By Jianyu Hou, freelancer based in Cleveland, OH. USA
There's a famous Chinese saying, "Precise knowledge of self and precise knowledge of the threat leads to victory." It was written in The Art of War, an ancient military treatise by Sun Tzu.
And as each US Presidential campaign season has aroused much media coverage in China, many Chinese believe that US-China policy has a huge influence over their lives, such as prices, visa policies, and people-to-people exchanges.
Accordingly, many Chinese are well-informed about America's domestic issues, China's issues, and how they are related to each other. So even an average Chinese person knows the major candidates' political stances and they make predictions on the potential impact of US - China policy for their lives.
On the other side, China's development has a great influence on Americans' lives as well. After the 2008 financial crisis, many American colleges are struggling, and they are enrolling more international students who can afford to pay expensive tuition at these schools.
The largest source of international students comes from China. Also, many multinationals have moved theirs factories to China for lower-labor costs. Consequently,many American blue collar workers have lost their jobs.
Meanwhile, many American voters do not trust their politicians and hold doubts that a changing US - China policy could impact their lives.
Military veteran college student Jason Lane, in an exclusive CNTV interview, said, "Only a few decades ago, people like my Grandfather who easily chose the military over the high cost of college, got a good-paying Union job at an automobile manufacturing plant without even a high school diploma."
He added, "When discussing politics with retired voters, they don't necessarily seem bitter towards the Chinese people themselves, but disillusioned with America's latest trade policies and betrayed by corporations outsourcing jobs to China. Meanwhile they watch their younger generations drowning in four or more years worth of college debt and still unable to find adequate employment opportunities."
Some Republican voters at the Case Western Reserve University graduate school have expressed a more utilitarian view. They like buying Chinese clothes online, because they are cheap and beautiful. They have a good impression of the Chinese, since they are nice and smart.
They don't consider China's development as a threat to the US. They understand Donald Trump wants to bring back blue collar jobs to America, but they don't think it's going to work, since that's partly the result of a more competitive global job market.
The differences between the attitudes on US - China policy can be attributed to a contrasting understanding about the function of government. In China, a powerful central government has built an image in Chinese minds that the government can deliver changes.
While in the US, large corporations hold greater influence over the federal government. Americans believe that those corporations have more impact on their daily lives. US politicians have given support to profit-driven corporations creating new jobs in China. Hence, that would explain Americans' indifference to US - China policy.
(This article was first published on Panview Channel, CCTV.com)
( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )