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How to Repair the U.S.-China Relationship—and Prevent a Modern Cold War


How to Repair the U.S.-China Relationship—and Prevent a Modern Cold War

Jimmy Carter

Forty years ago, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and I normalized diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States, putting an end to three decades of hostility. This led to an era distinguished by peace in East Asia and the Pacific region. China’s spectacular economic growth, in conjunction with its continuing integration with the much larger U.S. economy, has enabled the two countries to become engines of global prosperity.


The modern cold war has already begun. Whether it be the coming trade war between the U.S. and China, or the constant red baiting and proxy war against Russia in Syria, the new cold war has already begun. And this time we don’t have nearly as much cool heads in the room to prevent humanity from plunging into the abyss.


" Forty years ago, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and I normalized diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States, putting an end to three decades of hostility. This led to an era distinguished by peace in East Asia and the Pacific region."

Jimmy dear you stated years ago that the Middle East was an area of National Security Interest. We then went to war with the ME. 17 years of loss of life and damage to the earth we live on. Jimmy sit down and shut up.


The Middle East is a National Security Interest as long as Israel has 100-200 nuclear weapons. That’s in every country’s interest, as well.
Don’t try to put this on Carter, either, he’s actually one of the X-POTUS elders with some wisdom.


It often forgotten but what lead to the Hostage taking of Americans in Iran was Jimmy Carter giving the Shah shelter in the USA. The Shah was initially to stay on in the Middle East taking shelter in Countries like Egypt and Morocco even as he had an open invite from the US Government to relocate to the USA.

Nelson Rockefeller was hard at work making this happen later denying it had anything to do with the ties of his Bank to Iran which were severed when the Shah toppled. This one act ensured the USA could never regain friendly relations with Iran , that it would increase the Influence of Israel in US Politics and helped lead to the election of Ronald Reagan. Kissinger, Nixon and Brzezinski also went to bat for the Shah.

Brzenzinski also formulated the strategy of arming fundmentalists to fight the Government of Afghanistan in the hopes of drawing the Russians into a war there during the Carter Administration. The Carter Doctrine was also formulated then being very similar to the Monroe Doctrine (All but claiming the ME as US territory) They began training and arming Islamists before the USSR moved in claculating that if the USSR did nothing they could push fundamentalists and terrorists into provinces of the USSR that bordered Afghanistan.

The duplicity here is worth pointing out. The Carter Doctrine was annouuned as a response to the USSR invading Afghanistan YET The USA had been secretly plotting to draw the USSR into a war in Afghanistan by arming and funding Fundamentalists.

This were all BAD decisions and helped to destabilize the region for generations which is exactly what guys like Kissinger and Brzezinski wanted.


It’s dangerous to confuse tariffs with warlike actions.

Tariffs are not always welcome, and may be met with reprisals. But they are moves of an individual government to modify purchases and price competition within its own generally accepted area of jurisdiction.

What the United States has done that has created the air of a cold war is far more aggressive.

  • From, Obama’s “Turn to Asia,” we have made increasingly aggressive gestures with battleships and military aircraft in and around China’s waters.
  • For decades, we have invaded and just committed violence in country after country, focusing particularly on the oil-producing areas that supply China as well as other nations.
  • Trump, characteristically, indulged in offensive rhetoric of pointless nuclear threats against North Korea, right on China’s NE border.
  • Just as characteristically, the warmongering commercial press criticized Trump less for his belligerence than for his eventual willingness to enter into a dialog.
  • The US continues to push NATO east
  • The US continues to destabilize states
  • The US continues to pressure allies to not trade with nations that it wishes to damage
  • The US continues to wage undeclared war and to engage in individual assassinations in various countries

This is not subtle. It is not a matter that stops or starts with a tariff, and it is not a matter that should be confused with tariffs levied within an individual country, which ought to be examined on a point-by-point basis.

There is nothing particularly normal about what have recently been called “trade agreements,” from NAFTA forward. These are part of an attempt to create international customs in which money and goods flow easily and in which people and information do not.

If the US decides that it wishes to get along with other nations, it should killing and capturing citizens of those nations, quit destabilizing governments, and quit trying to cut off the access of nations to primary resources.


