| (Xinhua file photo)
by Deng Yushan
BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Tuesday launched an assault on China in a campaign speech, groundlessly accusing the global economic powerhouse of manipulating its currency and stealing U.S. intellectual property.
Although old-fashioned and ill-advised, the former Massachusetts governor's China-bashing rhetoric seemed contagious, as a handful of Democratic politicians also picked up the stinging tone and leveled false charges against China as if Beijing's monetary and trade policies have hindered job creation in the United States.
China bashing has become a handy tool of U.S. politicians, especially in electoral campaigns or times of economic difficulties. Crafty politicians tend to cater to and even ratchet up the antagonistic sentiment of some poorly informed voters toward China, dreaming that they could ride the anti-China waves to higher political echelons and even the White House.
Such mud-slinging tactics may work in the U.S. society. But the consequence is also clear: blaming China for U.S. economic woes will only allow U.S. politicians to hide behind this false excuse, relieving them of their responsibility to take bold action to tackle the problems.
Facts have demonstrated that China is a responsible player on the world stage, whose impressive economic development benefits all and threatens none. For example, the Los Angeles Times reported that the 45-billion-U.S.-dollar contracts reached between Chinese and U.S. enterprises during Chinese President Hu Jintao's January visit would create 235,000 jobs in the unemployment-plagued United States.
Meanwhile, the Chinese currency has appreciated more than 20 percent against the U.S. dollar since China unpegged it from the greenback in 2005. Beijing has rightly exercised a prudent approach to the revaluation of the yuan, because radical exchange rate fluctuations are a recipe for financial and economic calamities.
The Chinese currency is not to blame for the trade imbalance between China and the United States, as vindicated by the plain fact that noticeable appreciation of the yuan over the past years did not help ease U.S. trade deficits with China.
Beijing has repeatedly declared that it has no intent to pursue a trade surplus. The relatively low labor costs in China stem from the reality that China remains a developing country.
China remains at the low-profit end of the world economic system. It still has a long way to go before it can parallel the United States in terms of talent and expertise.
Another China-bashing tool of U.S. politicians is to hint that Beijing encourages piracy. The Chinese government is consistently against any kind of patent infringement and has long been engaged in an enormous effort to crack down upon such crimes. Every rational person knows the difference between government policy and individual behavior.
Rather than scapegoating China and the yuan, viable and mutually beneficial options are available for the United States to erase much of the red ink, including relaxing its restrictions on high-tech exports to China and opening its door wider to Chinese investors.
China is no cause of the current U.S. economic mess, and bashing Beijing is no cure for Washington's woes. What U.S. policymakers should do is to revamp their own practices and foster more cooperation with China, which benefits from a thriving U.S. economy.
In this information age, it is advisable that politicians like Romney abandon the anachronistic China-bashing approach and adopt a positive path toward the White House.
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