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Open letter to US leaders presents 'rational voice' [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2019-7-4 15:12:51 |Display all floors

US efforts to treat China as an enemy and decouple it from the global economy will damage the United States' international role and reputation, and undermine the economic interests of all nations, a group opposed to the US administration's approach said in an open letter to President Donald Trump and members of the Congress, which was published on Wednesday.

The letter by 100 leading members of US scholarly, foreign policy, military and business community leaders appeared in The Washington Post several days after Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders Summit in Japan on Saturday.

It said the size and diversity of its signatures indicated "there is no single Washington consensus endorsing an overall adversarial stance toward China, as some believe exists".

Its writers, including Stapleton Roy, a distinguished scholar at the Wilson Center and a former US ambassador to China, and Ezra Vogel, a professor emeritus at Harvard University, said they were "deeply concerned" about the growing deterioration in US relations with China, which they believe does not serve American or global interests.

They presented what they believe would be "the best American response" or "a wiser policy" to the problems in the US approach to challenges from China. They said the current approach to China is "fundamentally counterproductive".

The letter came at a time when there is a ramping up of narrative in Washington and on Capitol Hill, clamoring for "strategic rivalry" with China and for the "decoupling" of the two countries and even a "new Cold War".

Drawing their experience and expertise in professional careers focused on Asia, these largely China experts said in the letter that they do not believe Beijing is an economic enemy or an existential national security threat that must be confronted in every sphere, and Washington cannot significantly slow Beijing's rise without damaging itself.

They also said the fear that China will replace the US as the global leader is exaggerated, adding that it is not clear that Beijing itself sees this goal as necessary or feasible.

The letter claimed Beijing is "seeking to weaken" the Western role within the global order, but it is not seeking to overturn vital economic and other components of that order from which China itself has benefited for decades.

"Indeed, China's engagement in the international system is essential to the system's survival and to effective action on common problems, such as climate change," it said.

It proposed that the United States should encourage Chinese participation in new or modified global regimes in which rising powers have a greater voice. "A zero-sum approach to China's role would only encourage Beijing to either disengage from the system or sponsor a divided global order that would be damaging to Western interests," it said.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, in commenting on a draft of the open letter that was reported by the media a few days ago, said Beijing commended "the rational voice" expressed in the letter.

The most important consensus reached during the meeting between Xi and Trump in Japan is to advance China-US relations featuring coordination, cooperation and stability, Geng said on Monday.

He said China and the US should avoid "the pitfall of conflict and confrontation" and seek mutually reinforced and shared development.

One of the authors of the open letter, Michael D. Swaine, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said on Twitter on Wednesday, "100 signatures of leading former USG officials, policy analysts, scholars, and some (but not enuf) business n military people. To me, this is proof positive that there is no consensus behind the extreme policy stances toward CN now evident in DC. PLS RT!"

As it turned out, the letter has been re-tweeted by many Twitter users. John Furlan, who identifies himself as an ex-fund manager and ex-tech stock analyst, tweeted: "Open letter much-needed response to toxic discussion about China."

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Post time 2019-7-4 15:34:54 |Display all floors
Trump is a deaf poisonous snake. He listens to nobody not within his own waveband of hate, racist and bigotry mindsets.
It will be to China's pain and sorrow to trust this lunatic Trump.

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Post time 2019-7-4 17:22:47 |Display all floors
Kbay Post time: 2019-7-4 15:34
Trump is a deaf poisonous snake. He listens to nobody not within his own waveband of hate, racist an ...

In fact, he is a low IQ/ no EQ person. Worst than a moron.

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Post time 2019-7-5 10:27:48 |Display all floors
Until recently, the US was one of the world's most dependable grain baskets.

Yet it is wildly sparking a trade war that is hurting its own grain production in an attempt at dialling back globalization when agricultural production has been globalized precisely to tackle the Malthusian pressures of global population growth and thus food needs that have been shaving off more and more the marginal returns of resource utilization which is further complicated by this century's vagaries of climate change on food production cycles which he has further chosen to ignore.

Starting and running a farm is a long-term venture requiring fastidious commitment, heavy investments, huge debt carriage and favorable growth factors. The US has been particularly blessed with ample fertile land and, until lately, clement weather for agriculture.  

Billions have also been invested to build a nation-wide agri-infrastructure that is efficient for harvesting, transport and storage of such perishables, again to precisely cater for the uniquely irreplaceable and limitless size of the China agricultural demand market, whether plant-based as in soybeans, wheat, vegetables and fruits, or poultry-based as in hogs and beef.

The US farm delegates visiting Beijing know this. They know the true meaning of economies of scale upon which hinge the viability of their long-term investment.

Furthermore, it is virtually impossible to replant in the present commercial situation because plants need time to grow, time is needed to find other but non-existent markets for the same size of the market, and time is also needed to find new markets for other types of plants harvested which however can never equal the size of China's market.

