John B Cobb, Jr is introducing several China Papers to guide The Living Earth Movement.
Living Earth Movement Understanding China Papers and Dialogues
We are convinced that through cooperation, the peoples of the world could still salvage much of value from the disasters we face. We are convinced that global cooperation depends first and foremost on cooperation between the United States and China.
We are convinced that the major obstacle to cooperation is American enmity toward China, expressed in American policies and propaganda. The latter has succeeded in making most Americans think negatively of China and lack enthusiasm for cooperation. We hope that discussion with Roy Morrison will open the eyes of many to the wonderful possibilities that real cooperation could actualize.
We propose a three-pronged response to increasing the chances of cooperation.
A monthly meeting of young Chinese and Americans to build personal relations and mutual understanding. This is planned and implemented by young people as the Living Earth Youth Dialogues Sharing from the Heart.
A weekly meeting for all ages to discuss events in China, especially those which American propaganda has used to discourage interest in cooperation. We’ll call these “Dialogues about China”, recognizing that their purpose is to gain realistic understanding and build a community of people who care. Our initial program will be held on January 26th at 1:00 pm PST with Roy Morrison. His bio and one-page extract from his paper are provided below.
A growing collection of short statements, “Understanding China,” about what China is doing. The focus will be on explaining why China acts as it does. Our belief is that if Americans understand why China does what it does, whether they approve or not, they will see that cooperation with China is possible, as well as crucial for the survival of civilization. We would like for these papers to be widely available so as to provide a check against propaganda designed to increase suspicious and hostile feelings.
These three pathways will intersect extensively. The young people may write some of the “Understanding China” papers and make use of others. The weekly dialogues about China will often be about a draft of one of the papers. Through papers and discussion, we hope to build up a community of people who are genuinely committed to contributing to the goal of China/U.S. cooperation as a crucial step toward global international cooperation.
John B. Cobb, Jr.
Most Recent China Paper
China Paper – Taiwan
The island now called by its Chinese name, Taiwan, has had a history distinct from that of China. However, it was incorporated into Chinese empires for long periods. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive. They called it Formosa, the beautiful, and the inhabitants Formosans, but they did not establish a permanent colony. The Dutch replaced them. There was a struggle for independence which ended in conquest by Japan., The Japanese ruled Taiwan until their defeat in World War II.
Taiwan’s political status was then uncertain. The Formosan people could have become independent. But in 1947, when Chiang Kai-shek proposed retreating there from the Communists, the United States approved. This implied recognizing Taiwan as part of China. George Kerr, a United States military attaché and State Department officer, wrote Formosa Betrayed after he witnessed the treatment of native Formosans by Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang forces, supported by the United States. The situation of indigenous Formosans has been reduced to marginalization similar to indigenous people in the United States or Palestinians in Israel. Their betrayal continues. The population of Taiwan is now predominantly ethnic Chinese.
Chiang Kai-shek claimed to be the ruler of China from his capital in Taiwan. This fiction was accepted by the United States and the United Nations. In Communist China, Chairman Mao and Zhou en Lai accepted the separateness of Taiwan and China, but subsequent rulers adopted the one China theory, implying that Taiwan belonged to mainland China.
In 1972 Nixon realized the absurdity of considering mainland China a part of Taiwan and visited the Chinese capital in Beijing. The United States recognized the Beijing government and its version of the one-China doctrine. The result is that the United Nations recognizes Taiwan as part of China rather than as a separate country to be represented as such in the United Nations.
However, this part of China has governed itself and internally functioned as an independent nation. China hopes as time passes that the common ethnicity will overcome the historical antagonism. Meanwhile Taiwan has its own two-party system. The Blue Party is currently in power. It is aligned with the Kuomintang and is hostile to the Chinese Communist government. The Green is made up of a combination of pro-native peoples and Communists.
In November, 2022, there were elections, when the Blue and Green Party will compete for the votes of the general population. Very little attention is given to the elections in US Media, or, indeed, to the concerns of the people in Taiwan, least of all to the indigenous Formosans.
In 2022, the United States claimed China was becoming more threatening to Taiwan’s freedom and tightened relations with the pro-independence president, Tsai Ing-wen. Although Biden asserted continued adherence to the one-China policy, he re-emphasized that any aggression by China would be met by American armed forces, dispatched the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to tighten bonds with Taiwan, and budgeted for arms to build up Taiwan’s military. China did not consider this compatible with treating Taiwan as ultimately part of China, and in response to Pelosi’s visit engaged in military exercises. However, rather than risk a nuclear war with the United States, Pres. Xi backed down, complaining of “bullying”.
The move of Taiwan into the American orbit seemed secure, and most expected this to be supported by the Taiwanese people in the November municipal elections. However, Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party won only five of seventeen races. Clearly, the people of Taiwan do not want to take actions so hostile to China. Tsai resigned as head of her party and announced that she would not run for re-election. Newspapers in the West fell silent about Taiwan.
Rev. Ignacio Castuera
Social Justice Activist & United Methodist Minister
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