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Election '08 and the Challenge of China - New USCI Documentary

October 6, 2008

The U.S.-China relationship is complicated and is vital for both
countries and the world. Where do Senators McCain and Obama stand on
U.S.-China trade, security, environmental, and human rights issues?
How important has policy toward China been in past elections and in
2008? These are the questions explored in a USC U.S.-China Institute
documentary.
Clark T. Randt, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to China

http://china.usc.edu/ShowArticle.aspx?articleID=1191

Responding to the rise of China is arguably the most important
foreign policy challenge the United States will face in the next
fifty years. No bilateral relationship is more critical. The range of
issues is daunting. On the economic front, bilateral ties have been
strained by disputes over trade flows, product safety, currency
values, intellectual property rights and China's new appetite for
investment abroad, including in the United States. China's impact on
the environment and its role in addressing the problem of climate
change has assumed increasing importance. In terms of security, the
U.S. has been concerned by China's military modernization, insatiable
quest for natural resources, and its role in such volatile hotspots
as Darfur, Iran and North Korea. All these issues raise the broader
question of whether China will become a "responsible stakeholder" in
the international system. American policy toward China will play a
key role in determining whether this emerging superpower becomes a
partner or an adversary.

Despite its importance, however, China policy has not figured
prominently in the presidential campaign, or in the media coverage of
it. even in the just completed McCain-Obama foreign policy debate.

The USC U.S.-China Institute, with the assistance of the Pacific
Council on International Policy and the USC Annenberg School of
Communication, addresses this gaping hole in the discussion with
Election '08 and the Challenge of China, an eight-part video report
examining the key issues in U.S.-China relations, the role the
relationship has played in past elections, and the positions taken by
candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.

Reported by Mike Chinoy, former CNN Beijing bureau chief and
currently the Edgerton Senior Fellow on Asia at the Pacific Council
on International Policy, the series traces the evolution of the
U.S.-China relationship since the Nixon opening in 1972 and then
explores key issues in the relationship today: trade, Taiwan, human
rights, the environment and the changing global strategic landscape.
Concluding segments focus on China as a campaign issue and the
candidates' positions on China. Election '08 and the Challenge of
China features the candidates speaking out on China, as well as
historical footage and exclusive interviews with top policy advisors,
influential former officials, and noted scholars. Craig Stubing,
US-China Today's multimedia editor, edited the documentary.

What does the rise of China mean for America? Election '08 and the
Challenge of China helps voters reflect on the big issues and the
policies articulated by the candidates and their advisors.

Access

Click on the links below to view the eight part documentary. The
documentary's total length is 41 minutes. Please contact Clayton Dube
at the USC U.S.-China Institute (1-213-821-4382 or cdube@usc.edu)
with questions about the documentary and its themes or screening
inquiries. The documentary is also available at the USC U.S.-China
Institute's channel at YouTube.


The Big Picture: Part 1 of Election '08 and the Challenge of China

The opening segment documents the importance of the U.S.-China
relationship and its complexity. China has the fastest growing large
economy, has become the top producer of greenhouse gases, and is
increasingly prominent in negotiations to limit the spread of nuclear weapons.

Tension over Trade: Part 2 of Election '08 and the Challenge of China

Every American consumer knows how prominent Chinese goods have become
in American stores. In 2007, the U.S. imported goods worth $256
billion more than it exported. Many of these products wear famous
American brand names. In 2007 and again this fall, product safety
issues have emerged. This segment addresses these issues and others,
including China's massive (over $500 billion) investment in America's
national debt and working conditions.

Human Rights in China : Part 3 of Election '08 and the Challenge of China

Chinese today enjoy great freedom in their everyday lives, but
Americans of all political leanings express concern about China's
human rights record. The Chinese government's suppression of
demonstrations and riots in and near Tibet in March again focused
attention on the issue, as did restrictions on demonstrations during
the Olympic Games. Like his predecessors, President George W. Bush
has met with Chinese political, religious, and labor rights activists
and has called on Chinese authorities to do more to secure basic
liberties. These criticisms and those of Bush's predecessors have had
limited impact.

Taiwan and China's Military Buildup: Part 4 of Election '08 and the
Challenge of China

Taiwan is routinely cited by Chinese as one of the issues most likely
to produce conflict between the U.S. and China. The U.S. supplies
weapons to Taiwan's military, but the American government has firmly
opposed any Taiwan declaration of independence. The U.S. calls on the
officials on both sides of the strait to work collaboratively towards
a peaceful and enduring resolution of Taiwan's status. Since the end
of U.S.-Taiwan relations, Taiwan has become a thriving democracy. Ma
Ying-jeou became president of Taiwan on May 20, 2008 and has pledged
to work towards better ties with the mainland.

China's Growing International Clout: Part 5 of the Election '08 and
the Challenge of China

China's playing an important and growing role at the United Nations,
in the World Trade Organization, and in multilateral efforts to
better protect the environment and to restrict the proliferation of
nuclear weapons. China's rapid economic development requires ever
increasing energy supplies and other resources. To secure these, has
led China to sometimes forge ties with regimes the U.S. condemns. At
the same time, many note that China is becoming more of a
"responsible stakeholder," promoting international stability and progress.

China and U.S. Campaign Politics: Part 6 of Election '08 and the
Challenge of China

It's a well-established tradition for candidates to criticize how the
current president has dealt with China. These candidates complain
that the president has been "too easy on" or "to close to" China.
Upon moving into the White House, presidents have found it necessary
to forge stronger ties with China in order to achieve other aims.
This segment reviews nearly thirty years of candidate statements and
presidential policies.

McCain and China: Part 7 of Election '08 and the Challenge of China

Senator John McCain has noted that America has shared interests with
China, but not shared values. He's long been a free trade advocate.
This segment includes McCain speaking on China in Los Angeles and
interviews with his principal advisors on China policy.

Obama and China: Part 8 of Election '08 and the Challenge of China

Senator Obama has been critical of existing Chinese trade and
currency practices. This segment includes the candidate speaking on
China in Iowa and Pennsylvania and elsewhere. It features interviews
with Obama's principal advisors on China policy.

The producers owe special thanks to the following officials,
scholars, and organization leaders who appear in Election '08 and the
Challenge of China.

Richard Armitage
Jeffrey Bader
Dan Blumenthal
John Engler
Jeff Fielder
John Frisbie
Kenneth Lieberthal
J. Stapleton Roy
Randall Schriver
Michael Swaine

In addition to original interviews, Election '08 and the Challenge of
China features video provided by a number of organizations. The
producers are grateful for their support.

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
The Bill Clinton Presidential Library
The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
McCain/Palin Campaign
Obama/Biden Campaign
ETTV
Iowa Public Television
National Public Radio/Iowa Public Radio
The American Association of Manufacturing
The Los Angeles World Affairs Council/Channel 36, Los Angeles
University of Michigan
Asia-Pacific Vision

Election '08 and the Challenge of China

A production of the USC U.S.-China Institute

With assistance from the Pacific Council on International Policy and
the USC Annenberg School of Communication
Reporter: Mike Chinoy

Camera and Editing: Craig Stubing

For the USC U.S.-China Institute: Clayton Dube and Linda Truong

Additional Camera: Keli Moore and Mike Chinoy

Transcription and Logistics: Alex Comisar, Catherine Gao, Leslise
Gobena, Ying Jia Huang,
Miranda Ko, and Venus Saensradi
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
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