That time factor is however longer than the repossession notice time given by the banks which had doled out the loans that had enabled the farms to be set up, now in a retro of the Great Recession of the 30s.

The US agricultural sector is therefore now at risk of being bankrupted as a result of US' unilateral trade and technology attacks on China that was prompted only by a geopolitical concern brewed in the xenophobic minds of a few anti-China fanatics in bi-partisan US.  

Furthermore, no amount of subsidies by Trump's government to his farmers will be a substitute for their huge losses indirectly resulting from his madcap tariff attempt at leveraging trade gains which furthermore have not even materialized today but are instead hurting the majority lower income non-farmer groups in the US as well.

As an inkling of the failure of those policies, the US steel and aluminium mills are not harvesting any noticeable gains and their worker employments have also been at greater living costs to US consumers including the workers themselves.

On this issue of agricultural impact, they have all forgotten to see more clearly the US is about to lose its primacy as a global food producer as an indirect effect of its madcap approach to trade and technology made all the more critical because of climate change and a global shift in food requirements from plant-base to protein-base.

Agriculture is a critical resource because no government will want to be externally threatened on food supply. Food independence is a mainstay mandate of any country. Globalization has been solving it for the majority of nations which do not have the blessings of natural resources for food production.

The US destroying its own food production base will destroy and destabilize the populations of the world and disrupt to no one's gain the world's agricultural supply chain.  

China is reluctant to see the US go down that road because she has thought of the world first. She has created the demand for US as a source in order to bolster US food production.

But now that Trump wants to play rough, she has no choice but to seek out other sources. Although Bolsanero's ego gets in his way, Brazil has become a major soybean exporter; Russia's vast hinterland is being worked for soybean farming; there will be others in win-win, help-up, modes.

Once those are fully maximized, the US will permanently lose its China agricultural market and thus a major, in fact, sole income source for US workers who happen to be farmers who happen to be the salt of the earth.

Which means the US as a role player in averting global food crises will be deranked by its own deranged international policies.

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Post time 2019-7-5 10:43:08 |Display all floors
MichaelM Post time: 2019-7-4 17:22
In fact, he is a low IQ/ no EQ person. Worst than a moron.

Hope he is a one-term president!  It would be a disaster for the world if he got re-elected through some quirk in the election process!

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Post time 2019-7-5 10:44:43 |Display all floors
Trump is deaf except to those like-minded morons surrounding him!

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Post time 2019-7-5 11:08:42 |Display all floors
From the very outset, Trump and his ilk made the silliest, gravest mistake of the decision-making process. The basic principle of any decision-making is this: think twice and harder before you try to make a decision which can easily turn out to be irreversible.

The question before us now is whether what he has done is truly reversible.... whether he can re-normalize and reset an intangible called international relations which encompasses more than trade, technology and talent.

By the looks of it, he had made an utterly unwise and juvenile decision to label China a strategic rival.

He must have known he has made a horrendous mistake because he is now saying China can be a strategic partner.

His first decision was unwise and juvenile decision because once the first label was tabbed, it went into his US congressional emotion-wrought domain of uncritical rival targeting not based on extensive examination of facts drilled down to deep levels, furthermore excused on some unsubstantiable and ludicrous reason of national security threat.

For example, one asks when he cancelled the US tariff on Canadian steel, what happened to the threat to US national security that was the reason given to tariff Canadian steel in the first place?  Is he now saying the Trudeau he had lambasted is better than President Xi his good friend?  One must be reminded to check again the meaning of friendship these days.

If he had instead from the very beginning and before his tariffs-sanctions concoction said China can be a strategic partner, then saying so would have straightaway opened new vistas of opportunities for bilateral cooperation at such high levels later generations of diplomats would have fought one another to see who could praise him higher. Instead it is now open hunting season on US presidential carnival ducks. Forget about the Nobel peace prize.

His US can still try to redial and reset to status quo the original arrangement and then work more civilly and creatively with China to set a new bar of achievement in bilateral understanding before relations before cooperation. But that would mean his group of anti-China hawks would have to first take a real course in China 101, not the snake-oil peddling salesmanship of Rubio, Schumer, Pompeo, Pence, Bolton, Bannon, Navarro, Kudlow, Pillsbury, Ross, Lighthizer, Banks, Warren, Gingrich et al.  

For instance, what real credentials on China does Bannon possess that makes him the king of anti-China tirades and Rubio the architect of IP de-legislation? Do they even know the poisonous global impacts of what they are trying to sell down the throats of more rational and learned humans?

Perhaps those who had attached their signatures in that open letter to his administration to ask for a more US rational voice can help. Because in the corridors of power and media in Washington, it seems the anti-China lobby has been working itself hoarse trying to defend the indefensible, mythicize the unmythizable, cook the uncookable, deliver the undeliverable. Those hawks should task themselves with better and more honest jobs instead.

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