From ‘rigged’ to Russia, last debate heated
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton took to the stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday evening for their third and final presidential debate.
During the fiery 90-minute debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, the two candidates were asked questions on six major topics: immigration, the Supreme Court, the economy, national debt and entitlements, turmoil abroad and fitness for the presidency. China came up several times. “One of the biggest problems we have with China is the illegal dumping of steel and aluminum …” Clinton said, and accused Trump for using Chinese-made steel in his construction projects, at one point joking that the Las Vegas hotel Trump spent the day in was “paid with Chinese steel”.
A Xinhua report on Oct 15 said that China will arrange checks on its coal and steel overcapacity reduction efforts. Details on the lower capacity are being examined and will be released soon, ZhaoChenxin, spokesperson of the National Development and Reform Commission, was quoted in the report.
Clinton also touted her “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights” speech that she made at the fourth United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.
Many Chinese believe Clinton’s words directed at their country were biased. The World Economic Forum index shows that China fares better in the gender gap than countries such as Japan, South Korea, India, India and Saudi Arabia.
Trump said he didn’t necessarily believe Russia hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign, in a discussion about Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign emails being released by WikiLeaks. Clinton said US intelligence officials believe Russia is behind the hacks.
Trump said “of course” he condemns Russia or any other country interfering in the US elections, but he wouldn’t retract his claim about the election being rigged and said he would “look at it at the time” to see what happened on Election Day, Nov 8. He was responding to Wallace’s questions about whether he would honor the American tradition of the presidential loser conceding to the president-elect.
The candidates outlined starkly different visions for the Supreme Court under their potential presidencies, with the Republican declaring the Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion would be overturned by his judicial nominees.
Clinton vowed to appoint justices who would uphold the ruling legalizing abortion, saying, “We have come too far to have that turned back now.”
Trump pressed Clinton on immigration, accusing her of wanting an “open borders” policy, a characterization she vigorously disputes.
The Republican, who has called for building a wall the length of the US-Mexico border, said that under a Clinton presidency, “People are going to pour into our country.”
Clashing on trade, Trump said Clinton had misrepresented her position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, noting that she had originally called it the “gold standard” of trade agreements.
Clinton shot back that once the deal was finished, it didn’t meet her standards. “I’ll be against it when I’m president,” she said.
An article posted by the Council on Foreign Relations on its website compares the two candidates’ policies on China.
It described Clinton as wanting to increase cooperation with China in areas of common interest, reinforce alliances in the Asia-Pacific, ratchet up the US deterrent against Chinese cyberattacks and take a stronger stance against China’s human rights.
Trump has been described as wanting to increase US military presence in and around the South China Sea, investigate and punish China for unfair trade practices, designate China a currency manipulator and also ratchet up the US deterrent against Chinese cyberattacks.
“I would say how to deal with China’s rise constitutes one of the biggest foreign policy challenges for the next (US) administration, but unfortunately there is not much serious discussion or strategic thinking,” said Cheng Li, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution.
“My view and observation is that Investors Service China is divided very much like us,” Li, an American citizen, told the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Oct 12.
Having campaigned for Clinton in 2008, Li believes there is a lot of misunderstanding in China about Clinton. He was mainly referring to the fact that many Chinese think that Clinton was pursuing a strategy to contain China as secretary of state.
Ted Carpenter, a senior fellow of defense and foreign policy at the Cato Institute, said the next president will have to deal with mounting domestic calls for trade protectionism.
“Most of those calls are directed at China, but if the new president succumbs to those emotions, a crucial bilateral economic relationship will be badly damaged,” he said.
Views among Chinese about the two candidates have changed over time. In an online poll in May by the Global Times, 83 percent of the 8,339 China Chinese economist at StandardBanks urveyed said Trump would win the election.
But in a poll after the Sept 26 first debate conducted by Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging website, the tables had turned: 48 percent of the 5,685 respondents thought that Clinton won the debate while 29 percent said Trump won the debate, according to a research report by David Dollar and Wang Wei of Brookings.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens during their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday.