The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Views From Abroad: China and a Roundup of Debate Opinions

by Newsteam Staff
October 29, 2012

Shaolin martial arts students perform in the opening ceremony of the 9th Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival in Zhengzhou October 21, 2012. (China Daily/Courtesy Reuters) Shaolin martial arts students perform in the opening ceremony of the 9th Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival in Zhengzhou October 21, 2012. (China Daily/Courtesy Reuters)


In this week’s Views, we head to China, where Wu Qianli writes for Caixin Media about what he sees as a lack of attention given to Asian-Americans by both President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney:

Logically, the two major parties should be fighting for Asian-Americans, since ideologically they identify with the family values and encouragement of personal effort emphasized by Republicans, while at the same time supporting the Democrats’ policy that the government should take care of vulnerable groups. The Asian-American electorate swings both ways.

However, rarely does any candidate in the Presidential election visit an Asian community or try to win them over. Given the increasing numbers of Chinese in recent years, some senators or local candidates have started to take notice of the Asian community, but this is not yet widespread.

Wu lays some of the blame on the lack of organization within the Asian-American community, which he says is divided by lack of a common religion, geographic background or ethnicity, but also notes that “this does not seem to explain the specific Asian-American problem, since the same phenomenon also exists to a certain extent in other ethnic groups. For instance, Jews come from different regions and vary widely in religious practices or cultural identity.”

The Voice of Russia also has compiled some thoughts on the U.S. election and policy toward China from Chinese bloggers, who compare it to the coming power change in China:

“China was the subject of TV debates. It means that the USA understands China’s weight and position in the world,” wrote blogger Belinda_BINA.

“China is an amazing country. First we speak badly of America, then we watch its presidential election and it worries us even more than the change of leadership in our own country,” wrote 无奈的啃老族 (Wunai de Kenlaozu).

USA Today compiled a roundup of opinion pieces on last Monday’s foreign policy debate from numerous countries.

From China:

Tom Holland, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong: “It is hard to know which was more hurtful to the ‘feelings of the Chinese people’: that both candidates … took such a combative stance towards China, or that they spent so little time doing it. Obama called China ‘an adversary’ and boasted he had launched more trade complaints against Beijing in four years than George Bush’s administration did in eight. (Romney) accused Beijing of waging a silent trade war against the U.S. and of stealing American jobs. … The rival candidates spent just six-and-a-half minutes discussing China, the world’s second largest economy.”

From Germany:

Gregor Peter Schmitz, Der Spiegel,Germany: “If Obama had ever hoped to leave these (Middle East) issues of yesteryear behind … it is a hope that was dashed in recent weeks. Since the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in a suspected terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, Romney has been on the attack. … Indeed, it appears as though Stevens’ death … has been enough to overshadow the killing of Osama bin Laden. … It has been enough to keep America fixated on the war on terror and preoccupied with the Middle East.”

From Israel:

Gil Troy, The Jerusalem Post: “If Obama wins, Israel does have cause for concern. … Chances are good that Obama will pressure Israel for more concessions on the Palestinian issue than many Israelis would otherwise make, and relations regarding Iran will continue to be fragile. Meanwhile, a winning Romney will probably have to adjust and show some sensitivity to Palestinian concerns to preserve American credibility on the issue.”

–Contributing Editor Kirsti Itameri

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