'No room' for election China-bashing: US politicians

Updated: 2015-04-13 06:06

By AMY HE in New York(China Daily USA)

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'No room' for election China-bashing: US politicians

Allan Fung (right), the first Chinese-American mayor of Rhode Island, talking about the Republican Party's need for engagement with the Chinese and Asian-American communities leading up to the 2016 elections, with Ed Cox, chairman of the New York Republican State Committee. [Photo by AMY HE / CHINA DAILY]

But Fung, who has been Cranston mayor since 2009, also said that a party cannot control the actions of all its members and candidates, but that it's important to raise awareness and continue to have dialogue so people understand political realities.

Ed Cox, chairman of the New York Republican State Committee, said that the party has progressively lost more of the Asian — "and by Asian, I mean mostly Chinese," he said — vote in the past decade and a half, culminating with President Barack Obama's election in 2012.

But the good news is that the party is "coming back on a national level," he said. While most of the Asian vote in the country is concentrated on the coasts, in New York and California, which are "very blue states", Cox said that Virginia might be where the party turns its attention to the Asian vote for the 2016 elections.

"There is one state where it could make a huge difference, and that's Virginia, which has become a swing state," he said.

"And there the Asian population is 7 percent, and I think there will be a focus on the Asian population there in the upcoming 2016 presidential election," said Cox, who is the son-in-law of President Richard Nixon.

Cox said that the party has historically been labeled as the "party of plutocrats," but that's not the case.

"We're the party of the small-businessmen," he said. "We're the party of lower taxes; we're the party of less regulation. When I was out in Bensonhurst with the local Chinese, politically interested people, those were the issues they were interested in," he said.

Fung, Cox and Alvillar all said that the party could be more engaged with the Asian population.

"We shouldn't have off years when we're talking to the AAPI community," Alvillar said.

"I think we have to be engaged, and not just during election years," Fung said.

"Before I was even involved in politics, it used to frustrate me because I was the president of the Chinese American Association, and all you would see with the candidates and politicians was that they would just show up for the Lunar New Year celebration just during election time," Fung said. "And it was that quick hit, in and out. What I feel is critically important and especially as an elected official now is not only engaging during those times when you're asking for their vote, but most importantly, when you're not."


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