UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy released a joint statement Friday with more than 90 bipartisan, high-level former government officials and experts in U.S.-China relations urging cooperation between the United States and China in a much-needed effort to combat the COVID-19 global health crisis.
Signatories include Michael Chertoff, former secretary of Homeland Defense under President George W. Bush; Jon Huntsman, ambassador to Russia under President Donald Trump; Susan Rice, former National Security Advisor to the Obama administration; and Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State under the Clinton administration; among many others.
The Asia Society’s Center on U.S-China Relations and the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego was behind the release of the statement.
The statement urges cooperative steps between Washington and Beijing, and to demonstrate that there is broad bipartisan support for furthering such cooperation.
“We want to encourage a global effort with America’s allies and friends and other nations to meet the coronavirus challenge,” said Stephen Hadley, former National Security Advisor. “This is all about saving lives — American lives at home and the lives of others abroad.”
The statement acknowledges the serious differences in interests and values between the United States and China, but argues the U.S. need not concede its interests or values — nor condone China’s handling of the crisis — to cooperate on the pandemic. It cites the precedent set during the Cold War when the U.S. and Soviet Union cooperated to vaccinate the world against smallpox.
Kurt Campbell, former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and UC San Diego alum explains, “Even with all the distrust and disharmony, it is possible for the leadership in the United States and China to find the necessary common ground to combat the coronavirus. The American people deserve no less.”
The joint statement identifies a range of applicable areas for collaboration — including through forums such as the G20 — to develop a clear and transparent mechanism to share relevant scientific data; compare best medical practices; align efforts to ramp up production and distribution of medical supplies; and coordinate funds and clinical trials for vaccine and treatment research, testing, production and distribution.
According to Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Center, “Global challenges require global solutions, which must involve coordination between the world’s two largest economies. We are going to need a massive international effort on multiple fronts to help developing countries deal with the epidemic, develop a vaccine, and then vaccinate billions of people. Other nations will be hesitant to act unless they are convinced the United States and China are on the same page.”
UC San Diego signatories to the bipartisan statement in addition to Shirk include Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.
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