China Slams Romney for ‘Pugnacious’ Policies

The Republican Party was still battening down its hatches against Tropical Storm Isaac when Hurricane China began to lash Mitt Romney and the party’s proposed policies on Asia. The principal attack came through an editorial on Monday in China Daily, state-run newspaper, which called Romney’s policies “an outdated manifestation of Cold War mentality” that “endorses the ‘China threat’ theory and focuses on containing China’s rise”. The editorial said Romney policies, as stated on his campaign Web site, were “worrying”, “more pugnacious”, than the approach of Obama administration. The 2012 Republican Party platform says the United States should bolster its naval presence in the region while “assisting partners that require help to enhance their defensive capabilities.” “In the face of China’s accelerated military build-up, United States and our allies must maintain appropriate military capabilities to discourage any aggressive or coercive behavior by China against its neighbors,” the platform said. But the China Daily editorial warned Romney that U.S. support of other Asian countries in their disputes with China over islands in the South China Sea “will only lead to head-on confrontation between the two countries.” “The Department of Defense should reconsider recent decisions not to sell top-of-the-line equipment to our closest Asian allies”, G.O.P. platform states. “We should be coordinating with Taiwan to determine its military needs and supplying them with adequate aircraft and other military platforms.” Any mention of Taiwan was bound to get China’s attention, and China Daily said: As to Romney’s suggestion that US step up arms sales to Taiwan, it lays bare his ignorance of fundamentals of Sino-US ties, as this is the most sensitive issue between the two countries. US arms sales to Taiwan have thrown bilateral ties off balance several times in the past. It requires political vision as well as a profound knowledge of the Sino-US relations as a whole, to make sensible policy recommendations about what are widely recognized as the most important bilateral ties in the world. Romney apparently lacks both. Mr. Romney said pressing China on human rights issue would be a centerpiece of his administration’s policy. From his campaign site: If the United States fails to support dissidents out of fear of offending the Chinese government, we will merely embolden China’s leaders. We certainly should not have relegated the future of freedom to second or third place, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did in 2009 when she publicly declared that the Obama administration would not let U.S. concerns about China’s human rights record interfere with cooperation “on global economic crisis [and] the global climate change crisis.” Free and fair trade is another key part of the G.O.P. platform, Mr. Romney and the party said they would allow China into a proposed free-trading “Reagan Economic Zone” that “could knit together the whole region” (…..)



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9 Responses to China Slams Romney for ‘Pugnacious’ Policies

  1. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: No reason for alarm in Beijing on Romney’s foreign policy towards China. He is not serious about what his hawkish political platform says. It is just rhetoric during an election year to please fringe elements of the Republican Party. China’s next political leadership can sleep well if Romney is elected president for two reasons: First, Romney is famous for being a ‘flip flop’ politician. In the US jargon, is referred to a politician that never defends a difficult policy or position when the going gets tough. China is a good example where Romney will flip flop for sure.

    His campaign financiers are millionaires doing business and making tons of money in China;

    Second, China is the US main trading partner and major investor in public debt. Priority for the next administration is no longer foreign policy as in the past. The number one priority is how to finance a federal public debt equal to 100% of GNP.

    If States, counties and cities debt are added, the US national public debt would be around 150% of GDP, similar to Greece.

  2. Getting our economy growing is our most pressing economic problem. But there can be no sustainable economic growth as long as we face America’s enormous debt overhang. If we don’t put our nation’s fiscal house in order, we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. Solving this economic crisis the right way means avoiding the large, immediate, indiscriminate cuts and tax increases that are on the horizon, from the “sequestration” deal. One of the key principles set out by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which I co-chaired with former Senator Alan Simpson, was that a debt-reduction plan must be phased in gradually so as not to disrupt a very fragile economic recovery. Our commission’s plan would reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade, but would do so in a way that encourages, rather than hinders, economic growth and stability. The real short-term risk to the economy isn’t a carefully thought-out deficit reduction plan, but the mindless spending cuts and tax increases — known as the “fiscal cliff” — that are scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of next year. Allowing those deep and abrupt measures to occur would put us into a double-dip recession. At the same time, continuing on our current path by punting these measures would send a dangerous message to the markets that America is not willing or able to deal with our debt. The only responsible course of action is to replace the fiscal cliff with a gradual and thoughtful plan to save at least $4 trillion over the next decade and put the deficit on a clear downward path relative to the economy. Such a plan can lay the foundation for sustained economic growth through a combination of debt reduction, comprehensive tax reform, and maintenance of important investments in education, infrastructure, and high-value research and development.

