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Ten questions for President Obama

20:48, April 02, 2010

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By John Milligan-Whyte and Dai Min

America's economic and national security can be successfully managed now in President Obama's administration and in the 21st century if there is a breakthrough aligning America and China's economic success and national security.

American policymakers face problems that America's conventional policies and strategies have not and cannot solve. Safeguarding America's economic and national security now requires that America reciprocate Deng Xiaoping reforms, which China has implemented with America. America needs to "open up" to Chinese companies investments in American companies in order to invigorate America's economy and employment, and to balance America and China's trade and economic success.

America's financial and economic crises make the breakthrough both necessary and possible. After the financial crisis made America's mismanagement of its economy obvious, Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, recognized the futility of America's conventional demands that China change its policies:"It is prototypically American to say 'this worked well but now you have to change it.'" But it is difficult for American policy makers to change America's 20th century economic and national security policies although they are reducing America's economic and national security today.

To successfully align America and China's economic and national security, American policymakers also must reciprocate Deng Xiaoping's and China's foreign and defense policies by implementing the Principles of Peaceful Coexistence with China, which China has unilaterally implemented with America for three decades. That includes American policymakers' non-interference in China's core issues such as its internal affairs in matters such as Tibet, Taiwan, Xinjiang and China's political and legal systems and definition of human rights.

To have a balanced and mature relationship America and China must achieve balanced and mature policies. America confronting China on bilateral issues such as the exchange rate of the American and Chinese currencies and human rights while American policymakers desperately seeking China's policymakers help in issues such as solving America's economic crisis, global warming and nuclear proliferation is an unbalanced and immature policy.

For America's political, economic, legal systems to be successful and America's ideals and definition of human rights to be charismatic and successful globally in this century, American policymakers must accept China's basic rights to self-determination, economic success and national security. That involves a new mindset in American policymaking and new American policies and strategies towards China.

China's policymakers have sought without success to convince American policymakers to change their zero sum game mindset and policies and strategies that haven't and can't work in changing China's policies. American foreign and economic policy proposals and military strategies that are designed to be "win-win" only for America's economic and military interests cannot be implemented by Chinese policymakers because the Chinese people will not accept "win-win" policies that are not reciprocally beneficial for both nations.

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The articles in this column represent the author's views only. They do not represent opinions of People's Daily or People's Daily Online.

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John Milligan-Whyte and Dai Min are the executive producers and co-hosts of the Collaboration of Civilizations television series adapted by the eight books they wrote in the America-China Partnership Book Series published in English and Mandarin in 2009-2010. They founded the America-China Partnership Foundation and Forum in 2008 and the Center for America-China Partnership in 2005. E-mail: [email protected]