Congressman Paul’s non-interventionist, non-colonialist and anti-economic protectionism beliefs come into full focus on the subject of China. He believes America’s political relationship with China remains unchanged, but thinks that American companies continue to easily cede their competitive edge to the ‘more capitalistic’ Chinese entities. He also believes that our position on Taiwan is detrimental to our self-interest and is unconstitutional.
Rick Klein: Do you think our relationship with China over the last few years—did it get stronger? Weaker? Are we in a better position, worse position than we were when Obama took office?
Ron Paul: I would defer to saying it’s probably been pretty neutral. I don’t think it’s deteriorated, because things are so much better than what I remember in high school. We were fighting the Chinese and the Koreans. One of my teachers was sent to Korea and never came back. So that had an impact on me. So it’s so much better. I think Nixon did a lot of terrible things; I always criticize him about closing the gold bin and all these things. But he opened up the door to China. I think we’re much better off talking to the Chinese and trading with the Chinese, and they have an interest in staying peaceful with us, as we have an interest on them, even though we have our differences on some of the trade and “Why do our companies go to China?” And in some ways, they embarrass us, because they’re more Capitalistic than we are. It’s easier for our businesses to go to China than it is to stay here. That aggravates me. But I blame ourselves for that.
June 22, 2011 interview with Amy Walter and Rick Klein on ABC'sTopline
Kiran Chetry: … so turning to China, you have advocated a hands-off approach. You say we shouldn't be in the business of meddling with other countries, domestic politics. But as we look to China right now, China owning nearly $1 trillion in our debt, major trade imbalances, what message do you think the president needs to send today in his meeting with President Hu?
Ron Paul: Well, I would like the message to come out and say that we've learned the lesson. We should look to ourselves. Our policies have made it difficult for us to compete. And we can't go looking for scapegoats. We can't blame China for us spending too much money and printing too much money and buying cheap goods and doing so much to undermine our corporations here and our industries. So it's easier to start a business in China. They're more capitalistic in many ways than we are, so we should recognize our mistakes.
But to fight with China now, I mean, they are our third best partners. We sell as much goods there as -- more than anybody else. They're third in line. So I would say they're great customers and to argue that they're the problem, then we say, well, they're messing around with their currency.
What have we done for the last three years? First, we doubled, you know, the monetary base. Now we have QE-2. That's currency manipulation. Shouldn't we look to ourselves and say that we should have a sound economy? We should do everything we can to promote productivity here. But because China is flawed which they are, we shouldn't blame them. Besides, one thing that we do that they don't do is they're becoming a world power.
Paul: And they're increasing their military power but they are increasing their influence by investments. We waste all this money and energy with our military empire and all the occupation, and they are buying up rights to oil and other minerals at the same time. We're just consuming our wealth by saying we're going to secure our oil in the Middle East. Just think of the horrible cost we're now in, only in lives, but in dollars, which compounds our problems, because that's inflationary. That causes the pressure on the Feds to even buy more debt. So I say look to ourselves. When we have a clean house and we have a perfect protection of civil liberties here in this country, then maybe we can preach to others.
January, 19, 2011: AMERICAN MORNING, CNN
“… Although we engage in trade with China, it is subsidized to the tune of many billions of dollars through the Export/Import Bank- the most of any country in the world…
… We also have been careless over the last several years in allowing our military secrets to find their way into the hands of the Chinese government. At the same time we subsidize trade with China, including sensitive military technology, we also build up the Taiwanese military while continuing to patrol the Chinese border with our spy planes. It's a risky, inconsistent policy…
…The question we must ask ourselves is how would we react if we had Chinese airplanes flying up and down our coast and occupying the air space of the Gulf of Mexico?? We must realize that China is a long way from the US and is not capable, nor is she showing any signs, of launching an attack on any sovereign territory of the United States…
… Throughout all of China's history she has never pursued military adventurism far from her own borders. That is something that we cannot say about our own policy. China traditionally has only fought for secure borders predominantly with India, Russia, Japan, and in Korea against the United States, and that was only when our troops approached the Yaloo River…
… The Taiwan Relations Act essentially promises that we will defend Taiwan at all costs and should be reevaluated. Morally and constitutionally a treaty cannot be used to commit us to war at some future date. One generation cannot declare war for another. Making an open-ended commitment to go to war, promising troops, money and weapons, is not permitted by the Constitution…
… We must continue to believe and be confident that trading with China is beneficial to America. Trade between Taiwan and China already exists and should be encouraged. It's a fact that trade did help to resolve this current crisis without a military confrontation. Concern about our negative trade balance with the Chinese is irrelevant. Balance of payments are always in balance. For every dollar we spend in China those dollars must come back to America. Maybe not buying American goods, as some would like, but they do come back and they serve to finance our current account deficit.
Free trade, it should be argued, is beneficial even when done unilaterally, providing a benefit to our consumers. But we should take this opportunity to point out clearly and forcefully the foolishness of providing subsidies to the Chinese through such vehicles as the Export/Import Bank. We should be adamantly opposed to sending military technology to such a nation, or to any nation for that matter.
… We cannot deny that China still has many internal moral, economic and political problems that should be resolved. But so do we. Their internal problems are their own. We cannot impose our views on them in dealing with these issues, but we should be confident enough that engaging in free trade with them and setting a good example are the best ways for us to influence them in coming to grips with their problems. We have enough of our own imperfections in this country in dealing with civil liberties, and we ought not to pretend that we are saintly enough to impose our will on others in dealing with their problems. Needless to say we don't have the legal authority to do so either…
… A policy of peaceful, non-subsidized trade with China would go a long way to promoting friendly and secure relations with the Chinese people. By not building up the military arsenal of the Taiwanese, Taiwan will be forced to pursue their trade policies and investments with China, leading to the day where the conflict between these two powers can be resolved peacefully.”
April 25, 2001: A New China Policy (read on the House floor)