Home>>Columnists >> John Milligan-Whyte and Dai Min's column

Thomas Barnett recommends US never go to war with China (5)

20:07, June 13, 2010

    Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum

For 60 years there has been a fundamental core problem in US-China relations that only President Obama can and needs to change now: US policymakers and policies have not accepted the legitimacy of the Chinese government. Chinese policymakers were optimistic when President Obama was elected with the promise and mandate for change at a time of profound American economic and national security crises. It has been 60 years since the birth of modern China and resulting outbreak of the Korean War, which never formally ended as the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel reminded us. The views of Thomas Barnett quoted above support an unconventional perspective for American policymaking: that America should accept peaceful coexistence with the 22 percent of mankind and the legitimacy and success of their indigenous government. It has been very successful in managing sustained economic growth, social and political stability, peaceful foreign and defense policies, and reform and opening up to American investment.

China's policymakers are ready, willing and able to help America's policymakers and people deal successfully with the most serious financial crisis in 100 years. Every leader of China including Mao Zedong wanted to an arrangement of peaceful coexistence with the US. However, Secretary of State Dulles would not even shake hands with China's Premier Zhou Enlai. After testing the Chinese in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger were delighted to shake hands with Mao Zedong in 1972.

President Obama has the genius and constitutional ability required to now lead America in embracing and reciprocating China's policies of peaceful coexistence, which is the only thing that will solve the current and prevent future conflict between the world's two largest economies. The time has come for American policymakers to really accept China's government's legitimacy, capabilities and admiration and desire for friendship with America.

To clear the way for the breakthrough in US-China relations that is now as urgent as it is essential, President Obama needs to be the first US president to fully transcend the core problem in 21st century US-China relations: five generations of conventional American policymakers' ideologically driven hostile and therefore ineffective China policies.

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】 【5】 【6】 【7】 【8】 【9】 【10】

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.

Post your comments:


Dai MinJohn
Dai Min

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]