'Strive to Influence' American Presidential Elections (Huanqiu, People's Republic
With all of the
criticism directed at Beijing by both President Obama and his Republican
challenger Mitt Romney, is it time for China's authorities to 'stop sitting submissively'
and adopt an attitude of 'intervention' in the U.S. presidential campaign? According
to this editorial from state-run Huanqiu,
directly challenging the insults and
constantly-repeated anti-China 'lies' uttered by the candidates is necessary for the
prevention greater Sino-U.S. hostility.
The U.S. presidential campaign is fully engaged, and Romney
and Obama appear to be competing to see who can act tougher toward China. Romney took the
lead by bellowing that, “on the very first day of my term,” he would punish
the Chinese people. So as not to appear weak and to compete with Romney for
votes, just days ago, Obama launched a WTO complaint against China’s auto
U.S. presidential elections always bring China misfortune,
and the plot of this story is already an old cliché. But this year, Romney and
Obama seem to want to take it to another level. America’s chronic unemployment "psoriasis"
is being unreasonably blamed on China, and China’s economy is being called a
vampire coiled around America’s rice bowl. Trade friction between China and the
U.S. are being aggravated thanks to this election, and mutual suspicion is very
likely to deepen.
Chinese people are supposed to have such big hearts, that they
can tolerate and even accustom themselves to having one bucket of dirty water after
another spilled over them during U.S. elections. In this respect, participants
in American elections have become ever-more wanton, completely disregarding the
feelings of the Chinese people who must listen to this abuse and vilification.
The Americans have been somewhat spoiled by China’s reticence.
Regardless of whether it is the incumbent or his challenger, China should not tolerate the unrestrained way American candidates take us for fools, especially in the final sprint of a U.S. presidential campaign. Both
should maintain at least a modicum of respect for China. They should take more
care when they speak, and not shoot their mouths off.
Many of the things Romney says about China resemble what
comes out of the mouths of angry young men on the Internet, and seem to lack
any genuineness. If after the election, Romney were to truly espouse the ideas
he is expressing, he would be an extreme nationalist president regarding Sino-U.S.
trade, and would trigger unmitigated upheaval. In light of the sickly, weakened
state of the U.S. economy, this kind of “kill 1,000 enemies, lose 800 of your
own” trade war is not something America can afford.
This extremist setting-up of China as an election target is
part and parcel of the deceitful tricks and irresponsibility rapidly
accumulating throughout the U.S. presidential campaign, and has now become an
"obsession." We know from experience that for the most part, malicious
words that target China during U.S. presidential elections are rarely acted
upon, but the things being said now and broadcast in political ads undoubtedly
fan the flames of Chinese resentment.
We don’t know whether or not to simply treat the way Romney
and Obama keep raising the stakes with China as a circus show. Perhaps we
should not, because the excesses of their speeches are misleading to the
American people. The more a lie is repeated, the more it seems true. Americans will
have increasingly more complaints that will sooner or later turn to hatred, which
will stimulate confrontational emotions toward America within Chinese society.
With mutual discontent between the U.S. and China building,
who would be foolish enough to treat such improper and malicious words uttered during
an American presidential election as a game? Many intractable international
conflicts have begun with the bravado of politicians.
Since it is now so deeply interwoven into the U.S. presidential
campaign, China should never again place itself in the position of ordinary
onlooker. We should raise our voice with an unmistakable attitude of
“intervention” in the U.S. campaign, correcting the words and deeds of the candidates
and the way the American public perceives China.
U.S. presidential elections should not continue as a stage for
the casual demonization of China. At the very least, they should be a place
for competing attitudes toward it. Since the U.S. elections bring such a focus
on China, we should strive to influence the direction and content of that
This will certainly not be easy, but it is not impossible.
It just requires us to stop sitting submissively, and stop grinning and bearing
whatever insults are hurled our way by the two candidates.
These are the recent China-related assertions of the two candidates:
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: On Sept. 17, the president announced that his administration will launch a WTO enforcement action against China's government for illegally subidizing car and car part manufacturers. This is likely a move to appeal to Ohio voters, where 1 in 8 jobs is tied directly or indirectly to auto manufacturing. Yesterday, the administration barred a Chinese-held firm from owning or building four wind projects. Security officials considered the site uncomfortably close to a Navy facility in Oregon. The AP says that this was the first time in 22 years that a U.S. president has blocked such a foreign business deal. And over the past 48 hours, the Obama campaign has been critizing Romney for having so much money invested in China.
MITT ROMNEY: Mitt Romney accuses President Obama of being, "China’s doormat at the expense of America’s workers." He accused the president of not standing up to China and not labeling Beijing a "currency manipulator." Beijing refuses to allow its currency, the yuan, to appreciate to something approaching its real market value. According to 2012 Republicans.org, Mitt Romney promises to issue five executive orders his first day in office, The fourth is, "An order to sanction China for unfair trade practices: The Treasury Department would list China as a currency manipulator; the Commerce Department will assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports; An order to empower American businesses and workers.