China-bashing talks useless to US economy

Updated: 2012-09-14 16:17


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BEIJING -- Merely aimed at scoring cheap political points in an election season, US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney once again blamed China's currency policy as the root cause for the excruciatingly high jobless rates in the United States.

While addressing a rally in the US state of Virginia on Thursday, Romney, just as what he has done along his campaign trail, opened fire on China, claiming that it was Beijing's undervalued RMB currency that forced US manufacturers out of job.

What is more sensational is that this millionaire GOP candidate has vowed to declare China a currency manipulator on the first day of his presidency if elected.

Yet it is rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician's wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics.

Such blaming-China-on-everything remarks are as false as they are foolish, for it has never been a myth that pushing up the value of China's currency would be of little use to boost the chronically slack job market of the world's sole superpower, not to mention to magically turn the poor US economic performance around.

For the record, the Chinese yuan has so far appreciated more than 30 percent against the US dollar since Beijing began to reform its exchange rate regime in 2005.

However, the US economy is still undergoing one of the lousiest recoveries in history, while its unemployment rates remain staggeringly high and trade deficits with China continue to rise.

All US politicians should be mindful that the task of maintaining a strong trade relationship is crucial not only to China, but also to the United States as well, especially in this time of global economic turbulence and uncertainty.

If these mud-slinging tactics were to become US government policies, a trade war would be very likely to break out between the world's top two economies, which would be catastrophic enough to both sides and the already groaning global economy.

For generations, China-bashing has been a cancer in US electoral politics, seriously plaguing the relations between the two countries.

It has also become a handy tool for US politicians who try to court the votes and support of ill-informed voters by ratcheting up antagonistic sentiment towards China, while truly serious social and economic woes within the United States have been left unfixed.

It is true that the stump speeches in US elections are sometimes and somewhat different from what these quick-change politicians would actually carry out after taking office. Yet the damage that has been done to China-US relations would not be easily fixed.

To cure its economic ailments, the United States needs to put its own fiscal house back in order, substantially slash its tremendous military expenditure, and optimize its economic structure.

These options would be a lot more effective than scapegoating China and its currency policy.

And it is advisable that politicians, including Romney, should abandon its short-sighted China-bashing tricks and adopt at least a little bit of statesmanship on China-US ties.