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Bashed by candidates at debate, China shows its patience is wearing thin

By Tom Lasseter

McClatchy Newspapers

LAST UPDATED: 10:09 a.m. HST, Oct 17, 2012

BEIJING » In the aftermath of a U.S. presidential debate that included blistering accusations about unfair Chinese economic practices, a commentary carried by China’s state Xinhua newswire today warned that targeting its country’s products or currency would risk a trade war.

While the analysis was far from a statement of intent by senior Chinese leadership, and stopped well short of past media tirades sparked by foreign policy issues, it signaled fraying patience in Beijing with a U.S. presidential campaign that’s featured criticism of China by both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

“If ‘President Romney’ was determined to keep his words by throwing punitive tariffs against Chinese products exported to the U.S. market on Day One, then China perhaps would be forced to fight back, and then his administration would be very likely to be on its way to a global trade war,” said the item, which was attributed to a writer named Liu Chang and posted on the news service’s English-language website. “Such a scenario would ultimately bury his other promises, not least the one to jumpstart the sluggish U.S. economic growth.”

Chinese news organizations have published several pieces lately complaining about U.S. “China-bashing” this election season.

During Tuesday night’s debate, the word “China” came up 21 times, according to a transcript, as Obama and Romney alternated between pledging to confront the nation and criticizing each other for having failed to do so.

The specific quote to which Xinhua was referring was one by Romney in which he said, “China has been a currency manipulator for years and years and years. And the president has a regular opportunity to label them as a currency manipulator, but refuses to do so. On Day One, I will label China a currency manipulator.”

Although the United States has a massive trade deficit with China in goods and services — $282 billion last year — the value of the Chinese currency, the yuan, against the dollar has been increasing, undercutting the argument that Beijing should be sanctioned for keeping its value artificially low to make its products cheaper.

Financial news agencies reported last week that the yuan had hit a 19-year high. In May, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a non-partisan research center in Washington, revised its estimate of how much the yuan needed to strengthen to reach “equilibrium” with the U.S. dollar, from 28.5 percent last year to 7.7 percent.

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allie wrote:
Obama is playing to the foolish and radical Tea Party base. He is not going to do anything about China except take orders from them. He will need to borrow billions more from China. Cut the bull people.
on October 17,2012 | 10:46AM
star08 wrote:
And, so is Romney.
on October 17,2012 | 11:11AM
manakuke wrote:
Beijing wasn't too happy with either of them.
on October 17,2012 | 03:42PM
mitt_grund wrote:
The U.S. is going the way of Great Britain. Under Queen Victoria, the Brits corrected their trade imbalance by forcing the Middle Kingdom to buy opium the Brits grew from poppies in Afghanistan at exorbitant prices. Talk about true Drug Lords!!! And they have never apologized to China. Present Prime Minister Cameron and his entourage even wore poppies on their visit to China, showing how little they knew of their own history with China, or perhaps deliberately. In those two Opium Wars and the Boxer rebellion, the U.S. of course sided with Britain. Manifest Destiny, the ultimate conquest of the Third World would become the U.S. battle cry, one they would begin by killing 1 million Filipino men, women, and children. They even had a bounty on any Filipino that was killed, even babies (I believe they counted ears). It was General Douglas MacArthur's father who helped quell the rebelllion of Filipinos who had helped the U.S. in its war against Spain, only to find that the U.S. decided the Philippines would make a good naval base and stayed, instead of giving the Filipinos the independence they had been promised. So, nothing new with American foreign policy. It is intended to make sure that America alone has a big stick. So, that stuff about the UN and NATO - a lot of BS. That's why the other nations send so little in actual support and our soldiers take the brunt. Romney and Obama should take a page out of the history books and put a bounty on Afghan and Iranian children, because that's the true nature of their remarks - pure American Manifest Destiny. It was once said that the sun never sets on the British Empire, because it had taken so much land around the world. And they believed they were bringing their civilization to the Third World rabble. The U.S. is now in its moment of glory. Will they go to war like Britain to get a favorable trade balance?
on October 17,2012 | 07:09PM
Lanikaula wrote:
"Manifest Destiny, the ultimate conquest of the Third World would become the U.S. battle cry..."MANIFEST DESTINY, as far as the Euro-Americans, STARTED with the Native Americans and we Kanaka Maoli Hawaii got the NEW & IMPROVED 'version'. U.S. imperialism began HERE in Hawaii, with the alleged 'over-throw' usurpers, the descendants of the original missionaries with the support by the US military & and it diplomatic representative. US military 'staged' & stock-piled supplies and ammo to ALSO allegedly aid the Filipinos in their fight for freedom from Spain only to be THE next 'colonize' until THEY were given an ultimatum to PAY-UP for bases or LEAVE...THEY LEFT & have OCCUPIED HAWAII every since. The other BS battle cry was "Remember the Maine" a drummed-up political BS to keep their aggression going until the US added Guam, Puerto Rico and other small defenseless NEUTRAL nations protected by INTERNATIONAL laws that the US IGNORES 'til today.
on October 17,2012 | 10:23PM
localguy wrote:
Never vote or trust anyone named Scooter, Newt, Mitt, or Biff. Why? Take a look at the history behind each of these names.
on October 17,2012 | 10:11PM
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