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Thursday, March 23, 2006

exporting arrogance to china at taxpayers' expense

Man, this Washington Post article from yesterday just makes me want to puke. I need to quote some large chunks so you don't think I'm taking parts out of context, which might be your first thought upon reading about this unbelievable arrogance.
BEIJING, March 22 -- Three United States senators came to one of China's most prestigious universities on Wednesday, ostensibly to talk about trade. What they delivered was an expansive, almost evangelical campaign for American values -- one that received pushback from their audience of students and faculty.

The senators talked about an unfair advantage they say Chinese exporters enjoy over American firms because of the low-value currency. They implored China to adopt the norms of global trade. In strikingly moral tones, they pledged Washington's resolve to pressure China to liberalize not only its currency regime but also its political culture, using trade as a wedge for broader reform.

Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told the Tsinghua University audience that his model of leadership is "a man by the name of Jesus." He later quoted Martin Luther King Jr. as he urged China to do "the right thing" on trade policy.

Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) told the students that, post-9/11, Americans are committed to taking on whatever battles seem imperative -- China's cheap currency, along with al-Qaeda.

"In my country, we're very arrogant, and I admit to it," Graham said. "You have to understand that Americans have for 200 years fought and died not just for our freedom, but for other people's freedoms."

Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat who has led the drive to force China to raise the value of its currency, the yuan, said economic reform leads toward a free society. "I believe it is inevitable that China will have much more freedom," he said...

...Schumer, Graham and Coburn are in China for five days for what they say is an examination of the forces at play before they decide whether to proceed with a vote on the bill at the end of the month. With China's President Hu Jintao scheduled to visit the United States in April and a U.S. Treasury Department report in the works that could brand China a currency manipulator, the Schumer-Graham bill has become a key front in an increasingly tense trade relationship between the countries. It would apply 27.5 percent tariffs to all Chinese-made goods if China does not substantially revalue the currency...
I believe it's inevitable too, Chuck, but it's not going to come about with you three clowns strutting around China and arrogantly lecturing them about "freedom".

Dictating to other nations what their monetary policy "should" be isn't freedom. Setting tariffs on imports so that American consumers have to pay 30% more for everything at Walmart isn't freedom either. I don't think anyone who just voted to increase the US debt ceiling to $9 trillion has any right to lecture anybody else about financial policy. And I really love this next bit...
...On Wednesday, as [Schumer] spoke at the university, he asked for a show of hands from those believing that "freedom is the eventual right path for China to be on." Perhaps a dozen of the 50 or so people in the room tentatively raised hands.

How many disagreed? Five hands went up. How many people were unsure? No one raised a hand, leaving a silent majority expressing no sentiment at all.

"It's still a very controlled society," Schumer said as he boarded the bus that would take him past countless new skyscrapers and on to the five-star St. Regis Hotel. "They've got a ways to go."
I think it's hilarious that a majority of those present saw right through Chuck's ridiculously worded little opinion poll, and refused to dignify it with a response. And Chuck, the Chinese may have a ways to go, but they sure aren't going to get there by following your freedom-hating ass.

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