Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney listens as US President Barack Obama makes a point while answering a question from moderator Bob Schieffer during the final presidential debate in Boca Raton, FL, October 22, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/JASON REED
Romney should have.
While no president has come out and called China the enemy -- at least not like Ronald Reagan describing the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" -- China is not exactly on the loyal friend list.
After all, doesn't China (and Russia) still refuse any direct denunciation of Iran? And now Syria too?
So here's a "foreign policy" number for Americans to ponder, one that neither Obama or Romney mentioned: $1,153,600,000,000.
Not only is it big, Romney could be forgiven if he had kicked his advisors in the slats for not including it in his attack notes.
That number -- $1.2 trillion -- is the amount the U.S. owes to Communist China for the U.S. treasury bills it has purchased over the years, all part of that massive number on the U.S. debt clock.
That clock has now surpassed $16 trillion, and China owns 6.25% of it.
It's not a comforting thought.
Canada, by comparison, has approximately $130 billion in foreign debt and, according to a recent letter from Bank of Canada's Mark Carney to U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, more than two-thirds of Canada's bond transactions are with America.
In 2010, the U.S. defence department's annual report to Congress on China's military strength estimated it costs China $150 billion a year to keep its war machine humming along.
What the U.S. owes China alone is enough to grease that machine for almost eight years.
According to CNS News, if Americans wanted to pay off the Chinese portion of their nation's foreign debt, each household in the United States would have to write a $10,900 cheque, payable to President Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission.
Canada, on the other hand, owes China so little that it is not even specifically mentioned in Statscan data and, if indeed there, it is lumped in with "other countries" holding 9% of Canada's IOUs.
It's hardly worth the angst.