Obama’s challenges

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Obama’s challenges

America’s choice was Barack Obama. With a neck-and-neck victory in the U.S. election, Obama now becomes the first re-elected African-American president in the U.S. history. Obama’s triumph in his white-majority society reaffirms the marvelous power of U.S. democracy. We congratulate him on his hard-earned victory and we hope he has a successful presidency in his second term.

The U.S. election was an unprecedented conflict of visions and philosophies over governance, with Obama’s campaign for a “Big Government” based on tax hikes for the rich, aggressive government regulation and expansion of welfare benefits for the underprivileged fiercely competing with Mitt Romney’s “Small Government” based on indiscriminate tax reductions, deregulation and curtailment of welfare benefits. With the battle ending up with victory for his vision, Obama can now press ahead with the agenda he has been pursuing for the last four years.

However, Obama has to overcome many tough challenges ahead. First, he must persuade a Republican-controlled House as well as nearly half of the U.S. electorate to join his crusade for a better future.

The most critical issue is, of course, the economy. America, with an over $1 trillion budget deficit and nearly $16 trillion in sovereign debt, is confronting a potentially precipitous fiscal crisis. Despite small signs of a slow recovery and an improved jobless rates, the world economy has yet to see light at the end of the tunnel due to the unceasing fiscal crisis in Europe and slowdowns of emerging economies around the world, including China. Increasing exports, cutting deficits, creating more jobs and expanding welfare programs under such circumstances looks like a “Mission Impossible.” Without securing bipartisan support, the task isn’t doable.

The international community largely likes Obama’s re-election because of his focus on dialogue and cooperation. Whoever is elected as our president in December, we expect relations with Washington to be further consolidated. Despite some concerns over a rift in North Korea policies, we believe there will be no problems as long the new leaders of both countries cooperate.

A daunting challenge revolves around the U.S.-China relations. Despite Obama’s effort to hold China in check since declaring it America’s strategic “pivot” to Asia, the relationship is crucial for the peace and stability of Northeast Asia. We hope Obama and China’s new leader Xi Jinping contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world by maintaining a cooperative relationship.

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