Erika Johnsen

I'm not exactly vying to become president of the Jon Huntsman fan club, but there is at least one matter in which I definitely and wholeheartedly admire his fortitude. As former U.S. ambassador to China, Huntsman surely has first-hand knowledge of the terrible human rights abuses and restrictions that occur daily in the communist country, but he has not been content to keep mum and let those issues fly under the radar. Even if our criticisms are only verbal, words are mighty powerful things (which China surely understands, as they work so hard to silence their dissenting citizens), and it's important that we keep applying the pressure. Henry Kissinger-types argue that nothing productive can come from the U.S. publicly criticizing China, but I patently disagree.

The fact that China owns a plurality of our foreign-owned debt is highly discouraging, because it provides an excuse for the type of bootlicking behavior we saw from Joe Biden earlier this week. Not okay. It seems to me that China hardly ever misses an opporunity to bait and antagonize the U.S., and we shouldn't back down in any shape, manner, or form. Appeasement is a slippery slope, as I'm sure a little someone named Neville Chamberlain would attest.

It is, therefore, always somewhat buoying to see that we've yet to see the day when China gets off scot-free with everything.

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Pentagon report that warned China's military modernization could destabilize the region engaged in exaggeration and "groundless suspicion," the Chinese Ministry of Defense said on Friday in Beijing's first official response to the report.

"China expresses its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition," the ministry said in comments faxed to Reuters.

The ministry said the U.S. report, released earlier this week, "exaggerated the so-called mainland military threat to Taiwan," the self-ruled island that Beijing deems an illegitimate breakaway province.

"It is very normal for the Chinese military to develop and upgrade some weapons and armaments," said the Chinese defense ministry.

China undoubtedly has long-term ambitions, but the good news is that the U.S. refuses to completely roll over and die. China is always quick to vociferously shout down any criticisms that come its way - a little too quick, if you know what I mean.


Erika Johnsen

Erika Johnsen is a Web Editor for Townhall.com and Townhall Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @erikajohnsen.