Beijing: China has experienced rapid development in recent years but "lacks confidence in its rise", a state-run Chinese daily said, noting: "How society should distribute power remains unknown."
An editorial in the Global Times said that a rising China has encountered a difficult time as provocations from outside escalate.
"...internal conflicts are on the rise. China, as a whole, has to meet the challenges from both within and outside," it said.
It said that China`s current strength is enough for it to avoid harm from outside, but for the authorities, "solving domestic conflicts is the more urgent task".
The daily stressed that challenges from outside are the stumbling stone for China`s further development. "If they are not dealt with promptly, China`s room for development will be limited and small confrontations may snowball."
It observed that failing to deal with "external provocations may cause discontent from within".
"Some international strategies may not be understood by the public. Some domestic forces will try to create misunderstanding between the public and the government. The freer a society is, the more such disturbances are likely to happen," it said.
The daily said: "The reason China is raising its defence spending is to ensure that China will not meet strategic suppression. It is why China is developing high-end arms and a strategic deterrent system."
"But these efforts have met with controversy domestically. It may be that China has been walking toward democracy, while it remains to be seen if these disputes will make China stronger or weaker."
On the Diaoyu Islands crisis, the editorial said: "China has no choice but to respond to Japan`s outrageous provocation. This is a vital step for China to consolidate its claims of sovereignty in the East and South China Seas."
"Regrettably, a few so-called elites have shown a cynical attitude toward the government`s stance. There are constant voices criticising the government for being too soft over the Diaoyu issue."
It went on to say that there`s often a disparity between public anger and the country`s policies.
"China is not a well-rounded country. It has never experienced such rapid development as it has in recent years and lacks confidence in its rise. How society should distribute power remains unknown."
It admitted that making "decisions is difficult".
"If its 1.3 billion population doesn`t have a clear sense of the importance of unity, disputes will always linger in society."