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Don Tow's Website https://www.dontow.com Tue, 08 Jun 2021 01:47:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 Xinjiang: Horror Story or Historic Transformation? https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/xinjiang-horror-story-or-historic-transformation/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/xinjiang-horror-story-or-historic-transformation/#comments Tue, 01 Jun 2021 04:12:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=7029 In the last few years, especially during the past year, we are constantly being bombarded with horror stories about Xinjiang, the western most province of China. We hear news articles like:

  • The Chinese government is carrying out a genocide program against the Uyghur minority
  • The Chinese government is wiping out the Muslim mosques
  • Millions of Uyghur men and women are put in internment camps
  • Hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs are forced laborers

In other words, the minority people in Xinjiang, the Uyghurs, are living under a genocide program, and are living miserably and without hope. This seems to be the image that we get from reading the news reports about Xinjiang from mainstream Western mass media and from the speeches of Western government leaders.

In this article, we examine these accusations and found that the accusations are mostly false, over generalized, fabricated fake news, and often outright lies. As a matter of fact, the conclusions in these reports are sometimes even contradicted by the data presented. Furthermore, these reports completely ignore or purposely ignore what and how China is transforming the country.

Genocide:

Since a lot of the data used in many of these accusations originated from reports by Adrian Zenz of the Jamestown Foundation in Washington, D.C. and reports from the Australia Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), we will reference their reports. Let’s first discuss the most serious accusation as stated in the conclusion of Ref. 1: the Chinese government is carrying a genocide program to eradicate the Uyghur minority from the Xinjiang Province. First, what is the definition of genocide? The UN defines genocide to mean committing acts with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. Is there any evidence to support such a serious accusation? The answer is a definite no. Ref. 1 talks about a lot of data, but no data was presented that substantiates this conclusion at all.

As a matter of fact, the population data in Xinjiang presented in Ref. 1 contradicts this conclusion. For example, Fig. 3 in Ref. 1 shows that from 2005 to 2015, the Uyghur population in Xinjiang grew about 20%, while the Han population in Xinjiang grew by only about 8%. And Fig. 1 in Ref. 1 shows that from 2010 to 2018, the Uyghur population in Xinjiang grew from about 10.1 millions to about 11.5 millions, or grew by about 14%, while in the same period, the Han population in Xinjiang shrank from about 8.2 millions to about 7.5 millions, or shrank by about 8%! Furthermore, Fig. 1 also shows that consistently starting from 1985, the percentage increase of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang has always been significantly higher than the percentage increase of the Han population in Xinjiang.

In other words, Adrian Zenz’s conclusion of a genocide program being carried out by the Chinese government in Xinjiang is completely fabricated and is so easy to disprove, even by the data he presented. The fact that such accusation has consistently been repeatedly spread, including by our former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as the current Biden administration, leads one to conclude that the only possible explanation is because the U.S. government wants to spread such false accusation, and as a matter of fact, the U.S. government is behind the spreading and perhaps the creation of such fake news.

Wiping Out the Muslim Mosques:

One of the accusations is that a large number (thousands) of Muslim mosques has been destroyed or removed in Xinjiang. [2] Ref. 2 is a September 2020 article in the New York Times that is based on a report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) from satellite images of a randomized sample of 533 known mosque sites in Xinjiang. It is possible that for various reasons that some mosques in Xinjiang are no longer operational. However, it is definitely not true that thousands, or about one-third, of the mosques have been destroyed or removed. This is easily refuted by anyone who has visited Xinjiang, as has been pointed by various observers (Australian, British, Canadian, and American citizens who have lived in China) [3] that there are mosques almost everywhere you go in Xinjiang, and the Uyghur people attend mosque regularly. This is also consistent with our own observation when we went on a two-week visit to Xinjiang in the summer of 2010. It is also important to note that the number of mosques in Xinjiang is over 20,000, which is 10 times more than the number of mosques in the U.S.

Some Historical Facts on the Xinjiang Region:

We want to discuss some historical facts on the Xinjiang region, because they help to understand what is happening in Xinjiang today. It has been long recognized that the resource-rich territory of Central Asia [from the western part of China, to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, southern part of USSR (now Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan), Iran, Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Eastern Europe] is an important part of the world. From the 19th century to early 20th century Central Asia has been a strategic competitive target, e.g, between USSR and Britain. Afghanistan is an important part of Central Asia, and was not a strong country with a stable government. In 1978 a civil war began between insurgent forces against the government in power. USSR was trying to support the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) and starting in 1979 became heavily involved militarily in a costly 10-year civil war in Afghanistan.

A major supporter and supplier of military equipment to the insurgent forces, often based in Pakistan, was the U.S. government. The insurgent forces included various mujahideen forces (or holy-war guerrillas) such as the Talibans which are closely related to Al Qaeda, headed by Osama bin Laden, as well as other Muslim supporters from nearby territories, including Uyghurs originally from Xinjiang who have been involved in terrorist activities like those associated with the East Turkistan Islamist Movement (ETIM) that advocates that Xinjiang should be separated from China to form the country of East Turkistan. After the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1989 and after the target of the Taliban forces changed, and especially after the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, then the Talibans became an enemy of the U.S. government.

Some of these mujahideen forces, including the Uyghurs associated with ETIM, later also participated in other terrorist and military conflicts, such as those in Syria against the Syrian-Russian forces. So these Uyghurs have been trained and have combat experience involved in terrorist activities. As a matter of fact, during the last dozen years many of these Uyghur terrorists had engaged in a large number of terrorist activities in Xinjiang as well as other places in China, including:

  • The 7/5/2009 large coordinated terrorist attack in multiple places in Urumqi (capital of the Xinjiang province)
  • The 10/28/2013 suicide car bombing attack in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square
  • The 3/1/2014 deadly stabbing at the Kunming Main Railway Station
  • The 4/30/2014 deadly blast at Urumqi’s south railway station
  • The 2/14/2017 deadly knife-wielding attack in Pishan County in southern part of Xinjiang

The other historical fact is that Central Asia is right in the middle of the modern silk road, or the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is a critical part of the proposed economic revival and expansion of this whole region. Although it is a program initiated by China, it is a win-win situation for every country involved. The revival of the old silk road was already proposed and discussed in a conference in 1996 under the subject “Economic Development of the Regions along the New Euro-Asia Continenetal Bridge.” Experts from multiple countries, including Iran, Russia, China, and other Eurasian nations discussed proposals for cooperation on ambitious infrastructure projects of high-speed railways, ports, and agro-industrial corridors. However, from the very beginning, countries like Britain were strongly against and tried to sabotage the proposal. Similarly, today countries like the U.S. and Britain are trying hard to make the BRI from being realized. That is why they are trying so hard to create fake news about Xinjiang and China.

Millions of Uyghur Men and Women Are Put In Internment Camps:

One of the accusations on Xinjiang is that 1.8 million Uyghur and other Muslim minorities have been put in as many as 1,300 to 1,400 internment camps. This came from Adrian Zenz in an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA). [4]

Recall that one of the facts we discussed about Xinjiang is that there is a number of ETIM terrorists who are involved in various terrorist activities including those advocating for the independence of Xinjiang. As a matter of fact, many of these ETIM terrorists were originally from Xinjiang and some of them may still live or have relatives in Xinjiang. Some of them are probably currently convicted criminals of terrorist activities. So they should be under guards under highly secured prisons.

But the overwhelming majority of Uyghurs are not ETIM terrorists, although some may have disgruntles about the multi-ethnic society and who may even know of people who may be sympathetic to ETIM ideaology. So they may be put in re-education training to help them understand that advocating independence for Xinjiang is not in the best interest of the Uyghur people. These people are in re-education classes, and are not in detention camps in highly guarded facilities.

However, what is most important is that Adrian Zenz ignores or purposely ignores that most of the people in what he calls “detention camps” are actually in various types of schools to train the large number of lowly educated and unskilled workers so they can have more education and skills to become more productive members of the society. This is part of the program that allows China in the last 40 years to eliminate about 80% of its impoverished population, a feat that is remarkable and unmatched in history and admired around the world. This, as we discuss next, also helps to explain the accusation of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs as forced laborers.

Hundreds of Thousands of Uyghurs Are Forced Laborers:

Another accusation by Adrian Zenz is that hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs are forced laborers working in grueling poorly paid jobs, especially as cotton pickers. He misses the crucial point of the critically important and extremely difficult job of trying to raise the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of possibly unskilled and poorly trained rural people. That is what the Chinese government is trying to accomplish, and that is one of the methods that China has used to eliminate about 80% of poverty from the country, a feat as mentioned earlier that is remarkable and unmatched in history and admired around the world. Zenz does not talk about what skills these workers have and what other jobs might be available to them, and how China is helping to educate and train these people.

Furthermore, the article mentions that the salary income of such seasonal cotton pickers are only (meaning that it could be more) 1,670 and 1.805 RMB per month, and the article also states that China’s rural absolute poverty income line in 2019 stood at 4,000 RMB per person per year. This means that these seasonal cotton pickers working for only 3 months per year would earn more than the poverty income. So the data presented in Zenz’s paper again does not support his own claim. As in other countries, including the U.S., many farm workers are seasonal. During the harvesting season, a large number of workers may be required to do the work, and a lot of such seasonal workers may come from other areas.

Cotton is a major product of Xinjiang. The world’s two largest producers of cotton are India and China (with the U.S. as number 3). Xinjiang cotton accounts for 85% of cotton produced in China and 20% of the world supply. In spite of the fact that Zenz’s accusation is not valid, it has already led to boycotts of products using cotton from Xinjiang, such as from H&M (Swedish), Nike (American), and Adidas (German). The Trump administration on 1/13/2021 also announced a ban on imports of cotton (as well as tomatoes) from Xinjiang. Zenz’s paper on forced labor related to cotton came out only in December 2020, and yet the U.S. government already issued a sanction against Xinjiang cotton on 1/13/2021. [6] This suggests an intimate relationship between Zenz and the U.S. government.

There are other accusations by Zenz, ASPI, and others. But suffice to say, these accusations are also mostly false, over generalized, fabricated fake news, and often outright lies, and will not be discussed in this article.

Summary:

In the last few years, we are heard of many reports about horrendous things happening in Xinjiang, including the Chinese government is carrying out a genocide program on the Uyghur ethnic minority. However, the conclusions of these reports are in general false, not supported by evidence, and the data presented often even contradict their own conclusions. What is even more important is that these reports do not understand or purposely ignore how the Chinese government has eliminated about 80% from the previous poverty-level class and successfully transformed the country from an extremely poor and backward country to a modernized society.

This caused us to look more carefully into the sources of these reports. The major source of these reports is from Adrian Zenz of The Jamestown Foundation of Washington, DC, which has close connection to the CIA and NED. Furthermore, Adrian Zenz has claimed that he is “led by God” against China’s government. The other major source is the Australia Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) which is funded by the Australian Department of Defense, and supported by the British government and the U.S. government. These and other additional reports are then repeated by organizations like the World Uyghur Congress, Uyghur Human Rights Project, Radio Free Asia (RFA), Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), which are all supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Then these reports are repeated in our mass media newspapers and TV channels and by our government leaders.

The fact that such flimsily supported accusations have consistently been repeatedly spread, including by our former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as the current Biden administration, leads one to conclude that the only possible explanation is because the U.S. government wants to spread such false accusations, and as a matter of fact, the U.S. government is behind the spreading and perhaps the creation of such fake news.

We understand that China is now the U.S.’s major economic competitor. But we should not create or spread fake news to damage the reputation of our competitors. The world is not blind and sooner or later can see through the smokescreen. Doing so will not increase American competitiveness, but will isolate the U.S. and will lead to confrontations and world conflicts with disaster consequences for everyone involved.

Finally, it is important to remind us that that part of Central Asia has encountered a lot of terrorist activities, that terrorist organizations like the East Turkistan Independence Movement (ETIM) is active in Xinjiang and many terrorist acts have occurred in Xinjiang. That is why the Chinese government must implement actions to counter such terrorist activities. Furthermore, Xinjiang is a society with multiple ethnic groups with different languages, cultures, and religions. It is very easy for conflicts and misunderstandings to develop among such groups. China is working very hard to resolve and eliminate such issues, and they should be commended in making a lot of progress, instead of creating fake news to foment such problems.

