China and America's leadership in Peaceful Coexistence (3)
21:07, May 04, 2010
President Obama has a different enough background from that shared by American policymakers to be the "missing man," which has been needed to begin the New Era of the Collaboration of Civilizations. But, many Americans' reactions to the astonishingly rapid and enormous phenomenon of China's peaceful economic development are shock, hostility and confusion. The Chinese have been unable themselves to express their desire for peaceful coexistence in ways that Americans can understand as sincere or can accept. The Chinese desire for peace is sincere. The real danger is that Americans do not accept yet that the Chinese do sincerely want peaceful coexistence. There are fundamental cultural and conceptual differences, dangerous perception and communication gaps, and a current difference of goals that make it difficult for Americans to accept China's success. It seems to conflict with America's success and Americans' deep yearning for ideological and geopolitical hegemony, and national pride in America's values, ideals, and history.
Henry Kissinger warned in 1998, "Republicans see China as a threat; Democrats view it as a laboratory to spread American values…. Unfortunately too many Republicans have substituted China for the collapsed Soviet Union…. Too many Democrats act as if the sole goal of American policy should be to replicate our institutions and principles in China, even at the cost of what is at stake in Asia and without regard to the complexity of Chinese history." American policymakers ignore China's right of self-determination for such noble or malevolent reasons and assert that America's human rights ideals are "self-evident" and "universal."
However, almost four score and ten years ago our forefathers brought forth a new "self-evident truth" in human history that already governs all of mankind's clashing civilizations. It is that we are now an endangered species because of the combination of the proliferation of human conflict and knowledge. Since it is difficult for the strong to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and impossible to control the proliferation of human knowledge, the strong must control human conflict and the clash of civilizations, because otherwise, it is impossible for the weak to do so.
Americans have hoped that China would quickly adopt America's political, legal, and economic models, which they see as the best in the world and applicable in all nations in mankind "to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all," as President Jefferson hoped. Robert Zoellick, as America's Deputy Secretary of State negotiating with the Chinese, sought to persuade China to adopt America's ideals, political system and interests. He used the unpersuasive "responsible stakeholder" approach. But after the financial crises became self-evident in 2008 he admitted: "It is sometimes hard to change successful models. It is prototypically American to say 'This worked well but now you have to change it.'" His candid statement is a welcome indication of growing American enlightenment or tolerance, which is perhaps facilitated an "American cultural revolution" that is being caused by "the worst financial crisis in 100 years."
New American policies are essential because the last time the world experienced financial, economic, political, social and national security crises similar to the magnitude of the ones 194 nations share today, our forefathers endured a ten-year global depression and five year world war in which species lethal weapons and science did not exist in until that global catastrophe's final days.
A smart and successful new American foreign policy and defense strategy aligns America and China's prosperity and peace. China's leaders hope that America's new president and the American people will reciprocate the Principles of Peaceful Coexistence that China has implemented unilaterally with America.
John Milligan-Whyte is called the "new Edgar Snow" and the "21st century Kissinger" and is the only non-Chinese to be elected the winner of the Social Responsibility Award from the China Business Leaders Summit. 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 that created the "New School of America-China Relations." They founded the America-China Partnership Foundation and Forum in 2008 and the Center for America-China Partnership in 2005, which was recognized in 2009 as "the first American think tank to combine and integrate American and Chinese perspectives providing a complete answer for America and China's success in the 21st century."
E-mail: info@CenterACP.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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: info@CenterACP.com