China’s interest in America’s future makes sense. China is the US’s second-largest trading partner, and America’s ability to kickstart its economy is crucial for China’s own prosperity. US economic weakness is bad for Chinese business.
Small wonder, then, that the China Daily – Beijing’s main English-language newspaper – focused its attention on Obama’s confident statement, “The renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe."
"Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn't know what they're talking about," he said in his prime-time address.
Indian papers, meanwhile, saw in Obama’s tough words against intellectual piracy a reflection of its own rivalry with China. Both India and China have emerged as new economic and manufacturing bases, as more established economic powers in Europe and the America’s have slowed down. Both India and China have been competing for business and for resources in Africa, and both see themselves as the voice of the world’s impoverished, symbolized in their membership in the BRICS group of new economic powers (including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).
But for India and China, power is a zero-sum game, and India revels in any sign of trouble for China.