At DNC, Obama Defends China Policy, Slams Romney

U.S. President Barack Obama defended his administration's policy towards China and questioned Republican rival Mitt Romney's foreign policy credentials as he accepted the Democratic Party's presidential nomination Thursday.

Obama, a Democrat, said his administration "stood up" to what he has called China's unfair trade practices. His speech also touted renewed U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Around the world, we've strengthened old alliances and forged new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. We've reasserted our power across the Pacific and stood up to China on behalf of our workers," Obama said in his speech, which contained four references to China.

Related video report by Carolyn Presutti


Both candidates vow to "get tough" with China

China has become a prominent issue during the campaign. Romney accuses the president of being weak on China, allowing it to "cheat" by stealing U.S. intellectual property, undervaluing its currency, and illegally subsidizing its own companies. Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has said that China treats Obama like a "doormat."

Though he has also promised tougher action on China, Obama has not labeled it a "currency manipulator," something Romney says he would do on his first day in office. But the president has strongly criticized Chinese economic policies and filed a series of high-profile trade complaints that have angered Beijing.

Obama slams Romney's national security credentials

Throughout the campaign, President Obama has tried to portray Romney as not having enough foreign policy experience.  

"My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. But from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost us so dearly," Obama said, "You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can't visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally."

Photo Gallery: DNC 2012

  • President Barack Obama waves after his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 6, 2012.
  • Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama wave to the delegates at the conclusion of President Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention, September 6, 2012.
  • President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama joined by their children Sasha, left, and Malia walks across the stage after President Obama's speech to the Democratic National Convention.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama (L) embraces former President Bill Clinton onstage after Clinton nominated Obama for re-election during the second session of Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012
  • U.S. President Barack Obama (L) joins former President Bill Clinton onstage after Clinton nominated Obama for re-election during the second session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012.
  • Former President Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 5, 2012
  • First Lady Michelle Obama waves after addressing the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3, 2012.
  • Delegates cheer as First lady Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • Delegates recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • A woman records the invocation at the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte, North Carolina, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • Delegates await the start of the first day of the convention, September 4, 2012.
  • A group of third grade students rehearse saying the Pledge of Allegiance ahead of the first day of the convention in Time Warner Cable Arena, September 4, 2012.
  • Advertisements for the DNC line the walls at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
  • Protesters block an intersection near the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina for several hours while surrounded by police who allow the demonstration to continue, September 4, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • Delegates tour the floor ahead of the convention, September 3, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • Programs laid out for guests inside the convention center. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • The Charlotte, North Carolina skyline seen through the window of an airplane, September 2, 2012.
  • President Barack Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina tours the floor at the Democratic National Convention, September 3, 2012.
  • Delegates and Democratic National Convention visitors crowd one of the merchandise stores in Charlotte, September 3, 2012. (J. Featherly/VOA)
  • Delegates await the start of the first day of the Democratic National Convention, September 4, 2012.
  • A 15-ton sand sculpture of President Obama is on display outside the convention. The sand comes from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. (J. Featherly/VOA)

Kerry mocks Romney trip abroad

The president was referring to Romney's recent trip to Europe and Israel, where he offended British leaders by expressing doubt about whether London was prepared to host the Olympic Games.

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry also mocked Romney's trip during an earlier speech Thursday at the Democratic National Convention. Kerry called the trip a "blooper reel," and said the prospects of a Romney presidency have "mystified and alienated" U.S. allies around the world.

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