May 12, 2016

U.S. voters are suspicious of China

Special to Nikkei

Asia-related issues, such as views on China, trade, and the U.S. military’s role in the region, have figured prominently in this year’s U.S. presidential primary campaign but most U.S. voters still believe that Europe is more important, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has called for a 45% tariff on U.S. imports from China. Both he and the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates — Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders — have criticized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the recently negotiated U.S. trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations. Trump has called for Tokyo to bear more of its own defense burden and even suggested Japan and South Korea might want to acquire their own nuclear weapons.

While such concerns are unlikely to be priorities for Americans as they cast their ballots, their views may nevertheless influence the electorate, especially because supporters of the various candidates hold differing views on issues of importance to Asia.

Read more at Nikkei