E-mail Story   Print Story
  Comments (3) Total Thursday Apr. 24, 2014
UPDATE: Baucus Embraces Criticism of China During Confirmation Hearing
Baucus is expected to sail toward full Senate confirmation
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's choice to become U.S. ambassador to China embraced several criticisms of that country Tuesday, agreeing that China wants to dominate Asia and is a regular violator of human rights.

Speaking at his Senate confirmation hearing, Sen. Max Baucus said he wants to help the U.S. build a more equitable economic relationship with China while encouraging the Asian giant to act responsibly as it emerges as a global power.

"I have become a firm believer that a strong geopolitical relationship can be born out of a strong economic relationship, which often begins with trade," said Baucus, a six-term Democrat from Montana.

But under questioning from fellow senators, Baucus acknowledged that the U.S. has a complicated relationship with China, one that extends beyond economic issues.

Senators were especially concerned that China declared an air defense zone over the East China Sea in November. The U.S., Japan and other countries have denounced the zone and said they would ignore China's demands that their military aircraft announce flight plans, identify themselves and follow Chinese instructions.

At Tuesday's hearing, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said China's actions are "part of a pattern of their ambition to dominate that part of the world."

"The role that China is playing in Asia today should be of great concern to all of us," McCain said as he questioned Baucus. Later, McCain said of Chinese leaders: "They are continuous human rights abusers on a daily basis."

When it came time for Baucus to respond, he said, "I don't disagree with you."

"Your point I think is basically accurate," Baucus added. "But the overarching goal for us as a country is to engage China with eyes wide open, to try to find common ground."

After the hearing, Baucus was asked about his exchange with McCain.

"He made a very important statement," Baucus said of McCain. "I try not to get too involved in motives. I'd rather focus more on their actions and try to find common ground as best I can and find solutions that are grounded in reality."

Obama nominated Baucus to become U.S. ambassador to China last year. Both Republican and Democratic senators said they expect Baucus to sail to full confirmation by the Senate.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tentatively scheduled a committee vote on Baucus's nomination for Feb. 4. "I am sure you will be confirmed," Menendez told Baucus at Tuesday's hearing.

The 72-year-old Baucus said last year he would not seek re-election to another Senate term. If confirmed as ambassador to China, he would replace Gary Locke.

Baucus is well-grounded in U.S. trade policy with China from serving as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which has authority over trade issues. Through his work on the committee, Baucus said he has helped enact free trade agreements with 11 countries, including China's neighbor, South Korea.

But, Baucus acknowledged Tuesday, he is not an expert on other issues involving China.

China and the U.S. have vast economic ties. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, owning $1.3 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds. The two countries are also big trading partners, though the U.S. trade deficit with China is the largest with any country.

Figures through November show the U.S. trade deficit with China was on track to set a new record in 2013, exceeding $300 billion for the second straight year.
On 01-28-14, Craig moore commented....
China coal usage expected to surge.  http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/CBIZ-01-101213.html ===quote=== China’s coal use will rise sharply by the end of the decade despite government plans to limit consumption, the country’s mine owners say. Last month, the China National Coal Association (CNCA) forecast that consumption of the high-polluting…
  • Attorney General Turns Over Fracking Letter Info
    jr2jr2000 said: "Maybe Fox and Bullock should just do like Obama and Eric Holder do.  Refuse to turn over any pertinent records, or black out most of…
  • The Firm
    Gene Dziza said: "What a nice tribute to a good group of men. It’s a great thing to look back at a career and realize your life’s work…
  • Lifelong Adventurer Eyes Whitefish for New Mountain Academy
    gretchen bugden said: "I enjoyed reading your April 23rd 2014 article about Billy O’Donnell and his plans for a new Academy in Whitefish . I sent him an…
  • Tourist Season Is Coming. Are You Ready?
    Looney_Tunes said: "Businesses just opt out of this latest internet scam by ignoring it.  I have a friend who started a dog grooming business that was marred…
  • Montana Leaders Condemn Keystone Delay
    RussCrowder said: "“And environmentalists keep putting the environment in risky situation….”.  I guess this whole issue really has nothing to do with the environment, does it BillC? …
Kellyn Brown
Kellyn Brown1h
Former pro skier has plans for an academy for young adults looking to train in the outdoors http://t.co/YFOI9pdVVf http://t.co/R8NCamjqUD
Dillon Tabish
Dillon Tabish1h
Former pro skier has plans for an academy for young adults looking to train in the outdoors http://t.co/YFOI9pdVVf http://t.co/R8NCamjqUD
Molly Priddy
Molly Priddy17h
MT Gov. Steve Bullock sends letter to Parole Board, largely supportive of Barry Beach's petition for commutation of sentence. #mtpol
Tristan Scott
Tristan Scott22h
Meet the law firm behind W.R. Grace and scores of other notable Montana cases. http://t.co/PXTGJGoYdH
Flathead Beacon
FB Headlines23m
Republican Activists Push Party on Gay Marriage http://t.co/14uCLCWhKy