The Daily Twit – 10/17/12: It’s Debatable

October 18, 2012

So I hear that there was a debate in the U.S. between Obama and Romney. Haven’t seen it, probably won’t bother. Apparently they talked about China a bit, though, so I will probably take a peek at the transcript tomorrow and see if there is anything interesting there to blog about. From the news coverage I’ve seen so far, there wasn’t anything important there. I’d pump out a short post tonight, but I’ve been doing the school + work thing all day, and aside from this links post, I don’t have the energy to wade through bullshit. So it goes.

Anyway, the debate might have had little of import in terms of China policy, but that hasn’t stopped folks from talking about it. Let’s face it, politics is fun.

Here are a few things to tide you over:

New York Times: Candidates Spar Sharply Over China

Tom Lasseter: Bashed by Obama and Romney at debate, China shows its patience is wearing thin — debate content plus China government reaction

Washington Post: Chinese debate-watchers shrug at candidates’ China-bashing – Not too much interest here for this debate, at least not in real time. Can’t really blame ‘em. I can’t stomach this stuff either and will be limiting myself to a quick read of the transcript for blogging purposes only. Then again, there might be some delayed reaction/commentary, which happened after the first debate, according to Adam Minter at Bloomberg: China Loves the Mitt and Barack Show.

Wall Street Journal (paywall): China a Punching Bag in U.S. Presidential Debate

Voice of America: China Becomes Featured Topic at Presidential Debate

Associated Press: Analysis: Lost in debate: reality of US-China ties

MarketWatch: China denies Romney currency-manipulation charge

Forbes: President Obama Was Right About Those Chinese Manufacturing Jobs: They’re Never Coming Back — nice column that puts aside the politics and just looks at manufacturing costs

Right. Enough of that for the moment. I’ll have more to say tomorrow, particularly on the issue of manufacturing jobs “coming back” to the U.S., a topic that came up late in the debate.

Surprisingly, Mitt Romney brought up a blast from the past, the “fake” Apple Store in Kunming, which made headlines (for no apparent reason) way back in July of last year. Romney was trying to make a larger point about China and unfair trade practices. Lame. Perhaps more on that tomorrow as well.

Wall Street Journal: Mitt Romney Called Out on Fake Apple Store

Guardian: China’s fake Apple shops point to impatience for the newest products — Oh crap, now everyone’s going to recycle all their old “fake Apple store” stories, update them, and stuff ‘em in the Intertubes. Perhaps I should let this story alone.

Yes, there was also some other China news out there today. Feast your eyes on this:

Global Times: China slams Abe’s visit to Yasukuni — Uh oh. Not good. I’m no Japan scholar or anything, but that looks like a big “Screw you and your islands too. No wait, I mean our islands. Um, you know what I mean!” Unless I’m missing something here?

The Diplomat: China, Canada and Oil Sands — Yes, the CNOOC-Nexen deal is still pending. If you need some background on the Canadian end of this, including local politics, here you go.

CNN: ’On China:’ Experts discuss new generation of leaders — Here’s a link to Kristie Lu Stout’s new China show on CNN. I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s gotten good reviews from the China Twitterati.

Financial Times: China grapples with great power status — Discussion of China’s uncertain foreign policy on the eve of leadership change.

McClatchy: Pew report finds growing worry among Chinese about corruption and income gap — Can’t say that the results of this Pew poll contain anything surprising, but it does remind one that the big problems in China that have surfaced in the past few years do not seem to be getting any better, at least in the mind of the average Zhou. The BBC also ran a piece on this: China inequality causes unease – Pew survey.

Forbes: China Export Surprise Not Because Of iPhone — Yet another look at those trade numbers and why some of the conventional wisdom (or perhaps just a vocal minority opinion) might be wrong.

Guardian: Foxconn used 14-year-old interns at its factory in China — More information has surfaced on the recent Foxconn underaged workers/interns story. “Eight-year-olds, Dude.” No wait, that was something else. Here we’re dealing with 14-year-olds. Well, that’s bad too. Caijing also ran a story on this: Local Government Accused of Forcing Students to Work for Foxconn.

Time: As China Readies for Leadership Handover, Where are Marx and Mao? — A nice little ideological discussion from Time magazine, hot off their atrocious cover image of China’s next president. Barf.

Business Insider: You Have To Laugh At Anyone Who Talks About China Boycotting US Treasuries — Preaching to the choir (i.e., me). These folks who talk about bond dumping need to be educated about China’s currency regime and how it’s focused on China’s economy, and not the 100 external factors that these nutjobs think is important to Beijing.

Doug Bandow: Demonizing China for Political Profit — Yes, another article on U.S. China bashing. I added this one because it’s a nice entry-level summary of a lot of the recent campaign hijinks. If you need to get up to speed on this topic in a hurry, this piece is a good start.