Campaign to Promote Peace Between the United States and China

Under the sponsorship of the Coalition Peace Initiative (CPI):, we recently (from 9/22/2021 to 11/17/2021) completed a series of 9 webinars “To Promote Peace Between the United States and China”. Reference [1] provides more information on the details (such as speakers, topics, and co-sponsors) of this 9-part webinar program. Reference 2 on the topic “China Is Not United States’ Enemy” is the crux of this webinar series.

This article summarizes the main points presented in this 9 webinar program.

We believe that the most important question facing the world today is Whether our world is moving toward war or peace.” Since the U.S. and China are the two most important and most powerful countries in the world today, the relationship between the U.S. and China is key to the question “are we moving toward war or peace”? Let’s see what has been happening in the world?  Almost every day, we hear in mass media reports about all kinds of accusations against China, with respect to Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea, Diaoyu Islands, Covid-19, etc. At the same time, we also hear all kinds of pronouncements from the U.S. government reiterating all these accusations. Unfortunately, almost all these accusations are essentially false, not based on truth, but on fabrications.

But there are serious implications for these fabricated accusations, especially when they are repeated over and over, many people will believe them and they will buy into this demonization of China.  This increases the tension between the U.S. and China, and will result in serious consequences:

For Chinese Americans: Creates hate crimes against Chinese Americans, and more generally speaking against Asian Americans, as we have clearly seen this past year. It leads to fabricated espionage charges against Chinese Americans, as we have also clearly seen this past year.

For Americans in general: Critical funding will be diverted to the military to meet the fabricated tension, instead of spending on improving our economy, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, fight climate change, fight against the pandemic, improve racial harmony, fight against terrorism and war.

For citizens of the world: Again, critical resources will be diverted to military and war, instead of using such resources to work on global problems like hunger, illiteracy, infant fatality, climate change, terrorism, job creation, and peace.

To understand modern U.S.-China relationship, we need to understand the historical relationship between U.S. and China, and the evolution of that relationship, and how the world has changed during the last 50 years or so.

To understand the historical development of U.S.-China relationship, we also need to understand how China was treated by the foreign powers, including the U.S. Therefore, we need to discuss modern Chinese history, in particular, starting with the 19th century.

How China is treated by the U.S. is very much related to how Chinese Americans are treated in the U.S.  That is why we also need to discuss the experience of Chinese Americans in the U.S.

That was why the three major topics for this webinar program were chosen to be:

  • Modern Chinese History
  • Chinese American Experience in the U.S.
  • History of U.S.-China Relationship

We now summarize the main points discussed during this webinar program on each of these three topics.

Main Points on the topic “Modern Chinese History”: For the discussion of U.S.-China relationship, we need to discuss modern Chinese history starting with the 19th century, which was a period of unequal treaties that China experienced with almost all of the world’s major powers. The most well known is the unequal treaties with Great Britain starting with the end of the First Opium War (1839-1842) when China was forced to open up a lot of ports to Great Britain, besides paying a large amount of money, and when Hong Kong became a colony of Great Britain. What is not well known is that even though the U.S. was never a war adversary of China during the Opium Wars, the U.S. also obtained many benefits during the Opium Wars, such as having their own political and legal jurisdiction in many ports in China. It also resulted in many Americans making huge fortunes selling opium in China. These people later became financial and industrial pillars of the U.S and major donors to the Ivy League schools. [3] Near the end of the 19th century the encroachment of Japan in China resulted in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894) which China lost, and had to give a huge sum of money to Japan while at the same time conceding Taiwan to become a colony of Japan.

Then in the 20th century during WWII, China was an ally of the U.S. and kept the majority of the occupied Japanese military on Chinese soils which kept these Japanese troops from making more attacks on U.S. troops in Southeast Asia, as well as on the U.S. mainland, besides the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also near the end of WWII, several major declarations by the Allied powers stated that after Japan is defeated in WWII, Japan must return the island of Taiwan to China. This was so stated in the 1943 Cairo Declaration, the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, and the Japanese Instrument of Surrender signed on the U.S. Battleship Missouri on September 2, 1945. However, in 1951 at the San Francisco Peace Treaty which was orchestrated by the U.S. and supposed to decide on the treatment of Japan as the result of Japan’s defeat in WWII. Neither the Republic of China (ROC) nor the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was even invited to this Peace Conference even though China suffered the most at the hands of the Japanese military during WWII and more than 50 other countries were invited. Contrary to all the previous agreements, the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty did not say that Taiwan should be returned to China, but only stated that Japan should give up Taiwan. This is one of many examples that the U.S. did not acknowledge history and did not follow up on its own agreements, but instead set its own ruled-based order.

Main Points on the topic “Chinese American Experience in the U.S.”: Starting in 1849, a large number (about 24,000) of Chinese workers first came to the U.S. to work on the gold mines. Then from1863-1869, another large number (about 20,000) of Chinese came to help build the first continental railroad. The Chinese workers were instrumental in building the western part of the first continental railroad. Their magnificent contribution is best summarized by Leland Stanford, then governor of California and president of the Central Pacific Railroad, who originally wanted only white workers to work on the transcontinental railroad, said in his report to then President Andrew Johnson: “They were “quiet, peaceable, patient, industrious and economical.” In a stockholder report, Stanford described construction as a “herculean task” and said it had been accomplished thanks to the Chinese, who made up 90% of the Central Pacific Railroad’s labor force. These workers showed their mettle, and sealed their legacy, on the peaks of the rugged Sierra Nevada.” Many thought that Stanford and the Central Pacific Railroad were foolish thinking that it could be done. [4]

However, the Chinese were not even represented at all in the large celebration ceremony in Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869 marking the completion of the First Continental Railroad. This huge oversight of history and display of racial discrimination were not corrected until the May 10, 2019 celebration at the 150 year anniversary of the completion of the First Continental Railroad.

