As agreed upon, I am sending you a few questions that our organization, the US-China Forum, Inc., has formulated for the purpose to help Chinese Americans to be familiar with your political philosophy and agenda in order to rally their support for you.
The mission of the US-China Forum is to provide a platform for all Americans, and particularly Chinese Americans to express their views on subjects of vital interest to Chinese American communities, free from attachment to governments, legacy positions and funding influence. In the last 5 years, we have organized several major events with Los Angeles County and various veterans’ organizations to honor Chinese American veterans and to commemorate the ending of WWII. We have sponsored symposia, some of which were jointly sponsored with the USC US-China Institute. We also produce a weekly syndicated page of commentary and unbiased analysis of current events and foreign policies in both English and Chinese, which has been published in seven Chinese-language newspapers throughout North America continuously for more than 5 years (www.us-chinaforum.org or www.us-chinaforum.com for additional information).
Our country is entering a very critical period and the fate of our country depends very much on the decisions to be made by the U.S. Congress. Therefore, it is essential for every voter to cast his/her vote intelligently and based on proper information. With that purpose in mind, we present the following questions:
- Out of the ten US presidents we have had since 1960, whose policies do you agree with most? Why? (question 1)
Cisneros’ answer: In his inaugural address, President Kennedy said, “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Those words have resonated with me my entire life as I continue to live a life of service. I followed my father and grandfather’s path and served in the navy for ten years. Having served as a Lieutenant in the Navy during WWII, President Kennedy utilized his military background to guide the nation during the peak of the cold war and steer us away from outright military conflict during the Cuban Missile crisis. Lastly, President Kennedy has inspired generations to take substantive time to give back to their community through creating Americorp, a voluntary civil society program that engages over 75,000 adults per year in public service work with a goal of "helping others and meeting critical needs in the community."
- The fact that Harvard University reviews all applicants for admission to favor affirmative action has resulted in a lower academic standard requirement for African Americans and much higher standard for Asian Americans. The Justice Department has launched legal action against Harvard’s practice. What is your position on this matter? What action would you take if elected? (question 2)
Cisneros: If elected, I would support an investigation to determine if there is a difference in personality score ratings for Asian American college applicants between Harvard alumni interviewers and admission officers. Regardless of if there is a discernable difference and evidence of harmful racial bias, I will work with my colleagues to prevent unlawful admission practices. I benefited from the U.S. Navy’s own version of an affirmative action program, which gave me the opportunity to get my education and become an officer. The diversity program allowed me to study and grow alongside people of all backgrounds, including Hispanics, Asian-Americans, African American, and Caucasians. I support providing the similar opportunities for other students to succeed.
- President Trump has now taken a tough tariff position for nearly half of all imported Chinese goods and warned that if China takes counter action on U.S. exports to China, then all Chinese imports would be tariffed. Do you support his position on this U.S.-China trade war? If not, what is your position on how it should be handled? (question 3)
Cisneros : No, President Trump’s trade war has damaged our standing in the international community while also harming millions of working-class families and Chinese American small business owners to pay for massive tax breaks for big corporations and special interests. In 2017, California’s trade with China exceeded $175 billion. China is our largest trading partner and while the Trump administration is doubling down on the trade war, our state’s government has recently passed a bill urging the Trump administration and Congress to increase trade cooperation between the US and China.
China is currently our largest goods trade partner. As our economy continues to globalize, we must engage with China in a fruitful and mutually beneficial manner. I am deeply concerned about President Trump’s use of tariffs that hurt American consumers and businesses. There are also real concerns regarding theft of American intellectual property, as well as significant barriers to entry in Chinese markets which limit US firms’ ability to compete. I believe that the most effective way forward is not to impose unilateral tariffs on imports, but to work through the existing structures of the World Trade Organization in order to create a lasting solution that works for American consumers, businesses, and workers.
