Washington: Mitt Romney, a leading contender
for securing the Republican presidential nomination for 2012
polls, has highlighted the need for adopting a tough stand
against China over its aggressive economic policies and vowed
that he would designate Beijing a "currency manipulator" if he
Accusing the Obama administration of being soft on
Beijing, he said: "We need to make sure that we let them
(China) understand that in order for them to continue to have
free and open access to the thing they want so badly, our
markets, they have to play by the rules."
"...the policies of (President) Barack Obama in China
have allowed China to continue to expand their entry into our
computer systems," Romney said at a Republican presidential
debate on foreign policy, promising that on day one of his
presidency, if he is elected, he would designate China as a
On that basis, the US can also go before WTO and bring an
action against China as a currency manipulator, he said. "That
allows us to apply selectively tariffs where we believe they
are stealing our intellectual property, hacking into our
computers or artificially lowering their prices and killing
American jobs," he said.
"We can't just sit back and let China run all over
us. People say, well, you'll start a trade war. There's one
going on right now, folks. They're stealing our jobs and we're
going to stand up to China," Romney said.
Texas Governor Rick Perry said there are some people who
have made the statement that the 21st century is going to be
the century of China and that the US has had its time in the
"I don't believe that. I don't believe that at all. As a
matter of fact, you think back to the 1980s, and we faced a
similar type of a situation with Russia. And (the then
President) Ronald Reagan said that Russia would end up on the
ash heap of history, and he was right," Perry said.
"I mean, I happen to think that the Communist Chinese
government will end up on the ash heap of history if they do
not change their virtues. It is important for a country to
have virtues, virtues of honesty. And this whole issue of
allowing cyber-security to go on, we need to use all of our
resources," he said.
The private sector, working along with the government to
standing up the cyber-command in 2010, was a good start on
that front, Perry said. "But fighting this cyber-war, I would
suggest, is one of the great issues that will face the next
President of the United States and we must win it," he said.
However, Jon Huntsman, who served for two years as the
US Ambassador to China, noted that US cannot drag China to WTO
on currency issue.
"First of all, I don't think you can take China to
the WTO on currency-related issues. Second, I don't know that
this country needs a trade war with China. Who does it hurt?
"Our small businesses in South Carolina, our exporters,
our agriculture producers. We don't need that at a time when
China is about to embark on a generational transition," he
"So what should we be doing? We should be reaching out to
our allies and constituencies within China. They're called the
young people. They're called the Internet generation. There
are 500 million Internet users in China. Now 80 million
bloggers and they are bringing about change the likes of which
are going to take China down," Huntsman said.
First Published: Sunday, November 13, 2011, 11:38