People’s Daily recently published a commentary suggesting there are concrete drivers for the development of the China-US relationship, no matter who wins the U.S. presidency. The commentary started with stating that the candidates in the on-going U.S. presidential election season have taken many opportunities to comment on China and to express their tough attitude. However, the article also looked back at former “tough candidates” and compared their before and after behaviors. Jimmy Carter severely criticized the human rights situation in China but established a formal relationship with China. Bill Clinton accused George Bush of being “too lenient” with China, but President Clinton indeed gave China the most favored nation (MFN) status that President Bush had refused to give. The root cause of this kind of dramatic difference is that there are drivers behind the need to develop the China-US relationship regardless of who the sitting president is. For the best interests of the United States, any U.S. president will realize that a peaceful and cooperative relationship is better than the old-fashioned “Great Power Rivalry” philosophy. China became the largest trade partner of the U.S. last year, with a trade volume that reached US$560 billion.
Source: People’s Daily, August 21, 2016