- Under the ever emerging anti-China policy, there have been discriminatory actions against Chinese Americans as seen by American officials openly making inappropriate statements. As an example, it has been suggested that all Chinese Americans may be suspected of being spies for China, and Chinese should therefore not be allowed to participate in hi-tech research and development work. What is your position? (question 4)
Cisneros: America’s well-deserved reputation as a global leader in technology innovation is inseparable from its tradition of welcoming people from other countries. The fact that Chinese students and immigrants are being openly discriminated against by the United States government goes against everything that our country stands for. Many people forget that our country prohibited Chinese immigrants under the Chinese Exclusion Act. It is essential that we avoid returning to that dark period of our country and instead celebrate our diversity and the contributions of all our communities.
- There are as many as 20 bills in total related to Taiwan sponsored in the House or Senate in 2017 and 2018 alone. Some have been passed and some others have been ordered. Still others remain to be ordered. The common thread among all these bills is to strengthen the working relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan. This causes uncertainty in the relationship between the two largest economies in the world. Do you anticipate and support the U.S. getting involved in another Asian War triggered by worsening US-China Relations? Should you be elected to the House, what is your general attitude towards these kinds of bills? (question 5)
Kim: Strengthening America’s relationship with all entities in the Asia-Pacific region is in the best interest of our nation. I believe that it is a fundamental desire of all people – regardless of nationality or geography – to seek economic prosperity, growth, and opportunity so that they can live better lives. One of our most important goals in foreign policy must be to help people live better lives across the Asia-Pacific region and the world. If we can raise the living standard it helps the U.S. Higher economic growth in emerging markets means greater purchasing power to buy American exports. This leads to more jobs at home. That is why I support greater engagement in the world. History teaches us that a broadly prosperous world is a world that is more at peace.
Cisneros: I do not believe the U.S. will be involved in an Asian War with China over Taiwan. The United States has many allies and economic ties in the region that we cannot abandon. Each year, upwards of $5.3 trillion in trade runs through the South China seas, including roughly $1.2 trillion in American goods. As a former officer in the Navy, I understand the importance of working with our allies to secure these vital waterways.
The U.S. and Taiwan are aligned in their values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and the free market. Our two governments have enjoyed cooperation on a range of interests including security, economic cooperation and development, global engagement, humanitarian relief, and counter-terrorism. I will work to strengthen our existing partnership.
The people of Taiwan spend nearly $7 billion a year on Californian goods and services. Taiwan is California’s 7th largest trading partner. Our region is becoming the new gateway for the Asia-Pacific market and China Airlines’ recent non-stop service to Ontario Airport from Taoyuan will translate into significant economic benefits for residents of CA-39 as more tourists and business travelers take advantage of a more convenient way to travel across the Pacific Ocean. I believe that a strong relationship between Taiwan and the 39th Congressional District will create new markets and help build an economy that works for all of us.
A few follow-up questions to Mr. Ciseros’ answer to question 5 were sent to him: You indicate your strong desire to strengthen the existing partnership, including security, between the U.S. and Taiwan. You also believe that U.S. will not be involved in an Asian War with China over Taiwan. The challenges are how to maintain the balancing act between the two conflicting desires? How would you propose to reduce the tensions between the U.S. and China over the security issue of Taiwan? Do you support the U.S. one-China Policy, which has been the foundation of the peace in East Asia over the past 40 years? (question 6)
Cisneros: I support the U.S. One-China policy. The United States has an abiding interest in a peaceful cross-strait resolution and I support an open dialogue and cooperation between Beijing and Taipei. As your next representative, I will push for substantive civil discussions regarding Taiwan’s status with both China and Taiwan. I support the right of the Taiwanese people to live freely in a democratic society. As a Navy veteran, I believe that the United States should remain committed to preserving peace along the Taiwan Strait and prevent unwarranted aggression throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Military conflict in the Taiwan Strait is in no country’s best interest. We have had over forty years of peace in the East Asia Pacific region because of our cooperative diplomatic relations with our East Asia partners, including China. Let us not forget how far we have come from the U.S’s first trip to China in 1972 during the Cold War.