Fox News on August 25, 2015, reported that the Wall Street rollercoaster over China’s economic convulsions has seized the attention of 2016 presidential candidates, who are using the chaos to send a tough message to Beijing – and ridicule the White House over plans to host and toast President Xi Jinping at a state visit next month. Excerpts below:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker went so far as to demand the cancellation of Xi’s upcoming visit, saying President Obama “should focus on holding China accountable over its increasing attempts to undermine U.S. interests” through cyberattacks and “state interference” in its own economy.

“There’s serious work to be done rather than pomp and circumstance. We need to see some backbone from President Obama on U.S.-China relations,” Walker said in a statement.

…the shock from the August 24 slide was enough to bring China to the forefront of a race that has focused intensely on illegal immigration and other issues in recent weeks. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump was among the first to jump on the China-related market chaos, pointing to the turbulence as proof the U.S. is too tangled up with China’s economy.

Trump has long focused on China’s currency manipulation and trade dominance, even before he entered the race, and the market volatility has allowed him to return to that message on the campaign trail.
“We’re tying ourselves so closely to Asia … and not only now have they taken our jobs and they are taking our base and they have taken our manufacturing, but now they are pulling us down with them,” Trump told Fox News. “Now it’s gotten to a point they have devalued their currency to take even more from us.”

He noted the currency devaluation has helped China compete to make far cheaper goods, but they’ve also “built a monster bubble” along the way.
Trump, too, rapped Obama for the state visit plans.

“I would not be throwing [Xi] a dinner. … I would get him a McDonald’s hamburger and say … we have to get down to work because you can’t continue to devalue,” he said.

The unrest in the markets is tied to investor worries over the prospect of a slump in the world’s second-biggest economy.

This year, the International Monetary Fund expects China’s economy to grow 6.8 percent, which would be its weakest peace since 1990. China is trying to engineer a daunting transition — from overheated growth based on exports and often-wasteful investment to slower growth built on consumer spending.

The latest trouble started Aug. 11, when Beijing unexpectedly devalued China’s currency, the yuan. Skeptics worried that the devaluation was instead a desperate move to bail out China’s struggling exporters.

The two economies have become even more closely linked in recent years. China’s holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds rose from $740 billion in 2009 to nearly $1.3 trillion as of June. Total trade with China has grown from $366 billion in 2009 to nearly $591 billion in 2014.

…Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate warning of China’s influence.

“If the Chinese get a cough, we get the flu,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire Monday, saying the economies are closely intertwined and the U.S. owes too much debt to China.

Carly Fiorina, who often cites her business background as former HP CEO, told Fox Business Network she had actually been expecting a “correction” in the markets, blaming both the American and Chinese economies.

“There’s no doubt that China has some real issues in front of it and the devaluation of the yuan as well as the huge selloff in their markets spell trouble ahead, so I think it’s justified,” she said, while also questioning the
Federal Reserve’s meddling in the economy.

Like Trump, Fiorina argued the U.S. actually has leverage over China.

“The truth is that we are the biggest single contributor to Chinese growth. We are their largest market. Our companies have provided technology for them which have helped lift people out of poverty,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comment: The recent Chinese economic problems indicate that the US has to deal with influence of Peking not only in the United States but also Chinese global strategy. The pivot to Asia is important and China ought to play a larger role in the 2016 campaign.


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