The below is Sen. Rand Paul’s response to my last post. He sent it today. Below his response is my response to his letter.
Dear Mr. Mantyk,
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding China. I appreciate hearing your thoughts and concerns on this issue.
In recent years, China has begun to capitalize on its remarkable economic growth over the past 30 years by acting assertively to secure its interests in Asia and beyond. By building up its military, moving to strengthen its supply chain of natural resources, and supporting other non-democratic regimes in the region, China is taking on a more active, hegemonic role in global affairs. When combined with longstanding allegations of human rights violations, censorship, currency manipulation, counterfeiting, and political repression, the rapid rise of China is a cause for concern on many fronts.
The United States should take great care to respond to this challenge appropriately. I do not believe that we need to approach China as an enemy, but as a rival. The American and Chinese economies are among the world’s largest, and have become increasingly co-dependent. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is struggling to cope with significant internal problems that continue to threaten its legitimacy, namely inflation, political unrest, the effects of their deplorable “one-child” policy, and the long record of failure of authoritarianism.
The degree to which we are beholden to the Chinese government as a creditor will greatly influence our ability to advance and protect our own interests in Asia and throughout the world. The path to strengthening our economic and strategic standing relative to China is clear: (1) end our reliance on borrowed Chinese money by balancing the federal budget, eliminating the national debt, reforming entitlements, simplifying the tax code, increasing domestic energy production, and overhauling the regulatory regime, (2) ensuring future generations can remain competitive by reforming education, and lastly, (3) maintaining a strong national defense.
Again, thank you for contacting me and voicing your thoughts and concerns. Please continue to inform me of any issues you may have, and if I can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Rand Paul, MD
United States Senator
***My response to Sen. Rand Paul’s letter:
Dear Sen. Paul,
Thank you for your thorough reply. I truly appreciate your taking the time to answer me, and I hope you realize that I have only your best interest (as a national leader, an American, and a human being) in mind in writing my initial commentary and in the remainder of this message.
First, your grouping of human rights violations, censorship, and political repression into the category of allegations with the more legally murky waters of currency manipulation and counterfeiting is disingenuous and, frankly, un-American sounding. Any literate American 12 years and older knows that these are not on the level of allegations, these are plain facts. The Tiananmen Square Massacre, the vast internet censorship, suppression of human rights activists like Chen Guangcheng and Gao Zhisheng, and the persecution of Falun Gong are well documented. Using the word “allegation” sets you up as a third party. You aren’t the bad guys (people who disregard First Amendment-style freedom) and you aren’t the good guys who believe and know the truth about the things happening in China (most Americans). Then who are you? You are a hypocritical politician hiding behind legal jargon, who speaks of freedom and liberty when it is convenient. PLEASE NOTE: I am not actually saying that is the case, just assessing how others may judge your character based on your current political position on China.
Second, you thankfully skipped the use of the word “partner,” which President Obama and Gov. Romney have used and opted for a technical explanation and the use of the word “rival.” Meanwhile, you have referenced China’s internal problems in your third paragraph. This is really the crux of the issue here. You speak of China’s internal problems in neutral terms, presumably because our economies are “increasingly co-independent.” The gap left open here is the possibility that America is going to dodge its responsibility to publicly raise China’s human rights issues because it could upset the internal state of the country. Basically, you might be construed as saying that you would let the Communist regime systematically destroy freedoms as fundamental as the First Amendment because of our own economic interests. You didn’t say that, but that’s what people are left to think if they are judging your words here and drawing conclusions about your character.
Of course, neither candidate usually has to talk so much about China, so maybe the gap won’t be noticed. But, on the other hand, why not look at this as an opportunity to show what incredible character you have and what a true American you are who believes in freedom even when short term economic interests are at stake. Why not stand up to China, at least verbally on something as important and fundamental as human rights? We can’t approach the U.S. Constitution as something valuable only when convenient. The freedoms it enshrines are what this country stands for and nowhere is that more relevant than in our dealings with China. Nowhere.