Posts Tagged China

Obama and Aquino talk China in D.C., but media can’t get past Obama mini-gaffe on private sector

Below is the White House transcript on the press briefing after the meeting between President Obama and President Aquino of the Philippines.

As usual, what’s news is a function of the audience, and the most important issue here really is the international one:  the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China in the oil rich shoals of South China Sea. It’s resulted in some tense moments within the last month between the Philippines and China, and most Americans don’t even know about it.

What makes this briefing valuable is how it shows China the strength of the relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines.

If you’re in China, you’re seeing the U.S. remind us all that it sees itself as a Pacific power, and that the Philippines is a really, really good friend and ally.  Don’t mess with it. 

What else can China do but realize it has a lot invested in the U.S. If they want us to pay them back, it should put up with a little Filipino sabre-rattling. 

Frankly, the whole thing is a little too colonial for my taste.  The Philippines isn’t “Little Brown Brother” anymore. But the Philippines is so anemic it still needs the U.S. to play “Big Brother.” 

Maybe that’s all right if you find yourself in a pissing match with China over oil. 

Too bad the press chose to go domestic and followed up with a question focused on Obama’s earlier statements about the economy and the private sector doing well.

Is a mini-gaffe over language really more important than what happens in the South China Sea?  

Here’s the White House transcript of the Washington press briefing:

President Obama: It is a great pleasure to welcome President Aquino to the Oval Office and to the White House.

I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him, most recently during my Asia trip, when we met most recently in Bali. And at that time, we discussed how important the U.S.-Philippine relationship was, the historic ties, the 60 years of a mutual defense treaty, the extraordinary links between Filipino-Americans that have brought our two countries so closely together.  And we pledged to work on a whole host of issues that would continue to strengthen and deepen the relationship for the 21st century.

We talked about how we could work on security issues, on economic issues, on people-to-people exchanges, and on a whole host of regional issues.  And I just want to thank President Aquino for his excellent cooperation, because we’ve made a great deal of progress since that time.

On economic issues, the Philippines is the recipient of a Millennium Challenge grant that is helping to foster greater development and opportunity within the Philippines.  We have a partnership for growth that is working on how we can make sure that we are structuring a relationship of expanding trade and commerce between our two countries.

I want to congratulate President Aquino for the work that he’s done on the Open Government Partnership that is consistent with his campaign to root out corruption that can facilitate greater economic development within the Philippines.

And on security and military issues, we had discussions about how we can continue to consult closely together, to engage in training together, work on a range of regional issues together — all of which is consistent with the announced pivot by the United States back to Asia, and reminding everybody that, in fact, the United States considers itself, and is, a Pacific power.

Throughout all these exchanges and all the work that we’ve done I’ve always found President Aquino to be a thoughtful and very helpful partner.  And I think that as a consequence of the meeting today in which we discussed not only military and economic issues, but also regional issues — for example, trying to make sure that we have a strong set of international norms and rules governing maritime disputes in the region — that I’m very confident that we’re going to see continued friendship and strong cooperation between our two countries. 

So, Mr. President, thank you for visiting.  We are very proud of the friendship between our two countries, and we look forward to continuing in the future.

PRESIDENT AQUINO:  I would like to thank President Obama for all the support that the U.S. has given us in our quest to really transform our society.  Ours is a shared history, shared values, and that’s why America is just one of two that we have strategic partnerships with.

Today’s meeting has really even deepened and strengthened a very long relationship we have, especially as we face the challenges that are before both our countries in the current situation.

And again, we’d like to thank them for all the expressions of support that even now has led to the resolution of situations within our territory.   

Thank you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  All right.  Thank you, everybody.

  Q    Mr. President, Mitt Romney says you’re out of touch for saying the private sector is doing fine.  What’s your response?

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Listen, it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine.  That’s the reason I had the press conference.  That’s why I spent yesterday, the day before yesterday, this past week, this past month, and this past year talking about how we can make the economy stronger.

The economy is not doing fine.  There are too many people out of work.  The housing market is still weak and too many homes underwater.  And that’s precisely why I asked Congress to start taking some steps that can make a difference.

Now, I think if you look at what I said this morning and what I’ve been saying consistently over the last year, we’ve actually seen some good momentum in the private sector.  We’ve seen 4.3 million jobs created — 800,000 this year alone — record corporate profits.  And so that has not been the biggest drag on the economy.

The folks who are hurting, where we have problems and where we can do even better, is small businesses that are having a tough time getting financing; we’ve seen teachers and police officers and firefighters who’ve been laid off — all of which, by the way, when they get laid off spend less money buying goods and going to restaurants and contributing to additional economic growth.  The construction industry is still very weak, and that’s one of the areas where we’ve still seen job losses instead of job gains.