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[1] Adrian Zenz “Sterilizations, IUDs, and Mandatory Birth Control: The CCP’s Campaign to Suppress Uyghur Birthrates in Xinjiang, Jamestown Foundation Report, Washington, D.C., June 2020: https://jamestown.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Zenz-Internment-Sterilizations-and-IUDs-REVISED-March-17-2021.pdf?x38094.

[2] “China Is Erasing Mosques and Precious Shrines in Xinjiang” by C. Buckley and A. Ramzy, New York Times, September 25, 2020 based on report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI): https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/25/world/asia/xinjiang-china-religious-site.html.

[3] There are many eyewitnesses who have recently visited Xinjiang, including (a) an Australian British and his wife who cycled across China”:  “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jlUy2DR8TQ, (b) “Xinjiang Genocide:  An Except from the ‘Genocide’ Panel” by Daniel Dumbrill, a Canadian businessman who has lived in China for many years:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH-0l_zToN4, (c) “What It’s Really Like to Travel to Xinjiang, China?” by Cyrus Janssen, an American businessman who lived in China for about 10 years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8qnr8DXZOc.

[4] “Expert Says 1.8 Million Uyghurs, Muslim Minorities Held in Xinjiang’s Internment Camps” by J. Lipes, Radio Free Asia (RFA) report, 11/24/2019: https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/detainees-11232019223242.html.

[5] “Coercive Labor in Xinjiang: Labor Transfer and the Mobilization of Ethnic Minorities to Pick Cotton” by Adrian Zenz, December 2020: https://newlinesinstitute.org/china/coercive-labor-in-xinjiang-labor-transfer-and-the-mobilization-of-ethnic-minorities-to-pick-cotton/.

[6] “U.S. Bans All Cotton and Tomatoes from Xinjiang Region of China” by Ana Swanson, New York Times, Jan. 13, 2021: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/13/business/economy/xinjiang-cotton-tomato-ban.html.

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Some Speculative Thoughts on Qigong https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/some-speculative-thoughts-on-qigong/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/some-speculative-thoughts-on-qigong/#respond Tue, 01 Jun 2021 04:10:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=7112 We offer some speculative thoughts on the scientific basis of Qigong. This speculation borrows and extends on the field concept of physics that started in the 19th century with the work of Faraday and Maxwell related to the electromagnetic force, and is now the fundamental concept underlying all modern physics covering all types of interactions, including gravitation, electromagnetism, strong force, and weak force.

Gravitational Field:

Before I discuss the electromagnetic force, let me first discuss the gravitational force which is more familiar to everyone. Two objects are always attracted to each other by a gravitational force that is proportional to the masses of the two objects and is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. This is how we now understand planetary motions and sending satellites into orbits around the earth. [1]

At the beginning, people thought that there is action at a distance, i.e., as soon as object B is in the vicinity of object A, then there is a force that A instantaneously exerts on B (and vice versa, a force that B instantaneously exerts on A). No matter what is the distance between the two objects, the force is transmitted instantaneously (this is where the term action at a distance comes from). To some people, this explanation is not acceptable because it raises the question how does the force get transmitted so quickly. If the distance is large, then it is not only action at a distance, but instant action at a distance.

This is why people started to think that an object changes the space around it. For example, an object bends the space around it, so that object A bends the space around it from a flat space to a curve space. When object B is in the vicinity of A, it is on a curved space that is sloping from B to A. Another way of saying this is that any object with mass sets up a gravitational field around it (or changes the geometry of the space around it), and that field will affect any object that is in it. Once the concept of field is introduced, then there is no longer any need for action at a distance, because the field permeates all of space, although the strength of the field decreases with distance.

Electromagnetic Field:

Similarly, any object A with electric charge sets up an electric field around it, and any object B with electric charge also sets up an electric field around it. When A and B are in the vicinity of each other, they feel each other’s electric field, or equivalently, there is an electric force between them. The electric force does not act at a distance, because the electric field permeates all of space, although the strength of the field decreases with distance.

We also know from doing experiments that a moving electric charge produces a magnetic force around it (i.e., unlike a stationary electric charge, a moving electric charge can affect magnets around it). Therefore, a moving electric charge or electric current sets up an electric field and a magnetic field around it and creates an electric force and a magnetic force, or an electromagnetic force, that affects other charges and currents around it. Again without requiring action at a distance, we say that a moving electric charge or electric current sets up an electromagnetic field around it. This electromagnetic field changes the space around it, although unlike gravitation it does not change the geometry of the space. This is the great contribution of the British physicist Michael Faraday and the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell when Faraday first introduced the field concept which was then developed by Maxwell in 1865 in his fundamental theory of the electromagnetic field that unified electricity, magnetism, and light.

Extension of the Field Concept to Other Forces of Nature:

Once the field concept was introduced for the electromagnetic force, then it was quickly applied to the gravitational force, and in the 20th century its application was extended to the other two known forces of nature: the “strong” force and the “weak” force. The strong force is the force that bounds subatomic particles together and governs the structure of the nuclei and atoms of matter. The weak” force is the force that governs radioactive nuclear decays and nuclear fusions that power the sun. So now we have the electromagnetic field, the gravitational field, the strong field, and the weak field. In each case, a physical object affects the space around it, and it exerts forces on other objects around it. With the field concept, we no longer have to talk about an object exerting a force on another object via action at a distance since the field permeates all of space. In general, the strength of these forces diminishes with distance, although in the case of the strong force, the strength of the force also diminishes when the distance is very small, a property known as “asymptotic freedom” that was discovered in 1973.

Speculative Thoughts on Qigong:

In Qigong, the fundamental concept is that some sort of bio-electric energy or life-force called Qi (氣) that is vital to the health of an individual, is circulating throughout the human body. Illnesses are due to insufficient or excess Qi or blockages of Qi, and illnesses can be cured by helping the body to generate more Qi when there is a deficiency, or to get rid of some Qi when there is an excess, or to remove the blockages so that Qi can flow freely and thus getting rid of the problem of excessive or insufficient amount of Qi.

Although it is not clear what is this life-force Qi and what is the scientific basis of Qi, modern scientific and medical research during the last 20-30 years [2, 3, 4] provide many indications that there are many health benefits to practicing Qigong and Taiji, although many more such studies are still needed, involving larger sample sizes and duplication of results by other groups.

We don’t have yet a good scientific definition of Qi that is generally accepted by scientists, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that Qi doesn’t exist.  To the many people who have practiced Qigong for an extended period and on a regular basis, Qi is very real to them.  They can feel Qi in their body, and some can guide Qi to circulate to different parts of their body, or even externally to other people around them.

If Qi, or some sort of bio-electric energy or life-force, is circulating in the body, let’s call these circulation channels “Qi-vessels”, which could be our arteries and veins that circulate our blood, and/or the nerves in our nervous system that exchange neurons or information between different parts of the nervous system. Then just like what we observe in nature that each of the forces of nature sets up a field that permeates all of space, let’s speculate that a Qi-field may be associated with Qi, so that the circulation of Qi will set up a Qi-field around it, both inside and outside the body.

Doing exercises that can affect the amount of Qi generated or govern how the Qi is circulated could affect the health of that individual. It could also affect the strength of the muscles of that person, or the ability to absorb the amount of forces that hits that part of the body, as evident in all types of martial arts feats demonstrated by various Qigong practitioners.

Now, the Qi-field is not necessarily restricted to just inside the Qigong practitioner’s own body. Therefore, his Qi-field can affect other people around him, and thus an expert Qigong practitioner can use his Qigong to help improve other people’s health, which has also been observed. [5]

Summary:

We have utilized the fundamental concept of a field that is used so successfully in physics to explain all kinds of physical phenomena, and applied it in some speculative thoughts on Qigong. This provides a framework that perhaps can understand some of the demonstrations by martial arts Qigong practitioners and also by Qigong health practitioners.

These speculative thoughts have also raised many questions. What is this bio-electric or life force Qi? How is it generated, and how does it get circulated? What are the effects of the Qi-field on the space around it? What is the range of the Qi-field, or how does it vary with distance? Can the Qi-field be blocked or diminished by a barrier? And perhaps many other questions. These questions pose difficult challenges, but they are extremely important questions in our understanding of our health and our scientific world.


[1] The reason that the earth doesn’t just fall to the sun is because the earth also has a velocity moving in a direction that is tangential to the earth’s orbit around the sun (or in the case of satellites, why the satellite doesn’t fall to the earth is because the satellite also has a velocity moving in a direction that is tangential to the satellite’s orbit around the earth.

[2] Chinese Medical Qigong, Editor in Chief:  Tianjun Liu, O.M.D., and Associate Editor in Chief:  Kevin W. Chen, Ph.D., published by Singing Dragon, United Kingdom, 2010, 653 pages.  This book is the first English translation of the only official textbook of medical Qigong, now in its third edition, used in colleges and universities of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in China.  This book is the result of more than 30 faculty members in a dozen colleges and universities of  TCM in China.

[3] See, e.g., “A Comprehensive Review of the Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi,” R. Jahnke, L. Larkey, C. Rogers, J. Etnier, and F. Lin, American Journal of Health Promotion, 2010 July/August;  24(6), e1-e25.  A copy of this paper can also be found at:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085832/.  More information about the work of R. Jahnke and his collaborators can be found in the following links: http://IIQTC.org, http://FeeltheQi.com, http://TaiChiEasy.org.

[4] See also the article “A Comprehensive Review of the Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi”:  http://www.dontow.com/2010/12/a-comprehensive-review-of-health-benefits-of-qigong-and-tai-chi/.

[5] See, e.g., the discussion reported in the last part of the article “Myth or Reality”: http://www.dontow.com/2007/06/myth-or-reality/.

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It Is Time for the U.S. to Acknowledge History https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/it-is-time-for-the-u-s-to-acknowledge-history/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/it-is-time-for-the-u-s-to-acknowledge-history/#comments Tue, 01 Jun 2021 04:05:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=7116 It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge who won the civil war in China in 1949:  It was the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that after Japan was defeated in WWII, Japan should have returned the island of Taiwan to China.

It is time to correct the omission of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty that was supposed to officially end WWII and to allocate compensation to the Allied powers.  Besides stating that Japan should give up the territories including Taiwan that Japan took from China, it should have also stated that such territories should be returned to China. [1]  This then would be consistent with the 1943 Cairo Declaration, the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, and the September 25, 1945 Japanese Instrument of Surrender.  Note:  Although China was the country that suffered the most at the hands of the Japanese military during WWII, neither the PRC nor the Republic of China (ROC) was invited to the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty when over 50 countries were invited and which was masterminded by the U.S.

It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that the Diaoyu Islands (also called Senkaku Islands) belong to China.  This is a set of eight, small, uninhabited islands about 130 miles northeast of Taiwan on the continental shelf of Taiwan in the East China Sea, that for several centuries have been recognized as parts of China in various international maps (including Japan’s), and have been used by Chinese fishermen as temporary shelters. [2]

It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that the U.S.’s Mutual Defense Treaty with Japan is not applicable over the Diaoyu Islands since the U.S.’s official position is that the territorial sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands is still undetermined.

It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that historically and legally China has territorial sovereignty over many islands in the South China Sea. [3] Just because an island is close to the territory of another country, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that country has territorial sovereignty over that island.  It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that China has the legal right to landfill part of the water around some of its islands in the South China Sea, just like United Arab Emirates landfilled to make the Palm Islands in Dubai.

It is time for the U.S. to stop interfering in the internal affairs of China.  It is time for the U.S. to stop creating and spreading fake news about Xinjiang, like China is carrying out a genocide in Xinjiang during the last decade or so, whereas in reality, from 2010 to 2018, the Uyghur minority population in Xinjiang has grown by about 14%, while the Han population in Xinjiang has shrunk by about 1%. [4] 

It is time for the U.S. to assess and judge fairly and equitably. It is time for the U.S. to acknowledge that such fake news contributes to the rising anti-Asian racism and crimes.

It is time for the U.S. to discontinue its hostile attitude to isolate, surround, weaken, and interfere in the internal affairs of China.  Such attitude is not going to increase the competitiveness of the U.S., and it is wrong and is not in the best interests of the American people, and it is also not in the best interests of the people of the rest of the world.

