Drawing China into the nuclear and missile non-proliferation regimes has been a long-term process. Since opening a dialogue with China in the early 1970s, the United States has used a range of positive incentives and disincentives to encourage China to sign on to the various unilateral and multi-lateral commitments that make up the international non-proliferation regime. During the 1980s and 1990s, China's nuclear-related exports, particularly to Pakistan, were of major international proliferation concern. China, however, made notable strides in the 1990s by joining formal arms control and non-proliferation regimes.
The clash between liberals and conservatives in China is not unique. Reform in socialist-totalitarian states involves liberal factions, which in turn trigger a conservative backlash. Consequently, liberal-conservative conflict is necessarily a feature of reform in socialist regimes.
If Mr Tung learns from Mr Carter's successes and failures during his second term, he will likely become an effective and respected leader. He should formulate a clear vision, establish a structure of delegation, appoint talented people as advisers, and safeguard human rights and the rule of law.
It is clear that the role of the Chinese media has changed dramatically from the days when it functioned strictly as an ideological Party mouthpiece and government cheerleader. At the same time, its evolutionary trajectory remains unclear.