Entries in China (24)


Obama: US, China Must Develop 'Firm Understanding' on Cybersecurity

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(PALM SPRINGS, Calif.) – President Obama Friday night sought to make a clear distinction between his administration’s domestic surveillance and cyber espionage, after the first in a series of meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping where cybersecurity topped the agenda.

“It’s important … to distinguish between the deep concerns we have as a government about theft of intellectual property or hacking into systems that might disrupt those systems … versus some of the issues that have been raised around NSA programs,” Obama told reporters.

The recent disclosure of the Obama administration’s surveillance programs is threatening to overshadow the president’s efforts to press Xi on the high-tech attacks that China is reportedly launching against the U.S.

“When it comes to those cybersecurity issues like hacking or theft, those are not issues that are unique to the U.S.-China relationship,” Obama said. “Those are issues that are of international concern … and we’re going to have to work very hard to build a system of defenses and protections … around setting up common rules of the road.”

Sitting alongside Xi after their two-hour-plus meeting at the Sunnylands estate in Palm Springs, Obama said the leaders find themselves in “unchartered waters.”

“It’s critical as two of the largest economies and military powers in the world that China and the United States arrive at a full understanding of how we work together on these issues,” he said.

The Chinese have so far denied such cyber attacks. Xi said his country is “firm in upholding cybersecurity” and that China is also a victim of cyber attacks.

Xi warned that new technology is a “double edge-sword” that can drive progress but also challenge governments. He added that he was hopeful the U.S. and China could work together on cybersecurity issues.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Romney, Ryan Slam Obama Administration on China Trade Policies

Win McNamee/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Romney-Ryan ticket came out swinging Saturday at two separate campaign events, where the politicians blasted President Obama for delaying the release of a report that could label China a currency manipulator.

"I want to make sure that when people cheat, when they don't follow the rules in trade, we finally hold them accountable," Mitt Romney told a crowd of 3,000 who had gathered in Portsmouth, Ohio to hear him speak.

"You know the president, the president has an opportunity, had an opportunity, was required as of last Friday to officially designate whether China is a currency manipulator," Romney said, going on to explain that being a currency manipulator means that a country is "artificially" holding down the value of its currency so the products it sells are less expensive than those made in other countries, and so that American companies making the same products go out of business.

"And yet over the past several years, the President's failed to call China a currency manipulator," Romney said. "He had the occasion on Friday to come out with that official designation. Do you know what they said? We're not going to make any determination until after the election."

Romney was referring to a decision by the U.S. Treasury Department on Friday to postpone the Oct. 15 report deadline to allow for the meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 leading economies on Nov. 4 and 5, but it also avoids publishing the report before the election Nov. 6.

"Let me tell you, on day one of my administration I will label China a currency manipulator. We've got to get those jobs back and get trade to be fair," Romney said, repeating a promise he repeats nearly daily on the stump.

Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan also slammed the Obama administration's handling of China Saturday at an event at Youngstown University in Ohio.

"We've lost hundreds of thousands of jobs according to one study because of just this problem," Ryan said. "Two million jobs we've lost, according to the International Trade Commission, because of one country, China, taking our intellectual property rights, meaning taking our patents, taking our goods that we make and copying them and selling them -- that's not correct, that's not right, that's cheating."

The study Ryan is citing, from the U.S. International Trade Commission, actually says 2 million jobs could have been created, according to the Washington Post, not that they were lost.

Ryan campaign spokesman Michael Steel explained from their point of view, "A lost job is a lost job."

The GOP vice presidential nominee said his ticket will "do something about it" and "stop this kind of cheating from occurring."

Although Romney has consistently portrayed the Obama administration as soft on China, George W. Bush planned to spend $17 billion on an initiative to try to limit China from stealing Pentagon technology, according to the same Washington Post article, and in May 2009 the Obama administration expanded on that program.

Two months later, Defense Secretary Robert Gates started a new U.S. Cyber Command to address threats to the Defense Department's computer networks.

The Obama campaign said it was incongruous for Ryan to criticize the president's record as being weak on China, when Romney criticized the administration for standing up to China, and with the record of Bain Capital, the private equity firm he ran.

"Congressman Ryan's tough rhetoric can't hide the fact that Mitt Romney will never crack down on China's cheating — just look at his record," a statement from Obama campaign spokesman Danny Kanner said.

