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GOP Platform Assails China Over Currency, Persecution, ‘Barbaric’ One-Child Policy
ICC Note:
ICC is pleased to note that comments at this year’s Republican National Convention strongly condemned China’s persecution of religious minorities, including Christians. Sadly, U.S. Foreign Policy all too often overlooks the arrest and harassment of Christians and other religious minorities in China in an attempt to avoid offending the United States’ second largest trading partner.  
By Patrick Goodenough
08/29/2012 China ( The 2012 Republican party platform unveiled in Tampa Tuesday uses strong language on dealing with China, criticizing Beijing over currency manipulation, “religious persecution” and forced abortion linked to the “barbaric” one-child policy.
The party’s 2008 platform, by contrast, referred to the need for religious freedom but did not accuse the communist authorities of “persecution”; referred to the one-child policy but without labeling it “brutal” and with no reference to forced abortion; and spoke of the need to “adopt a flexible monetary exchange rate” but without using the term “manipulation.”
The tougher approach mirrors GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s rhetoric on China during the campaign. The foreign policy section of his campaign website speaks about developing a “Reagan Economic Zone” based on free trade principles that will likely exclude China, given its approach to trade, but will also provide Beijing with “significant incentives to end its abusive commercial practices.”
Romney has pledged to sign an executive order on his first day in office labeling China a currency manipulator, and has criticized President Obama for not having done so.
That criticism is echoed in the party platform, which says the Obama administration’s way of dealing with trade standard violations by China “has been a virtual surrender.”
“Republicans understand that you can succeed in a negotiation only if you are willing to walk away from it,” the document states. “Thus, a Republican President will insist on full parity in trade with China and stand ready to impose countervailing duties if China fails to amend its currency policies.”
The platform calls China the “chief offender” in the area of intellectual property theft, and says both that and the currency manipulation issue “call for a firm response from a new Republican Administration.”
Critics accuse China of deliberately keeping its currency, the yuan, undervalued against the dollar, thus making its exports cheaper and American exports to China more expensive. Beijing calls the U.S. concerns “unfounded.”
On human rights, too, Romney’s campaign has been critical of China – and of the administration’s approach.
“A nation that represses its own people cannot be a trusted partner in an international system based on economic and political freedom,” the campaign site says. “If the United States fails to support dissidents out of fear of offending the Chinese government, we will merely embolden China’s leaders.”
It goes on to criticize Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for saying during a 2009 visit to China that differences over human rights could not be allowed to interfere with priorities like “the global economic crisis [and] the global climate change crisis.”
The GOP platform tackles Chinese human rights violations in a hard-hitting paragraph that also touches on military and regional policy:
“The Chinese government has engaged in a number of activities that we condemn: China’s pursuit of advanced military capabilities without any apparent need; suppression of human rights in Tibet, Xinjiang, and other areas; religious persecution; a barbaric one-child policy involving forced abortion; the erosion of democracy in Hong Kong; and its destabilizing claims in the South China Sea.”
The platform’s section on China is not entirely condemnatory. It echoes a sentiment from the party’s 2008 platform stating, “We will welcome the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous China, and we will welcome even more the development of a democratic China.”
“The exposure of the Chinese people to our way of life can be the greatest force for change in their country,” the 2012 document continues. “We should make it easier for the people of China to experience our vibrant democracy and to see for themselves how freedom works. We welcome the increase in trade and education alliances with the U.S. and the opening of Chinese markets to American companies.”

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