So if we take the steps that I laid out to make sure that we’re not seeing teacher layoffs and we’re not seeing police officer layoffs, and we’re providing small businesses with additional financing and tax breaks for when they hire or if they’re giving raises to their employees; if we refinance housing — or allow homeowners to refinance so they’ve got an extra $3,000 in their pocket so that they can spend money and contribute to further economic growth; if we’re making sure that we’re rebuilding, work that has to be done anyway, deferred maintenance on roads and bridges that could put construction workers back to work — all those things will strengthen the economy, and independent economists estimate it would create an additional million jobs. 

Now, you can’t give me a good reason as to why Congress would not act on these items other than politics — because these are traditionally ideas that Democrats and Republicans have supported.  So let me be as clear as I can be.  The economy needs to be strengthened.  That’s why I had a press conference.

I believe that there are a lot of Americans who are hurting right now, which is what I’ve been saying for the last year, two years, three years, what I’ve been saying since I came into office.  And the question then is what are we going to do about it?  And one of the things that people get so frustrated about is that instead of actually talking about what would help, we get wrapped up in these political games.  That’s what we need to put an end to.

So the key right now is for folks — what I’m interested in hearing from Congress and Mr. Romney is what steps are they willing to take right now that are going to make an actual difference.  And so far, all we’ve heard are additional tax cuts to the folks who are doing fine, as opposed to taking steps that would actually help deal with the weaknesses in the economy and promote the kind of economic growth that we would all like to see.

All right.  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.  Thanks.  Thank you, guys.

, , , ,

No Comments

Michigan’s Hoekstra’s race huckstering: Will it get him votes?

Come on folks, let’s play “Are you offended?”

Michigan Republican Peter Hoekstra wants to engage the Asian American community!

http://www.debbiespenditnow.com/

Good thing Peter Hoekstra puts his claim on this, and has approved this message.

Usually people are too ashamed to own up to such blatant racist actions. That’s why God created hoods.

But Hoekstra says he’s using “satire.”

If it’s satire, I’m not laughing. Are you?

I’m a big fan of satire, and admit to using a little of it myself.

Satire uses humor, or exaggeration, against big targets to make a point.

If Hoekstra is making China a target here, that’s fine. Political leaders are fair game. China is a strange hybrid now of capitalism and communism. Debbie isn’t the right target in a policy debate. Blame Debbie only if your real intent is to create anti-Chinese sentiment in the U.S., whipping up the kind of xenophobic reactions that lead to real misunderstanding and spills over into acts of Anti-Asian American violence.

Sounds like a good divisive strategy in Hoekstra’s Michigan, where many are still trying to recover from a slow economy.

Hoekstra’s simplistic “satire” is the kind of sentiment manipulation that leads to a real misunderstanding of the imbalance of trade between China and the U.S.

It doesn’t lead to people writing Congress and demanding action. It doesn’t even lead to something that might make a difference–like not shopping at Wal-Mart.

But is sure fuels emotions that lead to street level tensions and scapegoating.

Don’t forget, when the U.S. auto industry was besieged by the Japanese more than a generation ago, an autoworker took a baseball bat to the head of Vincent Chin.

Thank you Peter Hoekstra for your part in opening up another chapter of “Yellow Peril” in America.

The truth is Americans shouldn’t fear China as much as race hucksters like Hoekstra.

Hoekstra needs votes and is willing to do anything to get attention. Just as Romney doesn’t care about the poor, Hoekstra doesn’t seem to  care about the racial sensitivities of Michigan voters.

If it’s a satire, the last laugh is on Hoekstra, who approved that message.

, , ,

No Comments

Philippines going backwards toward colonialism, as talks ensue with Washington for a new military presence

The talks are scheduled for this week, all fueled by the fear of China.

I guess it’s dawned on someone that the Philippines would be a convenient place to have U.S. military in Asia, just in case.

Could be a matter of “everything old is new again.” But the difference may be concerns over a more aggressive China.

The Philippines may want this justifiably for protection, but this is still a disappointment in the development of the country. Years after successfully kicking out the  U.S. presence in Clark and Subic, it seems the Philippines  has been unable to grow out of its colonial mentality. 

Washington Post breaks the story:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/philippines-may-allow-greater-us-presence-in-latest-reaction-to-chinas-rise/2012/01/24/gIQAhFIyQQ_story.html?wpisrc=al_national

, ,

No Comments

Tiger Mom? Hu? What? Have you been living under a gigantic potsticker?

Maybe Tiger Mother Amy Chua is going to the state dinner tonight with President Hu? 

Don’t know if she’s on the list, but the way her PR has been handling it wouldn’t suprise me if she shows up. We know Speaker Boehner’s not showing up. Chua can get his spot. Or she can follow the Salahis. They’ll probably be there, naturally.

If Chua does meet Hu, that would make for an interesting Tiger Summit (Tiger Mom and Tiger Dad).

They can talk about human rights and parenting.

For more, go to http://www.aaldef.org/blog

, , , , ,

No Comments

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Reddit button Linkedin button Delicious button Digg button Flickr button Stumbleupon button Youtube button