Monday, August 30, 2010

Reviewing Senator Patty Murray's Visit To China

Earlier this year in January, WA State Senator Patty Murray visited China as the head of a three-member group called the "Senate's United States-China Inter-Parliamentary Group." According to this Seattle Times article back when Senator Murray was just about to embark on her trip, it cites the groups purpose as:

to foster better relations with China with the aim of improving cooperation on issues such as human rights, trade and security.
Now fast forward and lets look over what Senator Murray did on her "China 2010 Visit" as seen on her own website. Despite the group's purpose being 3-fold, Senator Murray admitted that her discussions were "largely focused" on trade issues:
As the head of the U.S. delegation, I chaired the afternoon's session which largely focused on a wide range of economic and trade issues. This is the second IPG session I have attended in China, in addition to attending IPG meetings in Washington, DC. One thing that I have noticed is that the tone is much different than in the past. Previously discussions were more relaxed. Today we had intense and much more passionate exchanges. A key issue for the Chinese was weapons sales to Taiwan. 
The issue of Taiwan of course came up, and Senator Murray merely stated that it was a key issue for the Chinese. The question that we would have wanted to know is, is Taiwan is key issue for the U.S.? Is it a key issue for you, Senator Murray?

On the issue of security, Murray did have one line about that:
We raised the need for continued engagement with North Korea and Iran as well as protection of intellectual property.
But other than that, it seems as if economy and trade issues simply dominated the talks. I would say that Senator Murray's group failed on getting the message about human rights and security across to the Chinese. Human Rights? What human rights (see this report on China's continual "dismal and not improving" record on human rights)? And security talk with China about engaging with North Korea? China says definitely, we'll engage but not in the way you want us to. North Korea remains as one of China's main allies - after all, if communists can't stick together, how can you expect western democracies to get along with China? Just the past week or so, Kim Jung Il visited China for who knows what, but it certainly doesn't seem like beneficial news for the rest of the world... two of the world's most well-known communist leaders getting together to discuss their transition to democracy? I think not.

Patty Murray's ties with China should mean she has greater leverage with them, or so you would think. Instead, abroad in China we have the communist party threatening to boycott Boeing due to them manufacturing arms that would eventually be sold to Taiwan. And at home in Washington, we have Patty Murray unable to keep the additional manufacturing jobs for Boeing 787s in Everett.

I think it's time to put your party preference aside and just get someone new in there. Yes, that means Republican Dino Rossi. And if he doesn't serve us well, then vote in the next new guy.

According to Wikipedia, Senatory Murray is currently the 4th highest-ranking democratic senator in the senate. That should give you an idea of how long she's been in the senate.

For full disclosure, yes I would consider myself a Republican. But, had Rossi been the incumbent with this track record, I would be saying the same thing for him to go.

No comments: