deputies and this is a real problem. But I have faith in my country and I have confidence it will change."

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