It seems that gay and environmental activists aren’t the only ones who have a problem with the new Republican Party platform, China would like to have a word with GOP leaders as well.
In a regular press conference on Wednesday, China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang urged the Republican Party to cease its “groundless accusations” against China and to halt its “interference” in China’s domestic affairs. Kang claimed that Republican platform adopted at the Republican National Convention on Monday contains slanderous accusations against China regarding Taiwan, Tibet, trade and the South China Sea. Lu had this to say to Republican leadership:
All political parties in the United States should view China’s development in an objective and rational manner and correctly understand the issues that emerge in bilateral ties.
We hope relevant parties stop their groundless accusations against China and interference in China’s domestic affairs and contribute more to bilateral trust and cooperation.
The Republican platform this year has been called the most “pro-life, pro-family” platform ever. It may also be the most anti-China. Of course, the party’s brand-new presidential nominee has long made it clear what he thinks about China — suggesting that Chinese President Xi Jinping be given “a double-sized Big Mac” instead of a state dinner upon visiting the White House and repeatedly accusing China of “raping” America — and these thoughts seem to be reflected in the party’s new official platform. In case you haven’t yet got a chance to read the 66-page document, here are some excerpts related to China:
We cannot allow China to continue its currency manipulation, exclusion of U.S. products from government purchases, and subsidization of Chinese companies to thwart American imports. The current Administration’s way of dealing with these violations of world trade standards has been a virtual surrender.
Today, the worst offenses against intellectual property rights come from abroad, especially in China.
We salute the people of Taiwan, with whom we share the values of democracy, human rights, a free market economy, and the rule of law. Our relations will continue to be based upon the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act, and we affirm the Six Assurances given to Taiwan in 1982 by President Reagan. We oppose any unilateral steps by either side to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Straits on the principle that all issues regarding the island’s future must be resolved peacefully, through dialogue, and be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China were to violate those principles, the United States, in accord with the Taiwan Relations Act, will help Taiwan defend itself. We praise efforts by the new government in Taipei to continue constructive relations across the Taiwan Strait and call on China to reciprocate. As a loyal friend of America, Taiwan has merited our strong support, including free trade agreement status, the timely sale of defensive arms including technology to build diesel submarines, and full participation in the World Health Organization,International Civil Aviation Organization, and other multilateral institutions.
China’s behavior has negated the optimistic language of our last platform concerning our future relations with China. The liberalizing policies of recent decades have been abruptly reversed, dissent brutally crushed, religious persecution heightened, the internet crippled, a barbaric population control two-child policy of forced abortions and forced sterilizations continued, and the cult of Mao revived.
Critics of the regime have been kidnapped by its agents in foreign countries. To distract the populace from its increasing economic problems and, more importantly, to expand its military might, the government asserts a preposterous claim to the entire South China Sea and continues to dredge ports and create landing fields in contested waters where none have existed before, ever nearer to U.S. territories and our allies, while building a navy far out of proportion to defensive purposes. The complacency of the Obama regime has emboldened the Chinese government and military to issue threats of intimidation throughout the South China Sea, not to mention parading their new missile, “the Guam Killer,” down the main streets of Beijing, a direct shot at Guam as America’s first line of defense. Meanwhile, cultural genocide continues in Tibet and Xinjiang, the promised autonomy of Hong Kong is eroded, the currency is manipulated, our technology is stolen, and intellectual property and copyrights are mocked in an economy based on piracy. In business terms, this is not competition; it is a hostile takeover. For any American company to abet those offenses, especially governmental censorship and tracking of dissenters, is a disgrace.
The return to Maoism by China’s current rulers is not reason to disengage with the Chinese people or their institutions. We welcome students,tourists, and investors, who can see for themselves our vibrant American democracy and how real democracy works. We caution, however, against academic or cultural operations under the control of the Chinese government and call upon American colleges to dissociate themselves from this increasing threat to academic freedom and honest research.
Republican policy will reflect the fact that the health of the U.S. economy and environment, the safety of our food and drug supplies, the security of our investments and personal information in cyberspace, and the stability and security of the oceans will increasingly depend on allowing the free flow of news and information and developing an independent judiciary and civil society in countries with repressive governments such as China, Russia, and many nations in the Middle East and Africa.
It seems that China doesn’t just have a problem with the platform, but the whole 2016 Republican Convention itself. An editorial published by Party mouthpiece the Global Times yesterday said that the convention showed Donald Trump at his best — “instigating fear, resentment and antagonism among the public.”
Drawing from China’s own recent path, the editorial continues:
The convention displays a Trump-led GOP full of anger and ultra-conservatism, which even reminds the people across the Pacific Ocean of what we endured during the 10-year calamitous Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) – like struggle sessions. China is mentioned more than 20 times in the document, and none of these are in a positive context. From its perspective, China should take responsibility for a lot of the US’ failings.
The severity of this round of China-bashing, although a routine tactic in the US presidential season, is one of the harshest, indicating how desperate Trump is to paper over the US’ own problems and create an illusion that he has the solutions
China has mostly tried to stay out of the 2016 US presidential race and has refrained from responding to Trump’s numerous attacks. One notable exception was a March editorial published in the Global Times that used Trump as an example for why democracy doesn’t work, attacking him as a “rich, narcissist and inflammatory candidate” whose “remarks are abusively racist and extremist.” China’s internet regulator later punished the Global Times for this editorial.
Seems unlikely this time around.
By Robin Winship