Opinion / Chen Weihua

US State of the Union address smacks of China bashing

By Chen Weihua (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-30 08:23

US State of the Union address smacks of China bashing

Just one paragraph later in his address, Obama claimed that more than half of the executives of manufacturing industries have said they're actively looking at bringing jobs back from China. But a quick look at revealed that most of them only "expressed interest" in doing so, and are not "actively looking" at doing it. In fact, a US-China Business Council survey shows that most American companies in China are making profits and plan to expand their operations in the country in the coming years, a fact that seems poisonous to politicians such as Obama.

What Obama's speech reflected is a stubborn zero-sum mentality that China's gain has been at the expense of the US, and US gain can come only at China's loss. When Obama singled out China for the third time in his speech, this time on climate change, many expected to hear a positive note on bilateral ties. But it was simply an extension of his endless self-glorification. By saying China has for the first time committed to limiting its emissions, Obama literally claimed to be the hero who forced China to sign its first climate agreement.

Not surprisingly, Republicans who won the mid-term election two months ago were angry with Obama's "delusional" speech, which only touted his "inflated" achievements without mentioning his errors and blunders.

Obama's State of the Union address may well signal the beginning of another wave of China bashing, leading up to the 2016 US presidential election. But Chinese leaders would do well not to emulate such ugly political practice by engaging in US bashing, for such frantic demonizing of China by US politicians shows that it has indeed become more important on the world stage, which is something truly worth celebrating.

The author, based in Washington, is deputy editor of China Daily USA.

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