"When President Obama stood up to China on behalf of American tire workers, Romney called it 'decidedly bad for the nation.' In the private sector, he led investments in companies that shipped American jobs to China, and in a Chinese company known for the cheating he condemns today.

"Now, experts say his tax plan could create as many as 800,000 jobs overseas, while independent economists agree his plans could slow our recovery and cost us American jobs," Kanner said. "A PowerPoint can't hide the simple truth: all Romney and Ryan are offering is the same failed policies that led to the crisis and punished middle class families in the first place."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Ad Says Romney Backed ‘Sweatshop’ Conditions in China

J.D. Pooley/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- A hard-hitting new TV ad from the Obama campaign accuses Mitt Romney of profiting from and indirectly supporting “sweatshop conditions” at a Chinese appliance company in which his Bain Capital invested.

“A company called Global Tech maximized profits by paying its workers next to nothing under sweatshop conditions in China,” the ad says, over file-photo images of distressed-looking Chinese factory workers.

“When Mitt Romney led Bain,” it continues, “they saw Global Tech as a good investment, even knowing that the firm promoted its practice of exploiting low-wage labor to its investors.”

The attack, ahead of the first presidential debate Wednesday, comes as Democrats renew scrutiny of Romney’s foreign investments and private-sector business record at Bain, which the Republican nominee has made a centerpiece of his campaign.

The ad will begin running this week in New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada -- all states with sizable manufacturing sectors -- the Obama campaign said.

Romney’s ties to Global Tech were first documented last month in a Boston Globe report that noted the appliance maker promoted itself to investors by touting “inexpensive labor” as a top selling point. A 1998 company prospectus reviewed by the Globe also promoted the fact that the appliance maker had an “overall effective tax rate that may be less than that of U.S. corporations.”

Bain capital affiliate Brookside Capital Partners Fund, which listed Romney as its president and CEO at the time, bought a six-percent share of Global Tech, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents reviewed by the paper and ABC News.

The Obama campaign has seized upon the report to claim that Romney’s investment activities facilitated the outsourcing of American jobs and working conditions many Americans would find deplorable. The prospectus obtained by the Globe described six-day work weeks with two 10-hour shifts per day and dormitory facilities that housed 3,700 workers.

Independent fact-checkers have, however, noted that there is no evidence Romney had an active role in sending any American jobs to China or in approving the specific investment in Global Tech.

“This is another ‘overboard’ ad from a president who is trying to distract from his failure to stand up to China,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg told ABC News.

“Four years ago, then candidate Barack Obama promised to take China to the mat, but refused to label China a currency manipulator because he didn’t want them to be embarrassed,” she said.  “President Obama’s failure to stand up to China has cost our country jobs and is one more reason that we can’t have four more years like the last four years. Mitt Romney will stand up to China, label them a currency manipulator, protect our intellectual property, and ensure that more jobs stay in America.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Blocks Chinese Firm From Purchasing US Wind Farms

Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama Friday blocked a Chinese firm from acquiring four wind-farm projects near a Naval facility in Oregon, citing national security concerns.

“There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that Ralls Corporation… might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” the president said in the order issued by the White House.

The president ordered Ralls Corp., which is owned by Chinese nationals, to divest its interest in the wind farms it purchased earlier this year. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States had previously ordered the firm to cease development of the projects while the government investigated security risks. Ralls Corp. later sued.

The election-year move comes as China has become a hot-button topic on the campaign trail. GOP nominee Mitt Romney has criticized Obama and his administration for not being tough enough on China, and both campaigns are running ads in battleground states attacking the other on China.

Friday marked the first time in 22 years that a U.S. president has used the law to block a foreign investment deal for security reasons.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Citing Communist Chinese News Agency as Proof, 'Good Vice President' Biden Accuses Romney of Doing Nothing About China's Unfair Trade Practices

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(BURLINGTON, Iowa) -- Vice President Joe Biden railed against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for not standing up to China, saying there is “nothing he has done” to fight against unfair trade practices.

As he hammered Romney on the topic, Biden cited a news organization -- run by the communist Chinese government -- to back up his argument.

