Heartbreak: Chinese government none too happy with Romney’s agenda

posted at 7:01 pm on September 1, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Wait, so the state-controlled media of a self-proclaimed communist nation that brutally oppresses its people and continuously flouts the rules of free-trade and international cooperation, isn’t endorsing Romney for president? I think I can feel my heart breaking.

China’s official news agency on Wednesday criticised what it called a “blame-China game” by US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a day after he formally secured the Republican nomination. …

“While it is convenient for US politicians to hammer China and blame China for their own problems, they should be fully aware that their words and deeds are poisoning the general atmosphere of US-China relations,” it said. …

He has pledged to brand China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office, a move that could enable retaliatory sanctions and that the Obama administration declined to take in May. …

Obama has issued tamer criticisms of the Asian giant, announcing during a campaign stop last month that his government had filed a complaint against it with the World Trade Organization over a tariff on American automobiles.

Oh, give me a break — blame, shmame. The Chinese ruling elites are overly-sensitive about anyone pointing out their very obvious, glaring flaws and daring to not be bullied by their endless effronteries, because they have to feed their own repressed populace with a constant stream of jingoistic waffle to keep their precarious governing situation locked down.

I have long maintained that the rise of a more wealthy China is in no way a necessarily scary prospect. The beautiful thing about prosperity is that there’s no finite supply of it that we need to fight over — it just keeps on growing, and there’s absolutely no reason that every single person on the planet couldn’t enjoy the same level of material comfort that we by and large enjoy in the western world. Free trade is not a zero-sum game, everybody benefits, and a more productive, successful, competitive China would only help to heighten worldwide prosperity and innovation.

China has long since realized that they would indeed like to be an economic superpower, and if they’re ever to have even the slightest hope of getting on our economic level (right now, they aren’t even close), they’re going to be forced to implement political reforms, too. Repressing your people’s freedom of speech and religion and shutting down their opportunities for upward mobility is no way to unleash their ingenuity and entrepreneurship, and a more democratic China would benefit all parties.

Romney understands this.

“We will welcome the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous China, and we will welcome even more the development of a democratic China,” the [RNC] draft platform reads. “Its rulers have discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth. The next lesson is that political and religious freedom lead to national greatness. The exposure of the Chinese people to our way of lifecan be the greatest force for change in their country.

The problem is that, right now, China is still attempting to compete on a free-market level, without abiding by free-market rules. They’re not trying to make China more democratic, they’re trying to see how much they can accomplish by testing just how much the rest of the world will allow them to get away with: Intellectual piracy, currency manipulation, rampant corruption, mind-blowing fiscal failures, international perfidy, etcetera. But here’s the thing: It’s not working out too well for them.

The latest news from Beijing is indicative of Chinese weakness: a persistent slowdown of economic growth, a glut of unsold goods, rising bad bank loans, a bursting real estate bubble, and a vicious power struggle at the top, coupled with unending political scandals. Many factors that have powered China’s rise, such as the demographic dividend, disregard for the environment, supercheap labor, and virtually unlimited access to external markets, are either receding or disappearing. …

The current economic slowdown in Beijing is neither cyclical nor the result of weak external demand for Chinese goods. China’s economic ills are far more deeply rooted: an overbearing state squandering capital and squeezing out the private sector, systemic inefficiency and lack of innovation, a rapacious ruling elite interested solely in self-enrichment and the perpetuation of its privileges, a woefully underdeveloped financial sector, and mounting ecological and demographic pressures.

I’m rather of the opinion that China’s communist bubble is well on its way to popping almost regardless of what we do, but it’s still important to stand up to their continual bullying and let them know that we are not easy subjects for a run-around. It’s quite the sticky wicket, and I don’t pretend to know all the exact answers, but Romney highlighting their underhanded security dealings, their widespread human rights abuses, and their refusal to abide by free-trade rules aren’t a bad start — I know that communist regimes don’t usually like it when they don’t get their way and anybody in the wide world dares to challenge them, but tough beans.

And to finish, just two quick parting thoughts:

1. We often accuse China’s communist government of being overly-protectionist with tariffs and whatnot, but we’re guilty of plenty of that ourselves.

2. Heads up, greenies — you think that free enterprise is bad for the environment? Communism should be the Environmentalist Movement’s Public Enemy Number One!

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