Carter - decent man. Had some smarts and insight domestically ( so much so that he pissed off the ignorant populus by telling them hard truths they did not want to hear) but zip grasp of international affairs.
He should have cut all ties with the illegal dictator of Iran and his regime immediately upon taking office and renounced all the US’s previous involvement in the country since the toppling of democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 . Savak was the most brutal sick secret police in the world trained and financed by the CIA.
Until Carter fully accepts responsibility for what he did not do I can’t say I take him as seriously as many when he speaks on international affairs. How ever in his nineties and after brain cancer he is still showing up at Habitat sites with his tool belt ready to work so he certainly has my respect domestically…


Great post SDP.


My father, the history buff, told me over forty years ago to watch China. After my family was grown, I finally got there. I’ve been all over China for most of the last twelve years. China is grateful for what Carter AND NIXON did for them.
China and the Chinese people in general are quite self-critical and don’t look for faults in other countries too much.


*Forty years ago, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and I normalized diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States, putting an end to three decades of hostility. This led to an era distinguished by peace in East Asia and the Pacific region.*

This is a bit of disingenuous historical revisionism by JC. China invaded Vietnam in 1979 and was driven back in a quite vicious border “conflict”. Also, Vietnam invaded Kampuchea (Cambodia) during Carter’s earlier years because the U.S. and China propped up the notorious Pol Pot regime that killed at least a million Cambodians. By 1979, Vietnam then necessarily occupied Cambodia for another decade. Occupations are never peaceful – even necessary ones.

All of these things were the direct result of UK/French/US imperialism in the region. In addition to Vietnam and Cambodia, there was no peace in Laos, Burma, Indonesia/Timor either.

While establishing relations with China was truly an important diplomatic move, to claim that it led to a peaceful East Asia/Pacific is false.

And also there was that Afghanistan thing when the U.S. CIA began to create the mujahedeen, starting with Carter’s CIA and “Operation Cyclone”. That Cyclone whips its murderous winds to this day. Totally out of control.

Jimmy Carter did some good things as president and is one of the best ex-presidents the US has ever had. But he was a Cold Warrior who never let go of “real politik” and he needs to live with that – as does the US – no matter how many times history is re-written.


Although I can list things I didn’t like about Carter, that list would be shorter than the lists of things I didn’t like about each of his six successors, while the list of what I liked and continue to like about Carter would be longer than a list of likes for ALL of the six successors COMBINED.


First time I disagree with you here. The idea of Chinese troops “driven back” was west-inspired revisionist history: even before the entry of Chinese troops China, as was their custom, had already stated their objective which was to end Vietnamese encroachments on the disputed border. And their withdrawal was conditional on the Vietnamese respecting the ceasefire. Vietnam did, as photographs showed troops stood by as Chinese troops marched back. Vietnamese papers at the time were angered at the total destruction of infrastructures at the border, which ironically were earlier built by the Chinese as “friendship” projects. Secondly, China didn’t really support Pol Pot, who arose because of massive US bombing of Kampuchia, but the government of Kampuchia of which Pol Pot was head and which replaced the US puppet Lon Nol, the dictator who was the first to massacre civilians on a large scale. Hundreds of Cambodian corpses were thrown into the Mekong daily, some of which were photographed and appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review (a popular weekly later bought and discontinued by the Asian Wall Street Journal). Lon Nol had staged a coup and only Pol Pot could defeat him, which was why the original leader Norodom Sihanouk recognized Pol Pot (though the Prince obviously disliked him). China’s “support” of Pol Pot, therefore, was according to the reluctant wishes of the only legitimate leader of Kampuchia, Prince Norodom Sihanouk.

Was China right in settling scores with Vietnam by force? No. Deng Xiaoping did it because he wanted to impress his new-found friends the Americans. Did Chinese troops suffer more casualties than expected? Probably, because the famous Nguyen Giap was a master of people’s war - he was with Mao when the Chinese Communists were fighting against the Japanese and later against Chiang Kai-Shek.

Deng, an oppressive little runt pretending to be both a true communist and a friend of the US, never treasured the close relationship between Mao and Ho Chi-Minh. But despite Deng’s betrayal of the working class, and Mao’s close friendship with Ho, the Vietnamese never forgot the aid which China gave to defeat what they called “the American War.” It was Ho’s request to Mao to find a cure for malaria, which was killing Vietnamese guerrilas almost at the rate of deaths from American bombings, that prompted China to conduct a large-scale cure through what Mao called “the vast storehouse of traditional Chinese medicine” - an enterprise that ended with Tu Youyou discovering artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin. The drug eventually saved millions in Vietnam and other parts of the world (Tu Youyou had to wait until she was in her eighties before she received her Nobel Prize for the discovery, because the Dengists and similar scumbags in China refused to recognise any positive achievements by pre-1978 Mao administration). In addition to billions of dollars in food aid, about a quarter million Chinese officials, advisors, etc., were sent to help Vietnam in the war, which is why until today, a memorial to Chinese martyrs are still faithfully kept in good order today in Vietnam, despite Deng’s stupid venture.


