Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on July 25, 2008
People in the know seem to think that Beijing’s leaders prefer John McCain over Barack Obama, since Republicans typically take a more China-friendly approach to trade. And bellicose McCain rhetoric about a League of Democracies notwithstanding, Chinese leaders seem to take a devil-you-know approach to American politics that would lead them to prefer sticking with the Republicans.
Now comes word, though, that the GOP nominee will be meeting the Dalai Lama today in Aspen. Sort of strange timing, just days after hundreds of thousands of people showed up in Berlin to see Obama. With the Democratic nominee showing on his trip to the Middle East and Europe what it might be like to have a president whom foreigners actually like, McCain is meeting the Tibetan leader in a move that is surely going to tick off the Chinese. Still, this might actually be a rare smart move by McCain’s campaign, providing him a pretty easy way to boost his tough-on-China cred without having to change anything related to U.S.-China trade.