Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position.
Candidates are listed in alphabetical order by party; black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria.)
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), in a July 22, 2002 Human Events article titled "Bob Barr: Don't Forget Red China Threat," stated:
"We ought to shore up our relationship and our commitment with Taiwan and with South Korea. We ought to speak out diplomatically as well as publicly against what the Chinese are doing. We ought to view the Chinese Communists, once again, as a very serious threat in our own hemisphere as well as in the Pacific Rim and take a very hard look at the trade policy we've implemented over the last several years."
John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), stated in a Nov./Dec. 2007 Foreign Affairs article titled "An Enduring Peace Built on Freedom: Securing America's Future":
"China could also bolster its claim that it is 'peacefully rising' by being more transparent about its significant military buildup. When China builds new submarines, adds hundreds of new jet fighters, modernizes its arsenal of strategic ballistic missiles, and tests antisatellite weapons, the United States legitimately must question the intent of such provocative acts. When China threatens democratic Taiwan with a massive arsenal of missiles and warlike rhetoric, the United States must take note. When China enjoys close economic and diplomatic relations with pariah states such as Burma, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, tension will result. When China proposes regional forums and economic arrangements designed to exclude America from Asia, the United States will react.
China and the United States are not destined to be adversaries. We have numerous overlapping interests. US-Chinese relations can benefit both countries and, in turn, the Asia-Pacific region and the world. But until China moves toward political liberalization, our relationship will be based on periodically shared interests rather than the bedrock of shared values...
Some Americans see globalization and the rise of economic giants such as China and India as a threat. We should reform our job training and education programs to more effectively help displaced American workers find new jobs that take advantage of trade and innovation. But we should continue to promote free trade, as it is vital to American prosperity." Nov./Dec. 2007John McCain
Cynthia McKinney, former US House Representative (D-GA), issued the following statement through her Press Secretary, John Judge, in a Nov. 1, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"No country is a threat to us if we change the focus of our foreign policy to joining and supporting the world community instead of attacking and manipulating it for the corporate agendas of profit, cheap labor and access to resources not ours." Nov. 1, 2008 Cynthia McKinney
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, issued the following statement through his Communications Director and Policy Writer, Loralynne Krobetzky, in an Oct. 20, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"No- China is interested in our jobs, and technology and not interested in military conflict." Oct. 20, 2008 Ralph Nader
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), in the Apr. 26, 2007 Democrats' First 2008 Presidential Debate, hosted by MSNBC and held in Orangeburg, SC, stated:
"Japan has been an outstanding ally of ours for many years, but obviously China is rising, and it's not going away. They're neither our enemy nor our friend. They're competitors. But we have to make sure that we have enough military-to-military contact and forge enough of a relationship with them that we can stabilize the region." Apr. 26, 2007 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear
below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)
Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY), stated in the Aug. 7, 2007 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Democratic Presidential Forum held in Chicago, IL:
"[Keith] Olbermann: ...Senator Clinton, China, an ally or an adversary?
[Hillary] Clinton: ...You know, six and a half years ago, we had a balanced budget and a surplus...Now we are in deep debt with a rising deficit. And it is absolutely true that George Bush has put it on the credit card, expecting our children and grandchildren to pay for it. We've got to get back to fiscal responsibility in order to undercut the Chinese power over us because of the debt we hold. We also have to deal with their current manipulation. We have to have tougher standards on what they import into this country. I do not want to eat bad food from China or have my children having toys that are going to get them sick...So let's be tough on China going forward." Aug. 7, 2007 Hillary Clinton
John Edwards, former US Senator (D-NC), at the Dec. 4, 2007 Democratic Presidential Debate hosted by National Public Radio and held in Des Moines, IA, stated:
"...The other is the rise and strength of China, which they've done virtually nothing about on any front, I mean, ranging from China sending dangerous toys into the United States to our trade relationship with China to, as Robert just mentioned, their buildup of their military, which they're doing opaquely. We know very little about what they're actually doing. On top of that, they're obsessed with their own internal economic development, and that results in them propping up bad regimes, like Sudan, like Iran. They're doing incredible damage to the environment. So the answer to the question is, America continues to have serious economic leverage with the Chinese - and diplomatic leverage with the Chinese." Dec. 4, 2007 John Edwards
Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, stated in a Sep./Oct. 2007 Foreign Affairs article titled "Toward a Realistic Peace: Defending Civilization and Defeating Terrorists by Making the International System Work":
"US relations with China and Russia will remain complex for the foreseeable future. Americans have no wish to return to the tensions of the Cold War or to launch a new one. We must seek common ground without turning a blind eye to our differences with these two countries. Like America, they have a fundamental stake in the health of the international system. But too often, their governments act shortsightedly, undermining their long-term interest in international norms for the sake of near-term gains. Even as we work with these countries on economic and security issues, the US government should not be silent about their unhelpful behavior or human rights abuses. Washington should also make clear that only if China and Russia move toward democracy, civil liberties, and an open and uncorrupted economy will they benefit from the vast possibilities available in the world today." Sep./Oct. 2007 Rudy Giuliani
Mike Gravel, former US Senator (D-AK), stated at the Dec. 4, 2007 Democratic Presidential Debate in Des Moines, IA, hosted by National Public Radio (NPR):
"[Michele] NORRIS: And that's where we'd like to start, and I'd like to pose a question to many of you. Given China's size, its muscular manufacturing capabilities, its military buildup, at this point - and also including its large trade deficit - at this point, who has more leverage, China or the US?...