Instead of trying to create conflicts with China that could lead to wars resulting in a no-win situation for everyone and possibly destroying the world as we know it for our children and grandchildren, it is time for the U.S. to adopt an attitude toward China that is mutually respectful.  While competing with each other, the U.S. and China can also collaborate to solve the many crucially important problems facing the world today, such as climate change, poverty, terrorism, global arms escalation, global pandemic.   Instead of looking at the world as a zero-sum game, it is time to find ways to grow and share the pie.  This is the right strategy to grow the U.S. economy, to repair the U.S. reputation, and to improve the world. [5]


[1] For background information on the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, see, e.g., the section “America’s Foreign Policy Toward China Since the Late 1940s” in the article “US-China Relationship Can Use Another Anson Burlingame”: http://www.dontow.com/2016/12/u-s-china-relationship-can-use-another-anson-burlingame/. A slightly shorter version of the Burlingame article is published in December 20, 2016 of China-US Focus:  English version:  http://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/us-china-relationship-can-use-another-anson-burlingame.  Chinese version:  http://cn.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/20161219/11328.html.

[2] For background information on the Diaoyu Islands, see, e.g., the article “Diao Yu Tai Student Movement: Recollection 50 Years Later”: http://www.dontow.com/2020/09/diao-yu-tai-student-movement-recollection-50-years-later/.

[3] For background information on the South China Sea dispute, see, e.g., the article “South China Sea Dispute: Abuse of World Power”: http://www.dontow.com/2016/09/south-china-sea-dispute-abuse-of-world-power/. That article has also been published on September 15, 2016 in China-US Focus.  For the English version:  http://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/south-china-sea-dispute-abuse-of-world-power/.  For the Chinese version:  http://cn.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/20160915/8681.html.

[4] For assessment of various reports on bad things happening in Xinjiang, see, e.g., the article “Xinjiang: Horror Story or Historic Transformation?”: http://www.dontow.com/2021/06/xinjiang-horror-story-or-historic-transformation/.

[5] For a discussion of US-China relationship, see, e.g., the article “US-China Relationship at a Crossroad”: http://www.dontow.com/2021/03/u-s-china-relationship-at-a-crossroad/.

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U.S.-China Relationship at a Crossroad https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/u-s-china-relationship-at-a-crossroad/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/u-s-china-relationship-at-a-crossroad/#respond Mon, 01 Mar 2021 05:10:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6871 There is no doubt that the relationship between the U.S. and China is crucially important not only for the welfare of the U.S. and China, but also for the welfare of the world. That relationship impacts the health, economics, war and peace, and the survival of the human race. Unfortunately, the trajectory of that relationship from the past two decades is leading us to increasing tension, conflicts, ultimately to war, and possibly mutual annihilation.

That relationship does not have to progress in that direction. It can lead to a direction that is mutually beneficial for the U.S. and China, as well as for the rest of the world. However, it will require a change in attitude that is not easy. But it could decide on the ultimate welfare of our children and grandchildren in the U.S., China, and the rest of the world. Are we courageous and farsighted enough to make that change?

That is the subject of this article.

What Is the Current Relationship?

In the last 40 years, China has transformed itself from an extremely poor and backward country into a healthy country where most of the poverty throughout the country has been eliminated. It is ranked second in the world (2nd only to the U.S.) in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) [1], and is ranked first in the world in terms of GDP if purchasing power parity (PPP) is taken into account [2]. China is now engaged in the whole spectrum of the manufacturing process, not only in the lower ends requiring only cheap labor, but also in high technology areas which require deep technical knowledge and also creative innovations. For example, it tops the world in terms of the number of patent applications. [3] China has also developed militarily, with a formidable air force and navy to supplement its large army, with a nuclear arsenal and missiles to deliver them. After suffering more than 100 years of foreign domination and occupation, enduring numerous unequal treaties, China has stood up and is now able to defend its territories that have been encroached on by foreign powers.

Because China has stood up and is now able to defend itself from foreign powers that want to continue their encroachments on China, the U.S. and other foreign powers have been adopting an attitude and position with respect to China that is still based on the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

U.S. Attitude Toward China:

Because the U.S. is leading the world in terms of economic and military power, the attitude of the U.S. toward China is the most important and that attitude influences strongly the attitude of the other countries. What has been the attitude of the U.S. toward China since China’s rapid rise in the last 30-40 years, especially during the last 10-15 years? In short, the U.S. considers China to be a major threat, not only economically, but also politically, militarily, and ideologically. Furthermore, the threat is not only to the U.S., but also to other countries in southeast Asia and the rest of the world. The U.S. considers China to be a country that needs to be held back, to expose and magnify any mistake or shortcoming, to criticize and attack the country from all angles, to transform China fundamentally, and to find other countries to form alliances to isolate, surround, and weaken China. This attitude is not just representative of one political party, but it represents the view of both the Republican party and the Democratic party over several decades of our presidential administrations, including that of President Biden. It also represents the position of essentially all the major think tanks of our country and the editorial position of all our mass media. [4]

Why Is the U.S. Adopting This Attitude?

The usual answer is that China is now the U.S.’s chief economic competitor. If China is not held back, if China is not exposed, if we don’t find partners to isolate, surround, and weaken China, then China will unfairly out compete the U.S. and unfairly replace the U.S. as the leading financial power in the world.

Even if we ignore the racist and unethical mentality behind that attitude, the above argument may make sense superficially from the U.S. perspective except that it ignores two important considerations.

First, why can’t the U.S. compete successfully against China? Traditionally, it was because of cheap labor in China, so that products made in China are significantly cheaper than products made in the U.S. As the standard of living in China continues to increase, that gap between the standard of living in China and in the U.S. will continue to decrease. Therefore, China will need to move up to the higher end of the economic chain to manufacture products that require more technical knowledge and greater creativity and ingenuity. China has been doing that, and China is doing very well in this higher end of the economic chain. Some examples are high speed trains, large engineering projects like complex bridges, sea terminals and wharfs, solar energy, electric buses, satellites and space explorations, 5G networks, quantum computers, etc. This was already mentioned previously in China leading the world in the number of patent applications. [3]

Why can’t the U.S. continue to remain at the top of the economic chain and outperform China? Since the U.S. is the most technically advanced country in the world and still leads the world in research and also has the best universities in the world, it should be able to accomplish that. But the answer could be very much in the negative if we realize that the U.S. is now so dependent on foreign-born talent as can be seen in the make-up of its graduate students in engineering and a few related science programs. As a matter of fact, the statistics are downright frightening.  Here are the data from a 2017 Inside Higher Ed report [5]:

Field of StudyPercent InternationalNumber of Full-Time International Graduate Students in 2015Number of Full-Time U.S. Graduate Students in 2015
Electrical Engineering81%32,7367,783
Petroleum Engineering81%1,258302
Computer Science79%45,79012,539
Industrial Engineering75%7,6762,539
Statistics69%4,3211,966
Economics63%7,7704,492
Mechanical Engineering62%12,6767,644
Civil Engineering59%9,1596,284
Chemical Engineering57%5,0013,834
Pharmaceutical Sciences56%1,9311,502
Metallurgical/Materials Engineering55%3,7233,103
Agricultural Engineering53%726654
Agricultural Economics53%881796

For example, the percentages of international graduate students in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2015 are respectively 81% and 79%!  I think 15-20 years in the future, for the U.S. to compete successfully in the higher end of the economic chain, there has to be an overhaul in the U.S. in addressing for the country as a whole what is important for our country, how to prepare ourselves for the long haul, and the drive needed to achieve that.

In other words, the U.S. must look within itself to reinvent itself: to refocus on education, to rebuild our long-neglected infrastructure, to rekindle our commitment to hard work, to welcome the competitive challenge, to unleash our desire to do the best to our abilities, and to elect leaders who work for the benefits of the whole country, and not opportunists who work to enhance their own political future. We must not keep on blaming other people and other countries for our own shortcomings.

The second argument is that the market is not necessarily a zero-sum game. One country’s gain does not always mean another country’s loss, i.e., the output of a team working collaboratively could be greater than the sum of the individual parts. For example, outstanding research breakthroughs are often the results of research collaborations of two or more researchers working together over an extended period. Mutual discussions can trigger new ideas and creative thoughts. Furthermore, some problems require more than one country to solve.

Problems like global warming and climate change, poverty and hunger, terrorism, nuclear wars and annihilation are huge problems that require the world to work together to solve, instead of sabotaging each other. Furthermore, each country has its own strengths. For example, U.S. imports a large amount of minerals like cobalt, indium, tellurium, and rare earth elements, while China imports a large amount of minerals like iron, copper, and beryllium. [6] By pooling our resources, we may have a much better chance of solving these problems, instead of making the problems more serious and unsolvable that could lead to mutual annihilation and the end of civilization as we know it.

It Is Time to Adopt a New U.S.-China Relationship:

In the previous section, we discussed why the U.S.’s current attitude toward China of adopting an antagonistic view toward China does not make sense, and is not good for the U.S. or the rest of the world. That attitude will not help the U.S. to compete more successfully versus China and will not make the world economy grow and will not help to solve the world’s many urgent problems.

Let us consider another attitude. First we need to take a historical perspective that China was under foreign domination and occupation and endured more than 100 years of unequal treaties. China is not going to take that any more. That is why China is not going to let any foreign country like the U.S. to try to make Taiwan or Hong Kong to become independent [7], or Japan trying to occupy the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea [8], or any country trying to take away any of the islands in the South China Sea that historically and legally belong to China. [9] Therefore, anyone who accuses China of taking aggressive action toward any territorial dispute has not studied past history and is trying to impose more unequal treaties on China. If they have studied their history, they will not make any more such accusations against China, they instead will understand that it is the other countries taking aggressive actions toward China’s territories.

If you listen to almost any statement from world leaders, especially those from leaders of the West or their think tanks, or read almost any article in the Western mass media about China, invariably the statement or article will always include some major negative or critical comments about China. This is not to say that there aren’t things in China that should not be criticized. But the criticism is often not warranted by the evidence at hand, even though that there are often contrary evidence provided by more knowledgeable people, including foreigners who have been living in China for extended period.

Very often, these negative assessments hide the true motive of trying to camouflage their true intentions, which often include aggression toward another country. This is especially with the U.S. who has the power to instigate various umbrella or color movements to destabilize another country’s government, and is now exhibiting the dangerous sign of even destabilizing the U.S. government itself.

Summary:

With the emergence of China as a bona fide competitor to the U.S., the U.S. should look upon China as a worthy competitor. Instead of trying to knock down China at every opportunity and to force fundamental changes in the Chinese government and system, U.S. should on the one hand seriously look within itself to see how we can improve our country for the benefits of the American people and to compete successfully against China, and on the other hand while competing with China, figure out ways in which U.S. and China can work together collaboratively to grow the pie and to work with other countries to solve the many serious problems the world is facing. Instead of adopting a Tonya Harding-like foreign policy toward a competitor [10] by unethically making false accusations about China and sabotaging against China, U.S. should work with China and other countries of the world to grow the pie for everyone and to find common areas of cooperation that can help solve many of the world’s pressing and critical problems.

We are now in an age of nuclear weapons and with the ability to mutually annihilate each other as well as the rest of the world. It is time for the U.S. to abandon the outdated imperialistic foreign policy of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, and adopt a foreign policy based on equality of men and equality of nations. [11] It is not easy to make this change of attitude, especially when the current attitude reflects both the Republican party and the Democratic party. What we really need to address is whether continuing with the traditional strategy or adopting this new strategy is in the best interest of the U.S. and the world. After all, the difference could be avoiding nuclear war and world annihilation, and gives our children and grandchildren a viable world to live in.


[1] “List of Countries by GDP (nominal): ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)#cite_note-China-THM-23.

[2] “List of Countries by GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP).

[3] “World Intellectual Property Indicators”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Indicators.

