From ‘rigged’ to Rus­sia, last debate heated

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHEN WEIHUA in Wash­ing­ton and AGEN­CIES

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.

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