“Now, what the experts point out, that will create 800,000 jobs. All of them overseas. All of them in China. All of them in Vietnam, and we are being lectured by this guy about getting tough on China. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s laughable; it’s laughable,” Biden said of Romney at an event at the Port of Burlington. “I seldom ever quote Chinese, official Chinese government news agency (sic). Seriously! This is what the Chinese government news agency said, and I quote: ‘It’s 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.’ End quote.

“And now he’s got religion. He’s standing up to China now,” Biden continued. “Ladies and gentlemen, the fact is there’s nothing that I can see that Romney has done, that Governor Romney has done, or has proposed to do, that will in any way stand up to unfair trade practices for China, or any other country. Or anything he’s done or suggested that would incentivize American corporations to create jobs here in America instead of abroad. I see nothing that he has proposed or has ever done.”

Biden was citing a piece from the Xinhua News Agency, which serves as the state-run official news service of the Chinese government.

President Obama's critics, including Gov. Romney, contend Obama has sent millions of dollars and thousands of American jobs overseas to China, especially in the manufacturing sector, and has done nothing to offset the country's trade practices since the president took office.

Earlier Monday, President Obama announced he would file a complaint with the World Trade Organization against China to combat unfair trade practices, specifically accusing China of $1 billion in illegal subsidies for exports of cars and car parts. The vice president lauded the president’s efforts to help protect American companies and workers against unfair trade practices.

“Two months ago the president held China accountable for unfair practices that harm the auto industry, ladies and gentlemen, and that’s why the president announced today in Ohio that he’s launching a new enforcement action against China for providing illegal subsidies that encourage companies to ship auto parts and manufacturing jobs overseas. He’s bringing another case! That’s action! And folks, I don’t have to tell you in the Midwest and here in Iowa -- that has real impact in Iowa and Ohio and Michigan and all across this Midwestern part of the United States,” Biden said.

Amanda Henneberg, a spokesperson for Romney, responded in a statement, “Vice President Biden continues to recycle tired and false attacks because the Obama campaign can’t run on the president’s failed record of high unemployment, skyrocketing debt, and lower incomes. For nearly four years, middle-class families have struggled with fewer jobs and fewer opportunities in the Obama economy. And the president’s policies toward China have only made things worse -- costing hundreds of thousands of jobs. Even members of the president’s own party have condemned President Obama’s inaction toward China. As president, Mitt Romney will take immediate action to stop China’s cheating and protect American jobs here at home.”

The vice president also swiped at Romney for his definition of middle income by deliberately misquoting the former governor. In a recent interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Romney classified middle income as “$200,000 to $250,000 and less.” Biden left out “and less” in his reference of the quote.

“He was asked what the middle class is, and he says he thinks middle class is 200 to 250 thousand dollars,” Biden said to laughs from the crowd. “Whoa! Whoa! Don’t you all wish you were middle class?”

Biden, who is on a two-day campaign trip in Iowa, encouraged voters to head to the polls starting Sept. 27 to cast their ballots in early voting, saying “Go now! Get engaged.”

The vice president will campaign in southeast and central Iowa on his trip.  During a stop in Muscatine, Biden said his 2008 presidential bid took him to all 99 counties in the state.

“You know, there’s only a few people, including Iowans, who have been to all 99 counties. I’m one of them. All you got to do is run for president and you’ll be in all 99 counties,” Biden said. “I spent 120 days in Iowa. You saw how effective I am. You know what I mean? But I’m a good vice president.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paul Ryan: China Treats Obama Like a ‘Doormat’

Michael Bonfigli /The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) -- Paul Ryan jumped on a Mitt Romney talking point today stressing that China is not a fair trading partner, something the top of the ticket consistently mentions on the campaign trail. However, Ryan went a step further at a rally in North Canton, Ohio, Wednesday saying that while the president promised to “go to the mat” with China, the country instead treats Barack Obama like a “doormat.”

“Free trade is a powerful tool for peace and prosperity but our trading partners need to play by the rules,” Ryan said to cheers at Walsh University. “And this challenge focuses on China. They steal our intellectual property rights. They block access to their markets. They manipulate their currency. President Obama promised he would stop these practices.  He said he’d go to the mat with China. Instead they’re treating him like a doormat. ”

Standing behind a sign that read “The Romney Plan,” Ryan promised his ticket would not “let that happen.”