[4] For U.S. government’s policy toward China, see, e.g., “Biden, Covering Range of Thorny Issues, Talks With Xi for First Time as President,” by Michael Crowley, The New York Times, February 10, 2021: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/us/politics/biden-xi-jinping-call.html. For an example of U.S. think tank position, see, e.g., “The Longer Telegram: Toward A New American China Strategy,” by Autonomous from the Atlantic Council, February 2021: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/The-Longer-Telegram-Toward-A-New-American-China-Strategy.pdf. For a brief summary of this long position paper, see, “The Atlantic Council’s Anti-China Containment Strategy,” by Andrew Korybko, Global Research, February 01, 2021: https://www.globalresearch.ca/atlantic-council-anti-chinese-containment-strategy-fail/5736087. Note: A recent Rand think tank report “Implementing Restraint: Changes in U.S. Regional Security Policies to Operationalize a Realist Grand Strategy of Restraint,” Rand Corporation, 2021, adopts, relatively speaking, a less aggressive global strategy taking into account restraints on what the U.S. can do.

[5] Elizabeth Redden, “Foreign Students and Graduate STEM Enrollment“, Inside Higher Ed, October 11, 2017.

[6] “China, the U.S., and the Competition of Resources That Enable Emerging Technologies,” by A. L. Gulley, N. T. Nassur, and S. Xun, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, April 17, 2018: https://www.pnas.org/content/115/16/4111.

[7] For a discussion Taiwan and the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, see, e.g., the section “America’s Foreign Policy Toward China Since the Late 1940s) in the article “U.S.-China Relationship Can Use Another Anson Burlingame”: http://www.dontow.com/2016/12/u-s-china-relationship-can-use-another-anson-burlingame/. For a discussion of Hong Kong, see, e.g., the article “Hong Kong: Past, Present, and Future”: http://www.dontow.com/2019/09/hong-kong-past-present-and-future/.

[8] For a discussion of the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, see, e.g., the article “Diao Yu Tai Student Movement: Recollection 50 Years Later”: http://www.dontow.com/2020/09/diao-yu-tai-student-movement-recollection-50-years-later/.

[9] For a discussion of the islands in the South China Sea, see, e.g., the article “South China Sea: Abuse of World Power,” by Don M. Tow, China-US Focus, September 15, 2016: https://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/south-china-sea-dispute-abuse-of-world-power/, and the article “Some Thoughts on the South China Sea Dispute”: http://www.dontow.com/2015/12/some-thoughts-on-south-china-sea-dispute/.

[10] “United States’ Tonya Harding-like Foreign Policy”: http://www.dontow.com/2015/06/united-states-tonya-harding-like-foreign-policy/.

[11] “U.S.-China Relationship Can Use Another Anson Burlingame” by Don M. Tow, China-US Focus, December 20, 2016: https://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/us-china-relationship-can-use-another-anson-burlingame.

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Some Thoughts on Meditation: What Is It, Benefits, and Scientific Basis https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/some-thoughts-on-meditation-what-is-it-benefits-and-scientific-basis/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/some-thoughts-on-meditation-what-is-it-benefits-and-scientific-basis/#respond Mon, 01 Mar 2021 05:07:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6919

In a recent article in this website "Mindfulness: Children’s Social and Emotional Health, and School" [1], we discussed "Mindfulness", and how mindfulness is a technique of meditation to relax our body and mind, to increase our concentration and reduce stress. Because in these times of the pandemic, people getting sick and dying, the need to attend schools virtually, high unemployment, poverty, discrimination, social unrest, and lack of opportunities to exercise and socialize with friends, young students may be more unhappy, feel more stress, experience more depression, and commit more suicides. One approach adopted by some schools to help young students to handle such social and emotional health problems is the focus on mindfulness.

Mindfulness is to train the mind to focus on the present task at hand, being aware of the environment but at least for that moment not overly anxious or worry by what is going on around us.  Mindfulness is also known as meditation.

This article discusses the benefits of meditation and discusses the current understanding of the scientific basis of meditation.

Health Benefits of Meditation

Even though meditation is an ancient practice dating back to several hundreds or thousands of years ago, it didn’t really spread to the U.S. until the 1960s-1970s.  Only in the past decade or two has mainstream medicine starting to acknowledge this ancient practice as research surrounding its benefits grows.  “I recommend all people learn and practice meditation routinely, because meditation doesn’t have any negative side effects – and it’s free,” paraphrasing a quote from Dr. Mike Roizen, chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic..  However, we are only beginning to understand how meditation works and its benefits.  For example, here is a quote from Madhav Goyal, M.D. and M.PH. of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who does research on the effects of meditation on overall well-being:  “It’s only recently that we’re starting to see studies that are good, randomized, controlled trials that are larger in size.”

Here is a brief summary [2] of the health benefits of meditation from recent scientific investigations:

  • Improves mental health:  The strongest link we have between meditation and overall health is its ability to reduce stress, which can trigger or exacerbate several serious conditions, including heart disease, obesity, and even anxiety disorders.  Meditation can boost your mood and reduce your depression risk.

  • Reduces harmful inflammation:  Inflammation is the body’s reaction to something it doesn’t want where it is, which is a good thing.  But chronic inflammation has been tied to several major chronic diseases, like cancer, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and Alzheimer’s.  But meditation may help to mitigate inflammation.

  • Controls your cravings:  Meditation may curb mindless eating.

  • Gives your brain a boost:  Meditation may actually make parts of your brain thicker, including areas associated with attention and introspection.  For example, one study found that mediating for 40 minutes a day for just two months was enough to increase brain volume in areas related to stress, learning, memory, empathy, perspective, and compassion.

  • Helps fight premature aging:  By reducing stress, it may also reduce the aging effect of stress.  One study after spending six days in retreat where the participants just relaxed or did a meditation program, the latter participants from their blood samples showed improvements in biomarkers related to aging.

  • Helps to prevent colds:  One study over the duration of eight weeks divided the group of 150 participants of 50 or older into three groups of meditation training, moderate-intensity exercise training, or a control group, and found that over the course of the study the first two groups took just over half as many sick days due to colds as the control group.  Again, stress can get in the way of our immune system’s ability to fight an infection such as a cold.

  • Helps to deal with pain:  In one study during an MRI scan, the participants were applied a small amount of heat to their calves and were asked to rate their pain during the scan.  After four days of meditation training, the participants repeated the process, and the study showed that they reported a 57% reduction in unpleasantness and a 40% reduction in pain intensity.  The brain scans show meditation reduced brain activity in areas associated with sensation.

Note that in these studies the word “may” appears several times indicating that these are preliminary findings.  These conclusions will need to be verified by similar and larger studies.

Scientific Basis of Meditation

The key health benefit of meditation is that it can reduce stress, which we now know that stress can lead to all kinds of health problems. [3]  Although it has been known for centuries that meditation can reduce stress, the medical basis of how the mind and body work together as one system was generally not recognized in the West until the pioneer work of Herbert Benson, M.D. at Harvard Medical School starting in the 1960s, and the pioneer work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, a Ph.D. molecular biologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the 1970s. [4]  

How does meditation lead to a reduction of stress. To address this question, we need to dwell a little into the stress response. [5]  When a human is facing imminent danger or a crisis, such as a falling tree about to hit you, a speeding car heading uncontrollably toward you, an imminent deadline that is fast approaching, the human body triggers a “fight or flight response” that can release a cascade of stress hormones, including adrenaline, that produce well-orchestrated physiological changes that can make the heart pound and breathing quicken, muscles tense and beads of sweat appear.  This “flight or flight response” is part of the automated “Sympathetic Nervous System” (SNS), which acts like the gas pedal in a car and is necessary for our survival whenever we need a quick automated response to imminent danger or crisis.  However, during this period, your heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, breath quickens, pupils dilated, pain response blunted, you become tense or trembling, lose voluntary control of your bladder, and your blood pressure is elevated. 

During the fight or flight response your body is trying to prioritize, so things your body doesn’t need for immediate survival is placed on the back burner. This means that digestion, reproductive and growth hormone production and tissue repair are all temporarily halted. Although these bodily responses may help you get out of danger or crisis, if continued for an extended period, it is not good for your health.  Furthermore, even when the emergency is over, your automated response doe not subside by itself for an extended period, which could be 30 minutes or more.  This means that the “Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) which acts like the brake on a car cannot restore your body to its normal operation.  If these experiences are repeated frequently, then you may be in a perpetual hyper tensed state with high blood pressure, high heart rate and rapid breathing.  This could easily lead to more serious health problems or poor health in general.

This is where meditation can help to improve your health.  Meditation can help relax you, and can quickly restore your Parasympathetic Nervous System so your body will function normally, or never let the situation to trigger your Sympathetic Nervous System.  This is the scientific basis of why meditation can be so helpful to your health.

This is why meditation is an important component of Taiji and Qigong.  More information on practicing meditation can be found in our earlier articles.  [6]

I want to end this article with a quote (half in jest) “You should meditate for 20 minutes every day – unless you’re too busy, then you should meditate for an hour.”

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[1] “Mindfulness: Children’s Social and Emotional Health, and School”: https://www.dontow.com/2020/09/mindfulness-childrens-social-and-emotional-health-and-school-initiative/.

[2] “7 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Meditation, According to Experts,” by Macaela Mackenzie, Prevention Magazine, June 29, 2019:  https://www.prevention.com/health/a22679621/health-benefits-of-meditation/.  See also “12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation,” by Matthew Thorpe, MD, Ph.D. and Rachael Link, MS, RD, Healthline, October 27, 2020:  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation.

[3] See, e.g., the article “The Effects of Stress on Your Body,” by Ann Pietrangelo, Healthline, updated on March 29, 2020.

[4] See, e.g., Herbert Benson, Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Benson, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Kabat-Zinn.

[5] See, e.g., the article “Understanding the Stress Response,” a pamphlet published by the Harvard Health Publishing of the Harvard Medical School, updated on July 6, 2020:  https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-responsehttps://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response.

[6] “Why Meditation Is An Important Part of Taiji and Qigong”:  http://www.dontow.com/2017/03/why-meditation-is-an-important-part-of-taiji-and-qigong/, and “Meditation:  An Often Negated Component of Taiji Practice”:  http://www.dontow.com/2010/04/meditation-an-often-neglected-component-of-taiji-practice/.

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Quantum Physics and Quantum Computers https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/quantum-physics-and-quantum-computing/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/03/quantum-physics-and-quantum-computing/#respond Mon, 01 Mar 2021 05:05:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6808 In two recent articles in this website, we discuss Quantum Physics (QP), the remarkable scientific discovery of the 20th century that has revolutionized science as well as all aspects of our civilian and military lives.

The first article [1] discussed several mysteries of QP, notably, particle-wave duality, uncertainty principle, probabilistic interpretation of experiments, act of measurement can change what you are observing, and the superposition principle.

The second article [2] discussed what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance,” experimental verification of QP versus deterministic predictions of local hidden variable theories a la Bell’s Theorem, and quantum entanglement.

The current article discusses how Quantum Physics’ superposition principle and the concept of entanglement can lead to major breakthroughs for computer processing power and computer security.

Brief Review of Computer Bits and Their Physical Implementation:

First we briefly review some of the basics of computers. All information in computers are represented by bits of data. A bit of data can be represented by a 0 or 1, or on or off in terms of an electrical circuit or switch. When we process data in a computer, we are processing a stream of electrical or optical pulses representing 0s and 1s. For example, if we are describing the result of a coin flip, the result is either head (1) or tail (0). So we can represent coin flip with a wire with either electricity or no electricity flowing through it. With transistors, the transistor is turned on when the amount of electricity flowing through the wire connected to the transistor is above a certain threshold, and is turned off when the electricity is less than that threshold. Thus, the coin flip can be described with a single wire connected to a transistor.

What about a more complex situation than describing a coin flip, such as describing which of 3 light bulbs is turned on. Then you need more bits, or more wires, each connected to a transistor, and in this case of 3 light bulbs, you need 3 wires. Thus we see that we can describe more complex physical phenomena by using more and more bits, or more and more wires and transistors.

If we combine 8 bits of data in what is called a byte, which has 28 or 64 combinations. Then a byte can represent the English alphabet. Therefore, information about our world can be represented by combining more bits and bytes together. That is why we hear of terms like kilobytes (a thousand bytes), megabytes (a million bytes), gigabytes (a billion bytes), terabytes (a trillion bytes), petabytes (1,000 terabytes). [3] Bigger and faster computers can simultaneously handle larger and larger number of bytes.

A 200-page book with about 300 words per page has about 60,000 words. A word on the average has about 6 characters. This means that a 200-page book has about 360,000 characters. If we use one byte to represent each character, then this book would have about 360 kilobytes of data.

