Everyone loses when US candidates bash China [People’s Daily]

By Wen Xian (People’s Daily Overseas Edition)

Dec. 6, 2011

Edited and Translated by People’s Daily Online

On Nov. 30, the Washington Post published a commentary titled “The Wrong Way to Talk about China” by Eugene Robinson, a senior foreign correspondent and columnist for the newspaper who recently made his first visit to China.

He said that the subtleties and complexities of any society are difficult to grasp. “The way many U.S. politicians talk about China is completely wrong,” and much of the campaign rhetoric Americans are hearing about China is “unrealistic, dishonest or just dumb.”

Robinson’s judgment on China through his first-hand experience is particularly objective, rational and reasonable amid the escalating China-bashing in Washington’s political circles.

Various political ads featuring exaggeration, conspiracy, deception and allurement often emerge during the U.S. presidential elections. Given the sluggish U.S. economy, China has unsurprisingly become a hot topic of debate in the elections.

China’s rapid economic development and the United States’ worries over a possible recession have led to a rare phenomenon that all the Republican presidential candidates must look tough on China, and the incumbent president apparently has decided to be tougher than opponents on China-related issues.

The former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney is regarded as a competitive presidential candidate of the Republican Party, but he often claims that China “steals” technologies from the United States and “invades” the U.S. computers.

He said that if he is elected to be the president, he will define China as a currency manipulator country and increase taxes on products imported from China on the first day he takes office in the White House.

Another presidential candidate of the Republican Country, Texas Governor Rick Perry, is also actively attacking China and says China is like the former Soviet Union.

The Republican speeches designed to curry favor with the public have objectively put high pressure on Obama, who is seeking a second four-year term. Therefore, some political advisers on Obama’s side also keep pressuring him, saying that he must show a tougher stance towards China at the current moment.

A senator of the Democratic Party from Ohio Sherrod Brown said that while talking about the employment and economy, you have to talk about China, and if President Obama does not define China as an exchange rate manipulator country or does not strengthen law enforcement in trade, he will lose votes.

When I interviewed the White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes face to face, Rhodes denied that the United States’ policy change toward China is connected with its domestic politics, instead he quoted Obama’s words and said that China’s progress is slow regarding issues that America is concerned about, such as the exchange rate, intellectual property right and local innovation issues.

It is obvious that such vicious arguments in which China is frequently blamed as the “root of unemployment” has a negative impact on the American people. A public opinion poll conducted by the Columbia Broadcasting System [CBS?] recently shows that as many as 61 percent of respondents believe that China is “generally bad.”

Fortunately, there are some discerning Americans. During my private discussions with all walks of life in the country, almost everyone believed that the deteriorating attitude of the U.S. government toward China is closely related to the domestic politics, namely, the coming 2012 presidential election.

Some U.S. media have pointed out that aggressive speeches may attract public support during the election campaign but will eventually get burned. The intensifying anti-Chinese sentiment has brought damage to China-U.S. relations. No matter who wins the 2012 U.S. presidential election in the end, the winner will pay the price for his extreme speech and have to set out to repair China-U.S. relations eventually.

Mitt Romney recently said, “We can’t just sit back and let China run all over us… People say, ‘well you’ll start starting a trade war.’ There’s one going on right now, folks!” Robinson said after citing these words that he has had a completely different experience in China, and believes that China and the United States are interdependent as the two largest economies in the world and it is unwise to say one country “runs all over” other countries.

Having figured out what is behind the escalated anti-Chinese argument, we ought to watch the performance of American politicians from a distance without anxiety. It is most important for us Chinese to share common goals, eliminate all interferences, including U.S. politicians’ performances and do everything possible to seek development. This is the top priority for China.

Article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90780/7667747.html

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