Chinese views on U.S. debt drama

A new electronic billboard leased by Xinhua, the news agency operated by the Chinese government, makes its debut Aug. 1, 2011 in New York's Times Square.

Most Chinese didn’t read the inflammatory editorial calling for an end to Pax-Americana. That’s because it was only written in English, meant for a foreign audience. And it worked, the editorial appeared in the "New York Times," "Los Angeles Times," and "USA Today," among other news outlets.

But, are everyday Chinese people really wishing for the downfall of America because of our fiscal crisis?

On a street in Shanghai, resident Wu Feng is more matter-of-fact.

"Of course, it’s bad news," says Wu, "But there are few options left to develop our economy. Buying U.S. treasury bills is still the best way to invest our money."

Further down the street at Fudan University, Shen Dingli teaches International Relations. He recites a line that could be ripped from a book of Confucius quotations to describe China’s predicament. "When China opens its door, you welcome money, you welcome mosquito," says Shen. In other words, you take the good with the bad.

And Professor Shen says China’s reaction to the US debt crisis has narrowly focused on the bad.

"China has not given credit to the US for China’s modernization," says Shen, "Instead China's only been picky in criticizing the U.S. That’s very unfair."

Shen says he’s going to submit an editorial to The People’s Daily – China’s Communist Party Mouthpiece – to rebuff the Xinhua article that slammed the US. He’s had many editorials published before, but he’s not sure if this one will get past the censors.

About the author

Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent in Shanghai.

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