    We should be careful not to cut too deep too soon. But failing to deal with the debt is the real risk we just plain can’t afford.

    Room for Debate:

  3. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: Public debt is like catastrophic illness. One day you are fine. The next, you are at a ICU fighting for your life. Four years ago, public debt of the 17 euro zone countries had sterling AAA credit rating. Today, Germany and France are in danger of losing their AAA credit rating while Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy fight to avoid a Greek style public debt bankruptcy.

    Can the public debt of 100% or plus of GNP turn the US into another Greece?

    The answer is NO. As Paul Krugman frequently points out, the US Treasury is paying the lowest interest rates in history to finance government debt. The question is: how long can the US sustain such high public debt at affordable interest rates? The answer lies with the dominant role played by the dollar. The world economy has been accumulating increasingly larger amounts of dollars and Treasury bills in the last 25 years. The world is caught up into a “dollar and debt trap.” TONS of 100 dollar notes and Treasury bills sit in central bank’s vault or are kept by private investors worldwide. They have no other alternative but to continue holding those monetary and financial papers and pray for the best. Theoretically, the Treasury-FED can finance a public sector deficit of 100% of GNP for quite long time. There is nothing the rest of the world can do about it. This raises a fascinating conclusion: US domination of the world economy in the 21st century is done via paper power (dollars and T-bills) and not by military might.

    Room for Debate:

  4. Paul: @Uziel, I wouldn’t trust ratings agencies. After all, they ALSO put their AAA imprimatur on mortgage backed securities in 2008. A greater issue for the Euro Zone economies is that, unlike the USA (and Brazil, for that matter) they have no control over their currency. If the USA wants to pay off the percentage of debt held by, say, China, the government could just print more money. This is said to be inflationary, but with the interest rates on Treasury bonds hovering at or near 0%, it is not a serious threat. The Euro Zone nations have no such ability to print more Euros, without the cooperation of the frugal Germans and the intransigent Finns, for example. A more serious step that the US could take would be to match the Chinese systematic undervaluation of the yuan with its own measure of devaluation, but this is a much more dangerous pathway to explore. I am old enough to remember NYC’s fiscal crisis of the 1970s, the OPEC oil embargo, and huge inflation and high interest rates attached thereto.

    The fear of inflation has overpowered every potential economic solution ever since, unreasonably so in my mind. What zero interest rates have also wrought has been an absolute destruction of the concept of thrift.

    I know that everyone likes to talk about stimulus for the economy, but nobody values policies that reward living within one’s means, whether as a family or as a nation.

    Room for Debate:

  5. He was going to fill in the blanks, a nowhere man no more. He was going to show his human side, to offer us a glimpse of the guy who said he “lives for laughter.” Not loveable, or even very likeable, but at least a fleshed out leader with a plan (…..) So it was up to the nominee to fill in the blanks. Guess what? He loved his parents. He loves his wife and kids, and one of them speaks Spanish. He loves women. He loves his church, and was there when fellow Mormons needed him. “We prayed together, our kids played together and we always stood ready to help each other out in different ways,” he said. “And that’s how it is in America.” Great. Give the man a hand and a plaque for his wall and send him on his way. At the very least, we wanted a story — a grand narrative about the leader and about a nation stuck in a Groundhog Day economy. Who are you? Where do you want to take us? And please, some details. But in the same way that this convention failed to fill the shell of Romney the man, the big speech came with no telling specifics on how he would govern. Romney has provided no detailed blueprint because what is known of the limited blueprint is unpopular. Cut taxes on the rich. Prolong old wars, and even intervene in new ones, without even mentioning the service members now risking their lives in the longest of these forgotten conflicts. Put gay soldiers back in the closet, or kick them out. Ignore climate change. (The delegates laughed at the idea.) Cut or kill government aid to students, the poor, energy entrepreneurs and the arts. “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet,” said Romney. “My promise is to help you and your family.” How? A few specifics on the plan to create those 12 million new jobs he’s promising would have helped. Corporations are sitting on piles of cash; interest rates are rock bottom; and taxes on the wealthy have not been this low since Chatsworth Osborne, Jr., was palling around with Dobie Gillis. And his prescription is for more of the same: tax cuts, wealth concentration, corporations as people with the best rights money can buy (…..)

