China Grapples with Its Role on Global Stage

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BEIJING, China - During his visit to China this week, President Barack Obama encouraged the communist regime to help solve global problems.

But despite its emerging status as a superpower, many of China's residents do not see that as their responsibility.

Marking 60 Years of Communist Rule

It was China's largest-ever military parade. More than 100,000 people gathered on Beijing's famous Tiananmen Square and millions more via television, to celebrate 60 years of communist rule

Is China a developing nation or a super power? Click here for an answer from Pat Robertson.

For Xie Lin and his fiancée, it was a symbol of China's growing military and economic might.

"It was a glorious moment filled with so much pride to see how far we've come," Chinese resident Wang Xinyu said.

"We could have never imagined the China of today 60 years later," Lin said. 

It is a nation that boasts the world's third-largest economy thanks in part to young couples like Xie Lin who are spending like never before. With that growing economic clout, President Barack Obama will use his trip this week to remind the Chinese people that they have to be a responsible stakeholder on the global stage.

Zhang Haibin is a political analyst at Peking University, one of China's pre-eminent universities.

"Because of China's growing economic clout, we have a responsibility to step up to the plate and tackle some of the big challenges facing the globe," Haibin said.

Too Much, Too Soon?

Obama wants China to engage in international issues from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to North Korea and Iran's nuclear ambitions. But that's easier said than done. People here are not interested in leading.

"It's too early for us to be considered a global leader," said one Chinese resident. "We have so much of our own national interests and problems to attend to."

Many CBN News spoke with insisted that China is still a developing nation and should be treated as one.

"People in the countryside are still very poor," another resident said. "We have a long way to bridge the gap between the rich and poor."

And when asked whether China should send troops to help in Iraq and Afghanistan one Chinese woman said, "These are not our wars and America should not drag us into them."

Xin Lie, who is searching this day for the latest Nokia phone, is worried about America's efforts to thrust his country prematurely onto the international stage.

"We love all the attention we are getting, but we want to spend our time instead on peaceful efforts," Lie said. "We don't care about intervening in other people's business."

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