We already know that Wal-Mart is the biggest retailer. (If it were an independent nation, it would be China's eighth-largest trading partner.)Impressive, eh?
The article notes that Wal-Mart exceeds $250 billion in annual sales and has over 20 million customers. Most of its stores are in red states. Unsurprisingly, Wal-mart became the #2 "campaign giver" in 2004 and 85% of that cash went to Republicans.
Back in 2000, of course, candidate George W. Bush criticized Bill Clinton's administration for making China a "strategic partner." He promised to consider China a "strategic competitor." The neocons at the Project for a New American Century wanted to get tough.
It's funny how the situation has...evolved (during 2004, I probably would have made a weak "flip flop" joke). I'm trying to figure out how 9/11 "changed everything" on this question.