China Expresses Concern Over Romney Anti-China Militarism

Dave Johnson

China’s official media expressed concerns this week that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is using incendiary, militaristic, “Cold War” language that could serious harm relations between China and the United States.

Foreign Policy Magazine writes in, Chinese media slams Romney as convention begins that, “China’s state-controlled media lashed out at GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney Monday, warning that his policies would poison U.S.-China relations.”

“Cold-War Mentality”

The magazine quotes China’s state-controlled media,

“By any standard, the U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s China policy, as outlined on his official campaign website, is an outdated manifestation of a Cold War mentality,” read a commentary in Monday’s China Daily. “It endorses the ‘China threat’ theory and focuses on containing China’s rise in the Asia-Pacific through bolstering the robust U.S. military presence in the region.”

Romney’s campaign website certainly does contain provocative anti-China language. The China & East Asia section contains the following,

In the face of China’s accelerated military build-up, the United States and our allies must maintain appropriate military capabilities to discourage any aggressive or coercive behavior by China against its neighbors.

… The Department of Defense should reconsider recent decisions not to sell top-of-the-line equipment to our closest Asian allies. We should be coordinating with Taiwan to determine its military needs and supplying them with adequate aircraft and other military platforms.

A campaign promise to supply Taiwan with “top-of-the-line” military equipment is historically provocative. The language is not leaving wiggle room. It is not saying we should “consider” supplying Taiwan, is says we “should be” supplying them.

Taiwan is considered by China to be the territory of China, not a sovereign state. The United State officially “does not support” Taiwanese independence and places a condition that there be a peaceful outcome – a position the Romney campaign undermines.

The Soviet Union?

Reinforcing this idea of a “Cold-War mentality” in the Romney campaign, Romney advisers occasionally refer to Russia as “the Soviet Union.”

The Romney campaign’s web page on Russia begins by referring to the old Soviet Union, not Russia, in its first sentence with the following,

In a 1939 radio broadcast Winston Churchill famously called Russia “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”

This quote refers to the Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, not the current Russian Federation, which was founded following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 — more than 20 years ago.

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