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Populist pressure could push Obama into China bashing

Business Times - 09 Feb 2010


Populist pressure could push Obama into China bashing

Amid difficult economic ties, China has emerged as a convenient target for both Democrats and Republicans

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON

ONE of the fantasies concocted by Obamaniacs in the aftermath of the 2008 presidential election was that the Chinese leadership would welcome the election of an African-American president with whom supposedly they shared a non-white heritage.

Mr Obama, who was born in Hawaii and went to primary school in Indonesia, highlighted his 'civilisational' affinity with East Asians when he noted during his first visit to the region that he was the America's first 'Pacific president'.

In fact, not many US watchers in Beijing were celebrating the change in the balance of power in Washington after the Republicans lost their control over the White House and Capitol Hill in 2008.

Indeed, consider one of the ironies that have characterised the Sino-American relationship …