*|FNAME|*, *|IF:FNAME|* *|END:IF|* *|IF:ELSE:|* Dear Friend, *|END:IF|*
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As American policy seemed ever more fixed on global domination, and as it remained clear that China saw itself as an equal in a multi-centric world, China had become, indeed, the greatest threat to the United States’ goal. I kept arguing for cooperation between the two greatest powers, which are also the two greatest polluters and, in general, the two greatest threats to the health of the planet. But actions and speeches on the part of American leaders, and especially President Biden, were not encouraging.
American propaganda seemed bent on reducing any possibility of a positive role for China. Americans were being taught to think of China not so much as simply opposing American imperialism, but also, as so irresponsible that the United States must ensure that China’s range of influence is small.
Continuing conflict seemed inevitable, with very little cooperation in dealing with global dangers to humanity. When President Biden first learned that President Xi was coming to the United States, he seemed quite doubtful about taking the opportunity to speak with him. A positive relation to China did not seem to be part of American plans. War seemed more likely, and the United States probably knows that the only war it can win with China is a nuclear one.
But something happened. Perhaps American corporations that have grown rich through cooperating with Chinese corporations, or even governmental agencies, talked persuasively with Biden. A war would be extremely disruptive of their affairs. Whoever led in talking with Biden and whatever was said, the result was that Biden’s approach to China seems to have been dramatically changed. Perhaps the cynics are right, and the changes will not go deep. But there was little that was negative about China in the reports that came out. Talk about cooperating on climate matters seemed authentic. It does seem that the door is open to developing cooperation with Chinese at many levels.
If that is so, I will make statements that may show my naivete. I believe that, at the moment,the Chinese door is open for American proposals of cooperation at many levels and that the American government will allow much that did not seem possible a few weeks ago. I also believe that there are no American groups in better position to become partners, in discussion with Chinese groups, than the process community. Proposals arising from these discussions will be taken seriously in China. How open the United States will be is yet to be seen.
For me this is an historic opportunity with wonderful potential. Although the one process organization that focuses on the China relation is the Living Earth Movement,some of the process folks who have led in developing positive relations with Chinese are in other branches of the Chinese movement. Philip Clayton has illustrated the possibility of producing a book with very significant proposals for China and having these intensively discussed there. He has agreed to lead the overall project of developing new relations with China. The LEM will support him in his work in China. Its primary task will be to encourage Americans to understand that China is now ready for cooperation and the main blockage, the false picture of China that most Americans have swallowed, can now be challenged.
What we have been doing has a much-improved chance of being effective, since the misinformation we are countering is no longer needed to implement American policy. We will continue the work of developing short informative accounts on topics about which most Americans have been brainwashed by negative accounts. A new relation with China needs to include a more realistic understanding of China. We can cooperate much better with a country, about which we may be critical, but a country about whose accomplishments we can also be highly respectful. We will find that many of our goals for the planet as a whole are sufficiently similar to allow joint efforts.
My view is that there is a much-improved possibility for the future of American/Chinese relations and that this opens new doors for the possibility of the human race acting wisely in the face of the many crises it faces. Like many new possibilities the extent to which it can be acted on will depend on the availability of money. I believe Philip is already accomplishing a lot with very little financial expense. Please give serious thought to the changes in the world that are just occurring and in which we can play a role. Does this suggest a gift to support our Living Earth Movement? To me, it does.