The China Factor

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Moira Whelan reminds me of an easily overlooked moment during the YearlyKos Democratic debate when Barack Obama emphasized that thought China is in some sense a competitor, it's not an enemy of the United States and we should strive to avoid turning it into one.

I wholeheartedly agree and think this is by far the biggest issue in this campaign that nobody's talking about. Sentiments about China policy tend not to break down along straightforward party lines. I think Bush's China policy has been mostly okay (certainly a triumph compared to most of the other things he's done) whereas neocons like Bill Kristol and Bob Kagan saw a "National Humiliation" in Bush's unwillingness to gin up a war with China over the EP-3 spy plane incident. Under the circumstances, it'd really be nice to hear what some different candidates think about this issue in some level of detail, but instead Obama made this brief remark and then we heard about China (from him and from the others) in purely economic terms rather than as a foreign policy issue.

Photo by Flickr user Mooney47 used under a Creative Commons license

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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