December 3rd, 2007
05:16 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain 'concerned' about China

McCain campaigned in New Hampshire Monday.

DURHAM, New Hampshire (CNN) - ­ Arizona Sen. John McCain told voters at a New Hampshire town hall that he was "concerned" about China's military buildup and that a continued U.S. military presence in Asia was necessary to maintain peace in that region.

"I worry about the fact that there [are] a lot of rumors that they may be building or buying aircraft carriers,” the Republican presidential candidate said Monday in response to a question on U.S-China relations. "That's the ultimate projection of military power, weapon power."

Calling China a "world superpower," McCain emphasized the need to strengthen alliances with its Asian nations.

"There is nothing we can do about” China's growing strength, said McCain. "The question is how they enter the world stage. It bears watching, it bears concern and it argues for strong alliances with the Japanese, with South Korea with other Asian nations in the region for a continued military presence in the region," said McCain.

McCain told reporters later that diplomacy should be emphasized, but that a continued military presence would "give confidence to our allies and friends in the region" and be seen as a message of support.

- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

Filed under: John McCain • New Hampshire
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. ronnie knoxville, tn.

    if we are addicted to shopping at the big box retailers (you know who they are), and I DO see it as an addiction, china is on deck to get very very much richer in years to come

    December 3, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. AJ, Decatur IL

    Evidently McCain heard the reports that Iran was not building a Nuke afterall... At least you have to commend him for the quick scaremongering switch.

    December 3, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. CFRScum

    Oh great, here we go again with more fear-mongering. Like comparing Iraq to Nazi Germany wasn't enough for McCain. Seriously, these candidates are a bunch of one trick ponies. Drum up some fear and then say you need me to protect you. They've been doing this since before Vietnam. Yawn!

    The best thing we can do about China is to stop being so dependent upon them for credit and imports. One way to do that would be to bring the troops home from disastrous, unnecessary war. Shut down the 700+ international military bases and focus on building a strong economy. The US economy is an empty shell based on services. It's been sucked dry by this fat leech that is the military industrial complex. When China and other foreigners stop the credit gravy train we won't have a national defense. Does anyone really think any nation on Earth is a military threat to the US when it has the biggest arsenal of nuclear and biological weapons on the planet. Enough weaponry to destroy the entire planet? Puhleeease!!

    December 3, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. Bradley Schaubs, Greeley, CO

    Oy, and I thought Giuliani was off his rocker for wanting a stronger military against Russia! Our soldiers are tired, and our cow's nest (treasury) is nearly spent. Please, can we discuss something besides future wars?

    December 3, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. mark wilkes barre pa

    wheres all the " war monger " rederick ? McCain is spot on again talk softly but carry a big bomb

    December 3, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. Aaron Kinney, Sherman Oaks CA

    Of course, McCain! Nothing keeps peace like putting troops near another countries border.

    McCain's next kareoke hit: "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Beijing!"

    December 3, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. Independent in IA

    If he's so freaking concerned about China, why is he so blaise and cavilier about outsourcing American jobs to a country that is so blatantly trying to destroy us (with our assistance, I might add....check your recall list). Remember "The Manchurian Candidate".

    December 3, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  8. therealist

    Fair trade or no trade.

    December 3, 2007 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. Jr., California

    I am concerned about John McCain.

    December 3, 2007 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  10. James, Houston, TX.

    John McCain a P.O.W. for 5 1/2 yrs; gave up Flag and Colors in lieu of His Skin and He wants to be President? To Give Up What? China your Mother.

    December 3, 2007 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. ne,pa

    McCain thrives on war!

    December 3, 2007 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. Michael Moore. Flint, Michigan

    Military spending you say!!? Lost my vote.

    December 3, 2007 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  13. Tom NY

    It's funny how McCain doesn't state that his support of NAFTA, CAFTA and all the tax loopholes he loved so dearly in the 90's created this situation. It was him and his greedy buddies that caused all this grief including the lead in toys problem.

