(June 14, 2011) Last week I had the pleasure of participating in a public forum hosted by the Common Ground Committee in Darien CT. You can watch a video of the forum at the Common Ground Committee’s website.
The thesis of the forum is to explore a controversial topic and look for common ground–areas where both sides can agree–to use as a basis for building a solution. Our topic was China: Threat or Opportunity?The forum was moderated by John Yemma, editor of the Christian Science Monitor, where I ran an op-ed on the subject ahead of the meeting. The combatants were Henry Tang, Alan Tonelson, Peter Ford, and myself, with Kraft Bell facilitating the event.
The answer, of course is yes; China is both a threat and an opportunity from the viewpoint of the US. People are finally realizing that China is big and growing fast. People here know very little about China because most Americans do not travel there and because we still have a cold war image of China in our heads–grey jackets, bicycles, red books. Trust me; that image is no longer true of China.
China will overtake the US in GDP within 5-10 years. China and the US will soon be the only two elephants left in the room. We simply must expend the energy to get to know each other because conflict between the two elephants would be unthinkable. I am convinced that the security and prosperity of my children’s and grandchildren’s lives depends more on the relationship between the US and China than any other question.
I hope you enjoy the video.