News / USA

China is Important Campaign Issue for Obama, Romney

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. (file photo)
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Des Moines, Iowa. (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
China has become an increasingly important issue in the United States presidential election, with both President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney pledging to take a strong stand against the rapidly growing Asian power.

The issue has taken on greater prominence as America's economy, the largest in the world, struggles to recover from a recession and China, the world's second largest economic power, continues to engage in what some say are questionable trade practices.

Romney, the Republican Party candidate, has been particularly outspoken, promising to counter what he says are abusive Chinese practices in the areas of trade, intellectual property, and currency valuation. He has vowed to designate China as a currency manipulator, a label which could lead to sanctions.

President Barack Obama speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington, August 20, 2012.
President Barack Obama speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington, August 20, 2012.
President Obama, a Democrat who originally sought deeper ties with Beijing, has in recent months taken a tougher tone on China. While he refuses to call the country a currency manipulator, he has strongly criticized Chinese economic policies and brought a series of high-profile trade disputes against China.

Assertiveness seen as challenge

Another concern is China's military buildup and increased assertiveness in defending its maritime claims in energy-rich areas such as the South China Sea. Earlier this year, Mr. Obama announced what he called a strategic "pivot" toward the Pacific region. Many saw the move as an effort to contain China's rise, though officials in Washington deny the claim.

But a senior Romney national security adviser has criticized that policy in a new article in Foreign Affairs magazine. Aaron Friedberg, a co-chair on Romney's Asia-Pacific working group, says the Obama administration's approach lacks "serious substance," saying the White House should admit the "obvious fact" that the policy is aimed at China.

While Friedberg acknowledged that both the U.S. and China would benefit from a healthy bilateral relationship, he accused Washington of engaging in "diplomatic happy talk" that exaggerated the accomplishments of the administration's efforts to promote better relations.

Tough talk

Though Friedberg was not speaking officially for the Romney campaign, his comments are consistent with those recently made on the campaign trail by Romney and his vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan.

Last week, Ryan accused Obama of failing to deliver on his promises to "go to the mat" get tough with China to stop its questionable trade practices. Instead, Ryan said China has treated Barack Obama like a "doormat." Ryan promised to crack down on what he called China's "cheating."

And at a recent campaign stop in Florida, Romney mocked Beijing's plans to send an unmanned rocket to the moon, saying that the U.S. has already beaten China to the destination with a manned spacecraft sent there 43 years previous.

Beijing dismisses remarks

Beijing has dismissed such statements by both candidates as irresponsible and politically motivated, and has suggested they could hurt relations between the world's two largest economies.

But observers say it is common for U.S. presidential candidates to challenge the incumbent on his dealings with China. But what is less clear is the extent to which those candidates would alter one of the United States' most important and complicated bilateral relationships.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Hoang from: Canada
August 26, 2012 8:47 PM
Jonathan Huang from Canada,
If you like Communist China, go back to China. Why do you live in Canada?
The reason China has grown economically so far is because the U.S and the Western countries wrongly gave China special status for trade and gave them technology. China also cheats and steal and doesn't play by the rules.


by: Rick from: Beijing
August 26, 2012 1:25 PM
China is Important Issue just During the Campaign year for Presidential Election.


by: David from: China
August 26, 2012 7:07 AM
I don't understand why some people just wants to badmouth China ; did you even come to china before ? We love peace, we don't want war, but we are not afraid of war. Those people are just jealousy of china's development across the board. The US governemnt always wants to use the territorial disputes between China and the neighbouring countries to hold back China. The US government should focus on your problems, making good things for your own country and people, not just tried to accuse China. There is a limit to our patience.


by: Reader from: China
August 25, 2012 7:23 PM
The U.S., like most other industrialized nations, has EXPORTED its own manufacturing base to China and enjoys the cheap products made in China.

China, on the other hand, has the whole world as its market and has made money out of almost ALL the countries in the world.
With one party controlling everything, with two eyes looking at money, and with three-hundred million migrant workers working without minimum pay, without social security, without benefit, which country could compete with China?

If the situation continues for 20 to 30 more years, a war is unavoidable.


by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
August 25, 2012 1:27 PM
one party system is definitely superior than two or more parties in current China situation. Because one party system can avoid chaos and keep whole country stable and high efficient. Stable is the main reason why China can grow super fast these years. China system is superior than those in India, Russia, Mexico, south africa, brazil. Chinese are watching other countries, we can see it clearly so dont try to fool us, clean your own shi *t first, ok?


by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
August 25, 2012 1:21 PM
the friction between China and west is not economy, not ideology, not even territory disputes, it is race. Race discrimination is the root sin in west. But China will keep developing in economy and technology, because we know it is the only way to beat west, we will keep working hard just like we did in Olympic. We will not stay at the second we want to be the best! CCP is important to stay in power to guaranty a stable environment of developing. Arab spring has no market in China, you still dont believe that? try again!


by: Mike from: U.S.
August 25, 2012 12:17 PM

In China, everything is controlled by the party -- the communist party. Yes, everything: people's minds, way of living, and of course, currency.

Before China becomes a democratic society, the friction between China and the industrialized nations is going to get deeper and deeper.


by: Trang Phan from: VietNam
August 25, 2012 9:04 AM
China is the world's second lagest economic power doesn't mean that they can do anything what they want,especially The East Sea issues (biển Đông).VietNam is a small country so we still have no voice on the international stage,i hope the maritime disputes will be resolved base on international law.


by: Machael from: China
August 25, 2012 7:46 AM
China is growing fast, Chinese people are friendly, we should keep the situation peace.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 24, 2012 2:06 PM
Tackling China is surely a way forward. From Every indication, Obama pleads like a kid with the Chinese and so cannot get anything out of the intrinsically conning China, especially now that it's beginning to grow wings. But China is also an intrinsically atheist country whose rising to power is like the rising of the gentiles to spite God's people when they fail in their duty to God. Which is also the lot with USA and Europe. Only a true return to God will reverse the advance of the 'Assyrians', otherwise, no talking tough or conceived ideology has power to stop the 'siege', and they will go further to ask to take one of your eyes when they take over. God bless America!

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid