Candidates debate US-China policy

By Mitchell Blatt
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 30, 2015
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 [By Jiao Haiyang/]

When the 70th anniversary of allied victory in World War II comes to pass on September 3, it will be a good time to reflect on how American policy towards China has changed since then.

The U.S. and the allies had defeated the Japanese, liberating China, and had imposed a pacifist constitution on Japan. Now, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to change that constitution to give its military greater scope to back the United States, and the U.S. is challenging Chinese claims to islands in the South China Sea.

President Barack Obama will not attend China's military parade commemorating the anniversary. When historians look back at Obama's foreign policy, his "Pivot to Asia" will be one of the most significant legacies.

As America's 2016 presidential election campaign is getting underway, it is also a good idea to consider the U.S.-China relationship in the next four to eight years. With almost two dozen candidates running for office, there are many views on display.

READ: China-bashing poisons US politics

Presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton was a key player in Obama's Pivot to Asia as Secretary of State. In 2011, she wrote an article in Foreign Policy, outlining her views on "America's Pacific Century."

She wrote: "The fact is that a thriving America is good for China and a thriving China is good for America," adding, however, that issues of trust remain. Among those issues are military intentions and electronic security. Clinton has accused China of hacking U.S. government computers this July. Millions of personnel records on government workers were accessed.

China denied it was behind the attack, but Clinton said, "They're also trying to hack into everything that doesn't move in America. Stealing commercial secrets ... from defense contractors, stealing huge amounts of government information, all looking for an advantage."

Such a dispute will ultimately not be resolved. It is, anyway, up to America to protect its computer systems from hackers from anywhere.

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