US congress feels Chinese influence

09:02, January 11, 2010      

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China's influence on Capitol Hill in the US has increased dramatically in the past decade through increasingly sophisticated lobbying efforts, the Washington Post said in a story published Saturday on its website.

A growing realization among US lawmakers that China has become a critical economic player across America is largely the result of Beijing's increasingly sophisticated efforts to influence events at the center of US power, the story said.

As an example, the newspaper cited the China Ocean Shipping Co, which was formerly accused of espionage but is now applauded for employing thousands of Americans to keep the waters of Alaska clean.

Members of Congress "are starting to understand that the Chinese are not communist, but that the Chinese are Chinese," said Earl Blumenauer, a seven-term democratic representative from Oregon, adding that, on matters as diverse as the US economy, climate change and energy policy, "China is something that no one can ignore," according to the report.

Members of Congress, many with increasing numbers of large and small businesses in their districts that depend on trade with China, are now far more likely to kill or water down measures opposed by Beijing, according to congressional staffers and analysts.

"People in Congress are not stupid," the Post quoted Pei Minxin, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College, as saying. "A few years ago, China-bashing was costless. Now they will get phone calls from worried CEOs. China is creating jobs in their congressional districts."

Source:Global Times
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