Even a layman in the United States and China can sense that the U.S.-China relationship is heading towards a treacherous direction. The mass media of each nation have been energized to crank out “ideological*” rhetoric laced in news and publications in all sort of media, newspapers, movies, television, radios and books. Fortunately, this phenomenon has not yet bloomed to be overwhelming like fascism happened prior to WW II. There are many sane souls in the U.S. and China expressing their sincere concern and honest expression warning the extreme hawkish fear-China and Anti-China Americans and the over-reactionary fear-US and anti-US Chinese citizens.
(*truth is there are no clear ideological differences in freedom to hold a job, to speak, to travel and to cumulate wealth and laws to maintain society order; the difference highlighted by the rhetoric is the governing system, democratic vs authoritarian government. Neither are perfect and both need improvement; it’s a trade off between magnitude of liberalism versus degree of government efficiency and law and order. Actually, there is a common ideology: that is each nation wants her citizens to live better tomorrow.)
However, the momentum of media is scary, especially when one begins to observe and to be influenced by fake news, exaggerated reporting and ultimately brain washing driven by false “ideology”. We citizens must speak up and dispel such a curse.
No one can honestly deny that the U.S. and China want their citizens to have better living conditions than their elder generations. The question is how does each government develops a plan to accomplish that goal (how are the 300 million Americans and 1400 million Chinese being prioritized in their respective national plan) and whether the obstacle of the goal is really hindered by the plan of the other country? The U.S. has been the De-Facto world leader for decades in the past century. The U.S. is a developed country with a large middle class in her population. The U.S. government is basically concerned with China’s fast economic rise upsetting the world order (which was managed by the U.S. ) and impacting her economic growth (at a lower rate than China's). Whereas China is a partly developed and partly developing country with still a large population (comparable to US population) living in poverty. China is compelled to keep a high GDP growth (above 6%) development plan in order to lift all her citizens above poverty line.
The U.S. has faced competition in the last century (Japan and Western European nations) and managed successfully to maintain her economic growth and kept her number one economy position in the world. Japan and Germany are smaller country than the U.S. but China is a large country with more than four times of US population. Hence, when China is keeping her fast economic growth rate, her absolute size of economy is approaching the size of the US economy threatening her number one position. However, the ranking of the size of economy (GDP) is not really a significant index; the GDP per capita is a far more meaningful measure of citizen’s living condition. For 2019, China’s GDP per capita is $10098 and U.S. $65111, a more than six fold difference. Therefore, it is not surprising that China wants to maintain her 6+% economic growth in order to fulfill her goal to bring more people out of poverty and into middle class. But what it is surprising is that the U.S. would Choose (using all means) to suppress China’s economic growth, thus initiating trade war, technology suppression, investment sanction and diplomatic and military maneuver to suffocate China’s rise.
Trump won the presidential election on his campaign slogan to make America great again giving him a mandate to revive the vigor of US economy and rejuvenate the U.S. infrastructure, however, blaming the U.S. economic problems on China is not fully justified and any measure for suppressing China's development offers no assurance of helping the U.S. economy. In fact, the trade and technology wars already showed a lose-lose effect making the global economy vulnerable. With negative measures such as sanction and tariffs, it only stimulates China to take measure to be more independent of the U.S. than keeping a symbiotic relation with American industries. Even if the U.S. succeeded in crashing China’s economy (17% of world economy), it would impact the global economy as well, ultimately hurt the U.S. If China managed to survive the economic confrontation, it would certainly help China to be more self-sufficient and make the U.S. more vulnerable on low-tech merchandise which depends strongly on Chinese manufacturers and/or her supply chain.
The current China policy, be it trade war, bashing China, or forming anti-China alliance has not shown any obvious benefits. Many China experts, including economists, have argued that the previous “engagement” China policy, the U.S. had adopted since her recognition of the People’s Republic China, is by and large a successful policy, not only having made China to embrace Western capitalism and some American values, defeated the Soviet Union and lifted China’s economy with her hundreds of millions citizens living above the poverty line. China’s rise in turn has stimulated global economy, which can be seen in Asia, Africa and South America, and has provided the U.S. low-cost household merchandise. Just the Chinese tourists alone have benefitted the world when hundreds of million of Chinese could afford to travel. Therefore, I urge the U.S. to immediately revise her somewhat 'hostile” China policy. To help leading mass media into such a discussion, I shall present a simple conceptual model, called ACE-ACE model to produce Win-Win results for the U.S. and China.
The model is based on the observation that engagement and collaboration have produced better results for the U.S. and China than pressing conflicts and confrontation. The facts show that trade, technology and space wars do not produce absolute single winner, more likely they waste more global natural and human resources affecting global development. The ACE-ACE Strategy is basically avoiding wasting energy (negative) and channel positive energy to produce double win (Win-Win). If both countries could take up an ACE as a strategic program or method to aim to win, the ultimate result would be Win-Win.
Then, what is the ACE strategic method? Actually, it is quite simple; ACE Methods are positive energy programs stimulating each other even when competing. An ACE method is guided by three strategic alphabets, A, C and E, producing positive effects. The ACE program tool-box contains a bunch of 'positive' action words as following examples: A (Adapt, Analyze, Assess, Adjust and Agree), C (Collaborate, Compete, Compromise, Cooperate and Congratulate) and E (Emulate, Engage, Equalize, Evaluate and Excel). An ACE Strategic Method is simply picking three action words (with the attitude of producing positive result) out of the ACE tool-box. Following the above example, the tool-box can yield a total of 125 (5x5x5) strategic methods to be applied to deal with all aspects of U.S. - China Relations: culture, commerce (trade), currency, diplomacy (foreign affairs), economy (debt, growth, finance, investment, ...), education, environment (infrastructure, climate, transportation, ...), military, social (healthcare etc), technology (science, industry, space, ...).
Take the trade issue, if the U.S. Picked ACE (Analyze, Compete, Equalize) (rather than tariff and sanction), China would pick ACE (Agree, Compromise, Engage), then a positive Win-Win is likely the result. Take the current 5G technology issue, China apparently picked ACE (Adapt, Compete, Excel). If the U.S. Would pick ACE (Adjust, Collaborate, Emulate) rather than (sanction), again a positive Win-Win would most likely occur. Even if both picked ACE (Assess, Compete, Equalize), healthy competition would still yield positive results. These oversimplified illustrations here are not jokes but offer a profound philosophy for two great nations to use ACE-ACE to develop positive Win-Win policies instead of falling in the Thucydides trap leading to war and mutual destruction!