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2nd U.S. presidential debate sees candidates flex China muscle

By Liu Jie (Xinhua)

08:27, October 18, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The second U.S. presidential debate on Tuesday, unsurprisingly, turned into a vanity fair for China-bashers competing to flex their muscles on China, offering up talking points that have less to do with China than with the continued competitiveness of the world superpower.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reaffirmed that he would label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, if he was elected.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, seized the opportunity to showcase his "success" in regards to China, saying that the yuan had appreciated during his time in office "because we have pushed them hard, put unprecedented trade pressure on China, and that will help create jobs here."

Romney even asserted that Apple gadgets are made in China because of unfair exchange rates, and he believes that manufacturing jobs will return to America as long as the playing field is level.

Although the yuan gained by nearly 30 percent since 2005, U.S. politicians have not stopped taking jabs at China's currency regime. This is because they know that even more aggressive appreciation of the yuan will do little to help restore domestic jobs, but shifting the blame to China will effectively allow them to gloss over their inability to put their economy back on track.

Moreover, Romney needs to understand that Apple products being assembled in China is not something that China should take pride in or even appreciate. Foreign companies are able to outsource manufacturing jobs to China because of the country's hard-working and low-paid workforce. This outsourcing maximizes the companies' profit margins, but leaves China with meager profits and massive pollution problems.

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