A newer and better computer usually can process more data and process the data faster than the previous generation of computers. So newer computers will normally have larger or more compact and faster processors and with creative designs in algorithms and software to get additional processing power.

From Bits to Qubits and the Superposition Principle:

With quantum computers, there is a novel way of increasing the processing power and speed without adding more bits which are manifested by adding more circuits and transistors. Instead of using streams of electrical or optical pulses representing 1s or 0s associated with bits, quantum computers use subatomic particles such as electrons or photons and the quantum physics concept of the superposition of states so that a quantum physical system is a superposition of many states. [3] And the system does not collapse to a single state until there is a measurement. The quantum physical system is called a quantum bit or Qubit. So if the quantum physical system is a superposition of n states, then there are n possible 1s or 0s. This means that using a quantum system instead of a traditional system, the number of bits has just been increased by a factor of n.

It is not easy to create these quantum physical systems. Generating and managing Qubits is a great scientific and engineering challenge. Currently only a small number of companies and university research labs (such as IBM, Google, Rigetti Computing in Berkeley, and IonQ in College Park) have constructed quantum computers. They use superconducting circuits cooled to temperatures colder than deep space, or trap individual atoms in electromagnetic fields on a silicon chip in ultra-high-vacuum chambers. In both cases, the goal is to isolate the Qubits in a controlled quantum state. To put Qubits into superposition, researchers manipulate them using precision lasers or microwave beams. We are currently at the beginning of the age of quantum computers. That is why most current quantum computers have only a few dozen Qubits, although IBM has announced that they will build a a quantum computer with 1,000 Qubits by 2023. [4]

Picture of a Quantum Computer (Ref 3)
Picture of a Quantum Computer (Ref 3)

Partially because of the increase in the number of bits via using Qubits and partially because quantum computers allow novel ways of doing calculations such as simultaneously performing a large number of calculations, quantum computers have the potential of doing calculations that can never be done, or cannot be done in any reasonable amount of time, by traditional computers.

China is also a major player in quantum computers, both in building quantum computers [5] and also in its applications. [6]

Quantum Entanglement and Implications for Cryptography:

In our second article [2] in this series of three article on Quantum Physics, we discuss the hard-to-imagine property of quantum entanglement. This means that a measurement on the state of one particle in a quantum system of two related particles will determine the state of the other particle even if the two particles are now separated in space by a very large distance. This is the QP property that Einstein called “spooky action at a distance,” and is one of the reasons why Einstein and many other physicists did not believe and preferred deterministic theories like “Local Hidden Variable Theories” over a probabilitic theory like Quantum Theory. However, experiments performed during the last 50 years related to Bell’s Theorem have repeatedly verified the predictions of Quantum Theory and ruled out the predictions of “Local Hidden Variable Theories.”

This quantum entanglement property can be beautifully applied to cryptography, which is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties called adversaries.

Key to cryptography is to assure that (1) only the intended recipient of any exchange of information can receive the information or can decipher the information, and (2) the information received has not been altered in any way by an adversary. To accomplish (1), we rely on security keys which only the sender and recipient know, or it is too complicated for any adversary to figure out the security key in any reasonable amount of time. To accomplish (2), we need to be alerted if there has been an intrusion.

Quantum computers can help to achieve both (1) and (2). For (1), because of the processing speed of quantum computers, security keys currently used may not be secured enough, i.e., quantum computers can break these security keys. So the expectation of forthcoming larger and larger quantum computers is moving us to use more complex security keys. [7] Furthermore, quantum computers may also offer novel encryption methods. For (2), the entanglement feature of quantum computers will be able to detect that there has been an intrusion, because any action of the intruder will perturb the system and change the state of the system even if one part of the system may be far away from the place of intrusion. [8]

Summary:

In its almost 100 years of existence, quantum physics has completely revolutionized the world and our lives. It has given us many wonderful products that we use everyday, including computers and our daily gadgets such as cell phones, television, GPS. However, we are beginning to enter another revolution brought on by quantum physics when we utilize the superposition principle and quantum entanglement in the construction of our computers. Both the superposition principle and entanglement are fundamental consequences of the probabilistic nature of quantum physics.


[1] “Wonders and Mysteries of Quantum Physics”: http://www.dontow.com/2020/09/wonders-and-mysteries-of-quantum-physics/.

[2] “Paradoxes of Quantum Physics, Bell’s Theorem, What Do Experiments Tell Us?”: http://www.dontow.com/2020/12/paradoxes-of-quantum-physics-bells-theorem-and-experimental-confirmation/.

[3] I found the article “Explainer: What is a quantum computer?” by Martin Giles, in the January 29, 2019 issue of MIT Technology Review an excellent short article summarizing quantum computers: https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/01/29/66141/what-is-quantum-computing/.

[4] “IBM promises 1000-qubit quantum computer—a milestone—by 2023” by Adrian Cho, in Science, September 15, 2020: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/ibm-promises-1000-qubit-quantum-computer-milestone-2023.

[5] “China Claims Fastest Quantum Computer in the World,” by Rafi Letzter, LifeScience, December 7, 2020: https://www.livescience.com/china-quantum-supremacy.html.

[6] See, e.g., the article “China Stakes Its Claim to Quantum Supremacy,” by Tom Simonite, Business, December 3, 2020: https://www.wired.com/story/china-stakes-claim-quantum-supremacy/, and the article “Physicists in China challenge Google’s ‘quantum advantage’,” by Philip Ball, Nature, December 3, 2020: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03434-7.

[7] For example, the commonly used 2,048-bit RSA system or even the more difficult 4,096-bit key will need to be replaced by even more complex cryotographic systems. See, e.g., “Is Quantum Computing a Cybersecurity Threat?,” by Dorothy E. Denning, March-April 2019, American Scientist: https://www.americanscientist.org/article/is-quantum-computing-a-cybersecurity-threat.

[8] The implementation of quantum entanglement in a communication system was first demonstrated in 2020 by a Chinese team led by Jian-Wei Pan of the University of Science and Technology of China when they simultaneously transmitted a pair of secret keys between two ground stations (located 1,120 kilometers apart) in China via the Chinese satellite Micius. See, e.g., “China Reaches New Milestone in Space-Based Quantum Communications,” by Karen Kwon, June 25, 2020, Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/china-reaches-new-milestone-in-space-based-quantum-communications/. This research was published in June 15, 2020, in Nature.

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Some Thoughts on How We can Experience and Learn from the Past Virtually https://www.dontow.com/2020/12/some-thoughts-on-virtually-experience-and-learn-from-the-past/ https://www.dontow.com/2020/12/some-thoughts-on-virtually-experience-and-learn-from-the-past/#respond Tue, 01 Dec 2020 05:15:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6742 We know that time runs in only one dimension:  going forward.  What has happened in the past has already occurred and we cannot go back in time to relive that period.  The question is whether we can make use of the information from the past, not only to relive past events, but also to make use of that information to learn from it.

We discuss an idea that by combining artificial intelligence (AI), we can utilize the memories of the past that exist in our memories, as well as information we know about the people from the past (that we might have or might not have interacted with) to virtually recreate events and even more importantly to create new events that could lead to new insights or discoveries.

We can virtually recreate past events.  For example, we can virtually recreate:

  • a fond memory of our holding our new-born son or daughter
  • a reenactment of an athletic or musical achievement
  • a replay of an important speech we gave in the past

This is like playing back a recorded movie of that event. However, we can do much more than that. 

We can also create events that might not have occurred, but could have occurred.  For example, we can create a virtual event:

  • involving a high school student discussing with his/her parents for advice on which colleges to apply to and possibly the field to major in
  • involving family members or business partners to discuss whether and how to proceed with a potential new business
  • involving a group discussion on an important social or political issue
  • involving a brainstorm of a group of scientific researchers on a difficult problem

The end result is that we could end up with new insights and solutions in addressing difficult and important social, political, economic, engineering, or scientific issues.  We can reap the benefits of such collective virtual brainstorms.

We can populate the database with:

  • dates and times
  • descriptions of the relevant people (not only physical characteristics, but also their personalities, background, knowledge, and experience)
  • happenings of related events (e.g., hurricanes, forest fires, pandemic, mass demonstrations, current important and outstanding problems in science or engineering)
  • social and political environments of that time for the community, state, country, and the world (e.g., unemployment, stock market, health, hunger, climate change, terrorism, conflicts between races, conflicts between countries, arms races, wars or tensions/marching toward wars)
  • other relevant factors or statistics

There are at least four objectives for creating and implementing such virtual events:

  • Enjoy reliving real or simulated past events
  • Analyze important past events to see whether we should make adjustments to guide our future actions
  • Discuss important issues to see whether we can reach consensus and move forward toward winning solutions
  • Brainstorm on outstanding scientific or engineering problems that could lead to new insights or discoveries

Of course such AI tools and conclusions may be only as good as the inputs we populate in the database.  Initially the basic input data and the learning and decision making algorithms may be primitive, unrealistic, and unsophisticated.  However, with time and experience, the database will increase in accuracy, completeness, and sophistication, and the AI algorithms will also improve in breadth, depth, speed of analysis, and creativity.  Therefore, such virtual creation of the past could create real values so that it can become a powerful tool for us to learn from the past.

Yes, we cannot turn the arrow of time backward, but we can make use of our past experience to learn virtually and lead us to a better path for the future.

Of course, if this idea merits further investigation, and new discoveries can emerge from this idea, then just like any scientific advancement in the past, both positive and negative results could emerge from such discoveries, and it will be up to us (the human race) to decide which path to follow.

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Criteria for Choosing an Exercise for Health https://www.dontow.com/2020/12/criteria-for-choosing-an-exercise-for-health/ https://www.dontow.com/2020/12/criteria-for-choosing-an-exercise-for-health/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2020 05:10:57 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6762 We all know that exercise is important for good health. The question is which exercise makes it appealing to people who would want to practice it on a regular basis. There are several criteria for choosing an exercise:

  • It is good for your health
  • It can be practiced in all kinds of environment, indoors or outdoors
  • It does not require fancy and large space
  • It does not require expensive equipment
  • It doesn’t cost a lot of money to practice
  • It is not very stressful or painful
  • It doesn’t require teammates to practice
  • It is something that you enjoy doing
  • It is an exercise that you can practice for many years, for all ages, from young to old
  • It is an exercise that can also help you in self defense.

This article discusses why Taiji can meet all of the above criteria. That is why it is a popular exercise around the world, especially in China. However, in my opinion, its potential should be able to attract an even larger group of practitioners, including young adults and children.

The first and most important criterion is that the exercise has to be good for your health. It is well known for over a century that Taiji (also spelled as Tai Chi) has many health benefits. [1] Furthermore, many scientific/medical research investigations during the last quarter of a century have provided preliminary scientific confirmations that Taiji is a good exercise for health [2], although much larger sample sizes still need to confirm these preliminary medical research findings.

Taiji can be practiced indoors or outdoors, and it doesn’t require a large amount of space to practice it. So you can practice it in the comfort of your home no matter what the weather is like outside, and it doesn’t require a large space to practice it. It can be practiced in any reasonable size room, like 12’x15′. [3]

It doesn’t require any equipment, so you don’t have to buy expensive equipment or join a health club to do the exercise. The cost of practice is essentially zero. You can practice it as a group with other people, but you can also practice individually.

Although Taiji is soft and gentle, it does increase the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout your body, which is an objective of more aerobic exercises. Because the exercise is soft and gentle, you don’t feel any pain or discomfort while doing the exercise. As a matter of fact, it relaxes you physically and mentally. This is one of the reasons why Taiji is an enjoyful exercise to practice.

Taiji is known as moving meditation. Its meditation component can soothe your mind, and that is why it is considered to be a mindfulness exercise, which has mental and psychological benefits, including the ability to increase concentration and reduce ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). [4]

For all the reasons mention above, Taiji is an exercise that you can enjoy doing, no matter what is your age and how long you have been practicing it. It is something that you can do it as a child, and continue to do it as an adult, and keep on doing it while you become a senior citizen.

Finally, besides being a good exercise for health, Taiji is also good for self defense. [5] This is another reason why Taiji is such a good exercise, and provides another reason why Taiji should appeal to children, males or females, as well as young adults.

