After Mitt Romney’s remarks on Thursday that President Obama has failed to stop China’s “cheating” on its currency, Chinese officials are pushing back, calling the comments “as false as they are foolish” in an editorial from the official New China news agency.
Obama's deputy campaign manager issued a tweet calling the editorial a "must read," prompting Republicans to fire back accusing their rival of using "Communist propaganda."
In an English-language commentary, the editorial in China’s official Xinhua news agency said that if Romney’s “mud-slinging tactics” were to become U.S. government policies, a trade war likely would break out between the two countries.
The strongly worded editorial dismissed Romney’s comments as merely an attempt at scoring “cheap political points” during an election season, and pointed out the irony of the fact that much of Romney’s wealth was obtained from doing business with Chinese companies.
The editorial took particular issue with the candidate's vow to declare China a currency manipulator on the first day of his term if he wins the White House. The U.S. would do well to put its own fiscal house in order, instead of scapegoating Chinese policies, the editorial said.
“It is advisable that politicians, including Romney, should abandon its short-sighted China-bashing tricks and adopt at least a little bit of statesmanship on China-U.S. ties,” the editorial said.
Romney has a history of taking a tough stance against China. In the most recent example, he accused Chinese officials of “cheating” by manipulating the country’s currency and of stealing technology from America. The remarks were intended as a criticism of Obama’s “failing” policy toward China, and an attempt to shift the focus from his handling of the crisis in Libya back to the economy.
Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter issued a tweet linking to a news article about the editorial and calling it a "must read." That incensed Republicans, with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeting: "Offensive that the Obama campaign would use the Chinese propaganda paper Xinhua to promote their campaign."