Election result won’t impact US-China ties

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/8 20:03:39

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The US presidential election results are about to come in. But no matter who wins, it will not have major impact on China.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have criticized China repeatedly during their campaigns, but China was never a major topic in their debates and was featured as much in this year's election as it had been in the past. Given China's strengths and influences, it is not surprising that China was targeted by the candidates.

No matter who sits in the White House, the dynamic between China and the US will not be changed. Nor will the pattern of integrated interests and the Democratic and Republican parties' understanding of US-China relations.

Once Trump takes office, China will face more challenges at the economic and trade level. If Clinton wins, she will set more strategic and geopolitical obstacles.

But the overall situation will not change much, as China has experienced US leadership changes several times. Both countries know how to get along with each other during a transitional period.

China and the US are too big to make an extreme change for the better or worse, as such changes will have a profound influence. No matter within the US or across the world, there are too many interest groups involved in Sino-US ties that would like this relationship to remain stable.

Given the power of a US president, neither Clinton nor Trump has the ability to manipulate China-US relations at will.

The trajectory of this relationship will not be simply determined by Washington or a single US politician, but rather by both Washington and Beijing. And Beijing has had an increasing influence in this relationship. The time when Washington had the final say over the relationship has long past.

The South China Sea issue is one such example. The US has failed to leverage the South China Sea issue into a tough stance against China.

Economic pressure on China will not benefit the US. The US economy has been dependent on China's exports for some time. Increasing Chinese investment in the US has also boosted employment in the country. A trade war with the US is not on China's wish list, but China is not unprepared for such a scenario.

China has gradually gained its own advantages through geopolitics, which has in turn helped develop relations with the US. The US can benefit more greatly by developing a new relationship with China rather than what it gets through wheeling and dealing.

In the past few years, the US has benefitted in an aboveboard way when dealing with China. But at the same time, it has resorted to petty actions in China's neighboring areas. Has it won the heart of Aung San Suu Kyi or Rodrigo Duterte?

A notable point in this year's election is that the public hopes that their country could pull back on its global ambitions and concentrate on revitalizing its domestic economy and improving employment.

Neither China nor Russia is an expansionist in the traditional sense. Russia lacks the strength for expansion, and China does not have the will.

The tense international situation is a result of the US excessively guarding and squeezing China and Russia. The US obsession with geopolitics consumes many of its resources for little to no benefit.

The US' ability to project its geopolitical ambitions on the world has nearly come to an end. The rhetoric of Clinton and Trump during their campaigns may just fade away. The world should not take it seriously.

The article is an editorial of the Chinese edition of the Global Times Tuesday. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn


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