In summary, when you take into account all the characteristics that a good exercise should have, Taiji should emerge as a front runner.


[1] There are many popular articles on the web describing the health benefits of Taiji. See, e.g., “10 Benefits of Tai Chi for Better Overall Health, Well-Being and Living Longer” by Suzanne Kane, Oct. 8, 2018: https://psychcentral.com/lib/10-benefits-of-tai-chi-for-better-overall-health-well-being-and-living-longer/.

[2] For a summary of modern scientific research on the health benefits of Taiji, see, e.g., the author’s article “Health Benefits of Taiji”: http://www.dontow.com/2010/01/health-benefits-of-taiji/. A longer version of that article can be found in the article “Health Benefits of Taiji,” published in Qi:  The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness, Volume 29, No. 3, Autumn 2019, pp. 20-28.

[3] It can be practiced even in smaller spaces. During part of doing a Taiji form set, it just requires some stepping back a few feet before continuing.

[4] See, e.g., the author’s article “Mindfulness, Children’s Social and Emotional Health, and School Initiative”: http://www.dontow.com/2020/09/mindfulness-childrens-social-and-emotional-health-and-school-initiative/.

[5] See, e.g., “Is Tai Chi Effective For Self defense?”: https://worldofselfdefense.com/is-tai-chi-a-form-of-self-defense/

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Paradoxes of Quantum Physics, Bell’s Theorem, and What Do Experiments Tell Us https://www.dontow.com/2020/12/paradoxes-of-quantum-physics-bells-theorem-and-experimental-confirmation/ https://www.dontow.com/2020/12/paradoxes-of-quantum-physics-bells-theorem-and-experimental-confirmation/#comments Tue, 01 Dec 2020 05:05:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6648 Our previous article “Wonders and Mysteries of Quantum Physics” discusses how Quantum Physics (QP) [1] completely revolutionized our industrial world and our daily lives since its discovery about 100 years ago. Everyday we utilize a variety of products based on Quantum Physics. [2] That article also pointed out that QP introduced many mysteries, such as particle-wave duality, the act of observation can change what we are observing, uncertainty principle, our physical laws can only give us a probabilistic, and not a deterministic, prediction of the future.

These mysteries, especially the probabilistic interpretation, or a superposition of states, led many people to question from the beginning of QP around the mid 1920s whether there is a more fundamental theory than QT that would lead to a deterministic prediction. The most famous critic was Albert Einstein, who made critical comments such as “does the moon exist even when no one is looking at it” and “God doesn’t play dice.” Many people thought that there are probably physical variables that we are not aware of. Because these variables could have different values, and if we can determine their values, then we would have a deterministic prediction.

These are known as “hidden variable” theories. Even though the usefulness of QT became more and more apparent as more and more products based on QT permeated our lives, this debate never went away, partially because no one could think of any experiment that could be done to differentiate the predictions of QT and the predictions of hidden variable theories.

That ended in 1964 when the Irish physicist James S. Bell proved a remarkable but simple theorem (now known as Bell’s Theorem) that shows that Quantum Theory and local hidden variable theories can lead to different experimental results. [3] Therefore, this is no longer an academic debate, but a debate that can be decided by experiments, which is the fundamental concept behind physics. Before we discuss Bell’s Theorem and the subsequent experimental results, we need to make a digression to discuss two precursors of Bell’s Theorem.

Precursors that led to Bell’s Theorem – Schrodinger’s Cat:

As we discussed in my previous article about the double slit experiment, the act of observing can change what we are observing. So in the double slit experiment with the electrons, when we insert a light source behind the double slits so we can determine which slit the electrons went through, the interference pattern observed downstream is disturbed and the interference pattern is no longer seen. Note that this does not mean that the electrons did not go through both slits (after all, the electrons already went through the slits before reaching the position of the light source), but the light from the light source did disturb the motion of the electrons from that point forward, and as a result the interference patterns have been changed. Therefore, the act of observing can change what we are observing. Within the wave function mathematical description of QT, the wave function was originally a superposition of states, but then the act of observation causes the wave function to collapse to a specific state.

This is also the reason why in the double slit experiment when we detect the electrons in the backstop, we always hear a full click and detect a whole electron, and never hear a half click and detect half an electron. In other words, in the act of detection, the electron’s wave function collapses from a superposition of states to a single state.

This led to the thought experiment of Schrodiner’s cat proposed by Schrodinger in 1935. [4] In this thought experiment there is a radioactive atom inside a box that is connected to a radioactive detector that is connected to a hammer that breaks a glass jar which then releases a poison gas, and inside this box is a cat. The radioactive atom has certain probability of radioactive decay, e.g., for certain atoms with a half-life of about 10 minutes. From QT, the radioactive atom is described by a wave function that is a superposition of two states, a decay state and a non-decay state. A decay state will release the poison that will kill the cat. A non-decay state will not release the poison and the cat remains alive. Before the box is opened when we don’t know what is inside the box, the quantum wave function of what is inside the box is a superposition of a live cat and a dead cat. However, when the box is opened, we will find either a live cat or a dead cat, and never a half-dead cat and a half-alive cat. In other words, the act of observation caused the wave function to collapse from a superposition of states to a specific state. This is analogous to the double slit experiment with electrons that the act of observing changes what we are observing.

This leads to a deep philosophical or logic question of what physics is supposed to be able to achieve? Is the ultimate objective of physics to be able to explain why certain things happen besides predicting what will happen? Or is the ultimate objective of physics to be able to predict only what we can observe, i.e., only the outcome of experiments? This led Einstein to make the comment “Does the moon exist when there is no one looking at the moon?” I think before QT, most physicists would think that it is the former, i.e., physics should be able to explain why certain things happen as well as predicting what will happen. With the advent of QT, physicists became divided on what is the ultimate objective of physics.

Another Precursor to Bell’s Theorem: Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox:

Also in 1935, Einstein, together with two colleagues Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen at the Institute at Advanced Study at Princeton, proposed another thought experiment. This involved a QM system at rest and zero angular momentum, also known as spin-0, that emits two photons in the opposite directions. Since photons also have spins (their spins are either up or down) and linear momentum and angular momentum are conserved, if one photon is moving to the left and is measured to have spin up, then the other photon is moving to the right and if measured must then have spin down. If we provide sufficient time for these two photons to travel a large distance, then if we measure the spin of the left photon and find it to be spin up, then if we measure the spin of the right photon, then its spin has to be down. However the distance between these two photons can be sufficiently large so that no information can be transmitted from the left photon to the right photon unless that transmission occurs essentially instantaneously or at least faster than the speed of light. Therefore, unless we are willing to give up one of the cornerstones of the theory of special relativity that stipulates that no information can be transmitted faster than the speed of light (or allow what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), then it appears that QT cannot be right or complete. This is known as the “EPR Paradox.”

However, Niels Bohr [5] argued that information was never transmitted from the left photon to the right photon. The two photons were entangled particles in a quantum superposition state, and that was the state of the system at that time. When we measure the spin of the left photon, we disturb the system, and the system’s wave function collapes from a superposition of states to a specific state, and that was the state of the system at that later time. In Bohr’s explanation, the wave function provides a method to calculate the outcome of experiments (i.e., if you do the experiments many times, you will find that half of the time the cat is alive and half of the time the cat is dead), but it does not represent the physical state of the system (i.e., the cat is half alive and half dead).

Bell’s Theorem:

This debate on the completeness and accuracy of QT continued, with no agreement and definitely no consensus. Although people thought that QT provides an extremely accurate description of experimental results, many people thought that QT is not a complete theory, and its explanation of how and why things happen in nature is not satisfactory. Some people thought that something like local hidden variable theory (LHV) may turn out to succeed QT and will be able to predict not only what will happen, but also to explain why certain things happen. Unfortunately there didn’t seem to be any possible experiment that can be done to differentiate QT and LHV.

This came to an end in 1964 when the Irish physicist John S. Bell prove a very simple but extremely important theorem that tells us that QT and LHV do not make the same predictions (some people have even proclaimed that Bell’s Theorem is “the most profound discovery of science”). In spite of its importance, it turns out to be a simple theorem to prove using nothing more than logic and high school mathematics, although the proof does require ingenuity.

Bell’s Theorem states that QT and LHV do not always make the same experimental predictions. To prove this theorem, it is sufficient to show one experiment that will lead to different predictions for the two theories. We now present a proof developed by others that is simpler than Bell’s original proof. The proof makes use of logic and some simple concepts inherent in all “local hidden variable theories.” This theorem will show that QT and LHV will not always have the same predictions.

For people who are not interested in the mathematical proof of Bell’s Theorem and the quantitative predictions of QT for the experiments discussed in Bell’s Theorem, they can skip the rest of this section and continue with the section on Experimental Results.

The experiment is the one discussed in the EPR paradox: a QM system of zero angular momentum (also known as spin-0) that emits two photons in the opposite directions. As discussed in the earlier section on the EPR paradox, because of the conservation of linear momentum and angular momentum, if one photon travels to the left and has spin up, then the other photon must travel to the right and have spin down.

Proof of Bell’s Theorem for Local Hidden Variable Theories:

Many people have discussed this proof. I will use the proof as presented in the video by Alvin Ash. [6][7]

In this experiment, when we measure the spin of the photons, we can choose to measure its spin relative to any direction. Independent of the direction, its spin is either spin up or spin down relative to that direction. In any LHV theory because of the hidden variables which are not defined in QT, the left and right photons are always a pair of (left up, right down) or a pair of (left down, right up). This is different than in QT, where each of the photons in the pair is a superposition of an up-state and a down-state. The uncertainties or the superposition of states as in QT is removed by the very definition of hidden variable theory. Note that we also used locality in the sense that no information can be transmitted instantaneously or at least not faster than the speed of light, that is, the information on measuring the spin of the left photon when the two photons have moved apart to a large enough distance cannot be transmitted to influence the measurement of the right photon. Separating the left measuring apparatus and the right measuring apparatus at far enough distance will guarantee that.

Now, let’s consider two people doing the measurements: Alice doing the measurement of the left photon, and Bob doing the measurement of the right photon. Part of Bell’s ingenuity is to point out the need to do this experiment at least three times: (1) Measurement relative to the z-axis, (2) measurement relative to the x-axis which is 90 degrees rotated from the z-axis, and (3) measurement relative to the q-axis at some angle, say 45 degrees, between the z-axis and the x-axis. Let’s denote a spin-up measurement along the z-axis as Z+, and spin-down measurement along the z-axis as Z-. Similarly, let’s denote a spin-up measurement along the x-axis as X+, and a spin-down measurement along the x-axis ad X-. Finally, let’s denote a spin-up measurement along the q-axis as Q+, and a spin-down measurement along the q-axis as Q-. So there are eight possible results for the 3 sets of measurements of Alice along the z-axis, x-axis, and q-axis. The results are:

E1:  Alice:  Z+, X+, Q+

E2:  Alice:  Z+, X+, Q-

E3:  Alice:  Z+, X-,  Q+

E4:  Alice:  Z+, X-,  Q-

E5:  Alice:  Z-,  X+, Q+

E6:  Alice:  Z-,  X+, Q-

E7:  Alice:  Z-,  X-,  Q+

E8:  Alice:  Z-,  X-,  Q-

Let P (Z+, X+) denote the probability that such an experiment would result in Alice measuring the left photon with a positive spin in the z-axis and in Bob measuring the right photon with a positive spin in the x-axis (which means that Alice would measure the left photon with a negative spin in the x-axis). Then looking at the 8 possible measurements of Alice for the left photon, only E3 and E4 would result such a combination. This gives the following equation:

Eq. 1: P (Z+, X+) = (E3 + E4)/8 = 2/8 = 0.25

Similarly, let P (Z+, Q+) denote the probability that such an experiment would result in Alice measuring the left photon with a positive spin in the z-axis and in Bob measuring the right photon with a positive spin in the q-axis (which means that Alice would measure the left photon with a negative spin in the q-axis. Looking at the 8 possible measurements for Alice of the left photon, only E2 and E4 would match such a combination. This gives the following equation:

Eq. 2: P (Z+, Q+) = (E2 + E4)/8 = 2/8 = 0.25

Finally, let P (Q+, X+) denote the probability that such an experiment would result in Alice measuring the left photon with a positive spin in the q-axis and Bob measuring the right photon with a positive spin in the x-axis (which means that Alice would measure the left photon with a negative spin in the x-axis. Looking again at the 8 possible measurements for Alice of the left photon, only E3 and E7 would match such a combination. This gives the following equation:

Eq. 3: P (Q+, X+) = (E3 + E7)/8 = 2/8 = 0.25

We will shortly come back to Eqs. (1), (2), and (3).

