China Attacks U.S. 'Commission' as Biased

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on November 24, 2009

A week after President Obama’s trip to China, relations between the two countries have taken a new hit. Today’s China Daily, the government’s official English-language newspaper, has a story filled with quotes slamming a report by a commission appointed by Congress that, among other things, accuses China of conducting cyber spying in the U.S. A spokesman from China’s foreign ministry denounced the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) as “this so-called commission.” The spokesman went on to say “this report disregards the facts, is full of bias and has ulterior motives,” and the newspaper cited so-called “commentators” (see, two can play at that game!) alleging the report is just a response to falling approval ratings for Obama.

It’s easy to see why China’s government is upset. According to a statement on the USCC website, the Report lists a series of Chinese sins. “Despite evidence that global economic imbalances helped fuel the financial crisis, China persists in maintaining a wide variety of industrial policies to support an export and investment-led growth model. China continues to accumulate record sums of foreign currency reserves as a result of large trade surpluses. These surpluses result, in part, from China’s extensive web of subsidies to favored industries, which include tax rebates, low interest loans from state-owned banks, discounts on land, electricity and fuel, and a currency that is pegged to the U.S. dollar at an artificially low rate.” The USCC goes on to describe “stepped up efforts by China to penetrate U.S. computer networks, particularly those of the U.S. government and contractors, and to obtain information by increasingly sophisticated espionage methods.”

To be fair, the Chinese government does have a point: The USCC is biased. Under both Democratic and Republican presidents, the USCC has tended to take a harder line on China than the administration. That’s natural, since congressmen and women from both sides of the aisle typically feel freer to take aim at Beijing than officials from State, Treasury, Defense or the White House. The 2000 law that created the USCC calls for it, among other things, to focus on issues such as proliferation, WTO compliance and “the implications of restrictions on speech and access to information” in China.

Still, the USCC doesn’t have any actual authority, and Beijing is probably counting on Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional leaders to file the report away somewhere and ignore it. That Chinese strategy seems to have worked fine in the past: This is the seventh report by the USCC, after all. With the unemployment rate above 10% and an election year approaching, though, the latest report by this “commission” might prove to have legs. There’s a lot of anger in America and voters might feel inclined to support candidates who want Washington to be more combative toward Beijing. China’s government should keep that in mind in the weeks ahead as it follows up on Obama’s visit by deciding whether or not to let the currency appreciate. Movement on the yuan would give Obama and his supporters on the Hill a chance to argue that the president’s less confrontational approach to China makes more sense for the U.S.

Reader Comments

DJC

November 24, 2009 9:04 AM

The United States is no longer a democracy but an oligarchy. Everyone on the planet knows that Goldman Sachs (ie. Government Sachs) de facto controls the US Treasury and Federal Reserve. Out of the $180 billion taxpayer bailout of AIG, the majority of funds were simply directly wired to the bank accounts of Goldman Sachs. As an investment banking competitor to Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers was allowed to collapse. Bond holders received nothing. General Motors shareholders received 10 cents on the dollar in that bankruptcy. By contrast, Treasury Secretary Tim Geither bailed out Goldman Sachs 100 cents on the dollar on failed investments on AIG bonds and derivatives. The American people need to ask whether such a crony capitalist system benefits society.

Husin O'Bama

November 24, 2009 10:08 PM

Cold war mentality is still prevailing. Instead of tolerating diversity of cultures, the US is tottering towards a Clash of Civilisations.

Strategery

November 24, 2009 10:55 PM

The USCC is 100% correct. The truth hurts. Shame on BW for calling it biased and putting a spin on the facts. We've given China 10 years to comply with the WTO agreements. They have not done it. The US is still a sovereign nation, and WTO or not, it's past time to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.

coolhead

November 24, 2009 11:12 PM

This commission wants to tell American people to pay 40% more for any Chinese products they buy? It blames the economic crisis on China instead of Wall Street?

