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Eamon Fingleton, an Irish journalist based in Asia for the past 25 years, noted that China last year purchased only $119 billion worth of goods from the United States, while Americans spent $326 billion on Chinese goods. Japan and South Korea sold at least 50 percent more to China than the U.S., and German companies do almost as well as American firms.

Mr. Fingleton, author of “In the Jaws of the Dragon: America’s Fate in the Coming Era of Chinese Hegemony,” said Germany, Japan and South Korea will retaliate against Chinese trade manipulation, while the United States is considered a “political milquetoast” in Beijing.

“My suggestion for Mr. Locke is that, instead of recycling [China’s] ‘don’t-worry, be-happy’ propaganda, perhaps the next time he speaks, he could explain why Japanese and Korean goods do so much better in the Chinese markets than American ones,” Mr. Fingleton wrote in Forbes magazine.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.