Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey who is soon expected to formally launch his bid for the US Presidency, called for adoption of a “military approach” when dealing with China during a speech given at a town hall meeting in the key state of New Hampshire.
According to the Washington Post, while discussing China at the small town of Goffstown, Christie told the audience that the US had to “let them know there are limits to what they’re allowed to do.” He argued that there had to be a much firmer response to island building in the South China Seas.
The Governor was quoted as saying:
That is an issue that we can handle militarily by going out there and making sure that we show them that we don’ respect their claims to these artificial islands in the South China Sea that they’e building, that they’re saying are theirs that are hundreds and hundreds of miles from the coast of China and are clearly in international waters. We need to send that signal to the Chinese very clearly that we do not acknowledge nor will we respect their claims to those areas.
Christie has been trying to set himself apart from other candidates in the crowded Republican Party field. His belligerent rhetoric on China looks like an effort to win over neo-conservatives with an eye on foreign policy.
While sabre-rattling is all well and good on the campaign trail, that is assuming he decides to throw his hat into the ring, it is another matter altogether to come up with a coherent strategy by which China can be confronted. The Obama administration has been trying and failing for several years now.
That being said, China bashing is almost obligatory for presidential candidates these days. Late last month, Republican candidate Carly Fiorina declared that the Chinese “can’t innovate” and aren’t “terribly imaginative.” And let’s not forget Mitt Romney’s determination to label China a currency manipulator.
By Dominic Jackson