Home > Analysis, Opinion > “Blame-game players should apologize” by China Daily USA’s Chen Weihua

“Blame-game players should apologize” by China Daily USA’s Chen Weihua

Henry Kissinger recently told his audience at a Wilson Institute forum that Romney’s and Obama’s campaign rhetoric against China were ‘deplorable.’ Some expat bloggers suggest that China should accept that this is a election phenomenon as if this sort of behavior is ‘normal’ and ‘proper.’ That’s wrong and Americans should take the China-U.S. relationship more seriously – especially in our modern age where many Chinese do understand English and pay attention to what these candidates say. The American public is continually polarized to take on a war-like footing against everything ‘China,’ and it is hard to imagine how the long term trend resulting from it can be positive. Following is an Op-Ed by China Daily USA’s Chen Weihua arguing why the two candidates in fact should apologize for their irresponsible fear-mongering.

Blame-game players should apologize
Updated: 2012-10-12 08:10

By Chen Weihua (China Daily)

Regardless of who wins the Nov 6 election, US President Barack Obama and the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, both owe Chinese people an apology for their indecent use of fearmongering about the Asia nation in their campaigns.

Both candidates have tried hard and often to use China as a bogeyman, by spreading confrontational or hateful messages about China in their speeches and TV ads.

It recalls the Japan-bashing the United States resorted to in the 1980s, when a fast-growing Japan was seen as an economic threat to the US. Japan, a US ally, was treated unfairly, so perhaps it’s not surprising that China, with its different social and political system, has fallen prey to the political rhetoric of the pre-election grandstanding of the two candidates.

However, US politicians seem to blame China as a way of avoiding any responsibility for their nation’s problems: its huge national debt, trade deficit and high unemployment.
In his first debate with Obama a week ago, Romney indulged in his customary anti-China rhetoric. While talking about his five measures to create jobs, he said he would “crack down on China, if and when they cheat”, as if China is the cause of the US’ trade problem.

Of course, neither Romney nor Obama have told Americans that China is the fastest-growing export market for US goods and services: That it supports millions of American jobs.
Commenting on his country’s budget deficit, Romney said he would cut spending based on whether a program was so critical it was “worth borrowing money from China to pay for it”. Does that mean Romney will not cut programs so long as he can borrow from countries other than China?

Obama and Romney each accuse the other of outsourcing US jobs to China. But when I asked 3M’s China chief Kenneth Yu on Monday whether he knew that 3M could be condemned in the US as an outsourcer, his answer was succinct: If 3M had not grown its China business so much, many high-paying 3M jobs in the US and in other parts of the world would have been lost. You hardly hear such truth in the US these days.

The fearmongering of China in the US reminds me of the old days in China when people would blame everything on US imperialists and their running dogs in Western Europe.

But today, Chinese leaders and people have a much healthier mindset. They have abandoned the blame game now favored by many US politicians.

In fact, they could easily blame Americans for outsourcing, not their jobs, but their polluting manufacturing to China.

The US House Intelligence Committee released a draft report this week on the national security threat posed by Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE. Should China return the favor by arguing against US firms operating in China? Should it issue a warning about Cisco for posing a potential national security threat? How about Boeing, General Electric, Caterpillar and a host of US companies that could be implicated due to their business ties with the US military? How about Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Western Union and Bank of America? These financial firms cut their services to WikiLeaks in December 2010 under pressure from the US government. Who knows whether they would do this to China if tensions rose between the two countries.

Bashing China has become a popular pastime for many Americans. In The Wall Street Journal last Friday, Peter Culp and Robert Glennon claimed the US’ alfalfa exports to China were contributing to the water shortage in the west of the country. They chose not to mention that Japan and the United Arab Emirates were the top two US alfalfa buyers last year.
After the election, both Obama and Romney should apologize to China for playing their blame game.