C. H. Ng

November 24, 2009 11:29 PM

It's not the normal Americans' fault; all these "bashings" of China are just the works of those US politicians who are using China as punching bag to champion their causes in the eyes of the ordinary man-in-the-street.

If a normal American will to look & think carefully, he or she could had asked the questions why USCC :-

1) Didn't attack countries like Japan & S. Korea where their currencies are even lower than yuan?
2) The question of China accumulating huge foreign currency reserves as a result of her large trade surpluses is actually due not only to her capability,
but largely to most Americans' refusal or denial to accept their own country's failures.
3) Human rights & freedom of speeches are nothing but just lame excuses to throw to China in order to try to stem her rapid progress. Do your same politicians demand such things to other governments beside the Chinese? Please ask yourselves whether the answer is Yes or No...!
4) Espionage activities are common during the cold war where US & Russia were spying on each other. They are still common everywhere & committed by many countries, big or small. But everybody know that the Americans are the world's biggest culprit when come to espionage spyings. Can any of you American deny the fact?? Why accuse other country of spying on you if you cannot deny ever spying on them?? Have you not heard about this saying.."What goes around will come around"??

The Cold War between US & Russia has not being totally over yet but apparently a new one between US & China is starting to rear its ugly head due not to the American & Chinese people's wrongdoings but because of those selfish politicians' self agendas.

Shunjing

November 25, 2009 3:26 PM

Tit 4 tat , who wins. This time around I feel America will loose.

china2008

November 26, 2009 2:42 AM

Bah, China has always known to play dirty. After Russians, chinese are the most cyber-savvy who use it to further their propaganda. Nothing new here ..

C. H. Ng

November 27, 2009 9:25 PM

@China2008:-

Yes, you are right....China is known to play dirty in her cyber activities; so do Russia, USA, France, North Korea, England....etc etc. You name it & you can bet many nations did it as well. Long before the invent of computers & internets, spying is the name of the game even in medievel time. And in spying, all kinds of dirty tricks are employed to get the results in whatever means. So do cyber activities.

DJC

November 29, 2009 4:34 PM

Across East Asia, Washington's Cold War alliance structure remains essentially unchanged. The U.S. maintains one-sided ``mutual'' defense treaties with Japan and South Korea. That the U.S. must remain militarily dominant is taken for granted. In Washington, the People's Republic of China's apparent determination to create a military capable of deterring U.S. intervention along its border is treated as a threat to American National security. What has ever been must ever be appears to be the basis of U.S. foreign policy. Washington no longer has any need to attempt to preserve regional Asia military hegemony.

C. H. Ng

November 30, 2009 9:01 PM

Lets us look at the world affairs like a real life gangster movie...:-

For years after WWII, USA has been one of the domineering forces (beside Russia before its breakup) in this world. They are what we Chinese people called them "taiko" or literally known as "big brother" or big boss. Just like in a gangster movie, taiko needs henchmen to do his biddings and so in this case, those "henchmen" to the US Taiko are countries like Japan, Taiwan, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia & some of the western European countries etc etc and the henchmen for The Russian Taiko are Cuba, N. Korea, Syria & many of the eastern European countries.

And just like in a gangster movie, there are alot of backstabbings, killings, turf warfares, betrayals, self interests, cross-overs & etc etc.
Some gangster groups will be destroyed (killed); new groups will take over. This will be a never ending scenario being played all over again & again. Likewise what we are seeing in our world affairs are like what we see in a gangster movie. So what you are seeing now is still the current biggest taiko in the form of USA, a weaken taiko which is Russia and a new emerging taiko in the form of China. And the henchmens? Many are still around; some new faces in the form of countries like Brazil, Mexico, African states etc and some will be sitting on the fences waiting to see how the wind of fortune will blow & will quickly shift their allegiances once they know which taiko will eventually emerged more powerful.
I don't have to name them but I guess many of the readers will know who are them. If not, let me give you a little bit of hint...one of them comes from a South Asia country.....!

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