Now we discuss another ingenious observation of Bell. Since P (Z+, X+), P (Z+, Q+), and P (Q+, X+) are probabilities; each one is either positive or zero. So we can write the following inequality:

Eq. 4: (E3 + E4)/8 (E3 + E4 + E2 + E7)/8 = (E2 + E4)/8 + (E3 + E7)/8 = 4/8 = 0.5

which can be rewritten as:

Eq. 5:   P (Z+, X+) ≤ P (Z+, Q+) + P (Q+, X+), which is known as Bell’s Theorem

Because it is expressed as an inequality, it is also known as Bell’s Inequality. Since all the probabilities in Eq. 5 can be measured in an experiment, Bell’s Inequality can be tested.

Just to be sure, we can also substitute Eqs. 1-3 into Eq. 5, and get 0.25 ≤ (0.25 + 0.25) = 0.5, which is satisfied, which shows that Local Hidden Variable Theories satisfy Bell’s Inequality.  But whether it agrees with experiments is another matter to be seen.

Predictions of Quantum Theory:

In the above experiment, all the measurements can be predicted by QT. We know that if Alice measures the left photon and found its spin along the z-axis to be positive, then when Bob measures the right photon, he will find its spin along the z-axis to be down. But what if Bob measures the spin of the right photon along the q-axis, say at 45 degrees relative to the z-axis or x-axis, what is the probability that he will find the spin of the right photon to be positive. QT can calculate this probability and gives the result:

Eq. 6: P (Z+, Q+) = [sin (45°/2)]².  [8]

Similarly, the QT predictions for

Eq. 7: P (Z+, X+) = [sin (90°/2)]²

Eq. 8: P (Q+, X+) = [sin (45°/2)]²

We can now write the QT predictions for the left side and right side of Eq. 5 of Bell’s Theorem.

Left Side = [sin (90°/2)]² = 0.5.

Right Side = {[sin (45°/2)]² + [sin (45°/2)]²} = 0.293.

This gives:

Eq. 10: Left Side = 0.5, and Right Side = 0.293, i.e.,

the Left Side is not ≤ the Right Side.

Therefore, Bell’s Inequality of Eq. 5 for local hidden variable theories is not satisfied in QT. This means that QT and LHV do not always give the same predictions.

Experimental Results:

Although it took about a couple of years for people to realize the significance of what Bell had done, once it was understood, it shook up the whole physics community. Starting in early 1970, many experiments have been done during the next 40+ years. The first experiment was completed in 1972 by Stuart Freedman and John Clauser at the University of California at Berkeley. [9]  Similar and more refined experiments have been done by several other groups in different parts of the world in the next three-four decades. These experiments have all confirmed the predictions of QT, and they showed that the Bell Inequality, which is required by all local hidden variable theories, is violated. Furthermore, there are variations in these experiments, such as in the choice of particles, e.g., photons, electrons, as well as other particles, their results are all consistent with the predictions of QT, and not consistent with the predictions of LHV.

Therefore, the view toward QT for the last quarter century has shifted somewhat from that during the three decades between 1935 and the mid 1960s. Although physicists are still not completely satisfied with QT, especially in its explanation of what is happening in nature, and not just on whether it can predict accurately the results of measurements, most physicists no longer have their hopes on local hidden variable theories.

Besides experiments related to Bell’s Theorem, QT during the last 100 years has led to a huge number of extremely innovative and useful products that have revolutionized and permeated our industry and our everyday life. QT has also made many very detailed predictions that are in agreement with experiments, some remarkably to 10 decimal places. Therefore, fewer physicists now question the predictions of QT. However, because there are still mysteries of QT and we would like to be able to explain what happened in an experiment, and not just what will be the predictions of experimental measurements, many physicists still believe that there may be a more fundamental theory that on the one hand can duplicate the predictions of QT, and on the other end also resolve at least some of the mysteries of QT and provide a more satisfying description and explanation of nature.

Quantum Entanglement and Quantum Computing:

When we construct computers making full use of QP, the mystery of quantum entanglement has important implications for encryption and computer security.   Quantum entanglement means that two physical entities that originated from the same entity are correlated no matter how far apart they are.  So once you make a measurement on one entity and cause the wave function to collapse to a specific state from a superposition of states, then the system is disturbed and the wave function for the other entity also collapses from a superposition of states to a specific state.  Therefore, if the two entities contain an encrypted message, and the message is intercepted by an intruder, then you know that the message has been disturbed.

Quantum computers can also significantly increase the processing power and speed of computers.  Besides providing the ability to solve many problems which are currently not solvable from a practical point of view, such powerful and faster computers can also break many currently used security algorithms.  Some of the implications from QP for computers and information networking will be discussed in the next release of this website.


 

[1] Quantum Physics (QP) is also known as Quantum Mechanics (QM) or Quantum Theory (QT).

[2] E.g., PC, cell phone, TV, radio, GPS, light bulbs, electron microscopes, x-rays and medical imaging, electronic appliances, digital cameras, lasers, Internet, modern aircrafts, satellites, nuclear powers, missiles, …

[3] Bell’s Theorem applies only to hidden variable theories that are local, i.e., no information can be transmitted faster than the speed of light, as required by Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

[4] Erwin Schrodinger was an Austrian physicist who with the German physicist Werner Heisenberg were the co-inventors of QM. Heisenberg formulated QM using a matrix formulation, and Schrodinger formulated QM using a wave equation formulation. It turned out that the two formulations are equivalent. Heisenberg received the 1932 Nobel Physics Prize, and Schrodinger received the 1933 Nobel Physics Prize.

[5] Niels Bohr is the famous Danish physicist who invented the Bohr model of the atom to provide a theory of the atoms, and also made many great contributions to the formulation of QT. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.

[6] Although his training was not in physics, Alvin Ash is extremely good in explaining complex physics topics to laymen in easy-to-understand videos. My discussion on the proof of Bell’s Theorem is based on his video “The EPR Paradox and Bell’s Inequality explained Simply”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f72whGQ31Wg. Note: Because Bell’s Theorem can be shown as an inequality, Bell’s Theorem is also often known as Bell’s Inequality.

[7] There are many documentary lectures and videos on Quantum entanglement and Bell’s Theorem.  A good and enlightening documentary is the video by Jim Al-Khalili “The Secrets of Quantum Physics with Jim Al-Khalili (Part 1/2):  Spark”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISdBAf-ysI0.  Another excellent program is the more recent (2019) PBS Nova program “Einstein’s Quantum Riddle”:  https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/video/einsteins-quantum-riddle/.  This program provides an excellent summary of the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Paradox, Quantum Entanglement, and Bell’s Theorem.  It also reports on a very recently completed experiment that is a refinement of the Freedman-Clauser experiment (see Ref. 9), and once again verifying that Quantum Theory is correct.

[8] There is a proportionality constant in front of the right side of Eq. 6, Eq. 7, and Eq. 8. Since it is the same proportionality constant that will appear on both sides of the equation, we have ignored the proportionality constant.

[9] S. J. Freedman and J. f. Clauser “Experimental Test of Local Hidden-Variable Theories,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 28, 938, 3 April 1972. This was also the Ph.D. thesis of Freedman, who was a student of Professor Eugene Commins, but the idea of doing this experiment came from Clauser, who was a postdoctoral fellow under Professor Charles Townes, the inventor of maser/laser and the 1964 Nobel Physics Laureate who just came to UCB in 1967. The experiment made use of some experimental apparatus from an earlier experiment by Commins. So this project was jointly sponsored and funded under Commins and Townes. Freedman and I were undergraduate and graduate students at UCB in the same period.

 

 

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Diao Yu Tai Student Movement: Recollection 50 Years Later https://www.dontow.com/2020/09/diao-yu-tai-student-movement-recollection-50-years-later/ https://www.dontow.com/2020/09/diao-yu-tai-student-movement-recollection-50-years-later/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2020 04:04:00 +0000 http://www.dontow.com/?p=6506 Why should we discuss a Chinese student movement that occurred 50 years ago?

  • Just exactly what was the issue 50 years ago?
  • What is that student movement?
  • Why is it important?
  • Why is it important for the American people, as well as for the people of the world?
  • More importantly, why is it even more important today than 50 years ago?

Ten years ago in 2010, I posted in this website a long article “Diao Yu Tai Student Movement: Recollection 40 Years Later” [1] . In this 50-year recollection article I will answer the above questions by extracting key summaries from the previous article and updating the discussion to take into account more recent events.

What Is the Issue?

The issue is the ownership of a set of small islands, called Diao Yu Tai (or Diao Yu Islands) in Chinese and Senkaku Islands in Japanese, in the East China Sea that is claimed by both China and Japan, and since the 1950s the official position of the U.S. government is that the territorial sovereignty of these islands is undecided, but the administrative rights of these islands were handed over in 1970 as part of the Ryukyu Islands (also known as Okinawa) by the U.S. to Japan. Although the U.S. states that these islands’ territorial sovereignty is undecided, it has also repeatedly said that the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan would be applicable, thus leading to the possibility of war over these islands between the U.S. and China.

Historical and Legal Status of These Islands

Records of the Diao Yu Islands date back in maps of China to as early as 1403. The Diao Yu Islands are a group of eight small uninhabited islands located about 120 miles northeast of Keelung, the northern-most city in Taiwan, and about 240 miles southwest of Okinawa which is part of the Ryukyu Islands, and the water deepens significantly beyond the Diao Yu Islands heading toward the Ryukyu Islands.

During all these years Chinese fishermen had been fishing around these islands and also used them as temporary shelters. For several centuries the demarcation between the Ryukyu Kingdom and China always put the Diao Yu Islands as part of Taiwan, a province of China.

As the result of the first Sino-Japanese War of 1894 when China was defeated by Japan, China ceded the island of Taiwan to Japan, as well as paying a huge sum of money (equivalent to 6.4 times the annual Japanese government revenue or two-and-half years of Japanese government revenue depending on whose estimate). However, at the end of WWII, Japan accepted the terms of the July 26, 1945 Potsdam Declaration [2] which cited the November 27, 1943 Cairo Declaration [3] that stated that “all territories Japan has stolen from China, such as Manchuria and Taiwan shall be restored to the Republic of China (ROC).” The Japanese Instrument of Surrender that was signed on the deck of the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945 also explicitly referred to the Potsdam Declaration. On all these three occasions of the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Declaration, and the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, the ROC was represented.

It is perfectly clear historically and legally that the Diao Yu Islands belong to China, as part of the Taiwan Province. More information on this part of history can be found in Reference 1.

What Changed in the 1950s?

The case was very clear and there shouldn’t have been any question about which country should have sovereignty over the Diao Yu Islands. However, the international political environment changed with the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) after the Chinese Communist Party won the civil war over the Chinese Kuomintang Party. If it weren’t for the military support of the U.S. for Chiang Kai-shek’s government in Taiwan, Taiwan would have been united with the rest of China.

All of a sudden, China, instead of being an ally of the U.S., is now viewed as an arch enemy that needs to be weakened, isolated, and plotted against.  On the other hand, Japan, the country that bombed Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack and committed massive, unimaginable inhumane atrocities in China and all over Asia, is now considered an ally of the U.S. to plot against China.

One of the first major manifestations of this new attitude occurred with the 1951 Treaty of Peace with Japan (commonly known as the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty), which was supposed  to officially end WWII.  This treaty was signed on September 8, 1951, and became effective on April 28, 1952.  Fifty one countries participated in this conference, and 48 countries signed the treaty, which was basically drafted by the U.S. and the United Kingdom.  Yet, China, the country in which Japan stationed the most soldiers and the country that suffered the most at the hands of the Japanese military, was not even invited to the conference, with the excuse that it was not clear whether the PRC or the ROC should be invited to the conference.

