HONG KONG – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took aim at economic policies associated with China while reassuring investors the U.S. would find a solution to the debt ceiling impasse.
In remarks to the Hong Kong business community, Mrs. Clinton said she is "confident that Congress will do the right thing and secure a deal on the debt ceiling," and that the intense political wrangling is "how an open and democratic society ultimately comes together to reach the right solutions."
Mrs. Clinton, at the end of a swing through Asia, with stops in Turkey, India, Indonesia and Hong Kong, used her visit to this financial hub, former British colony and special administrative region of China to underscore the Obama administration goal of solidifying the U.S.'s presence in Asia as a counterweight to a rising China.
"We are a resident power in Asia—not only a diplomatic or military power, but a resident economic power. And we are here to stay," she said.
Mrs. Clinton outlined several principles for economic progress tied to openness and fairness in market competition that seemed aimed at China's state-directed economic system. She highlighted hot-button business issues that often irk foreign businesses operating in China such as intellectual property, trade barriers and state support of corporations. She said Asia and the U.S. should strive to cultivate an atmosphere where "ideas, information, products and capital can flow unimpeded."
Without mentioning China, Mrs. Clinton took specific aim at massive state-owned corporations, a cornerstone of China's economic system. Critics say these state-owned companies, which operate in businesses as diverse as mobile phones to commodities, benefit from unfair government support. She said efforts should be made to ensure "that state-owned companies and enterprises compete on the same terms as private companies."
She referred in her speech to nations that are "wealthy in aggregate but often poorer per capita," a description that fits China, now the world's second largest economy after the U.S. Because of China's large population, individuals are substantially poorer than U.S. counterparts.
Mrs. Clinton said "some nations are making short-term gains" to bend principles of open and free markets. And that these nations "might even think the rules don't apply to them."
She cited companies that are "forced to trade away their intellectual property just to enter or expand in a foreign market, or when vital supply chains are blocked. These kinds of actions undermine fair competition, which turns many off from competing at all."
The U.S. has battled with Beijing over its foreign-exchange policy, which the U.S. says has kept China's currency undervalued against those of its major trading partners. A cheaper currency keeps a country's products more competitive. China has also restricted exports of critical raw materials including rare earth metals used in high tech products such as solar panels and hybrid cars.
She called on the creation of new international trade agreements and institutions to further open markets and hold bad actors accountable to unfair economic practices.
Citing the World Trade Organization's success eliminating trade barriers, which accelerated when China joined in 2000, Mrs. Clinton said "we need institutions capable of providing solutions to new challenges—from some activities of state-owned enterprises to the kinds of barriers emerging behind borders."
One aspect of the U.S. effort to plant deeper roots in Asia's economic scene is the expansion of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a proposed free-trade area around the Pacific Rim. Mrs. Clinton said President Barack Obama would present an outline of the partnership in November when the U.S. hosts leaders of the 21-nation Asia Pacific Economic Council in Hawaii.
Mrs. Clinton said the U.S. supports "norms and rules" and a "code of conduct" for sovereign wealth funds in how government invest savings across the globe. Cross-border investments from sovereign wealth funds or state-owned companies often raise national security concerns in areas of energy, defense and technology. China has amassed over $3 trillion in currency reserves, some of that it has dedicated to a sovereign wealth fund for acquiring companies and investments especially in the area of natural resources. The bulk of the $3 trillion is invested in government bonds in the U.S. and Europe.
2011-07-26 13:35 编辑：essaywriter