In his latest op-ed on the Wall Street Journal, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has blasted Barack Obama’s China policy, calling his meetings with Vice President Xi Jinping earlier this week “empty pomp and ceremony”, and criticising him for being a “near supplicant to Beijing.”
He also talks about some of the things he will do if he became the president:
In the economic arena, we must directly counter abusive Chinese practices in the areas of trade, intellectual property, and currency valuation. While I am prepared to work with Chinese leaders to ensure that our countries both benefit from trade, I will not continue an economic relationship that rewards China’s cheating and penalizes American companies and workers.
Unless China changes its ways, on day one of my presidency I will designate it a currency manipulator and take appropriate counteraction. A trade war with China is the last thing I want, but I cannot tolerate our current trade surrender.
We must also maintain military forces commensurate to the long-term challenge posed by China’s build-up. For more than a decade now we have witnessed double-digit increases in China’s officially reported military spending. And even that does not capture the full extent of its spending on defense. Nor do the gross numbers tell us anything about the most troubling aspects of China’s strategy, which is designed to exert pressure on China’s neighbors and blunt the ability of the United States to project power into the Pacific and keep the peace from which China itself has benefited.
To preserve our military presence in Asia, I am determined to reverse the Obama administration’s defense cuts and maintain a strong military presence in the Pacific. This is not an invitation to conflict. Instead, this policy is a guarantee that the region remains open for cooperative trade, and that economic opportunity and democratic freedom continue to flourish across East Asia.