RÆSON | OCTOBER 11 2008
Interview series: China and the US election
What the financial crisis means for US-
Part 1: Interview with China-expert BATES GILL, Director at the Stockholm International Peace
Research Institute, by JONAS PARELLO-PLESNER, member of RÆSONs editorial board.
CHINA has often played a role in the US elections;
ranging from Reagan’s campaign rhetoric about
reestablishing relations with Taiwan in 1980 to
Clinton’s negative comments about the ’butchers of
Beijing’ as a reaction to Tiananmen in 1989 and
latest Bush Junior campaign talk in 2000 about
China as a 'strategic competitor'.
Yet China is currently conspicuously absent
in the campaign. That is puzzling in so far as the US
is the world’s superpower and China is a rising
power in all fields. The relations between the two
countries are seen as the most important bilateral
relations in the world in the 21st Century. On that
background it is important to understand what role
China relations plays in the current campaign and
what Obama and McCain think about this issue.
Equally interesting is how China and the Chinese
people perceive the US elections and who they
would like to see win the race for the White House.
RÆSON aims to shed light on these questions in a
series of interviews with leading researchers and
practioneers in the USA and in China.
In this first round, RÆSON has
posed five questions about China in the
US presidential elections to Director at
Research Institute (SIPRI), Bates Gill.
Gill has followed China’s foreign policy and
relations with the US for decades. He previously
held the position as Freeman Chair in China Studies
at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
in Washington, DC as well as positions at the
Brookings Institution, where he was the inaugural
Director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy
Studies. His most recent book, published in
February 2007, is entitled Rising