  6. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: Unless something dramatic occurs, Mitt Romney has lost the chance to become president. He is the wrong candidate at the wrong election year. US voters want the next president to get the economy going strong while creating good quality jobs. Who is Romney? He is a clever financial engineer businessman that became millionaire by buying-selling companies and exporting jobs overseas. He is not a job creator.

    Besides, the credibility issue. How can American voters trust a candidate that does not reveal the sacrosanct income tax returns? on this, Romney reminds me former pres Carlos Menem of Argentina. His campaign slogan was: Trust me. I will not deceive you.

  7. (…..) There is a flaw in the vision the Republicans offered in Tampa. It is contained in its rampant hyperindividualism. Speaker after speaker celebrated the solitary and heroic individual. There was almost no talk of community and compassionate conservatism. There was certainly no conservatism as Edmund Burke understood it, in which individuals are embedded in webs of customs, traditions, habits and governing institutions. Today’s Republicans strongly believe that individuals determine their own fates. In a Pew Research Center poll, for example, 57 percent of Republicans believe people are poor because they don’t work hard. Only 28 percent believe people are poor because of circumstances beyond their control. These Republicans believe that if only government gets out of the way, then people’s innate qualities will enable them to flourish. But there’s a problem. I see what the G.O.P. is offering the engineering major from Purdue or the business major from Arizona State. The party is offering skilled people the freedom to run their race. I don’t see what the party is offering the waitress with two kids, or the warehouse worker whose wages have stagnated for a decade, or the factory worker whose skills are now obsolete.

    The fact is our destinies are shaped by social forces much more than the current G.O.P. is willing to admit. The skills that enable people to flourish are not innate but constructed by circumstances. Government does not always undermine initiative.

    Some government programs, like the G.I. Bill, inflame ambition. Others depress it. What matters is not whether a program is public or private but its effect on character. Today’s Republicans, who see every government program as a step on the road to serfdom, are often blind to that. They celebrate the race to success but don’t know how to give everyone access to that race. The wisest speech departed from the prevailing story line. It was delivered by Condoleezza Rice.

    It echoed an older, less libertarian conservatism, which harkens back to Washington, Tocqueville and Lincoln. The powerful words in her speech were not “I” and “me” — the heroic individual. They were “we” and “us” — citizens who emerge out of and exist as participants in a great national project. Rice celebrated material striving but also larger national goals — the long national struggle to extend benefits and mobilize all human potential.

    She subtly emphasized how our individual destinies are dependent upon the social fabric and upon public institutions like schools, just laws and our mission in the world. She put less emphasis on commerce and more on citizenship. Today’s Republican Party may be able to perform useful tasks with its current hyperindividualistic mentality. But its commercial soul is too narrow. It won’t be a worthy governing party until it treads the course Lincoln trod: starting with individual ambition but ascending to a larger vision and creating a national environment that arouses ambition and nurtures success.

