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Huanqiu, China

US Election Results Will
Not Affect Global Governance

Translated By Meghan McGrath

7 November 2012

Edited by Lau­ren Gerken

China - Huanqiu - Original Article (Chinese)

Many countries have been speculating about Obama’s re-election and the global effect it will have. In comparison with Romney, who would be too tough on China, Obama is a blessing.

Is it possible that the U.S. presidential election will affect U.S. foreign policy and global governance? This way of thinking is China’s political method, and will act as a model for U.S. politics. The preferences of the main leaders of China’s foreign affairs will determine the foreign policy of the next decade.

The federal government determines U.S. foreign policy, although national interests tend to have greater influence on foreign policy than the president does. The president just chooses which policy best serves the country's intangible interests.

U.S. national interests are divided into two issues. First is maintaining U.S. security and remaining free from other countries’ intervention. Second is maintaining American global hegemony in occupied regions without interference. The former stresses exceptionalism, isolationism, consciousness and a desire for peace and freedom from the intervention of other countries. The latter is derived from the Roosevelt Corollary and aims to maintain the former concept by maintaining U.S. national security and necessarily moderating intervention in regional and even global affairs.

With this in mind, it is not difficult to notice that over the past decade, U.S. foreign policy has been subject to the aforementioned framework. Eleven years ago, the terrorist attacks on the U.S. challenged national security. George W. Bush began focusing on counter-terrorism and Obama continued it. Now that Osama Bin Laden has been killed, Obama and Romney have shifted their strategic focus to East Asia, to respond to the challenges brought on by the rise of China.

Therefore, regardless of whether Obama or Romney took office, the U.S. global governance would not have changed fundamentally, it would just have used different approaches. Obama will have to deal with the rise of China, including the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Plan, which will build the East-West Pacific economic cooperation, actively communicate with the authoritarian regime of Myanmar, connect with Australia and the Philippines, decentralize power among other allies and institute a system of checks and balances in East Asian countries.

Romney dealt with bilateral issues, including the economic rise of China, China as a currency manipulator, speeding up market reforms and strengthening fair trade. It’s expected that under Romney’s rule, the trade war and exchange rate war with China would increase, but the system of checks and balances would be reduced. Good at dealing with the trade war and bilateral relations, Romney’s focused attacks on China's economic and trade issues are not necessarily a bad thing.



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