    December 3, 2007 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  14. Jose Card

    There is something we can do about China's growing strength, but I am glad Senator McCain is realistic.

    Each dollar we spend on Chinese goods goes to support Chinese economic and military expansion.

    Although trading is good for peace, unfair trades do no good for us. As a free country, our government does not tell us not to buy Chinese goods, while the Chinese government can determine what goes into the container ships on their way back. The main contents in those Chinese containers are recycled materials such as scrap metal and used clothing, etc. China has boosted up our scrap metal prices. Do you wonder why we have to buy Chinese made fence for the southern boarder? They have most of our metal.

    The Economist reported that during WWII, we had to turn scrap metal into weapons. Now plastics has replaced lots of metal, we no longer have as much metal lying around. Our government may need to limit scrap metal sales to all foreign countries, IF we are serious about national security. It would be kind of hard to build weapons with plastics. We are also in dire need for new infrastructure such as bridges made of steel.

    The Chinese government has no regulations on recycling. We have no idea what goes into the products made of recycled materials in China. These products get shipped back to the U.S. at much higher prices and probably higher contents of toxic chemicals. Besides lead toys, Chinese made baby bibs with lead were discovered and reported by Lou Dobbs Tonight in November.

    If our kids are turned into lead heads, our future creativity will be doomed. Creativity is our best edge over the Chinese. Freedom encourages creativity, but lead in our head will kill it.

    Senator McCain knows the breath and depth of the problem. I am sure he will not take donations from mysterious Chinese businessman Norman Hsu. Senator Clinton had to return almost one million dollars of campaign donations to Hsu. I will not trust the Clintons to deal with China's growing strength.

    December 3, 2007 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  15. harry

    That kind of interventionalism is what caused WW2 Sen Mccain

    December 4, 2007 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  16. Independent in IA

    McCain told reporters later that diplomacy should be emphasized, but that a continued military presence would "give confidence to our allies and friends in the region" and be seen as a message of support.

    And, of course, send an unmistakable signal to China that should McCain achieve his ambition to the 'Throne', he would not be above using that military presence in whatever way he sees fit....God help us all...

    December 4, 2007 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  17. Robert M. Reidy N.Y.

    McCain is polishing his Yoda look...

    December 4, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  18. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    You know it is interesting to note that McCain is the only candidate openly attempting to assess his action as President related to the growing concerns over China. Even GW Bush–our sitting "failure" doesn't appear to have any ideas on how to deal with China. Go McCain–at least you've got the guts to address "real issues" not puff and fluff like all the other candidates. Bravo.

    December 4, 2007 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. Steve, Boston, MA

    You should be concerned, John. Everyone should be. And let's not forget that China can totally cripple us economically. They are funding our little war in Iraq. And they can dump their huge stockpile of US$ at any time and then guess what. We are toast.

    December 4, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Alan Rindge, New Hampshire

    I hope everyone can see that China should be a concern, but I don't think their military build up is our primary worry. We are pretty much owned by them now and it keeps getting worse with us going to them for loans to finance the latest "Crusade". If China decides to call in it's loans, we're done without a shot being fired.

    December 4, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. Jeff, Salt Lake, Utah

    The man has no eyes!!! They are the blackest of the black! Don't trust him! Vote for Mitt Romney!!!!

    December 4, 2007 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. summus

    I have yet to see a single candidate refer to the Chinese government as the "Communist Chinese" –Republican or Democrat.

    How about we ban them from buying our treasury bonds and stop them from drilling for oil off of our own coast in Florida. How about we ban their ships from docking in our ports like they have been doing to us. How about we punish American companies who don't inspect every Chinese made product for lead before it even gets on the boat heading to the U.S. ($1,000) per toy should do it.

    The truth is that there aren't any candidates Rep or Dem with guts enough to do this.

    Welcome to the United States of China and Mexico

    December 4, 2007 11:39 am at 11:39 am |