China_Brief_on_US-China_Relations_and_Upcoming_Elections

China_Brief_on_US-China_Relations_and_Upcoming_Elections -...

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POL 201/202 China Brief Volume 8, Issue 18 (September 23, 2008) Beijing’s Perspective: Sino-U.S. Relations and the 2008 Presidential Election By Dingli Shen Americans will decide in November whether a Democrat or Republican will become the 44th president of the United States, and the whole world is weighing how the two political parties' platforms and presidential candidates’ persona of “change” will impact the orientation of the world’s superpower and the new world order. China, as an emerging power, is no exception in keenly following the Democratic and Republican tickets for the 2008 American presidential election. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) even sent Ma Hui, director for the Americas at the CCP Central Committee's International Department, to observe the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at the invitation of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), marking the first time that the CCP participated in an American political party convention. Numerous government-affiliated think tank reports in China have repeatedly stated that Sino-U.S. relations are the single most important bilateral relations for Beijing. Since Deng Xiaoping initiated China's economic reforms, the United States has facilitated China’s opening and development by providing capital and technology as well as an immense market for Chinese exports. In 2006 U.S. foreign investment in China reached $22 billion, more than twice the amount four years earlier. Outsourcing by U.S. businesses has propped up China’s growing labor market while generating more taxable income, which in turn promotes social stability—and by extension the government's legitimacy in the eyes of the Chinese polity. These are facilitating factors that have accompanied the transition of the Chinese economy from a centrally planned to a more market-oriented system. Respondents to a recent survey published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Institute of Sociology revealed that 75 percent agreed that China was stable and harmonious—although the same study expressed concerns over the possibility of increasing conflict between the masses and government officials. The Chinese view of its government's relations with the United States is primarily based on economic terms and is shaped around the premise that sees China as a newly developing economy that offers opportunities to American investors to expand their wealth. According to The 2008 Pew Global Attitudes Survey in China, 55 percent of Chinese respondents think China's economy has a positive effect on the economies of other countries. Low cost Chinese manufacturing helps save $70 billion for American taxpayers annually, which provides credit for the United States to spend additionally elsewhere where needed. Beijing provides support to the currency of the U.S. government by investing heavily in U.S. Treasury Bonds and government-backed sub-
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