John B Cobb, Jr is introducing several China Papers to guide The Living Earth Movement.
Introduction to the Living Earth Movement Understanding China Programs
Many of us participating in the Living Earth Movement believe that the global problems we face in both the natural world and society are in grave danger of bringing our civilization to its end. Many of us believe that only well-led global cooperation can save us. We think that the real leaders today are the United States and China, and that their joint leadership would have the best chance of unifying the world in facing the desperate situation.
Given the urgency of the United States working with China for the sake of all of us, the barrage of news and propaganda preparing us for war is deeply disturbing. If the priority of the United States is unilateral domination of the planet, then the nuclear destruction of China may result. but we believe that most Americans would prefer to partner with others in working for the survival of humanity than to dominate a largely uninhabitable globe.
Cooperation with an enemy is hard to implement. If civilization is to survive, enemies must be changed into partners. A major obstacle to partnering with China for the good of all is that American propaganda has dehumanized or demonized China’s leadership in the minds of so many Americans. Many cannot think of China as a partner in light of all its wrongdoings. It is that understanding of China that we want to see set aside by a more realistic interpretation of what has happened that makes Chinese actions understandable.
Our goal is not to persuade Americans that China is correct on disputed matters, that Chinese motives are always pure, that China’s actions have always been wise. We do want to persuade readers that Chinese actions and policies are understandable, and that they do not justify the judgment that China cannot serve as our partner in envisioning the changes required for survival. We want human civilization to survive on a living Earth. We want China and the United States to co-lead the world to take the actions that will keep the planet habitable, We think that balanced and objective knowledge will show that China can do its part if it is treated as a partner. We hope that the information we offer will help Americans open themselves to the cooperation so urgently needed.
It is almost inevitable that, if you expose yourself to American “news” about China, your feelings about China are growing more negative. There may be some actions China has taken that explain this, but we should all recognize that our attitudes are influenced by the way China is depicted by our media. Since the U.S. announced that China is our greatest enemy, we would expect the media to present its actions negatively. The government of the United States wants its people to support its actions against its enemies, even risking war. We are exposed to constant propaganda, that is to constant negative portrayal of those we consider our enemies.
Those of us who eagerly support cooperation between the United States and China especially in response to global crises, would like to encourage mutual understanding. One method for facilitating this is by encouraging Americans to explore Chinese state-run media perspectives alongside their American counterparts. This comparative analysis may reveal surprising insights and broaden one’s understanding of the issues at hand. China held back from public criticism of the United States for some time, hoping for better relations between the two countries. But as the United States has strongly restated its enmity toward China and expressed it in its actions, China has responded in kind to American foreign policy. China has produced and circulated a highly negative account of American foreign policy. (Reference)
We Americans can now continue to read American propaganda about China and also read a major document about us being circulated by China. One way to become more objective and better informed is to read the propaganda of both sides.
We recommend doing that. After reading Chinese propaganda, we are likely to be less easily swayed by American, and, of course, vice versa. Our project is different. We want to provide neutral information. We are writing for Americans. We think that misunderstanding China in ways encouraged by American propaganda blocks the path to the cooperation with China that would benefit all of us. Our task is to tell the truth about what China is doing and planning in such a way that Americans can understand, whether or not we approve. We hope that mutual understanding will enable us to cooperate for the sake of everyone rather than give priority to weakening and damaging China. This means that we are not “neutral” about everything. We really, passionately, want to save the planetary biosphere.
The papers we are sharing are the work of a group of a dozen persons who want peace and partnership between the world’s two greatest powers and polluters. A list of the initial 11 papers is provided. We hope we have freed our papers from error, and that they offer sufficient information to show that while China is far from perfect, it is as committed as any country to the survival of civilization. Its mistakes and failures do not justify crossing it off our list of nations with which we would partner to save the world. If you find errors or distortions, please let us know. We are open to correction.
We open with a piece of possible U.S. China Cooperation on an Energy Grid that has a unique role. It is not like most of our papers, that provide an explanation of some action for which American propaganda has demeaned China. It is an example of how the whole world might benefit from imaginative cooperation between China and the United States. If you find errors, please let us know. Also, if you feel that we are omitting or obscuring important features of what has happened, please help us achieve a more balanced account. Our conviction is that China and the United States working together could give great leadership to the world with respect to climate change and other matters. We believe that there are legitimate criticisms of both these countries and of all others. We do not believe that in the case of the United States and China the shortcomings and missteps indicate that one or the other of these two countries is incapable of giving priority to truly critical matters or working with the other.
Initial List of Understanding China Papers
- U.S. China Cooperation Energy Grid
- Difference in Thinking Between Chinese and Americans
- Ecological Civilization
- Economic Hitmen American and Chinese
- The Two Mountain Theory
- One-Child Policy
- Hong Kong
- South and North Korea
- COVID Epidemic in the PRC
Access All China Papers
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