|U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) attend their third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on Oct. 22, 2012. (Xinhua/Pool/Win McNamee)|
US presidential candidates realize importance of relations with Beijing
The next US president will continue to seek China's help, despite any harsh campaign rhetoric, as long as the economy remains in the doldrums, analysts said.
US President Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney revealed increasing similarities in their China policies in their final debate in Florida on Monday night.
Romney, often labeled as hawkish on China, softened his tone markedly by saying "China doesn't have to be an adversary".
Repeating his campaign mantra that he would "label China a currency manipulator on day one", Romney also emphasized that China, "having an interest that's very much like ours", wants "the economy to work and the world to be free and open".
"We can be a partner with China — we don't have to be an adversary in any way, shape or form. We can work with them, we can collaborate with them — if they're willing to be responsible".
Li Haidong, a professor from the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, said Romney's tone toward China, the biggest foreign creditor to the US, had softened.
Obama declared China both an "adversary" and a "potential partner" by outlining how he set up a special taskforce to enforce trading rules and brought a series of successful trade cases against Beijing.
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