CNN, October 27, 2012
Edited by Andy Ross
In their debates, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney called China a partner.
This leaves the door open for building a good working relationship with
China's new leaders. The debaters traded jabs on how they would deal with
the trade and currency issue but skipped other major controversial topics
such as human rights and censorship.
China is expected to surpass the
United States as the largest economy within a decade. Both countries are
struggling to deal with the new power structure in the international system.
Both Obama and Romney claimed they would push China to "play by the rules."
Such an approach will not work. The United States must play by the rules
The United States still maintains some sanctions against
China, including the ban on exports of high-tech equipment and products to
China. This makes it hard for the United States to narrow its trade deficit
with China. The two countries are so interdependent that they no longer have
the luxury to choose whether to be friends or foes.
The two countries
are separated by huge gaps in political systems and cultural values. The two
governments still deeply distrust each other. America's deployment of more
forces in the Asia-Pacific region and beefing up its alliances with China's
neighbors smack of a policy of encircling China. Such containment will not
It has become politically incorrect to say anything good about
China during America's elections. Such practices may help a candidate to win
an election, but they are harmful to relations in the long term. The United
States is at the risk of creating a resentful China during the Asian power's
transition to a more diverse and open society.
Americans should never
lose sight of the big picture. As a global leader, the United States has the
moral responsibility to help promote democracy, human rights, and rule of
law in the world. With China in transition, the United States has a great
opportunity to help shape the future of a neighbor for generations to come.
AR This page will likely grow in future.