In this publication, we offer the first Crosstalk Forum to promote more open and closer dialogues between the people of America and China at the grassroots level. Please read: 1) “Crosstalk with Dr. Thomas P. M. Barnett, Author of Great Powers: America and the World After Bush—with guest Dr. Thomas P. M. Barnett and host Dr. Sheng-Wei Wang”; and 2) “10 Comments by Experts and Readers on ‘Crosstalk with Dr. Thomas P. M. Barnett, Author of Great Powers: America and the World After Bush’” by Tze-chung, Li Edward MacLean, Peter Chung Chieh, Yi-Cheng Chang, George Koo, Michael Levy and several anonymous readers.
In the Photo Section, again, we thank Michel A. Van Hove for taking many nice photos of the Flower Market in Hong Kong during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration.
From Flora Decker
From Randall Eaton
From the Editor
Thank you, Flora and Randall, for your support!
From Professor Tze-chung Li
Dr. Chieh’s article on General Sun is very interesting.
When General Sun was arrested, I was working as Section Chief of the Legal Department at the Ministry of Defense. He was tried and sentenced. A brief report of General Sun’s case was distributed confidentially to all senior officers at the Ministry of Defense. I had an opportunity to read it.
According to the report, General Sun’s arrest was due to his 兵諫 (soldier’s remonstrance to mutiny in order to bring a sovereign around to a certain idea). Also, it was alleged that General Chase, Head of MAAG, was involved. Shortly after Sun’s arrest, General Chase returned to the U.S.
Why General Sun resorted to 兵諫and how he was later arrested and tried (not by military court), I don’t know. I expect that Dr. Chieh would have told us something.
I met General Sun several times. He was always wearing boots and impressed me as a very disciplined soldier.
I represented my boss to attend the monthly staff meeting chaired by General Chih-Jou Chou (周至柔), then the General Chief of Staff. I never saw General Sun attending. The rumor was that General Sun and General Chou did not get along well.
From the Editor
Thank you for your comments and your interesting experience. I’ll ask Dr. Chieh about the question you raised.
From Professor Chung Chieh
The reader certainly has a connection with senior officers.
In 1956 and perhaps later, the so-called government distributed a small pamphlet to officers with the title higher than major general. After a certain period of time, maybe a few months, all booklets had to be returned. It was a classified (secret) booklet. I never had the privilege to read it. Some people did tell me the booklet lied. The booklet was meant to tell high ranking officers not to make any foolish move.
Indeed, Gen. Sun did not like Chih-Jou Chou (Zhiyou Zhou). I was told that Chou sometimes opened the door of the sedan for Gen. Sun. And yet, Chou was one of those who carried out some of the actions against Sun.
Sun was never ARRESTED. He came back from meeting Chen Cheng, and then was
told not to go anywhere without permission. He was never tried. He was never sentenced. His house arrest was the result of Chiang's instruction in Chinese "Jiao GuoFangBo ChaKan, Yi Guang Houxiao (Hand over to the Defense Department, and hope that things get better later). There was no change for 33 years until 1988. I played an important part in getting him free. Most people in the society knew Sun was innocent.
From Stanton Jue
Dr. Koo's piece is a thinking man's analysis, describing the complexity as well the importance of the Sino-American relationship. China and the US do have common but not identical interests, priorities, approaches, and cost-benefit calculations. To meet the many challenges, he suggests a number of ways in which this relationship could be further strengthened and enhanced. I only wish Obama and his advisors will read and consider Dr. Koo's views. Given the enormity of the critical issues facing his new administration, I doubt very much China will receive the urgent, priority attention it deserves.
From the Editor
Obama’s utmost task is to rescue the American economy and restore international financial order. However, if he solely relies on printing more U.S. dollars or issuing more Treasury Bills without forming a long-term strategic partnership with China, the world’s largest holder of foreign reserves and U.S. Treasury bills, he may soon discover that he is losing his foot. As Dr. Koo has proposed, China can work with the U.S. on many fronts. Without China working as the other pillar, the worst scenario is: Obama may end up in a worse situation than George W. Bush since he has inherited from his predecessor a huge crisis, which can only be resolved with international efforts: China would be a great helper.
From an Anonymous Reader
#1 If a market is not based on the choices of suppliers and producers, it then is manipulated by those who enforce their vision of what markets should be based on, the manipulator's preferences and their vision of morality. Since the vision is usually altruistic, the need supersedes justice and waste inevitably results. What gives anyone the audacity that because they can point a gun they can exercise better judgment? It can only be the sanction of an altruistic morality that in fact abandons reason in favor of feigned compassion. Date: 2008-9-1
#2 During the Olympics there was a story about 2 elderly women who were threatened with jail for protesting their eviction from their homes. What happened to them? Date: 2008-11-3
From the Editor
#1 The current world-wide financial crisis makes us see more clearly that the free market is not the solution for everything; sometimes it works just the opposite way. A market without supervision and law enforcement can become a wild jungle for greed and ruthless exploitation.
#2 From what I read, the two ladies were sent to a Re-education Camp for a few months. The Chinese government thought that they made China lose face. We do not know much about what had happened before their protest.
Economic integration and prosperity will liberalize the Chinese society more when its GDP per capita reaches US$5,000 to 10,000. Already, the Chinese people now enjoy a lot more freedom and human rights than the earlier generations. Of course, it is still far from perfection. It took the U.S. almost 150 to 200 years to give equal rights to women and African Americans.