There are so much valid arguments and so many examples for the U.S. and China to collaborate. Beyond the ‘global warming and climate change’ where the two countries have agreed to work together to reduce pollutions, there is a host of opportunities for the two great powers to collaborate. A few examples are discussed in this column. Our world has been poisoned by the ‘hegemony theory’ for too long; it is time for the world powers to understand ‘world harmony’ (世界大同) and explore collaboration rather than confrontation.
As the Presidential Election Day arrives, President Obama's two terms will draw to an end in a couple of months. What will his legacy be when he leaves the White House? This is a question many political analysts and historians will ponder, since Obama has had a miraculous rise to become the most powerful individual on Earth for the past eight years. In my view, President Obama's greatest achievement, which will be his legacy, is his effort dealing with 'Global Warming and Climate Change'. The fact that he had met with the Chinese leader , Xi Jinping, and successfully collaborated with China to mutually commit to a significant reduction in environmental pollution in the coming decades is the most positive accomplishment for the Obama Presidency. This effort induces the world to follow as evidenced by the ratification of the Paris Climate Change agreement by both the United States and China announced at the G20 summit in September 2016 which no doubt will lead the world to pay attention to environment thus benefiting the Earth and all its inhabitants.
The benefit of US-China collaboration is tremendous as we all can see in thehandling of the 'Climate Change' issue. But where and what else can US-China collaborate for mutual benefits and world welfare? Amid much China bashing, American citizens seem to be brain washed that there is no way to collaborate with China other than target her as an enemy. The hostile rhetorics towards China uttered by the two Presidential candidates, Trump and Clinton, in their campaign speeches are especially disappointing and misleading. On the above title question, I see an American phenomenon of burying our heads in the sand. People use outdated arguments and ignore the facts in assessing China; not only being inaccurate but also leaning towards blaming China for our domestic setbacks such as losing competitiveness in our manufacturing industry and even in research and innovation. A recent set of documentary films shown in Discovery Channel, entitled, Smart China (Exec Producer, Kyle Murdoch, Producer, Verity Mackintosh, Director, Robin Singleton and Presenter, Josh Klein, in youtube:
clearly depicted a correct impression we Americans should have, that is, the real challenge to the U.S. is how we may revitalize our industrial power by collaborating with China and treating China as a giant market place with talented people, manufacturers and consumers, rather than targeting China as an enemy.
Where and what can the United States and China collaborate then? If we lift our heads up from burying in the sand, we can see that there are plenty of areas and specific projects we can work together for mutual benefits and for world prosperity. Let me list a few categories below and focus one or two domains for more detailed discussion:
(I) Terrorist Threat: No doubt the Islamic terrorism has become a global imminent threatening which drives hundreds of thousands of refugees running away from their home countries in the Middle East to Europe, America and elsewhere. China has a significant population of Muslims and years of experience in accommodating Muslims as Chinese citizens under China’s constitution. Naturally, China is very much concerned with the current ‘terrorists problem’. From world peace and a long term point of view, it makes great sense for the U.S., China, and the EU leading countries to work together to deal with this issue.
(II) Maritime Pirating: It is amazing with today’s advanced maritime technologies, we still see pirates capturing commercial ships in the open sea. The U.S. has the most powerful navy in the world; why isn’t the U.S. making demands and providing protection on freedom and safety of navigation in the open sea? This is an action China and many Asian countries would appreciate more than seeing the US Navy conducting military exercises in the Asia pacific. The recent outcry of the Philippines’ new President preferring focusing on domestic economic development to foreign military alliances should make us rethink our Asia policy. More than 60% of China’s trades depend on safe sea lane transportation. The U.S. Navy can easily lead a global maritime alliance to eliminate pirates and maintain ocean safety.
(III) Developing Countries: China is emerging to become a developed country. She has decades of experience in trying to lift her out of the developing country status. There are so many countries needing help to develop their economy. This is an area that the U.S. and China can perfectly collaborate to promote world prosperity and obtain mutual benefits as well. Opening dialogue and collaborate will produce many win-win projects on Asia, Africa and South America.
(IV) Anti-Drug War: In a 2013 study, it is reported that an estimated of 24.6 million Americans above age 12 were current illicit drug users which is an increase of 9.4% over previous year. The actual number of drug addicts in China is not known; estimates suggest that it is between 2.3 and 20 million people. This may seem like a very small number when compared to China’s population, but because of how fast drug abuse has risen, China may surpass other countries that currently have the most drug abusers. Both China and the U.S. are drug transit (and money laundry) regions and huge drug abuse market places. If the U.S. and China could collaborate in prevention, education, eradication, interdiction, rehabilitation, treatment and law enforcement, the positive effects will be tremendous.
(V) Science Research and Space Exploration: The above mentioned Discovery Channel video offers convincing arguments that the U.S. and China should collaborate. On space exploration, the U.S. adopted the policy of excluding China when the International Space Station was launched in 1998 as a seven nation joint project. China was forced to go it alone in space research. Less than two decades, China just demonstrated her capability of launching a space station of her own and the launching of manned spacecraft. In the past month, China has launched her Tiangong 2 space lab and this month she demonstrated a successful docking of a manned spacecraft Shenzhou 11 (2 astronauts, a man and a woman) with the space station Tiangong 2. The EU space research organizations have expressed interest in collaborating with China, unfortunately there may be some system incompatibility issue. After witnessing China’s achievement, even a layman can conclude that collaboration between the U.S. and China in space exploration will be beneficial to mankind.
The above is just a few examples of a host of opportunities for the two great powers to collaborate. The world has been poisoned by the ‘hegemony theory’ for too long; it is time for the world powers to understand ‘world harmony’(世界大同) and explore collaboration rather than confrontation!