The China summit appeared to conclude with little change; hence, advantage China. They are on the rise, and recent polls confirm Americans’ anxiety about it.
Although Americans have a slightly unfavorable opinion of China (42% favorable vs. 49% unfavorable), they believe overall relations are more friendly (47%) than unfriendly (33%). But, Americans believe China is more of a threat to jobs (61%) than an opportunity for new markets (29%), and this view would not have been altered by the latest summit.
Avoiding a new Cold War will require a strong and sophisticated effort by America’s and China’s leadership. President Obama’s challenge during the summit was to be as firm as possible with China while defending engagement and trade. But American politics is increasingly anxious about our putative decline and its impact on the American economy. And, it is being reflected in congressional and some business interest calls for punitive trade policies and stepped-up military and alliance activities.
Similarly, China’s leadership must also contend with leadership factions that believe American policy is aimed at suppressing China’s rise. Ironically, China may become a motivation for “Sputnik movement” – that is, America’s effort to address a host of issues that could improve the country’s competitive position.
Real Clear Politics: Decline haunting Obama, America
Washington Post: Avoiding a U.S.-China cold war