ACTION ALERT: No US War with China

May 11th, 2020 - by Pivot to Peace

ACTION: Sign on to our Mission Statement

We are concerned Americans from all walks of life who have come together in opposition to the dramatically increasing drive toward confrontation between the United States and China. We have launched a new effort called Pivot to Peace to educate and mobilize public opinion about the benefits of a policy that facilitates cooperation and mutual respect between the United States and China.

ACTION ALERT: No US War with China

Mike Wong / Pivot to Peace

 (May 8, 2020) — I’m part of a new campaign called Pivot To Peace, which is advocating a pivot away from conflict and war with China, and urging peace and cooperation between the United States and China instead. Here is our new website:

You can read our mission statement below and our list of current endorsers. I’m also pasting our mission statement below. Our endorsers include prominent leaders from both the peace/progressive community as well as the Chinese community. This is a unique collaboration between the two communities, something that I feel very privileged to be part of. If you click on “Articles” at the top, you’ll see some of our articles about the US/China issue — the article on Covid-19 may be of immediate interest.

Our endorsers include: author Maxine Hong Kingston, filmmakers Oliver Stone and John Pilger, activists Col. Ann Wright, Bill Ayers (of Weathermen fame), Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein, CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin, Bernardine Dohrn (of Weathermen fame), and Camilo Mejia.

Chinese community leaders include Julie Tang, co-chair of the “Comfort Women” Justice Coalition and retired SF judge, Eric Mar, former SF county supervisor and current professor of Asian Studies at SFSU, Mel Lee, Board President of Chinese Hospital, Ding Bong Lee, President of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (The Six Companies), Ling Chi Wang, Retired Chair of UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Department, Henry Der, former Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, and others. Leaders from other communities include Reverend Amos Brown, President of San Francisco NAACP and Pastor of Third Baptist Church, Rita Semel, Founder of the San Francisco Interfaith Council, Karen Korematsu of the Fred Korematsu Institute, and others. Please see the website for the complete list.

Note that our endorsers include leaders from both the progressive side of the Chinese community as well as endorsers from the more traditional/conservative side of the community. But what we all share in common is the remembrance of the devastation of past wars in China and Asia — and an intense desire not to see that happen again.

This is a very dangerous moment in time, when the American war drums are beating harder and harder, and I personally hear many voices in both the peace and the Chinese communities telling me that they are afraid. 

We invite everyone who agrees with our goals to sign as an endorser and to pass this message on.

Please join us. In peace, Mike Wong, Pivot to Peace 

Mission Statement

We are concerned Americans from all walks of life who have come together in opposition to the dramatically increasing drive toward confrontation between the United States and China.

We have witnessed a profoundly disturbing reorientation of US military and foreign policy that identifies China as a competitor and adversary. The new military doctrine of the Pentagon has prioritized preparation for “major power conflict” in the coming years.

This dangerous reorientation has impacted consciousness in the United States on many levels such that a palpable feeling of fear, animosity and even hatred has been generated not only toward the People’s Republic of China but toward Chinese people in general, Chinese-American citizens and other Asian peoples in the United States.

The so-called Pivot to Asia, which was announced in 2011, has developed into a pivot toward war and confrontation.

We have created the Pivot to Peace to insist that the government and mass media turn away from the anti-China Cold War. This new Cold War has taken on a life of its’ own. It needs to end.

We have launched a new effort called Pivot to Peace to educate and mobilize public opinion about the benefits of a policy that facilitates cooperation and mutual respect between the United States and China.

Pivot to Peace is a coalition of Americans, ranging from military veterans, public sector workers, professors, healthcare professionals, public officials, legal professionals and others who are concerned about the future of relations between our country and China.

We reject the escalation towards global conflict and instead urge peace and cooperation with China. We believe in the fair and open communication of information about China, its economic, social, and political affairs, free of the biases and distortions, which dominate much of mainstream media in the United States.

We support the frank exchange of views based on facts and evidence, rather than fear mongering and the revival of old racist stereotypes and Cold War political bugbears. We want to build support for peace and prosperity and a shared future of mutually beneficial development for both the American and Chinese people.

We believe that friendship and engagement between our countries is the better path towards that future.

