- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TAMPA, FLA. — The China card is back.

A resolution condemning communist China for hacking into sensitive U.S. computers and endangering national security is one of several China-related events on tap at the Republican National Committee’s summer meeting here, the city that will host the Republican presidential-nominating convention in August 2012.

RNC members here are also viewing a TV ad produced by the committee lambasting Beijing and seeing another anti-China TV ad by American Crossroads, the Republican independent expenditure group led by Karl Rove that played a big role in the 2010 elections.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also managed to bring President Obama into the answer when asked Wednesday whether the issue of communist China would play a significant role in next year’s elections.

“A country that has to surrender its sovereignty to its bondholders can’t guarantee prosperity or freedom to anyone,” Mr. Priebus told The Washington Times. “We are now getting finance lectures from China, and this president is doing nothing to help change the debt trajectory of this country.”

He noted that China has lent $1.2 trillion to the U.S. Treasury, which making it the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt. Beijing’s Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. has downgraded the United States’ credit rating to “A” compared with the triple “A” rating of the equivalent U.S. rating agencies.

Also, the RNC Committee on Presidential Debates is considering a proposal from the Delaware state party to stage a debate on foreign policy in general and China in particular.

“Because the debate will be held in the backyard of Vice President Joe Biden, the proposed subject matter for the debate is foreign policy and its impact on our domestic economy,” Delaware Republican Chairman John Sigler said.

Mr. Sigler also said one debate question would ask the Republican hopefuls whether they agree with those who say that “our national debt is our biggest national security threat.” Another will ask the debaters how they would stop companies and industries from “relocating plants to foreign countries at a record pace.”

It’s not all Republicans either; Democrats are finding value in the China card, too. Earlier this year, New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer repeatedly assailed Beijing for keeping its currency undervalued to make its exports even more affordable for American consumers.

Mr. Obama also employed the China card when, playing to his union base, he imposed stiff tariffs on imported Chinese tires and when he slammed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for opposing the tariffs on those tires.

RNC National Secretary Demetra DeMonte’s anti-China resolution, which is expected to be adopted by the full 168-member committee, presents a laundry list of transgressions by a China that is moving toward capitalism but still ruled by its Communist Party.

The resolution notes that on June 1, Google announced Chinese hackers stole the Gmail log-in details of hundreds of senior U.S. officials and Chinese human rights activists through a targeted ‘phishing’ scam originating from Jinan, the capital of Shandong province.

Mrs. DeMonte accuses Beijing of “systematically attacking” U.S. government and private computer networks and stealing research and development, software source codes, manufacturing know-how and government plans.

Communist China’s stifling of freedom of information and expression also comes in for criticism in the resolution, which notes that the People’s Republic “systematically monitors, intercepts and blocks the Internet communication of its own people to prevent a popular uprising, as occurring in countries like Tunisia and Egypt.”

The DeMonte resolution not only instructs the RNC to ask “Congress to hold hearings on China’s threat against U.S. cybersecurity and oppression against human rights activists in China and in the U.S.,” but also expresses support for Sen. Richard G. Lugar’s call for the State Department to adequately fund the Broadcasting Board of Governors for anti-censorship work in communist China.

• Ralph Z. Hallow can be reached at rhallow@gmail.com.

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