9.24.2012

Throwing China Under the Bus: Business as Usual in American Elections

From MSNBC:
"There is a certain rather desperate attempt to grasp at words and phrases here to find political advantage. And in this case that's profoundly offensive," Carney said.

The candidates also sparred in dueling new television commercials aimed at winning working-class voters by pitting Romney's wealth against the loss of American jobs to China under Obama.

Obama's campaign began running its first spot using Romney's comments that 47 percent of voters pay no income tax, and believe they are victims and entitled to government assistance. The 30-second ad airing in Ohio also highlights that Romney paid 14.1 percent in federal taxes last year on $13.7 million in income, and refuses to release his returns before 2010.

"Maybe instead of attacking others on taxes, he should come clean on his," the ad says.

Romney is trying to shift the debate off his personal wealth and private comments to donors and to worker resentment over jobs moving to China. His new ad released Monday is his latest salvo in a string of criticism against Obama's handling of the rising Asian power.

The commercial showed a photo of a shuttered factory and says fewer Americans are working as China steals the country's ideas and technology. "Obama had years to stand up to China. We can't afford four more," the spot concludes.
From the Huffington Post:
BEIJING, Sept 14 (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's attacks on China and promise to name the country a currency manipulator if elected are foolish and hypocritical, China's official Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

In a strongly worded English-language commentary, Xinhua said Romney's anti-China rhetoric, if converted into policy upon him assuming office, would trigger a catastrophic trade war and damage the already weak global economic recovery.

"It is rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician's wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics," Xinhua wrote.

"Such blaming-China-on-everything remarks are as false as they are foolish, for it has never been a myth that pushing up the value of China's currency would be of little use to boost the chronically slack job market of the world's sole superpower, not to mention to magically turn the poor U.S. economic performance around."

Romney has repeatedly pledged to get tougher with China on its trade and currency practices, including pledging to quickly declare China a currency manipulator if elected.

His opponent, President Barack Obama, has accused Romney, who founded and led private equity firm Bain Capital, of outsourcing jobs to both India and China.

China says the yuan's exchange rate is essentially set by market forces, and that the currency has appreciated about 30 percent against the dollar since a landmark revaluation in 2005.

The Chinese government has generally been silent in the run-up to the November presidential poll due to a policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries.

But state media has waded into the debate to lambaste what it sees as attempts to play the "China card", in a reflection of official thinking and concern the country's name is being unfairly dragged through the mud overseas.

Xinhua said such China-bashing had been "a cancer in U.S. electoral politics, seriously plaguing the relations between the two countries.

"It has also become a handy tool for U.S. politicians who try to court the votes and support of ill-informed voters by ratcheting up antagonistic sentiment towards China, while truly serious social and economic woes within the United States have been left unfixed."

The United States should "put its own fiscal house back in order, substantially slash its tremendous military expenditure, and optimise its economic structure", it added.

"It is advisable that politicians, including Romney, should abandon ... short-sighted China-bashing tricks and adopt at least a little bit of statesmanship on China-U.S. ties."
Thoughts?

23 comments:

  1. Unsuprising, but then again since when is politics not. It was the same way with Dubya back in '04, though that time he had the Christian Right to back him up as well. Playing on the possibility that somehow, somewhere old Saddam's WMD's might still be found, or variations of the same theme. American politics usually needs a bogeyman target to assuage its people's fears, something the Chinese government knows all too well. Although I'm curious as to what the Indians have to say/think on the matter. Great job bringing this up sister Ankhesen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Which Indians are you referring to, East or Native American?

      Delete
    2. East Indians, that is to say Asian Indians from the subcontinent. I don't refer to Native Americans as Indians.

      Delete
    3. Ohhhhhh...I'm sure Indians will be having their say here soon. Tomorrow night is the first presidential debate. Romney has proven time and again he will do anything, say anything and since India was one of the places he also shipped jobs, I wouldn't be surprised if he wound up throwing India under the bus as well.

      Delete
  2. ....how are you going to piss off the country that pretty much owns your ass?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent point.

      The most dangerous man in this world aren't the terrorists,it's Mittens. As the saying goes " Loose lips sink ships". His mouth is loaded with Ammo and he just keep erratically running his trap. He won't have to worry about the problems in Afghanistan, he's going to create a world war with that mouth of his.

      Delete
  3. At this point he just sounds desperate, he already offended more than half of americans (is not only 47% who won't vote for him), so now he's going to attack whoever he can, trying to create some diversion!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah.

    If Mittens gets into office, China's calling in the debt. You heard it here first, but my Spidey senses tell me that Mitt is trying really hard NOT to be president.

