As the United States tuned into Tuesday night’s State of the Union address by President Obama, the first of his second term, China was watching as well.
China’s state-run news outlet and mouthpiece for China’s government, Global Times, posted an op-ed responding to Obama’s speech -- which focused mostly on domestic policy rather than foreign relations. But it was precisely domestic policy, especially economic policy, that interested the Chinese author of the opinion piece.
The article, titled “Stronger US-China economic ties would make Obama’s job easier,” outlined the reasons the current relationship between the world’s two biggest economies would help the U.S. solve its fiscal issues, but also keep China’s economy robust.
“By forging stronger economic ties with China in the next four years, his chance of success to fulfill his domestic promises would be boosted,” the editorial said.
“The logic here is simple and clear, for the US and China are so economically interwoven with each other that the economic well-being of either side would inevitably affect the other. As they are already each other's second-largest trading partner, neither economy can remain intact while the other is in a deep mess,” it continued.
According to Bloomberg News, last year China and the U.S. accounted for a third of the world economy. Though the two nations have experienced many bumps along the way politically, especially as the U.S. increases its military presence in the Pacific, the trade relationship benefits the two nations.
The U.S. was China’s largest export market last year, and China has been among America’s fastest-growing export markets over the past ten years as it continues to buy more U.S. goods.
“This is good news for Obama, whose trade agenda calls for doubling U.S. exports in the next five years to create two million jobs,” the article said.
According to research by the U.S.-China Business Council, three million American jobs were created as a result of increasing U.S. exports to China between 2001 and 2010.
However, relations between the two nations continue to face obstacles.
“U.S. policymakers need to avoid various obstructions such as trade protectionism, investment xenophobia, currency warmongering and Cold War mentality which is evident in Washington’s latest decision to impose sanction on Chinese firms.”
The editorial is referring to the new sanctions placed against four Chinese companies and one individual for doing business with Iran, which is under U.S. sanctions. Washington released a statement earlier this week saying that the four companies violated the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA).
The Chinese Foreign Ministry responded by claiming that China has strictly complied with international non-proliferation laws and has moderated exports accordingly.
The editorial went on to say that the U.S. should consider its relationship with China as a long-term connection instead of “shortchanging” it for political reasons.
“The prosperity of the world including China and the U.S., beckons (sic) on stronger ties between the world’s two largest economies. Therefore, building on past efforts and further advancing that relationship would be a wise choice for Obama as he presses ahead with his second-term agenda.”
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