[Mike Gravel:] The tremendous increase in their defense. They're only 10 percent of American defense. They haven't had a tremendous increase. Ten percent of our defense. And I want to take all of them to task. Clearly, none of them are running for China - president of China - because this amount of demagoguery is shameful. Here, the Chinese people have a problem. And when we continue this rhetoric of beggar thy neighbor, where our interests always come first, there should be the interests of human beings, the interests of human beings." Dec. 4, 2007 Mike Gravel
Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, stated in an Apr. 9, 2007 TIME Magazine article titled "More Questions with Mike Huckabee":
"The good news is that China is becoming much more a part of the mainstream. In its economic development and even in giving greater liberties to its people. But the urgent news is that China needs to play by all the rules that we are expected to play by, in terms of trade, protection of intellectual property rights and the decent treatment of workers. I am not as worried about China, though we have to be concerned about any nation that has the military and economic power that it does. I think we need to be more concerned from a standpoint of anxiety from nations led by radical and outspoken tyrants who openly issue threats to the United States and its people." Apr. 9, 2007 Mike Huckabee
Duncan Hunter, US Representative (R-CA), at the Nov. 28, 2007 CNN/YouTube.com Republican Presidential Debate held at St. Petersburg, FL, stated:
"China is cheating on trade, and they're using that $200 billion trade deficit over the United States to buy ships, planes and missiles. They are clearly arming. And it's in the interest of the United States to stop China's cheating. My bill, incidentally, that's up right now would do that." Nov. 28, 2007 Duncan Hunter
ProCon.org emailed the Imperato campaign on Feb. 22, 2008 with this question. Mr. Imperato provided a response to this question and 26 others during a recorded 45-minute telephone interview with ProCon.org on Mar. 11, 2008. On Mar. 21, 2008 Mr. Imperato no longer met our eligibility criteria for inclusion on this site, and we stopped transcribing his verbal responses as of that date.
Alan Keyes, former Assistant US Secretary of State, stated in an Apr. 20, 2001 article, "The Chinese Gambit: Did Bush Bungle?" posted on the Declaration Foundation website:
"Because of the disagreement over Taiwan, the US Chinese relationship will, for the foreseeable future involve the possibility of serious confrontation. This is especially true in view of the aggressive, ambitious and contentious spirit that still animates Chinese military policy.
Scenarios in which we would come to daggers drawn with the Chinese are not far-fetched. Accordingly, it is a crucial American interest to deal with the Chinese in such a way that they will never miscalculate our resolve." Apr. 20, 2001 Alan Keyes
Steve Kubby, a Libertarian candidate and founder of the American Medical Marijuana Association, stated in a Jan. 10, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"Yes, China is a threat to the US. They're quickly becoming an economic superpower, and they're investing the fruits of their turn toward economic freedom to expand their army, build a blue-water navy, and embark upon their own space program. They have nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver those weapons to distant targets. And politically, they remain a Communist dictatorship.
The question isn't whether or not China is a threat, but what we should do about it.
A new Cold War is not the answer. Sabre-rattling on our part would unify the Chinese people with their rulers against an external threat and give those rulers cover to more effectively crack down on the pro-freedom dissidents who are slowly but surely leading China out of its dark age.
China is the real test of whether or not free trade and friendly relations between a democracy and a dictatorship can bring down that dictatorship peacefully. The Communist Party is betting that it can liberalize economically while still maintaining an iron grip on political power. They seem to be losing that bet, and OUR best bet is to let them KEEP doubling down and KEEP losing."
Jan. 10, 2008 Steve Kubby
Dennis Kucinich, US Representative (D-OH), at the Dec. 4, 2007 Democratic Presidential Debate, hosted by National Public Radio (NPR) and held in Des Moines, IA, stated:
"What we've seen is that without solid trade policies, we're undermined. Without a strength-through-peace doctrine of rejecting war as an instrument of policy, we're going to keep borrowing money from China. Let us not forget we're borrowing money from China to finance the war in Iraq. And in addition to that, the speculation on Wall Street has weakened our economy.
