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Similar views voiced on China (2)

By Tan Yingzi in Washington and Zhao Shengnan and Wu Jiao in Beijing  (China Daily)

08:30, October 24, 2012

Whatever the intent, talking tough on China has become the norm for politicians of both parties.

The debate on China focused primarily on economic ties.

Both men used the China question to occasionally address domestic affairs, without mentioning human rights.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the economy is the main topic in the election.

Obama and Romney clearly know the importance of China to any economic recovery, but they still tend to label China as the scapegoat for long-term problems, Li said.

Li also rejected Romney's assertion that China would lose any potential trade war, warning that both countries would suffer.

Kenneth Lieberthal, China specialist at the Brookings Institution, said that it was a bit surprising to hear Romney sounding like Obama during the debate. "Throughout the whole debate, Romney tried to convey that he is, in reality, a moderate on foreign policy and he was trying to be presidential," he said.

He noted that it was a "very positive statement" from Romney saying China could be a partner and the challenger did not mention building up the US military presence in Asia as he had before.

Both men fundamentally shared the same view that the US can have a productive future, and good economic relations, with China but Washington needs to get its own house in order before dealing with other countries, Lieberthal said.

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