There is the presidential candidate with very sharp words for China's business, trade and military practices:
"We must change course. In the economic arena, we must directly counter abusive Chinese practices in the areas of trade, intellectual property, and currency valuation. While I am prepared to work with Chinese leaders to ensure that our countries both benefit from trade, I will not continue an economic relationship that rewards China's cheating and penalizes American companies and workers.
Unless China changes its ways, on day one of my presidency I will designate it a currency manipulator and take appropriate counteraction. A trade war with China is the last thing I want, but I cannot tolerate our current trade surrender.
We must also maintain military forces commensurate to the long-term challenge posed by China's build-up. For more than a decade now we have witnessed double-digit increases in China's officially reported military spending. And even that does not capture the full extent of its spending on defense. Nor do the gross numbers tell us anything about the most troubling aspects of China's strategy, which is designed to exert pressure on China's neighbors and blunt the ability of the United States to project power into the Pacific and keep the peace from which China itself has benefited."
There is the businessman with highly lucrative and potentially suspect gambling interests in China:
"[Sheldon] Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation has been under federal investigation since early 2011 by the Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). ABC News reports that corporate documents contain allegations of bribing officials on the Chinese island of Macau.
A separate civil suit filed in Nevada in 2010 alleges Mr. Adelson ordered Steven Jacobs, the former C.E.O. of Las Vegas Sands Corp’s Chinese affiliate, to stay quiet about alleged entanglements “with Chinese organized crime groups, known as Triads.” Mr. Jacobs’s suit characterized Adelson’s demands as “repeated and outrageous.” Mr. Jacobs also claimed Mr. Adelson wanted him to essentially manipulate Macau officials to assist company business interests in the region."
And then there is the happy union of the two:
"Billionaire conservative casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who helped keep Newt Gingrich’s failed presidential campaign alive during the Republican primaries, is giving $10 million to the super PAC supporting the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, according to people with knowledge of the matter."
To spare you the math: for Barack Obama's campaign to match the $10 million, it would need to get checks from 181,818 donors giving at the average Obama donation amount of $55. But have no fear: as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in Citizens United, independent spending by SuperPACs on behalf of candidates does “not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption." Got that?
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