China lashes out at Romney over ‘irresponsible’ criticisms


BEIJING — China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that attacks by leading U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Chinese trade and currency practices were irresponsible, and urged him to stop blaming others. Romney last week threatened trade sanctions against China if the world’s No. 2 economy does not halt what he said was currency manipulation, unfair subsidies and rampant intellectual property theft. Romney’s tough stance comes as he has sought to stake out differences with U.S. President Barack Obama and tap into the U.S. public’s rising concern over China’s economic and military growth. “We think that that sort of frequently blaming others, looking for scapegoats and even misleading the public, is an irresponsible attitude,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin, Liu told a regular news briefing. China’s economic success over the last few years was because it was brave enough to face challenges and better itself without blaming others, he added. In September, the official Xinhua news agency called Romney’s remarks on the value of the yuan currency an “absurd” attempt to play on U.S. voter fears. The former Massachusetts governor is leading the field of Republicans seeking the nomination to run against Obama in 2012. China’s expanding economy and growing global clout, its rapidly growing military which in 2011 unveiled both a stealth fighter jet and an aircraft carrier, and its human rights record all cause anxiety for American voters, polls show.

China has repeatedly said that the yuan’s value is not a cause of imbalances in the world economy, and that it is committed to the gradual reform of the exchange rate as part of broader reforms to boost domestic consumption. The U.S. Treasury Department said on Friday it would delay until later this year a ruling on whether China is manipulating its currency as Democratic Party lawmakers tried to overcome Republican opposition to a bill that would punish Beijing for its currency policies.