U.S. Presidential Elections on Same Date as China Swears in Top Leaders

The Presidential Election in the U.S. are being held on the same date China swears in its top leaders.  Is there an omen here?

We know there will be a changing of the guard in China.  But will it be the same in the U.S. where Barack Obama seeks a second and final term as President in November?  China's general elections were in January.

China's 18th Party Congress, which will be in session during the U.S. Presidential elections, is expected to formally announce Vice President Xi Jinping will succeed President Hu Jintao, and Vice Premier Li Keqiang will replace Premier Wen Jiabao.

The scenario of new faces in China, and possibly in the U.S as well, is seen in world political circles as the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century.

In the long term, analysts see the U.S. election as supporting bilateral efforts toward global rebalancing and lower bilateral trade deficit.  But in both cases, appropriate solutions can only be multilateral and international.

In the short- and medium-term, however, analysts speculate the U.S. election may destabilize the current environment. That scenario will have China remaining a major creditor nation and the largest foreign holder of U.S. public debt, while the U.S. will continue to be the major debtor nation with massive trade and budget deficits.

Another part of the implications of the 2012 election is that it will pave way to the most complicated international power transition in the past 140 years, according to some think-tank observers.

Dan Steinbock, a Visiting Fellow at Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, notes that in the early 1870s, the United States, the largest emerging economy of its era, took over the United Kingdom, as measured by gross domestic product.

Three decades later, Americans caught up with the British also in terms of wealth, as measured by Gross Domestic Product per capita.

"During this historical hand-off of power, the Victorian Britain had to come to terms with the relative decline of the Empire and its free-trade doctrine, even as it sought to manage America's relative rise and its trade protectionism," Steinblock says.

If the next president will govern two terms, "he will likely also have to lead this unique relationship during a period, when China will take over the U.S. economy, in terms of total GDP, whereas the catch-up in terms of average prosperity (in China) will take decades longer," Steinblock points out.


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