Some countries see an opportunity rather than a threat in China's economic rise
AS THE American presidential election looms, so the electioneering moves up a gear. This week on the campaign stump in carmaking, swing-state Ohio, President Obama announced that the government had filed a complaint against China at the World Trade Organisation for subsidising car-part exports. Mitt Romney accused the president of not going far enough. China, meanwhile, lodged a trade dispute of its own on the same day, alleging duties levied by America on Chinese steel, paper and other products are unfairly high. A Chinese spokesman later stated that China's complaint was lodged first, and that America's filing had a "political goal". Nonetheless, a tough China stance is likely to play well in the campaign. Most Americans see China as an economic threat, according to the recent Transatlantic Trends survey by the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Indeed, of the 14 countries polled, only in France did a higher proportion view China as a threat. In contrast, despite being overtaken by China as the world's biggest exporter in recent years, more people in neighbouring Germany see China as an economic opportunity.