    But if that should happen, we'll have an issue akin to one of Katt Williams' stand-up routines. Which is posted on this blog, but I'm too lazy to post the link. Long story short: most black folk (and other PoC) ain't got a problem with the Chinese.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Mittens gets into office, China's calling in the debt.

      I think that one goes without saying. The morning OF his inauguration, he will get a single phone call.

      "Um, bruh...we're gonna need our money back. TODAY."

      Delete
    2. Mittens' mouth is writing checks his ass can't cash. I'm telling you, he's working hard to lose the presidency because he really don't want to be bothered with all this. But he's got folks backing him who will do anything to see O and the FLOTUS out of office, and he can't back down now.

      And the Chinese will say, "Cash only, dude. We don't accept credit cards and don't give us no post-dated check either."

      Delete
  5. "No comment" is my new motto when we're talking about China in relation to the West because I really can't with the same old problematic issues and characterisations. I'll just keep my eyes focused on China and the rest of the world that is not part of "the West".

    ReplyDelete
  6. LMAO that Xinhua told it like it 'tis on the whole "blame China" routine. However... the Chinese gov't is also riling up its own populace with a bunch of anti-Japanese fervor, with some of the muck getting splashed on the US for supposedly supporting the Japanese.... all to keep the frustrated Chinese populace from looking too closely at who is ~really~ pissing in their froot loops (and it isn't the Japanese OR Obama OR Mittens.)

    Governments get real good and the smoke and mirrors of turning people against "the enemy" so they can keep on enriching themselves off of the sweat of the common people's brows. And the more foul stuff the people are enduring, the more whipping up of froth about the evils of The Other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree.

      I think US foreign policy leaves very little to be desired. And I also think that Xinhua proffered a pretty substantive critique of domestic US politics.

      HOWEVER

      I was in Hong Kong for the first time this summer, and frankly, I was a little taken aback by the anti-American tenor of many of the op-eds that were featured in the paper at my hotel. One in particular stuck me as being particularly odious. The author was really over the top, and to my reading, basically accused the US Justice Dept of being an imperialist bully and launching a baseless, extra-legal witchhunt against HSBC.

      Umm, poor HSBC?

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't HSBC ultimately admit to and apologize for, essentially, laundering Mexican drug cartel money (basically the same thing that the Justice Dept accused them of doing)? I find it problematic that folks, be they in China or elsewhere, are reflexively defending big banks who are laundering drug money for cartels--drug cartels that have destabilized an entire nation and wreaked untold death and misery on innocent civilians--simply because the folks taking these banks to task happen to be American. What would have been the alternative? Permitting these banks to continue to operate with impunity and profit from doing business with drug dealers?

      Anyways, this really crystallized for me that us everyday folk--in the US, China, and around the world--are being seriously misdirected. Wages are stagnant, upward economic mobility is declining, and income inequality is a real problem both here and in China. Our media and our governmental institutions are not serving us well, and on some level I think that we all sense this, but the messaging that we're subject to about the "other" is overwhelmingly distracting.

      Basically, I think that the sentiments about "ratcheting up antagonistic sentiment towards China" among "ill-informed" US voters is probably true, but the converse is probably equally true when applied to the Chinese media’s treatment of America.

      If anyone disagrees or has a better feel for Chinese media, I'd love to hear what you have to say.

      Delete
    2. Anyways, this really crystallized for me that us everyday folk--in the US, China, and around the world--are being seriously misdirected. Wages are stagnant, upward economic mobility is declining, and income inequality is a real problem both here and in China. Our media and our governmental institutions are not serving us well, and on some level I think that we all sense this, but the messaging that we're subject to about the "other" is overwhelmingly distracting.

      Pretty much.

      Delete
    3. Actually, the protests against Japan's move to "nationalise" the disputed Diaoyu Islands were indeed inspired by genuine outrage from the Chinese people (on both sides of the strait, I might add). The CCP has at worst allowed the protests to go on instead of cracking down on them.

      And the US most definitely supports Japan on the territorial dispute.

      Delete
  7. Politicians and governments do this in order to distract the population from what is really going on and to prevent the people from revolting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which is precisely why I brought it up. American elections need to focus on American issues.

      Delete
  8. Yeah, this is hardly surprising. Presidential election in the US has now become a competition between the candidates to see who hates China more.

    That said, it should be noted that for all the China-bashing that goes on, people like Romney and Obama know what the real deal is. Take a look at this article by James Fallows:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/07/china-makes-the-world-takes/305987/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My apologies. I did not see the option to enter a name before, and since the option to post anonymously was there, I took it.

      Delete

Comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.