Mitt Romney was officially nominated as its presidential candidate by the US Republican Party Tuesday. Romney has showed a tough posture toward China, vowing to label China as a currency manipulator on his first day in office if he is to be elected. But he has attracted less attention from the Chinese public than previous candidates. In the recent few days, Chinese media has focused on a fleeing official and the inappropriate behavior of a security supervisor at the site of a traffic accident.
To China, the US matters less than before. Even though the majority of Chinese think the US intends to contain China and are worried about potential confrontation between the two sides, but the worry hasn't generated much apprehension.
Chinese increasingly believe the biggest challenge for the country comes from within. Washington cannot easily threaten us. Any move of the US against China will be responded to accordingly.
The tough words of Romney are regarded as only tricks to woo voters. Chinese have heard similar strongly worded pledges in US presidential elections before. Romney's statement wasn't taken seriously by Chinese either.
What if Romney really launches a trade war once elected? There is nothing to be worried about.
We can share the mutual benefits if Washington is serious about doing business together. Otherwise, China is willing to shoulder the consequences and see which side will outlast the other.
The White House often criticizes China as arrogant. Chinese are running out of patience over the empty and senseless demands Washington has raised toward China. We could be more firm in responding to outside challenges. If this is seen as arrogance, so be it.
Decades ago, the decision of the US to cut the quota of Chinese textile import could put Chinese under severe pressure.
Nowadays, the Chinese public no longer cares about a specific decision made by the US Department of Commerce, except in a small specialized circle. As China's interests are expanding, the weight of the US is decreasing among Chinese.
So Romney should be clear about who he is. Even he can win the election, he should feel lucky if his words have an audience in the US. He shouldn't expect the Chinese public to buy his words. The US cannot contain China's development, which can only increase the cost of the development. But it will pay a steep price itself if it chooses this route.
It makes no difference to the majority of Chinese, including many Chinese strategists, who wins the US presidential election.
Neither Romney nor Obama can overthrow the bilateral relationship. The only difference is since Romney is new, he might create more suspense.