  8. MITT ROMNEY stuck fast to his foreign-policy playbook in his acceptance speech Thursday night — sloganeering about American exceptionalism, sneering at President Obama’s record on Iran and Israel, and obscuring his own lack of new ideas. He said he would “honor America’s democratic ideals because a free world is a more peaceful world” and he praised the “bipartisan foreign policy legacy of Truman and Reagan,” but said nothing specific about how he would follow in their footsteps. The vagueness seems like a strategy in itself, and there’s a good explanation: the disarray in his own party over national security. Today’s Republicans are as divided on foreign policy as they’ve ever been, and Mr. Romney is finding it hard to bridge the divisions. No wonder he zoomed past foreign policy in some 3 minutes of a 39-minute speech. Centrists and neoconservatives are divided not only over security strategy, but the conservative base is also fractured over government spending — including the defense budget. Neoconservatives who opposed even the modest defense cuts suggested by former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates have come up against neo-isolationist Tea Party-backed tax-cutters and their guru, Grover G. Norquist. At the same time, some Republicans who have long said that government spending doesn’t generally create jobs have promised — hypocritically — to oppose defense cuts that might cause job losses back at home. Is there a single foreign policy area on which Republicans largely agree? (…..) In the past, Republican divisions over foreign policy were typically between a realist wing and a more fervent nationalist wing; realism usually won. In the 1950s, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, an internationalist, prevailed over Senator Robert A. Taft and his isolationist followers. Later, President Richard M. Nixon’s engagement with China and President Ronald Reagan’s diplomatic outreach to the Soviet Union won out over the skepticism of cold-war conservatives. After the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush ushered in a new level of infighting, from which his party has not recovered. Initially, neoconservatives like Paul D. Wolfowitz pressed a doctrine of preventive war and put it into effect in Iraq. Eventually, more pragmatic conservatives like Condoleezza Rice pulled the president back toward diplomacy. Over the last four years, Republicans tried to paper over their divisions. In the 2008 and 2010 elections, foreign policy hardly figured at all. But the Republican primary contest this year bared the deep conservative disarray. And this time, a new battle, between neoconservatives and neo-isolationists, all but crowded out the party’s pragmatic internationalists, like James A. Baker III and Colin L. Powell. Mr. Romney has dealt with these divisions in two ways. He has derided Mr. Obama’s handling of foreign policy (notably on Iran and Israel) with overheated rhetoric but only vague hints at alternatives. Ms. Rice (whose rhetorical jab at Mr. Obama’s “leading from behind” was a big applause line) and Mr. McCain (whose calls for aiding the Syrian opposition drew muted applause) echoed that theme at the convention (…..)

  9. Mitt Romney has been criticized for not discussing foreign policy. Give him a break. He probably figures he’s already said all that he needs to say during the primaries: He has a big stick, and he is going to use it on Day 1. Or as he put it: “If I’m president of the United States … on Day 1, I will declare China a currency manipulator, allowing me to put tariffs on products where they are stealing American jobs unfairly.” That is really cool. Smack China on Day 1. I just wonder what happens on Day 2 when China, the biggest foreign buyer of U.S. debt securities, announces that it will not participate in the next Treasury auction, sending our interest rates soaring. That will make Day 3 really, really cool. Welcome to the Romney foreign policy, which I’d call: “George W. Bush abroad — the cartoon version.” I know Romney doesn’t believe a word he’s saying on foreign policy and that its all aimed at ginning up votes: there’s some China-bashing to help in the Midwest, some Arab-bashing to win over the Jews, some Russia-bashing (our “No. 1 geopolitical foe”) to bring in the Polish vote, plus a dash of testosterone to keep the neocons off his back.

    What’s odd is that Romney was in a position to sound smart on foreign policy, not like a knee-jerk hawk. He just needed to explain what every global business leader learned long before governments did — that, since the end of the cold war, the world has become not just more interconnected but more interdependent, and this new structural reality requires a new kind of American leadership.

    Why? In this increasingly interdependent world, your “allies” can hurt you as much as your “enemies.” After all, the biggest threats to President Obama’s re-election are whether little Greece pulls out of the euro zone and triggers a global economic meltdown or whether Israel attacks Iran and does the same. In this increasingly interdependent world, your rivals can threaten you as much by collapsing as by rising. Think of what would happen to U.S. markets and jobs if China’s growth slowed to a crawl and there was internal instability there? (…..)


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