I'm surprised this hasn't been posted. There are many articles on this, and I'm posting few of them. So here goes:
China to come under tighter scrutiny by new US Congress (Article Link)
From military strategy and human rights to labor standards and trade, China is expected to come under tighter scrutiny by the upcoming Democratic-controlled Congress.
Democratic lawmakers have complained that the dependence of the Republican administration of President George W. Bush on Beijing to contain North Korea's nuclear ambitions has led to inevitable US compromises on the critical human rights and trade fronts.
"I think the most noticeable impact of the Congressional elections is likely to be on US China policy," said Robert Hathaway of the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.
Evaluating the Republican Party's loss of control of the House of Representatives and Senate in last Tuesday's legislative elections, he said the Democrats were likely to pressure the Bush administration to be "more confrontational" with China on trade, human rights, religious freedom and Taiwan-related issues.
"And I think that's where we are likely to see the biggest difference as a result of the elections in terms of Asia," he said.
In the run-up to the US elections, some Democrats lambasted Bush for the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs as a result of a tidal wave of cheap imports, resulting from what they say is a vastly undervalued Chinese currency.
Feeling the heat also were the labour unions as well as small and medium-sized companies concerned about alleged piracy and lack of market access in China.
As Democrats demand attention to such issues, China will become even a more critical subject in the run-up to the 2008 US presidential elections, said John Tkacik, a former China expert at the State Department.
"I don't think any Republican that I can think of is going to be going into the 2008 election relishing the idea of supporting a moderate policy toward China," he said. "So, it's going to be a complex challenge, I think, for the administration."
The Republicans will enter the new Congress in January without their highly respected chairman of the House of Representatives subcommittee on Asia and Pacific affairs, Jim Leach, considered by Tkacik as a "very pro-China voice," who was defeated in the polls.
The new Democratic leadership in the various policy-formulating House and Senate panels is inclined to challenge the administration's China policy.
The incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the anticipated new chairman of the House international relations committee, Tom Lantos, have been vocal critics of China's human rights record, which is said to have worsened under the Republican watch.
"Overall, the human rights situation in China under the Republican administration has deteriorated," said T. Kumar, the Washington-based Asia-Pacific advocacy director for Amnesty International.
He cited in particular Beijing's crackdown on Internet users and the Muslim minority in China's far-northwest Xinjiang region.
US defense policy on China may also see greater examination in the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, set to be taken over by Carl Levin of Michigan, the hub of US auto industry which he said had been severely hit by China's "counterfeiting" activity.
"In terms of defense, it might turn out that the Democrats begin to challenge the Republicans for not paying attention to China," Tkacik said amid US concerns over Beijing's ballooning military expenditure and its lack of transparency.
The Democrats have also been trying to paint the administration as willing to sell out US core industries to the Chinese.
But some analysts argue that Congress and the administration would spend so much of their time quarreling, particularly over Iraq and pressing local issues, that China would hardly get attention.
"Beijing sees the next two years -- in which the executive and legislative branches of the US government can be expected to get in each other's way quite a bit -- as a window of opportunity to push forward its own domestic and regional agendas more aggressively, without fear of US meddling," said Stratfor, a leading US security consulting intelligence agency.
Pelosi advance has China anxious about US relations (Article Link)
By Charles Hutzler, Associated Press | November 10, 2006
BEIJING -- China is uneasily anticipating a bumpy road in relations with the United States now that the Democrats' victory in midterm elections has placed one of Beijing's most ardent critics in charge of the House of Representatives.
Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi climbed the Democratic Party ranks in Congress faulting China for its human rights abuses. She opposed awarding China normal trading relations throughout the 1990s and giving Beijing the 2008 Olympics, seeking to deny the country apparent US approval for its behavior.
With the 66-year-old Pelosi now in a more powerful public pulpit, China is expecting more critical treatment.
"This old woman has a great bias against China, possibly creating some static in China-US relations," Jin Canrong, an America watcher at Renmin University in Beijing, said in a report posted Wednesday on Sina.com, one of China's most popular Internet portals.
Major changes in US policy toward China are not likely to be made, said observers, Jin included.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in the government's first public reaction, called on Congress to "play a constructive role in promoting our relations."
Though wary of each other, the administrations of President Bush and President Hu Jintao have learned to manage the relationship, emphasizing areas where they can cooperate, such as North Korea, while keeping disagreements, such as Beijing's ballooning trade surplus, from spoiling overall ties.
Pelosi and her rise personify a shift in tone, analysts and Chinese media said, bringing to the fore issues Beijing dislikes to air publicly: China's human and labor rights abuses, its trade and currency policies, and its efforts to befriend governments like Iran and Zimbabwe that Washington is at odds with.