As the presidential race picks up speed in the United States, China has emerged as a regular theme — and, say some, whipping boy — for candidates in the Republican primaries. An article in the English-language China Daily on January 10 began: “Criticism of China has again become a feature of the US presidential election campaign, but tough rhetoric on the campaign trial will melt away after polling day, analysts said.” The online post from The Washington Post/Foreign Policy back in October noted the trend and suggested it was a regular feature of domestic politics in the United States. In this cartoon, posted by artist Will Luo (罗杰) to his blog at QQ.com and appearing in China Daily, The Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey duke it out in a series of contact sports. In each one, the iconic (and cuddly) China image of the panda bear is caught in the middle. A prediction, no doubt, that bashing China will become a favored sport as incumbent President Barack Obama faces off with his Republican rival this year.