China media: Anti-graft drive

The flag of the Chinese energy company PetroChina flies next to China's national flag Image copyright Reuters
Image caption China National Petroleum Corp - owner of petrol giant PetroChina - is among those being probed

Papers focus on news that the country's far-reaching anti-corruption campaign is looking to turn up the heat on its economically powerful state-owned enterprises.

China's top anti-graft body, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), announced on Wednesday that it would begin a major probe into 26 large state-owned enterprises, including major energy corporations such as China National Petroleum Corp and China National Offshore Oil Corp, on 26 February, the China Daily reports.

A report by the official Xinhua news agency highlights the widespread presence of "chain-type corruption" in state-owned enterprises, whereby top executives form a close circle with family members in order to "abuse power for personal gain".

No enterprise will be spared from the latest anti-graft effort, the agency warns, adding that even if companies have delivered good results, corruption has to be curbed as the ruling Communist Party is determined to pursue "strict governance".

The Haiwai Net - a news portal of the People's Daily party newspaper - strikes a similarly stern note, with a headline exclaiming: "State-owned enterprises, you should be trembling."

'Trans-Pacific handshake'

Moving to foreign policy, there is further optimism in state media about ties with the US following news that President Xi Jinping has accepted Barack Obama's invitation for a state visit in September.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption China's media hope for more such handshakes

In response, the People's Daily, the Communist Party's flagship newspaper, looks forward to a "trans-Pacific handshake".

Confident that the state visit will be a "historic" one that will push China-US ties forward, the daily adds that a warmer bilateral relationship between the two superpowers will "provide better security, ensuring global prosperity and stability".

A commentary in the overseas edition of the paper adds that both countries should "make full use of this important opportunity" to "expand on the positive elements and reduce the negative ones".

Even the nationalistic Global Times sounds a cautiously positive note, saying the visit is expected to "clarify many questions and uncertainties".

"Despite the many predictions of doom about bilateral ties, the two countries haven't been dragged into the 'inevitable' conflicts between a rising and an existing power," the paper says. "This is perhaps already a miracle."

"There is nothing more precious than when Mr Xi and Mr Obama shake hands and have amicable talks," it adds, and urges sceptics to "cherish the good momentum created by the two leaders".

Overawed neighbours

And finally, newspapers discuss whether the outside world fears China, in response a South Korean documentary series which some Chinese commentators believe overestimates the big neighbour's potential hegemonic power.

Super China, a seven-part series produced by South Korean TV network KBS and broadcast in January, focuses on China's economic might and the possibility of "Chinese hegemony", the Chinese language China Daily notes, adding that some South Korean viewers appeared to be both amazed and worried about China's rising power.

Chinese internet users dismiss this apparent awe as "exaggeration", "unbelievable" and based on "a hidden agenda of bias and misunderstanding".

But an article on Gucheng Net voices concern that "over-praising" is a sign that many foreigners are fearful of China.

"This exaggerated praise is no good for China, no matter whether they are heartfelt or the product of a hidden agenda", it warns.

An article in the Chinese edition of the Global Times seeks to reassure foreigners that a powerful China will not threaten world peace.

"Instead, it will be a positive influence," it says, adding that China's neighbours would feel "even more threatened by the influx of refugees and migrants if China, with its 1.3 billion people, remains poor and collapses".

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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