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Where Do the Candidates Stand on China?

Romney argues that America should maintain a strong military presence in the Pacific while strengthening relations with strategic allies like India and courting new friends like Indonesia. He also urges the U.S. to affirmatively defend human rights in China and promises that a Romney administration would deal directly with civil society groups in China, a promise that Beijing might find more than a little offensive.

Donald Trump reportedly endorsed Mitt Romney in part because he believes Romney would be most effective in debating President Obama. The real estate mogul also likes Romney's aggressive position on competing economically with China. At this point in the primary process, however, it appears that Romney's ability to capture the Republican nomination is far from a done deal.

China is an economic powerhouse, a strong military presence and a diplomatic challenge. President Obama already has a track record on China that will, presumably, come under considerable scrutiny during the general election, and will undoubtedly be able to explain his decisions so that voters will understand them, even if they don't support them. Without a similar track record, the Republican nominee will need to be able to describe his proposed policies on China and explain to voters why his approach would benefit America if he is to effectively counter President Obama's arguments.

This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.
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