Stop China bashing, state media tells Obama, Romney
Beijing: It would be "both politically shortsighted and detrimental to China-US ties" if the second debate between American President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney is turned into a China-bashing competition, said a commentary in the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The commentary, which appeared Tuesday, noted that US politicians have "a notorious record of rounding on China during election seasons and then quickly changing their course of action after taking office".
"However, these chameleonic politicians should not always expect that the wounds they have inflicted to the China-US ties would heal automatically," it warned.
It said that as the US presidential candidates gear up for their second debate with a focus on foreign policy, "it would be both politically shortsighted and detrimental to China-US ties if they turned the town-hall-style meeting into a China-bashing competition".
The rise of China has been selected as one of the major topics at the second encounter.
"Such a choice demonstrates that the two candidates' respective China policies are among the key factors that will help voters make their decisions on who will run the world's only superpower in the next four years.
"Yet, with the Election Day only three weeks away, the fierce presidential race seems to have morphed into a contest in which the one who plays tougher on China has better chances to win," said Xinhua.
The commentary pointed out that Romney has "worked pretty hard to portray himself as a steadfast China-basher, trumpeting the ill-grounded theory that it is China's currency policy that has made Americans jobless".
Fearing to be outshone in the China-hitting game, it said that the Obama administration has rolled out a series of protectionist measures against Chinese products and investment.
"In fact, there are plenty of other US politicians who have built their political popularity and career by chastising the Chinese government and its policies instead of locating the true causes of their country's social and economic problems and seeking constructive solutions," it added.
The commentary advised "flip-flopping politicians to spend a little more time handling their own problems and a little less time scapegoating China".