Fletcher in the News

Voters Cynical Towards Candidates' China Rhetoric: Prof. Daniel Drezner

China Daily

Daniel Drezner is Professor of International Politics at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

China Bashing Should Soon Subside

In their second televised debate last week, US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney spared no effort in their attempts to blame China for all the United States' troubles. So their performance during the third debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on Monday evening came as something of a surprise.

Romney once again made his "Day One" oath to label China a currency manipulator and Obama touted his success in bringing World Trade Organization cases against the Chinese mainland. But, for the first time in the three debates, both Obama and Romney mentioned that the US and China can be partners.

Both candidates, who have made it a habit to talk tough on dealing with China, have denied this in the two previous debates, as well as in their numerous campaign speeches and advertisements. …

… I watched the debate on Monday evening in the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where Foreign Affairs magazine hosted a talk before the debate.

The two panelists, Daniel Drezner, a professor of international studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University, and Rachel Kleinfeld, founding president and CEO of Truman National Security Project, pointed out the many absurdities the two candidates had uttered on China and on many other global issues during their campaigning.

While Kleinfeld criticized the candidates' isolationist comments and China bashing, Drezner lamented that the candidates had made such foolish foreign-policy comments when foreign policy really counts for very little in US elections.

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