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U.S. Midterms: Two Years of 'Bickering' is Opening for China (Huanqiu, China)


Will a newly-elected Congress viscerally opposed to the president result in an incapacity to act at home and abroad? This editorial from China's state-run Huanqiu interprets the results of the 2014 midterm elections as more proof that the American system is badly flawed, with huge resources being wasted on partisan bickering while urgent domestic reforms go unaddressed.




Translated By John Chen


November 7, 2014


People's Republic of China - Huanqiu - Original Article (Chinese)

Republicans came out of the U.S. midterm elections last Tuesday the big winners, tightening their control of the U.S. House of Representatives and regaining control of the U.S. Senate after a lapse of eight years. With President Obama immediately becoming a "lame duck," this is a major change in the political winds in the U.S., although in comparison to a presidential change in party, the impact is smaller.


The bitterest pill will be swallowed by Obama himself. The election can indeed be regarded as a "referendum" on the achievements of his administration, in which the majority voted "no" and to shackle him with added chains for the final two years of his tenure.


Americans have elected a legislature thoroughly opposed to their president. It has been proven before that even the United States, star player of Western-style democracy, has trouble functioning in such a situation. As the president and Congress square off against one another over the next two years and the 2016 presidential race begins, the United States is unlikely to make any major decisions.


On the issue of China, the U.S. Congress is likely to become increasingly malicious and argumentative. The goal of the United States has always been to "contain China," and when daggers are drawn again the president, this tendency is often exacerbated. So when there is this type of momentum against a U.S. president, it often results in difficulty for China.


The Chinese people have become familiar with American political theater. Changes in the atmosphere of Sino-U.S. relations will not be much of a concern. China has endured much larger shocks to relations than these midterm elections will bring.


In addition to Obama, Hillary Clinton is likely the most worried about the midterm election results. She is widely expected to be the nominee of the Democratic Party in the next U.S. presidential election, and much of the U.S. mainstream is convinced she will have a triumphant victory. Given the defeat of the Obama-led Democrats, whoever eventually becomes the Democratic Party nominee will certainly feel the consequences.


Past U.S. presidential races show that in the absence of a president seeking reelection, the party that wins the midterms is likely to win the following presidential race. Republicans will undoubtedly take great inspiration from their midterm victory. Although the Republican Party still lacks a commanding leader capable of taking on Hillary Clinton, it may have won something more precious: a window of opportunity from the public.


With the United States in need of a political consensus to push through domestic reforms, its political system continues to bleed the country's resources on partisan battles. Whether this is being done out of pride or frustration is even being debated by the Americans themselves.



Across the Pacific, China has been undergoing radical reforms of its own. The two countries have formed distinct paradigms. In both, there are firm national supporters as well as those who envy the system of the other. Only time will tell which system is best.


The United States will not experience a moment of decisive change anytime soon, which is an opportunity for countries that have the capacity to change. China should be one such country. Greater dissatisfaction with a changing China may result in the use of existing power structures according to precedent, but the current system in the United States is unlikely to engender radical changes in its China policy. As long as we don't deliberately rock the boat, Sino-U.S. relations, even in the face of disputes and difficulties, will in the long term remain fairly stable.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


Obama's "Asia Pivot" has created a lot of trouble for China, but looking back and looking ahead, Obama's foreign policy can be regarded as relatively "moderate." So while Sino-U.S. relations may not fall of a cliff, a taste of bitterness will continue to linger.





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Posted By Worldmeets.US November 7, 2014, 5:39 pm








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