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US Republicans Escalate Rhetoric Against Chinese President Xi

  • VOA News

File - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

File - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Republican presidential candidates are escalating their rhetoric against Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of his first state visit to the United States in the wake of the global stock market plunge following China's currency devaluation.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker urged President Barack Obama to cancel Mr. Xi's visit and White House dinner next month.

"I think China, as others in the world, would actually respect some leadership once and for all from the United States," Walker said on Monday as U.S. stock markets took a nose dive. "Part of our problem right now is that they don't respect us," he said.

The comments come as the White House announced U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice will travel to Beijing later this week to discuss a range a issues with Chinese officials.

In a statement, Walker cited a list of grievances against America's biggest Asian trading partner.

"Given China's massive cyberattacks against America, its militarization of the South China Sea, continued state interference with its economy, and persistent persecution of Christians and human rights activists, President Obama needs to cancel the state visit," he said.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign town hall, at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire, Aug. 19, 2015.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign town hall, at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire, Aug. 19, 2015.

Walker's comments follow those of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has made attacks on China, as well as Mexico, key pieces of his campaign.

"Markets are crashing — all caused by poor planning and allowing China and Asia to dictate the agenda. This could get very messy! Vote Trump" tweeted the real estate mogul on Monday.

U.S. presidential contenders have long used China as a lightening rod for criticism of whomever was occupying the White House.

Whatever bipartisan consensus had predominated since former U.S. president Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China, though, has "almost unraveled" as companies have become disaffected with China, Frank Jannuzi, president of the Mansfield Foundation, which promotes U.S.-Asia relations, told the Financial Times.

The cyber-security issue has only heightened these concerns.

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