Many Americans hold a view of China that is slightly skewed. With news reports showing that China is purchasing billions of dollars of American debt, worries are growing that those noodle-eating,Yao-Ming-loving Chinese may soon ‘own us’. But how accurate is that statement and what effect do the Olympics have on all this?

Basically, China wants the Olympics to be its Super Sweet 16 party. They want all the cutest boys to be there and “hope it’s going to be like totally awesome.” The country isn’t by any means getting a deeper voice or experiencing some awkward hair growth but rather, economically and politically they want to hang with the big boys and start going to some older kids parties. Maybe even do a little drinking…

Like a debutante ball, China is stepping out and is open for business. For the most part, the United States and President Bush are on board. We’ve hooked them up with a sweet fake ID and our backing has helped them host the big Olympic party.

There have already been plenty of setbacks though. Between the Tibet protests and a horrific earthquake, China is showing some real balls in keeping this thing on track.

However, the unprecedented growth and expansion of free trade with China may see some setbacks in the coming years. The presidential race between Obama and McCain has one big continent-sized talking point over our Chinese economic policy.

  • Obama has recently started criticizing America’s borrowing from China.
  • According to an article in BusinessWeek magazine, Hillary Clinton, whose husband arguably did more to improve American-Chinese trade relations than anyone else, is now sounding the alarm about:

    “our slow erosion of economic sovereignty.”

  • McCain, for his part, has been noticeably cool on Chinese relations. He has defended his claims that Chinese -American trade ties need to be solidified and increased.

In spite of all of this, many of those in fear think China could still sink the American economy. But in reality, if China were to do that, it would be shooting itself in the foot.

The United States is China’s biggest export market. They need us to consume their countless Wal-Mart toys, poison dog-food, and lead-based Thomas the Tank Engine collectibles.

So, although they are happily buying up our debt, we really shouldn’t be afraid they’ll use it to take a proverbial ‘dump’ on our economy. They have an extremely vested interest in the health of our consumer and our economy in general. Some might even argue they will continue to bend over backwards to improve our financial state.

Do you still feel your Chinese economic fears are justified? Did you get food poisoning from your local Wok N’ Roll? Or are you just psyched for some hot female Olympic swimmers? Let us know in the comments section.

BusinessWeek: Olympic Diplomacy: Don’t Fear China, May 28, 2008