Major Power Conflict: A Road to Nowhere — We Shouldn’t Take It

Why We Reject the Doctrine/Policy of Major Power Conflict With China

Pivot to Peace

(May 7, 2020) — America’s military posture towards China has become one of outright hostility and confrontation. Our government has been pursuing a strategy of encirclement and containment, provocatively challenging China’s sovereignty and integrity.

According to Secretary of Defense Mike Esper, in a speech referring to China, “The United States network of alliances and partnerships provides us an asymmetric strategic edge that our adversaries cannot match.” The Pentagon openly refers to its preparations for “major power conflict” in East Asia. These dramatic statements are both instances of a new aggressive mentality in Washington, and reflections of deeper American ambitions for power and dominance in Asia.

The seemingly debate-free adoption of a doctrine that prepares for “major power conflict” is a clear indicator that the new policy and doctrine need to be urgently and publicly challenged by people who believe in peace as a top priority. Otherwise the preparation for major power conflict will become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

This is not acceptable. Major power conflict must be avoided. Promoting and working toward peace should be the top priority — not later but right now! We, in the Pivot to Peace, first insist that there must be a full scale nationwide debate over a policy/doctrine that leads to the potentiality of a third world war.

The core assumptions in the major power conflict doctrine/policy are artificially constructed to manufacture consent for a policy of full spectrum confrontation with China. These assumptions are factually wrong, misleading, racist and camouflage a foundational premise that the United States must act as global hegemon.

Background to the Recent Pivot to Asia

 Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries the United States pursued its economic and political interests across the Pacific Ocean, seeking to profit from the rich trade with China and to establish itself as a power in the East Asian region.

As America assumed a role as global hegemon after World War II, East Asia became one of the areas within which it sought to maximize the profits of US businesses and to dominate the development of local economies. All of this took place under the umbrella of American military power, from the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1895 to the atomic bombing of Japan in World War II to the War in Vietnam and beyond.

As the 21st century dawned, the United States faced a changing world. Its place as the leading player in the global economy was eroding, and other nations, from Europe and Latin America to Asia, were less willing to follow in American footsteps. China’s emergence as a dynamic economic engine provided alternative models and sources of investment for development for poorer countries around the world. Business and political elites in the United States feared the waning of American domination of Asia most keenly.

In 2009, Barack Obama took office and declared himself the “first Pacific president” who would focus much of his foreign policy on Asia. In November 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton published an article in the elite journal Foreign Policy entitled “America’s Pacific Century” outlining what became known as the “Pivot to Asia” — a greatly increased program of military and diplomatic activity aimed at containing the peaceful rise of the People’s Republic of China and maintaining, even expanding, American hegemony in Asia.

Sixty percent of US war capacity was shifted into the Pacific.

Under the Trump administration, an ever-growing hostility towards China has been embraced by politicians and pundits across the liberal-conservative spectrum. Fear of, and antagonism towards China have been promoted by Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi as well as by Republicans like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

This bipartisan posture has been manifested across a wide range of issues, from provocative naval confrontations in the South China Sea, to the ongoing trade war, blatant interference in China’s internal affairs in Hong Kong, the censorship and repression of Confucius Institutes across America and, most recently, the racist anti-China blame game about the Covid-19 crisis.

The dominant position that has emerged in the summits of the US foreign policy and military establishment is that China is a new enemy state and that confrontation is the only path forward. That China’s rise out of under-development and poverty poses an existential threat to the United States and its influence as the world leader.

Any argument by China that its rise can be a win-win formula — rather than a zero-sum game with the United States — is dismissed out of hand as deceptive propaganda. Thus, the apparent consensus within the military and the foreign policy establishment seems intent on thwarting China’s development and its assumption of a responsible role in global affairs, and appears to be willing to use military force to “contain” China in a new effort to hold onto their dwindling control over the world’s wealth and the lives of working people everywhere.

Pivot to Peace Not War

Those who believe in peace are mortified that “responsible leaders” would prepare for major power conflict. Thus, we are compelled to act. The first step must be to bring public awareness to the utter folly of this new un-debated policy/doctrine that is driving the country and the world toward an avoidable catastrophe.