New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, traveling in Hong Kong over the weekend, warned that the new crop of politicians elected to Congress last week could spark a trade war with China because their criticism of the Asian superpower is bred in ignorance.
The billionaire mayor reportedly said Americans who voted for these politicians may do a disservice to U.S.-Chinese relations because the incoming freshmen aren't worldly enough to grasp diplomacy or the economic upside of China's emerging economy.
"If you look at the U.S., you look at who we're electing to Congress, to the Senate -- they can't read," The Wall Street Journal quoted Bloomberg as saying.
"I’ll bet you a bunch of these people don't have passports. We're about to start a trade war with China if we're not careful here only because nobody knows where China is. Nobody knows what China is," he reportedly said.
Bloomberg, who was at a climate change conference, said that the Chinese are advancing technologically in part by addressing their own environmental degradation. The newspaper reported the mayor recalling the perils of flying a helicopter in China several years ago, when he nearly got lost because of the pollution.
"At one point I had to go down almost to tree level to figure out where I was, just to get out," he said.
He added that the U.S. has to "stop blaming the Chinese and blaming everybody else" for its problems -- financial, environmental or otherwise -- "and take a look at ourselves."