Chinese on China and the US Presidential Candidates

With about one-third of the world’s people and a growing economy, the presidential candidates cannot ignore the “middle kingdom” of China.

Tim Johnson, a current resident of Beijing, recently posted both Republican candidate John McCain’s and Democratic Barack Obama’s plan for improving relations with China on China Rises. Chinese bloggers commented on their plans.
Daisann writes there isn’t a difference between the two plans.

“The differences in the two candidate's positions are so slight they're almost indistinguishable. Or is there some nuance that I'm missing?
Actually, the fact that two candidates who have such different positions on nearly everything come to something resembling agreement when it comes to China speaks volumes–if U.S. policy makers and “experts” had a deeper understanding of China and things Chinese, maybe these positions would move beyond boilerplate.”

Another commentator, who is American, writes why Obama’s plan has forced him to vote for McCain.

“Despite Bush being a bad president and all, China liked him because of Bush's mostly Laissez-faire policy toward China compared to other presidents. Obama's tone of how he can ‘change’ China is what China doesn't like. That's why I'm a democrat voting for McCain.”

An American living in Beijing, Stan Abrams, writes in China Hearsay, that American media outlets are oversimplifying the Chinese view on the elections and the U.S. He then adds that the candidates don’t care much about China.

“Let’s face it. Neither of these guys is trying too hard for the China vote, and I doubt that Sarah Palin could find China on a map.”

Chinese American author Irwin Tang compares Chinese-American relations to Russia, in a recent Asian Week post.

“With each pronouncement, China seems more and more like Cold War Russia…even as Russia seems more and more like Cold War Russia.

Of course, it is largely about race.

When China kept a downed U.S. spy plane for days before returning it to the United States, right-wing radio called for boycotting Chinese American restaurants, some even suggesting that internment of Chinese Americans might be advisable.
In Russia’s current war, it has invaded Georgia, killed thousands of people, and seized U.S. Army Humvees. Yet, no media here talk about boycotting Russian American businesses or throwing Russian Americans in internment camps.
Hanging over China’s Bird’s Nest stadium is the shadow of a burgeoning economic superpower. Some Americans believe that China is the main cause of U.S. unemployment. According to this logic, though, America is held hostage by China, who owns a substantial portion of America’s foreign debt.
China might end up owning America.”

While commentator on this post, Huang Fong, writes that people are simply scared of what is unfamiliar and with communication, relations can be improved.

“I think people in general just fears the unknown. If Chinese people continue to be secretive and closed, people tend to fear for the worst. Every Chinese have the obligation to open up and be friendly and spread the truth about being Chinese. Being in America, we know so much about Westerners, the kind, the cruel, and the ugly. The people in China, thinks that Americans are warmongers. From an outside perspective and from recent events, we can’t blame them. However, the Chinese people always seem to have a good feeling about American people who travel to China. Once communications begin, the fear will subside.”

Finally, A Chinese blogger now living in New York is simply confused with the morals of each presidential candidate and writes in her blog, that they are all, essentially the same.

“I’ve come to conclusion that the U.S. will end up like China, atheistic, market-oriented, corrupted, cheap, Olympics-crazy, with a pseudo-government who fly to New Orleans every now and then when there’s a hurricane just to show the country is still ok when it’s..not really.”

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