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LinkAsia | Oct 26
The day after the third and final US presidential debate, 'US Presidential Elections' and 'Barack Obama' were top ten trending topics on microblogg...
Hi, welcome to LinkAsia. I'm Yul Kwon. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney faced off in their third presidential debate this week. And one Asian country was at the center: China. Needless to say, the Chinese paid attention. Here's Chinese state broadcaster, CCTV, with more.
Quite a number of Chinese students are taking an interest in American politics these days. For them, the presidential debates provide a window into the United States. They're eager to share their opinions on what they see.
No matter, if Mitt Romney or Barack Obama be next president of the United States
There won't be major change in United States' China policy.
I've been following other debates and I want to now the candidates' political views and their thoughts on China. But personally I don't think the 'China Bashing' will change Sino-US ties dramatically. After all, the relationship isn't solely based on a few debates.
Students in their master's program in international relations say they enjoy discussing current affairs among their peers because they want to be more involved in politics.
My parents don't really watch the debates but lots of my friends do. I think this is a good way to participate. It's an interesting way to learn America's external policies, and China can also update its own foreign policies accordingly.
And that sentiment seems to continue on the web. A number of major Chinese websites have carried extensive coverage of the election, running in-depth analysis, charts, photos, and instant video updates. According to a survey over the summer 36% of Chinese people said they were paying close attention to this election up from 19% in 2008. And topics related to the US election are getting heavy traffic on social networking sites such as Sina Weibo, with hundreds of comments following each relevant feed. Netizens opinions on the two candidates vary greatly, but they all share a keenness to join the discussion. This may be part of a broad tend too. Experts say Chinese people have grown more conscious of world affairs and their attitudes have also become more open.
Professor Zhou Yongsheng:
There are more Chinese people watching the American elections now, more than there were 4 years ago. People understand the US' own political development will largely influence China too. And although the words have been tough it's actually a good thing China has been mentioned so may times in these debates. That means China's now too important to be ignored.
Zhou adds that no matter who becomes the next president he does not believe they will work to contain China as the debates have hinted. Instead, he expects they will continue to seek growth through co-operation. More people in China are taking a keen interest in the American election. They want to see how China is being portrayed during the campaign, and also what new policies may come out as a result of all the heated discussion. They believe that at a time when international politics take center stage, what affects the United States will clearly affect China.