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Anti-China election talk may harm ties (2)

By Tan Yingzi  (China Daily)

08:43, October 08, 2012

Former US ambassador to China Stapleton Roy said both candidates are making "two fundamental mistakes" in dealing with China in the campaign.

"First of all, the issue is not currency manipulation," he said from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank. "China's current account has been declining sharply. Its accumulation of foreign exchange reserves has slowed markedly, and its currency has appreciated over 30 percent since 2005, and it's continuing to appreciate."

What really concerns the US business community, he added, was intellectual property protction, market access and investment conditions.

"The second mistake is when you're trying to manage a difficult relationship, you don't make it more difficult," he said. "We are trying to have a constructive, strong relationship with China, and the candidates are talking about China in ways that undermine public support for the concept of a strong, cooperative relationship with China."

Elizabeth Economy, director of Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said both candidates have targeted China as a scapegoat for America's economic ills instead of engaging the Asian country in a "serious or substantive" manner.

"What should they be talking about?" she said. "I think the issues that we're going to discuss today - namely, how can the US enhance its economic position vis--vis China and the bilateral relationship? Are there opportunities for the United States and China to cooperate more on global issues? And does the US have it right when it comes to the pivot or rebalancing, as I guess it's now called more broadly within Asia?"


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