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We wish US president-elect Obama well
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By Li Hong and Du Wenjuan

Like American people on the other side of the Pacific, we are elated, too, at the landslide win of Democrat Barack Obama, who will become the 44th President of the United States of America on January 20 next year.

We wish him all the best in bringing America out of the present financial quagmire as soon as possible, and re-energize the world's largest economy with his brand-new ideas and vision. A strong US economy is in the interest of China and all other countries that trade with it.

We also hope the good momentum of a relatively amicable and constructive bilateral relationship between China and the US will sustain and extend during the incoming four years of the Obama presidency.

Running on promises to deliver pivotal "changes" which America crucially needs, President-elect Obama and his incoming administration face daunting challenges: to plug the loopholes of a precarious Wall Street financial system, rebuild a solid footing for a backsliding economy, to re-charter an American foreign policy that will move away from pre-emptive doctrine to one of resolving nation-to-nation disputes on the table, and to embrace more consultation on the world arena while avoiding confrontations.

We have every reason to anticipate a more cooperative and talk-savvy new America, that contributes to the United Nations efforts in settling varied disputes, that leads in a renewed approach to deliver new wealth for the Earth's inhabitants, that protects the environment and develops new and clean energies, that spearheads new and high technology innovations, and, that always upholds peace and economic growth.

Two facts apparently factored in Obama's election triumph. The crushingly dreadful economic contraction, triggered by the sub-prime crisis and a later meltdown of America's banking system, persuaded many voters to alienate the incumbent Republican Party candidate and embrace the Democrat challenger. And, Obama's consistent opposition to the 2003 Iraq War, in tandem with the majority American consensus, built up his victory too.

Imminently, President-elect Obama will focus on filling in his cabinet with able and cool heads, healing a national divide created by the general election, uniting both the conservatives and the liberals, and bolstering the economic fundamentals for a re-start. Now, the pinch of slumping wages, increasing factory closures and growing unemployment is being tasted bitterly, not only in the US, but also many other continents, including here in China.

Obama's campaign promise to levy more taxes on families that make US$250,000 annually, many believe here, might help enlarge America's coffer revenues, and help diminish its appallingly spiraling budget deficit, which, we think will help America a lot. But, in the short run, ratcheting up investment in infrastructure and small and medium businesses in the US will yield precious jobs, and prevent its economy from jumping off the cliff.

Chinese online readers have had enormous interest in the Republican-Democrat battle for the White House, not solely because of America being the world's most powerful nation, but also on the policies coming out of the Oval Office north of the Washington Monument that will have repercussions for the world, China included.

We hope that America will be a strong proponent for world peace, not a trigger for disputes or even conflicts. Knotty issues including Iran and DPRK nuclear problems can be solved on the negotiating tables.

And, Washington-Beijing ties must continue to be considered as one of the most important bilateral relationships. During the past few years, communications between our two peoples have become more reciprocally responsive and more amicable. As a growing market with 1.3 billion people, China is going to consume more goods made in America, creating job opportunities for the US And, as China is climbing on the industrial ladder, more lower-value and labor-intensive processing jobs will move to other developing countries, which will help set a trade balance between the two heavyweight economies.

We deem that the strategic dialogues and high-caliber talks of commercial and economic issues between the two countries established in the past few years, will continue to serve as good platforms for the two to discuss, and reach consensus on important issues. In addition, more than 1.3 billion Chinese living in China and overseas hope President Obama will continue to play a constructive role in facilitating the increasingly friendly engagement between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

In all, we have full confidence that Sino-American relations could reach a new high that will benefit both countries and the world as a whole, as President Obama takes the helm.

(China Daily November 5, 2008)


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