Updated 10/25/2012 07:42 PM
Where do Romney, Obama stand on China?
The United States’ relationship with China is an issue of growing importance as both countries seek to find their place in the global economy. Our Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Erin Billups has more now on where the presidential candidates stand when it comes to working with the Middle Kingdom.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. relations with China have been an area of focus for some time in Washington and rightly so.
"We have long term friendships, the futures of democracies and capitalism, but it's also economically crucial and volatile and still emerging," said James Schoff, Carnegie Endowment for Intl Peace Asia Program.
The balancing act that is America's relationship with China took center stage during the final Presidential debate. Both the President and Governor Romney openly criticized the Eastern superpower for stealing U.S. intellectual property and undervaluing its currency, pricing its goods lower, making it harder for U.S. exporters to compete fairly.
Romney said, "That's why on day one I will label them a currency manipulator, which allows us to apply tariffs where they're taking jobs."
Romney says the Obama administration needs to be tougher on China. The President argues he has been.
"We have brought more cases against China for violating trade rules than the other previous administration had done in two terms," Obama said.
But Schoff says America's president must tread carefully with China, the single largest holder of U.S. debt. He says its position economically, and geographically, near some of America's closest allies, like Japan, and threats, like North Korea, is crucial.
Schoff said, "It's really emerging now, in terms of the trade rules, how the military alliances and rules of the road for dealing with freedom of navigation and now in cyberspace and outer space. If we try and impose U.S. leadership in an emerging Asia Pacific, we're essentially forcing all the other nations to choose between the U.S. and China."
Which may account for the desire both candidates showed to work with China.
"China's both an adversary, but also a potential partner in the international community if it's following the rules," Obama said.
Romney said, "We can be a partner with China. We don't have to be an adversary in any way shape or form."
Showing, that when it comes to China, the candidates are nearly on the same page.