In articles written exclusively for AmCham’s China Brief magazine, US presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have outlined their visions for US-China relations if they were to come to power.
In the coming years, the United States and China face challenges that require fresh thinking and a change from the US policy approach of the past eight years. How the US and China meet these challenges, and the extent to which we can find common ground, will be important both for our own countries and for others in Asia and beyond.
China has achieved extraordinary, sustained growth over the past three decades. Hundreds of millions of people in China live better now than most thought possible even two decades ago.
But as China’s leaders acknowledge, China must make some basic adjustments if it is to continue sustained, shared economic growth. China must develop practices that are more environmentally sustainable and less energy intensive, that boost domestic consumption as an engine of growth, that enhance the social safety net, and that encourage indigenous technology innovation. Otherwise, the country’s future performance may fall well short of its potential… [Read more]
The resurgence of Asia is one of the epochal events of our time. It is a renaissance that is not only transforming the face of this vast region, but throwing open new opportunities for billions of people on both sides of the Pacific—Americans and Asians alike—to build a safer, more prosperous and freer world.
Seizing these opportunities, however, will require strong American leadership and an unequivocal American commitment to Asia, whose fate is increasingly inseparable from our own. It requires internationalism rather than isolationism, and global trade rather than national protectionism. When our friends and allies in the Asia-Pacific region think of the future, they should expect more—not less—attention, investment and cooperation from the highest levels of the US government.
A central challenge will be getting America’s relationship with China right. China’s double-digit growth rates have brought hundreds of millions out of poverty, energized the economies of its neighbors and produced manifold new economic opportunities. The US shares common interests with China that can form the basis of a strong partnership on issues of global concern, including climate change, trade and proliferation. But some of China’s economic practices, combined with its rapid military modernization, lack of political freedom and close relations with regimes like Sudan and Burma, tend to undermine the very international system on which its rise depends. The next American president must build on the areas of overlapping interest to forge a more durable US-China relationship… [Read more]
Our good friends from the China Law Blog have this to say about the two articles (and we can’t help but agree):
The summary of both is that China has done great things(duh!), still has a ways to go(duh!), and the US should cooperate, except where it does not make sense to do so )duh!). Yada, yada, yada. One can hardly blame America for focusing more on Sarah Palin’s glasses?
Now, what the two candidates have to say to Americans in China is one thing. Let’s wait to see what they’ll tell voters back home next.