China policy moves to front of domestic political agenda

Tensions between China and Japan are showing no signs of abating and the US appears to be disengaged in any negotiations of a resolutionconcerning the territorial dispute.

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is on a trip to China for discussion on a range of issues, including continuing cyber attacks by the Asian giant, but the administration has not directly involved itself in any peace talks.

Few analysts expect any conclusion to the bitter disagreement over the East China Sea islands given the limited communications between the two nations and a dearth of diplomacy.

In fact, the Obama administration is more focused on China from a domestic and political perspective. In recent weeks, Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney have been engaged in a game of charges and countercharges about who was stronger on taking on China.

Interestingly, the public and policy experts disagree strongly on where US policy should be with regard to China. A Pew Research poll finds most voteres favor a “get tough” strategy toward China, while experts tend to support engagement.

The anti-China political strategy is not confined to the US. In fact, many Western nations struggle to balance the need for trade and holding China to account for unfair trade practices. Meanwhile, China, according to Businessweek, is still feeling the effects of a weak global economic market.

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