In spite of the great contributions and sacrifices made by the Chinese workers to the development of the United States, the Chinese were discriminated against in every sense of the word, including many massacres. [4] [5] Finally, this led to the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the only law in American history to deny citizenship or entry based on a specific nationality. This law was supposed to last for only 10 years, but it was repeatedly renewed until 1943 when the U.S. and China were allies during WWII.

The discrimination against Chinese Americans continued in the 1950s during the McCarthy era. As a matter of fact, it has never really gone away, and has resurfaced many times, especially prominently with the Vincent Chin murder in 1882, the Wen Ho Lee espionage accusation in 1999, and the recent hate crimes against Chinese Americans, and more generally against Asian Americans in general, as well as a series of arbitrary false espionage charges against many Chinese American professors and researchers.

Main Points on the topic of the “History of U.S.-China Relationship”: As discussed under the topic of modern Chinese history, the U.S. made full use of the unequal treaty treatment of all the foreign powers toward China in the 19th century. So for most of the 19th century, the U.S. took advantage of China’s weakness, and basically exploited China as much as possible.

However, there was a brief period of diplomatic brilliance in the 1860s with the Burlingame Treaty of 1868. Anson Burlingame is unique in diplomatic history. He was appointed by President Lincoln to be the U.S.’s Ambassador to China 1861-1867, and then he was China’s Ambassador to the U.S. and Other Powers 1867-1870. Following Lincoln’s domestic policy of equality of men with the freeing of slaves from the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, Burlingame, together with Secretary of State William Seward, changed the U.S.’s policy toward China from one based on unequal treaties to one based on equality of nations. Arguing that such a policy change in the long term was in the best interest of the U.S., they were successful in persuading the U.S. Senate and President Andrew Johnson to pass the Burlingame Treaty in 1868. If such a policy had continued, we could have a very different world today. In light of the current U.S. government’s hostility policy toward China, the world would definitely benefit from another Anson Burlingame.

However, with the assassination of Lincoln, the early death of Burlingame, and the great change in the political climate in the U.S., the whole reconstruction movement was delayed in the U.S. by about 100 years, so that the emancipated slaves did not make significant gains toward equality until the civil rights movement of the 1950s/1960s. Not only that the Burlingame Treaty was basically repealed in the 1870s, it was then substituted by the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.

The first half of the 20th century was dominated by WWII and the emergence of the People’s Republic of China. As previously discussed, the U.S. did not recognize history or its previous agreements, but instead pursue its own rule-based order. This led to many current flash points between the U.S. and China, such as Taiwan, Diaoyu Islands, South China Sea.

To support its own rule-based order, the U.S. also continues to create fabrications and create unrest and various umbrella movements to try to weaken and de-stablize China. The most obvious examples are Hong Kong and Xinjiang which were discussed in Webinar 6. [6]

The crux of this webinar program is “China Is Not United States’ Enemy.” That last webinar [7] (Webinar 9 on 11/17/2021) provides many specific arguments that the answer should be no to the question “is China the enemy of the U.S.?” See also the program summary remarks at the end of that webinar. [8]

Let’s all work together harder for peace in order that our children and grandchildren will have a livable world to grow up in. We really have no other alternative.


[1] “Educational Webinar Program”:

[2] “China Is Not United States’ Enemy”: You can see the video replay of this 9th and last webinar at:

[3] See, e.g., James Bradley, The China Mirage:  The Hidden History of American Disaster in China, Little Brown and Company, 2015.

[4] Gordon H. Chang, Ghost of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Continental Railroad, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.

[5] Iris Chang, The Chinese in America, Penguin Books, 2003.

[6] See the video reply of Webinar 6 on 10/27/2021: In particular, see the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website for funding they provided to various organizations, such as those fermenting unrest in Hong Kong and Xinjiang:

[7] For the video replay of Webinar 9, see:

[8] “China Is Not United States’ Enemy” The audio podcast of this summary can be found at:, and it can also be found at:

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2 Responses to “Campaign to Promote Peace Between the United States and China”


    Most interesting article/report. I have serious doubts that the minds of most US people would change. However, what can be done is that barriers can be established to drive the white supremacy theorist back, below hearing level. Such barriers have been instituted before.
    Trump made The Irrational become overt by taking advantage of what he knew was already embedded in the American psyche. Further, his having been elected to the Presidency with his prior and subsequent antics – which were permitted – gave him proof positive that he was ‘on the right track’.
    I am reasonably confident that the US & China would find a way to be civilly constructive with peaceful treaties or agreements, at least. As you say, there is no alternative.

  2. Sharon says:

    There have always been haters in our country. Sadly, Covid was just an excuse to increase the hate towards Asian Americans.

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