Bloomberg, on Visit to Hong Kong, Tells America to Lay Off Chinese

By Peter Stein|Wall Street Journal

Photo: Getty Images

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, on a visit to Hong Kong and the neighboring city of Shenzhen, had some harsh criticism for his own fellow Americans: Stop blaming the Chinese for their problems.

As the debate rages over China’s trade and currencies policies, the 68-year-old Bloomberg, now in his third term as mayor of New York, was tough on China’s critics in the U.S. He spoke to reporters Saturday in Hong Kong after addressing a meeting of leaders from top cities around the world, dubbed the C40, focused on climate change and environment.

“I think in America, we’ve got to stop blaming the Chinese and blaming everybody else and take a look at ourselves,” he said.

A day earlier, Mr. Bloomberg visited several businesses (incluing a solar panel maker) in Shenzhen, a manufacturing hub that borders Hong Kong.

China’s big push into solar and other environmentally friendly energy technologies has begun to attract negative attention. Last month, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said it would investigate China’s policies over complaints that the country was using tactics that violated its World Trade Organization commitments to shut other countries out of the burgeoning market for clean energy.

Mr. Bloomberg attacked the notion that using Chinese-made technology to promote green energy in the U.S. was politically objectionable. “Let me get this straight: There’s a country on the other side of the world that is taking their taxpayers’ dollars, and trying to sell subsidized things so we can buy them cheaper, and have better products, and we’re going to criticize that?”

Earlier, in an interview, the mayor was deeply, undiplomatically critical of provincialism and populism in U.S. Congress.

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Editors Note: We know that most Americans indeed know where China is located, for those who may not, here’s a map.