The author, based in New York, is deputy editor of China Daily USA. E-mail: chenweihua@chinadaily.com.cn

  1. October 12th, 2012 at 00:59 | #1

    it makes more sense that foreigners trying to ruin the CHina/japan relation orchestrated the protests. think about it, the Chinese protestors attacked u.s ambasador gary locke’s car, and ai weiwei just hapened to be in the neighbourhood with a camera from the 2nd floor building right across the street from the entrance of the embasy. now if it was that easy for mr ai to get into the building with a perfect shot of the entrance, then anyone can asasinate any american at the embasy. anyone whos been to an american embasy anywhere in the world knows they are armed to the teeth, and security is always the tightest. so i’d say that the whole thing was pre aranged, and ai(with the briefing of his american masters) had full knowlegdge that protestors would attack locke’s car. something else to keep in mind is that one of the biggest protests took place in shenzen, where rent-a-mob organizers could hop over the border quickly and easily from hong kong, where many pro imperialist forces, and lackeys sit idle waiting for situations like this to occur. the fact that hong kong, and taiwan protestors both took place in diaoyu disputes just goes to show that they are agents of the west who seek to reap the benefits of a China/japan divide. where were these hk, and tw protestors during the vietnam, and filipines disputes? it would make sense that if you cared so much about Chinese sovreignty then you would also make some noise for them as well, but they were completely silent. many of the hk protestors are known to be regular opponents of China. so why all of a sudden did they support China’s claims to the islands? from the american/european, or even south korean perspective, it’s not a bad deal. pay a bunch of protestors to cause a scene, and get massive amounts of business that would have otherwise gone to japan. i just cant believe the japanese are not smart enough to see through this.

  2. albinosprouts
    October 12th, 2012 at 01:34 | #2

    Disgusting behavior. It betrays a certain amount of jealousy doesn’t it? Perhaps China should be excited about how bitter the self-entitled west is becoming.

  3. October 12th, 2012 at 12:29 | #3

    I take the opposing view that Chinese exposure to anti-Chinese rhetoric in the US media is beneficial to China. I think its vital for the Chinese public to have a clear-headed view about the sentiments of not only the US government, but also the US public (given their receptiveness to such propaganda). This would act to offset any romantic and naive views about the US and the ideological dogmas it preaches.

  4. no-name
    October 12th, 2012 at 16:11 | #4

    Apologies from them (they’re inhuman) will come only when snow starts appearing in Hades. Read the history of the My Lai massacre and you will find numerous exact parallels of their very inhuman conduct like in the Sand Creek massacre, the Nogeun massacre, the May 4 2009 Farah massacre and many, many other inhuman massacres. It is simply impossible for them to mend their ways.

  5. October 13th, 2012 at 00:18 | #5

    Good article. Too rational to be popular. It’s mind boggling to watch Americans taking their elections seriously (other than for its entertainment value), as if it would make a difference. Whoever sits in the White House pretending to be in control would understand that the Empire has obliterated Africa, nearly done with the Middle East, and more or less tamed or bribed Europe. Asia is a headache, mainly because of China.

    One day China will have to refuse handing over substantial real assets in exchange of fake money, like everybody else. When that happens, the US will have two options: Expertly pick a real fight with China, or change the way they have been. Somehow I think Option 1 has a higher chance, say 99.9999%, of happening. They are constantly preparing the mindless masses for that eventuality. Hopefully, China harbours no wishful thinking in this regard.

  6. October 13th, 2012 at 20:52 | #6

    >>While talking about his five measures to create jobs, he said he would “crack down on China, if and when they cheat”, as if China is the cause of the US’ trade problem.<<

    Since the writer said "trade," not "jobs," that statement is unequivocally true. America's trade deficit is matched by China's trade surplus, as the two major economic imbalances in the world today (at least when you count the Euro zone as a single entity.) The money that should be going towards buying American goods is instead going towards treasuries, which just happen to be in China's hands.

    China's imports from America are increasing, but the trade deficit with China isn't budging at all. I'm glad it's being talked about this election season, although I'm not sure about Romney's idea of a trade war (I am sure he won't do it anyway.)

    Also, TBH, I can't really think about any China bashing on the Obama side. He has been focused on WTO enforcement, which is simply a judicial-type proceeding.

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