People are still being maimed and killed from mines dropped in those days. In Laos, Vietnam, but also in southern China. War is so, so stupid.


C"War is so, so stupid"

Exactly right, Helen. One more thing about the butcher at Tiananmen: that incident didn’t happen according to Western propaganda. The killings were outside the square, and at workers, not students. Deng was responsible for forcing neoliberalism onto the Chinese populace, with devastating results. Many people didn’t know that the arbitrary dismantling of the communes suddenly deprived hundreds of millions of peasants of their healthcare, basic education for the masses, besides forcing the peasants to become migrant labourers. The turning of China into the world’s sweatshop had meant slave labor for peasants, with little regard for housing and other amenities. There were numerous suicides not only at Foxconn, but also throughout the eastern provinces. Many older left behind parents and grandparents killed themselves, and children became uneducated waifs who when grown up resorted to crimes that were rare before 1978. And even more women, who were once lauded by Mao as “holding half the sky” either became prostitutes or committed suicides. The misguided one-child policy also saw massive infanticides.

In order to justify their inhuman neoliberalism, the Deng clique rewrote history, exaggerated the so-called “great famine” that was unknown to millions of overseas Chinese who’d kept regular contacts with the families on the mainland, and, equally surprisingly, was also unknown to Guomindang spies who were all over China and couldn’t wait to expose anything denigrating to the PRC. Also remember this: for decades the PRC was an enemy to the US, Soviet Union, besides Guomindang China, and not a single sign of such a calamity was detected by all these worthies. Furthermore, several periodicals such as the Far East Economic Review (FEER) had noted that by the 1970s, China was at an economic take-off stage, and not, as propagandised by the Deng liars, “on the verge of collapse.” But that decade also saw the rise of neoliberals in the West who loved what Deng was doing and put his face on Time magazine.

Today, the US itself is facing problems with the brutal capitalism that Einstein abhorred, and perhaps for that reason the Washington Post allowed an alternative view of how China achieved its so-called economic “miracle.” Without the long massive preparations that began after 1949, the fantastic blood, sweat and tears of the Chinese people that presented Deng with a solid industrial, agricultural workforce, the modernisation of China could never have taken place.


Top down government didn’t work well right off the bat, the reason obviously to begin with is that the country was so huge.
I am amazed at any Western critique of Tianenmen that does not consider what the US would have done if its government headquarters had been occupied by renegade students for two weeks. Or that does not remember Kent State.


“Top down government didn’t work well right off the bat, the reason obviously to begin with is that the country was so huge.”

True. That was exactly why the Cultural Revolution took place: the struggle by peasants and workers to decide how to progress without the Communist Party dictating, like what Liu Shaoqi and Deng were doing from 1957 to early 1960s (Mao decided to focus on theoretical aspects of Marxism and left the running of the country to those two). Just see how the post-1978 propagandists were saying about a group of peasants in Anhwei decided to divide up their lands, etc., etc. How a land is to be worked at depends very much on the local conditions. Certainly on hilly areas family farming could be suitable, but on huge flat grasslands cooperatives are certainly better off as expensive machinery could be used, etc. This had been proven in Britain after the Enclosure Movement and of course in the US where farms are generally very large. What worked at one part of a province may not necessarily succeed in all parts of China ( it didn’t work at Anhwei either: the “experiment” in question failed until the government added lands surrounding that village and the subsequent harvests from larger acreage were dishonestly pronounced to be a success at raising productivity).

“I am amazed at any Western critique of Tianenmen that does not consider what the US would have done if its government headquarters had been occupied by renegade students for two weeks. Or that does not remember
Kent State”

The students were warned and some did depart from the square. Others not only remained but started attacking the soldiers. What was ignored by the Western media was that it was the thousands of workers who were fired or threatened with firing by Deng’s government that formed the initial protests. A demo that was against anti-worker policies became, in the western media, one that was “pro-democracy.”