Chinese students weigh in on China, U.S. relations
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
During this year’s presidential debates, both candidates discussed China’s influence on the United States. Zijian Tang, a graduate student from China in the English Language Institute, said while he did not appreciate the negative comments made about his home country during the presidential debates, he was not particularly insulted.
“People emphasize the bad things about China, but the relationship between China and the [United States] is not so simple,” Tang said.
President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney had differing views upon China’s role in economics of the United States.
Obama said during the third presidential debate he thinks China can help the United States economically, but he wants the United States to assert its independence.
“With respect to China, China’s both an adversary but also a potential partner in the international community if it’s following the rules,” Obama said. “And we believe China can be a partner, but we’re also sending a very clear signal that America is a Pacific power, that we are going to have a presence there.”
Romney said he would be willing to combine efforts with China for the United States economic policy.
“We don’t have to be an adversary in any way, shape or form,” Romney said. “We can work with them, we can collaborate with them, if they’re willing to be responsible.”
Romney also said China’s effort to let the public know more about happenings within the government will help them work with the United States better in the future.
Ran Tao, an ELI student from China’s Jilin Province, said the main difference between Chinese and American governments is that the U.S. government is more open and friendly while the Chinese government is more rigid and structured.
Tao said he believes many U.S. residents think Chinese citizens have stolen job opportunities for Americans. He said the complicated relationship between China and the United States has led to hard feelings, but the countries can still be competitors without having significant animosity toward each other.
Haihong Yang, a Chinese language professor, said she believes the presidential candidates played “the China card” because the country has become a leading power economically, politically and culturally.
“Because of globalization, the relationship between the two countries has become interdependent,” Yang said.
Although Yang does not have the right to vote in the upcoming election, she said she hopes the candidate who is elected can promote cooperation between the two countries. She said a leader who can improve Chinese-American relations could significantly impact the future of the United States.
Sophomore and College Republicans President Elizabeth Catt, said U.S. presidents commonly use China as a scapegoat in times of economic distress. She said candidates should be more diplomatic when discussing the influences of powerful foreign nations.
“Candidates must be careful in what they say because our trade relationships with China are valuable,” Catt said.
Jianguo Chen, director of the Chinese program and Chinese Studies professor, said candidates would not have debated over China’s economic standing 20 years ago. He said living in the United States for the past 25 years has allowed him to observe both sides of the debate.