“Mitt Romney and I are going to crackdown on China cheating,” Ryan said. “And we’re going to make sure that trade works for Americans.  Make things here, sell them there. Grow things here, sell them around the world. It creates jobs.”

He mentioned their job creation plan saying they would create “12 million jobs in the next four years” and 452,000 jobs in Ohio alone.

“We can get this economy growing like it should at four percent,” Ryan said. He did not further elaborate on how those jobs would be created or how he came up with the specific figure. A Ryan aide did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the number.

Ryan told the boisterous crowd of thousands at the Catholic university that their campaign “will offer specific ideas, specific solutions that get this country back on track” so that they can “earn victory” and “deserve victory.”

“We will have the moral authority, the obligation, the contract, the covenant, and the mandate to do what needs to be done to get this country back on track,” Ryan said.

He also took a jab at his opponent Joe Biden when he bounded on stage.

“It’s great to be here in North Canton or as Joe Biden might say it’s great to be here in Nevada!” Ryan said to laughs. Earlier in the week, the vice president was in Virginia, but mistakenly told the crowd, “We can win North Carolina again!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Turns Focus on Trade Policies with China

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- Trade policies were at the center at Mitt Romney’s events in a suburb outside Seattle, where he continued to assail China for being a “currency manipulator" and accused President Obama of being too easy on the country.

“When this president ran for office, he said he was concerned about how China was not playing fair, not playing by the rules, and he said he’d take them to the mat,” said Romney, speaking to a crowd of hundreds at the Highland Community Center in a suburb just outside Bellevue. “Well, since then, they’ve walked all over him. What China does is cheat when it comes to trade policy.”

“And you can’t blame them for trying; you have to blame us for letting it go on,” he said.

Romney, who has spoken extensively about how he would deal with China differently from the current administration, focused largely on preserving American innovation.

“And then, wait, Boeing, get ready, all right — China wants to start making big aircraft,” said Romney.
“Guess whose designs and technologies they’re going to try to steal? They hacked into the computers in corporate America and the computers in our governmental sites.”

“In addition to all those other things, they also artificially hold down the value of their currency. Why? So their prices are artificially low, so they can take jobs and get business,” he said. “By the way, what does a country do after they’ve wiped out their competitors? Why then of course, they rise it right back up.”

Washington State voters will caucus Saturday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pete Hoekstra Scrubs Racially Tinged Super Bowl Ad from Internet

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- While it aired on television only in the state of Michigan, Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra’s racially charged Super Bowl ad soon became the perceived slur heard round the country.

Now, after a deluge of criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike, the Hoekstra campaign has scrubbed the ad from the Internet, wiping it from his Facebook page, YouTube channel and campaign website.

But Hoekstra has yet to be anything but supportive of his ad, which features an Asian woman riding through rice paddies and thanking Hoekstra’s Senate rival in broken English for outsourcing U.S. jobs to China.

The ad accuses Hoekstra’s Senate election rival, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., of supporting deficit spending in Congress and dubs her “Debbie Spend-It-Now.”

The ad’s actress, Lisa Chan, a recent University of California at Berkeley graduate, said in a Facebook post that she feels “horrible about my participation” in the ad, which was “absolutely a mistake.”

Hoekstra was unmoved.

“It’s not a stereotype at all,” he told Fox’s Megyn Kelly when asked a day after the Super Bowl whether the actress’ faked broken dialect was an unfair stereotype. "Through the creative [design of the ad] this is a young woman in China who’s speaking English. That’s quite an achievement."

A statement saying “this video has been removed by the user” now appears on Hoekstra’s YouTube page where the clip of this Fox interview used to be. Hoekstra’s campaign declined to comment on removing the ad.

The super PAC American Values, which is launching a campaign against Hoekstra over his controversial ad, has claimed partial credit for Hoekstra’s attempts to wipe the ad from the Web.

“It was less than 72 hours after we put this ad up and started sending it out to national press that he actually started scrubbing the ad from the internet,” said Jesse Tangkhpanya, the national political director at American Values. “He basically is trying to walk away from this issue but we are not letting go.”

The super PAC released an ad Friday condemning Hoekstra’s “racially tinged ad.”

