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Memo to the Presidents of America and China on Peaceful Coexistence (2)

14:26, April 16, 2010

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So far in the 21st century, American policymakers have not relied on the Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. America has relied on unsafe national security and unsustainable economic strategies. As a result, Americans do not have economic or national security although they have the largest economy and over fifty percent of the total military assets and spending of all 194 nations.

China has implemented the Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and as a result has been economically successful and at peace with all nations. Although it is one of the world's poorest nations with a per capita income that is about 12% of America's, China has been able to create the second largest and fastest growing economy and has been able to deter aggression and defend itself with military spending that is less than 12% of America's.

China's population is 500% larger than America's and its economy is likely to become much larger than America's. Its economy has grown at a sustained average of 10% a year during the thirty years prior to the global economic crisis, which is two or three times faster than America's economy. In 2008 and 2009 China's annual GDP growth rates reached 8.2% and 8.7% in spite of the crisis. The world is changing quickly and China and America must quickly and permanently align their economic and national security, which means that both of the world's most influential nations and largest economies must now successfully implement the Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

American policymakers have focused on attempting to persuade China to be a "responsible stakeholder," as defined by American policymakers, in an international system that is not implementing the Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China instead is demonstrating that the Principles of Peaceful Coexistence embedded in the United Nations Charter, which American policymakers played the leading role in drafting can be successfully implemented. As a result of implementing the Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, China is a responsible major power that has become the major engine of global economic growth by improving the productivity, standard of living, and savings of a huge portion of the world's 6.5 billion people.

For these and many other reasons explained in the eight books in the new America - China Partnership Book Series, achieving America's economic and national security and goal of expanding human rights ideals globally can only be successful in the 21st century if American policymakers help China's policymakers create a new collaboration of civilizations, which the Chinese call a "harmonious society and world."

In The Rise and Fall of Great Nations Paul Kennedy asserted that over a period of decades America, which comprises 5.6% of mankind, has been in the process of having the 45% share of global wealth it had in 1945 reduce to what he estimated would become 16% to 18%. He recognized that if America responded to external challenges by increasing defense expenditures, and reacted to the budgetary crises by slashing the existing social expenditures that may run the risk of provoking an eventual political backlash. He stated in 1986, "This brings us, inevitably, to the delicate relationship between slow economic growth and high defense spending…. Defense expenditures formed 10% under Eisenhower and 9% under Kennedy, and the United States' relative share of global production and wealth was at that time around twice what it is today; and the American economy was not then facing the challenges to either its traditional or its high-technology manufacturers."

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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]