Unlike the various previously mentioned documents associated with the surrender of Japan at the end of WWII that explicitly stated that Taiwan and other Chinese territories stolen from China by Japan should be returned to China, the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty only said that Japan will relinquish those former Chinese territories, but did not explicitly say that they should be returned to China.  This intentional twisting of history by the U.S. to the detriment of China has since been repeated on several occasions by U.S. senior government officials that the agreement was that Japan would give up their jurisdiction over Taiwan and other territories, but the receiving country of these territories was not specified. For example, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, co-author of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, said in 1955 “the treaty ceded Taiwan to no one; that Japan merely renounced sovereignty over Taiwan, and that America cannot, therefore, admit that the disposition of Taiwan is merely an internal problem of China.”  The PRC denounced the treaty and stated that it was illegal and should not be recognized.

Therefore, as early as 1951, it was already fairly clear about the imperialistic intention of the U.S. toward China and their planting the seed to ally with Japan to contain and weaken China.

In spite of the fact that neither PRC nor ROC was invited to the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, a similar Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty (also known as the Treaty of Taipei) was signed by the ROC and Japan on April 28, 1952, the same day as the effective day of the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty.  This Treaty of Taipei is basically the same as the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, and it did not say that Taiwan and other Chinese territories stolen from China by Japan should be returned to China.  The fact that the Treaty of Taipei was concluded so quickly and the fact that it essentially mirrored the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty strongly suggest that the chief orchestrator of this development was the U.S.  The fact that the Treaty of Taipei did not say that Taiwan and other Chinese territories stolen from China by Japan should be returned to China also strongly suggests that the ROC government was weak and more interested in gaining the support of the U.S., and to a lesser extent Japan, than to defend the territorial sovereignty of China.

Who were representing or speaking for the Chinese?  Furthermore, as the sole administrator under the U.N. of the Ryukyu Islands, the U.S. on December 25,1953 made the unilateral decision to include the Diao Yu Islands for the first time in the territory of the Ryukyu Islands, whose administrative control is scheduled to be handed over by the U.S. to Japan in March 1972. [4]  The above described complicities by the U.S. helped to create a dispute which should not have existed in the first place.

More information on the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty and the 1952 Treaty of Taipei can be found in Reference 1.

What Triggered the Diao Yu Tai Student Movement in 1970?

In 1970, the U.S. and Japan were planning for the transfer to Japan of the administrative control of the territory of the Ryukyu Islands which since the 1953 unilateral decision of the U.S. included the Diao Yu Islands, both the PRC and the ROC objected to this agreement and argued that this agreement did not determine the sovereignty of the Diao Yu Islands. At that time, Japan and the U.S. had even more incentive to want to claim the Diao Yu Islands because within the previous few years, it was found that vast resources of oil could be under the area around these islands. Japan also sent troops to the islands to set up boundary markers, sent patrol boats to chase away Taiwan fishermen that have been fishing near these islands for centuries, and even tore down the ROC flag on the Diao Yu Islands.

When the oversea Chinese students heard about this, a grass-roots movement started and quickly spread around the world. It began in the fall of 1970 at Princeton University and at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Quickly grass root organizations sprang up like new grass after a cool night of constant rain following a dry summer. For example, a Baodiao (or Protest Diao Yu Islands) organization was established at the University of California at Berkeley by early December 1970. Similar organizations sprang up overnight in many universities across the U.S., as well as in Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, and other parts of Asia and the world. What was remarkable was that these organizations separated in distance by hundreds or thousands of miles kept in constant touch with each other keeping in mind that that was several years before email became available and about a decade before the invention of the Internet.

This grass roots student movement energized Chinese students all over the world. Many of these student leaders labored days and nights educating themselves, putting on discussion meetings, organizing, producing newsletters providing background information on the issues, spreading the message to the media and local communities beyond the campuses (including buying a full-page ad in the May 23, 1971 issue of the New York Times), producing educational plays and musicals, and organizing protest rallies. Many were willing to sacrifice their studies and careers on the movement, and many ended up doing so. For those who did so, most of them did not regret and have not regretted when looking back many years later.

This movement has three targets:

  1. The Japanese government for wanting to steal more, although they haven’t even acknowledged the thefts, murders, and atrocities they committed all over Asia against the Chinese people and other people of the world.
  2. The U.S. government’s interventions in the internal affairs of other countries and its unfair and imperialistic policy to surround, isolate, and weaken China, and to use Japan as its Asian pawn in this containment policy of China.
  3. The ROC government in Taiwan for not standing up to defend the interest of the Chinese people, and instead more interested in gaining the support of the U.S., and to a lesser extent Japan, than to defend the territorial sovereignty of China.

The PRC government’s position has been consistently clear that the Diao Yu Islands belong to China. However, because those islands are part of the Taiwan Province, which was under the control of the ROC, the PRC government’s hands around the time of 1970 are partially tied in what they could do to protect the Diao Yu Islands from the infringement of Japan and the U.S.

Mirroring the Massive May 4, 1919 Chinese Student Movement

The famous May 4 Movement of 1919, which was initiated by Chinese students to protest against the grossly unfair treatment that the 1919 Versailles Treaty that ended WWI. Instead of returning the Shangdong Province to China after Germany was defeated in WWI, it was handed over to Japan. But instead of protecting the interest of the Chinese people and its country, the weak Chinese government was ready to acquiesce to the decision of Versailles. That so enraged the Chinese students that they burned the house of the minister of communications and assaulted China’s minister to Japan, both pro-Japanese officials. The slogans of the May 4 Movement were “Resist Foreign Powers” and “Rid Internal Traitors.” The student-led May 4 Movement quickly spread to workers, merchants, and businessmen and became a massive nationwide movement, and led to the Chinese representatives walking out of the Versailles Conference.

Although the May 4 Movement did not manage to achieve all their objectives as evident by the handing over of Shangdong Province to Japan, the movement did result in successes, such as the ability of China’s various social classes to successfully collaborate, an ideal that would be admired by both Nationalists and Communists. Furthermore, the May 4 Movement sparked national protests and marked the upsurge of Chinese nationalism, a shift towards political mobilization and away from cultural activities, and a move towards populist base rather than intellectual elites.

The Diao Yu Tai Movement that was initiated in 1970 used the above slogans as its guiding principle: “Resist Foreign Powers” and “Rid Internal Traitors.” The reason for the second part of that slogan is already clearly seen by how the ROC government immediately signed the Treaty of Taipei that mirrored the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treat. As another example, we only have to look at how the ROC government tried to snuff out the big Diao Yu Tai Movement’s protest rally in San Francisco on April 9, 1971. They wrote bad-mouth slogans on the student leaders on the fences of Portsmouth Square, site of the rally, and hired local youth gangs to try to disrupt that protest rally. Fortunately, the rally organizers were well prepared and its security people took care of the disrupting youth gangs and handed them over to local police.

Similar to the May 4, 1919 Student Movement, the Diao Yu Tai Movement of 1970 also has not yet achieved its objective of the Diao Yu Islands returning to Chinese sovereignty.  However, it did achieve a major step toward that goal.  The movement played a crucial role in persuading the U.S. government to adopt a position that although it was transferring the administrative rights of the Ryukyu Islands over to Japan, the territorial sovereignty of those islands is still to be determined. [5]  Furthermore, it led the students not to be confined to the ivory tower, but to the workers and the community. It also expanded the students’ horizon to choose majors beyond science and engineering which were the majors of the majority of their predecessors, but to also social and political studies. It led them not just focus on intellectual pursuits, but also to social and political activism. These student leaders became involved in the movement when they were in the 20s, and some times in the early 30s. Many of them continue to be involved in various social and political activities for many years, including to their senior years.

Why Is the Diao Yu Island Movement Important for the American People?

Americans always claim to be standing on the side of justice. In the case of the Diao Yu Islands, it is crystally clear that China has always had and should continue to have sovereignty over the Diao Yu Islands.

Americans should not want to be dragged into a war with China in the East China Sea that has no moral or legal reasons to be involved. When the U.S. government has repeatedly stated that the territorial sovereignty of the Diao Yu Islands still needs to be determined, why should the U.S. government claim that the Mutual Defense Treaty with Japan should be applied to these islands? It is an obvious inconsistent policy that is based on the premise to weaken China and to use Japan as its pawn in that policy.

Yes, China has become the U.S.’s major competitor. On the one hand, we should let the two sides compete fairly. On the other hand, there are many important and urgent world-wide issues such as the pandemic, global warming, poverty, war and peace, and nuclear disarmament that the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies and most powerful countries, should collaborate with each other and with other countries to solve these critical issues. Otherwise, we may not have a planet to live in and survive.

Why Is This Movement Even More Important Now?

All the reasons just discussed in the previous session are still applicable. The U.S. is not on the side of justice in the case of the Diao Yu Islands. The dispute over the Diao Yu Islands may very well trigger a major war involving China and the U.S. that has no moral or legal basis.

With recent events, those and other reasons become even more important.

The U.S.’s reputation as a responsible world leader has fallen significantly in the last few years. President Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement as the world is experiencing warmer climate, melting ice caps, more coastal flooding, more forest fires and violent storms. President Trump has also just withdrawn from the World Health Organization (WHO) as the world is facing a huge global pandemic, the worst one for at least the past 100 years. If we are the best and most powerful country in the world, then let’s work together with the world and lead the world to solve these problems.

Instead on focusing on solving the many grave problems faced by the U.S. due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant economic collapse, the U.S. government is using a scapegoat, China, for its failures. We need to be brave enough and honest enough to admit that we contributed to these problems, instead of blaming all these problems on the Chinese. The best strategy to solve the pandemic is to work together globally to solve the pandemic because it is a global pandemic in a world that is intimately interconnected, and the virus does not recognize state or national boundaries.

Yes, China is the U.S.’s major competitor. As stated earlier, on the one hand, let’s compete with each other fairly. On the other hand, let’s see how we can grow the pie together. In the current world where countries are interconnected via fast planes, fast trains, and instant communications virtually through emails and the Internet, isolating ourselves via restrictive trade policies or restrictive virtual inter-connectivity is going to shrink the pie, and definitely is not going to grow the pie.

We also need to be more willing to share the pie, both domestically and globally. It cannot be continued that 10% of the U.S. population own 90% of the wealth of the U.S. Similarly, 10% of the people of the world cannot continue to own 90% of the wealth of the world. Otherwise, we will face continued turmoil both domestically and globally. We must find new ways to work together to grow the pie and to share the pie.

U.S. has already been involved in several questionable wars. Our country cannot afford another questionable war. We cannot afford it from a moral perspective, and we cannot afford it from a world leadership perspective. Furthermore, even from a purely economic perspective, we cannot afford it, because wars are costly and extremely destructive.

It is not an exaggeration that our children and grandchildren may be living in a world that will turn out to be much worse than our current world. With global pandemic, global warming, global poverty, and global arms competition, whether we will still have a livable planet 100 years from now is an alarming question. Countries of the world must work collaboratively to solve these big problems.


[1] “Diao Yu Tai Student Movement: Recollection 40 Years Later”: http://www.dontow.com/2010/10/diao-yu-tai-student-movement-recollection-40-years-later/.

[2] The Potsdam Declaration was signed by President Harry S. Truman of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China.

[3] The Cairo Declaration was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China.

[4] For more information on the significance of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute for the American People, see http://www.dontow.com/2013/03/significance-of-the-diaoyusenkaku-islands-dispute-for-the-american-people/.

[5] Playing a crucial role in that persuasion was the Diao Yu Tai student movement’s lobbying efforts with the U.S. Senate that culminated in a key testimony in front of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the U.S. Senate on October 29, 1971 by representatives on behalf of the student movement. In particular, the representatives included Professor C. N. Yang (Physics Nobel Laureate), Professor S. B. Woo, and others. The end result was that a paragraph on Committee Action and a paragraph on Committee Comments were included in the Senate Executive Report No. 92-10, November 2, 1971 that read in part (see p. 5) “United States action in transferring its rights of administration to Japan does not constitute a transfer of underlying sovereignty (which the United States does not have), nor can it affect the underlying claims of any of the disputants. The Committee reaffirms that the provisions of the Agreement do not affect any claims of sovereignty with respect to the Senkaku or Taio Yu Tai Islands by any state.” Note: This Report should have used the spelling “Tiao Yu Tai Islands” or “Diao Yu Tai Islands,” instead of “Taio Yu Tai Islands.”

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