“Congressman Pete Hoekstra, shame on you,” says the ad’s narrator after clips of Hoekstra’s Super Bowl ad.

“I can tell you right now that we are not going to stop until he actually apologizes,” Tangkhpanya said. “We are going to keep building up the pressure.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman Criticizes Mitt Romney Over China Policy Despite Endorsement

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Jon Huntsman, who served as ambassador to China prior to his presidential bid, was blunt when expressing his disapproval of how Mitt Romney would handle relations with China. Huntsman said Romney was “wrong-headed.”

That’s unusual language considering Huntsman endorsed Romney’s bid for president last month.

In an interview Thursday, Huntsman was asked by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell whether Romney’s approach to dealing with China is wrong.

“Well, let’s just say that it’s not unusual for candidates to be saying certain things about China,” Huntsman said. “I’ve seen a lot of candidates who later became president who used a lot of rhetoric. It’s much easier to talk about China in terms of the fear factor than the opportunity factor. I would disagree with some of what Governor Romney has said and it’s not surprising that Republicans disagree with each other from time to time.”

Huntsman attempted to clarify his support for Romney by saying he has the best credentials to reinvigorate the economy but continued to stress the difference in opinion he holds regarding U.S.-China relations.

“You’re going to disagree on issues from time to time. I happen to think that on the economy he’s best placed to do what needs to be done in terms of economic development and the creation of jobs,” Huntsman said.

“When it comes to China, I think it’s wrong-headed when you talk about slapping a tariff on Day One. That pushes aside the reality, the complexity of the relationship, you sit down at the table with somebody like Xi Jinping, and you say we’ve got North Korea. We’ve got Iran. We’ve got Pakistan. We’ve got Burma. We’ve got the South China Sea. We have trade and investment, and they all kind of interrelate one with another when you sit down and negotiate a deal. That’s just the way the U.S.-China relationship is and has been for 40 years.”

Huntsman’s disagreement with Romney over China came on the same day that Romney penned an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal that slammed the Obama administration’s policy towards China. Huntsman served as ambassador to China under President Obama.

Huntsman endorsed Romney when he dropped out of the presidential race, but Huntsman has yet to appear at any of Romney’s events or campaign on behalf of the candidate.

China’s Vice President Xi Jingping is currently on a tour through the U.S., making a visit to Washington, D.C., earlier this week and traveled to Iowa on Thursday.

But while Huntsman voiced his disagreement with Romney over China policy, there’s one candidate who considers Romney’s stance on China to be a key selling point: Donald Trump. “He’s the one person who speaks strongly about China because China is ripping this country like nobody is ripping this country,” Trump told reporters when he endorsed Romney earlier this month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


President Obama Heralds Agreement of Pacific Trade Treaty

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images(HONOLULU) -- “This is my birthplace,” President Obama said Saturday to a room full of CEOs in Honolulu for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

“I know that was contested for a while,” he said to laughter, “but I can actually show you the hospital if…you want to go down there.”

Making another nod to being in the state he once called home—and where he continues to vacation—the president noted that, “In all my years of living in Hawaii and visiting Hawaii, this is the first time that I’ve ever worn a suit, so it feels a little odd.”

Much of the president’s day in Hawaii was devoted to hammering out a new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a broad framework which was agreed to Saturday by all nine parties: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.

The leaders of Japan have expressed an interest in joining as well.

China’s Assistant Commerce Minister Yu Jianhua, asked if the second-largest economy in the world would want to join the TPP and noted that Beijing had not received an invitation.

“If one day we receive such an invitation, we will seriously study” it, Yu said, according to Reuters.

But Michael Froman, the deputy assistant to President Obama and deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, said that’s not how the TPP works since partner nations have to meet certain standards.

“TPP is not something that one gets invited to,” Froman clarified. “It’s something that one aspires to.”

Administration officials say the TPP is part of a larger strategy to contain China’s continued expansion and growth, not only through economic alliances in the Pacific, but through diplomatic and national security measures. Obama will announce next week that U.S. troops will have a presence in Australia.

There is also a domestic consideration, of course. Obama announced Saturday that the TPP would help achieve his goal of doubling U.S. exports.

“With nearly 500 million consumers between us, there is so much more we can do together,” he said, arguing that the deal would help create jobs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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