We need a policy of constructive engagement with China, stop the arms race with them, work to make sure we have a global climate change treaty with China, get them to transition out of nuclear and coal and oil. You know, I'm talking about a whole new direction that's based on a doctrine of strength through peace, and I have a voting record up here to back it up, unlike some of my esteemed colleagues." Dec. 4, 2007 Dennis Kucinich
Frank McEnulty, an Independent candidate and President of Our Castle Homes, in a Dec. 20, 2007 email to ProCon.org, stated:
"At this time I do not believe that China is a military threat to the United States. Although China has a very large army they do not have the capability of taking any large scale military fight directly to us and there have been no indications of any intention to do that on their part. China should be more recognized as a potential economic threat in that they have a huge, hard working population and graduate more engineers and other 'development type' of professionals each year than we do by a very wide margin." Dec. 20, 2007 Frank McEnulty
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated in an Aug. 14, 2006 article titled "Dr. Paul's Writings: Your Taxes Subsidize China" on his official campaign website:
"Each year the people of the United States write a check to subsidize China, one of the most brutal, anti-American regimes in the world. Lately it has been in vogue for everyone in Washington to eagerly denounce the egregious abuses of the Chinese people at the hands of their communist dictators. Yet no one in our federal government has been willing to take China on in any meaningful way." Aug. 14, 2006 Ron Paul
Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, stated in the Aug. 7, 2007 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Democratic Presidential Forum held in Chicago, IL:
"[Keith] Olbermann: ...More than half this nation views China as an adversary. Which do you think it is, ally or adversary, sir?
[Bill] Richardson: China is a strategic competitor.
And we?ve got to be tougher on China when it comes to human rights and trade. We?ve got to say to China, you?ve got to stop fooling around with currency; you?ve got to find ways to be more sensitive to your workers; you?ve got to do more, China, in the area of human rights around the world, like put pressure on the Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur." Aug. 7, 2007 Bill Richardson
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated on a campaign stop in Tega Cay, SC in a YouTube.com video titled "Ask Mitt Anything" (accessed Jan. 8, 2008):
"About one-third of our trade deficit is with China alone; with one country. now they artificially peg their currency so that their products are at a discount coming here. That's a problem. And they also don't protect our patents and our designs. We sell a lot of products over there, but we could sell a lot more...They don't protect our commercial property rights, like they need to, but if they did, we'd have a much different situation with our balance of payments with them." Jan. 8, 2008 Mitt Romney
Christine Smith, a Libertarian candidate and a social and political activist, stated in a Feb. 27, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"The greatest threat to our liberty and security lies with our own federal government and its massive spending and empire building. Yes, China is a powerful economic and military force, but the anti-China rhetoric is being propagated by those with vested economic interests - it's not American security they're concerned about. I'm far less concerned about a threat from China, than I am the economy of the United States due to out of control spending, as well as our security because of our continued meddling in the affairs and conflicts of other nations thus making more and more enemies worldwide. Thus, I'll answer 'No' to your question because I think the fervor over China is being used to distract the American people from the most major threat - our own government." Feb. 27, 2008 Christine Smith
Fred Thompson, former US Senator (R-TN), stated in an Autumn 2001 Frontline article titled "Dangerous Straits" on PBS.org:
"[Interviewer] Could you spell out for us how dangerous do you think the Chinese military are?
[Fred Thompson:] They don't have to be a threat sufficient to invade the United States. They just have to be a threat sufficient to go against our interests. ... Certainly if Taiwan comes up again, most people think that they're not in a position, for example, to invade Taiwan tomorrow. Obviously they could unleash devastation on Taiwan through the air. But they're behind the curves pretty substantially. The question is not today; the question is tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that.
As everyone knows, they think in long terms, and we think in short terms, usually. And the fact of the matter is that they could be as big an economy as ours before long. That would allow them to continue their military budget increase. They are now at 17 percent, so you know it's substantially more than that. Nobody really knows how much the increase is, but it's going to continue to increase. They are making great strides in technology. They are getting technology from all over the world including the United States -- something that I'm very concerned about. I think we've been blind to that. We've assisted them in ways that we shouldn't be assisting. We're concerned about what's going out the back door in terms of theft of sensitive nuclear technology. But we've been negligent in terms of what we're giving them out the front door in terms of our trade and dual-use items -- things that can be used for military purposes.
But they're gathering all of that and they're very, very good with that ... in using that to enhance their military. So all that is going on, and it's not important that we pick a date in which it's the most dangerous to us. We know what the trend is, and we have to be concerned about it." Autumn 2001 Fred Thompson