Andy Chu is a retired Engineering and Executive MBA Professor. He and his wife Jean Chen live in Rossmoor, Walnut Creek, CA. Andy Chu is the President of CAAR (Chinese American Association of Rossmoor with about 500 members).
Ever since Secretary of State Anthony Blinken made his long-awaited speech on May 26, 2022 clearly stating The Administration’s Approach to the People’s Republic of China, I have been pondering on how I would relate Blinken’s message to fellow Americans. As it happens, Professor Andy Chu has taken Blinken’s message to heart and has written the following personal, sincere and heart-felt message. It is gut wrenching to realize that the US-Chinese relationships have deteriorated to such a low point. I sincerely hope that both countries would show more restraint, try to understand each other’s point of view, and not let prevailing rhetoric and popular beliefs get the better of us!
The following article is in Andy Chu’s own words! Thank you Andy for such a sincere and heart-felt message!
What shall we do?
What we, the new generation of Chinese Americans immigrants, can and should do if the US and China engaged in an all-out war? We migrated from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China Mainland, etc. We have lived and prospered in the US. Most of us identify ourselves as Americans. But we all have strong Chinese cultural and value ties. We also have emotional ties with China, the country.
Thinking about what we could do if there is a war between the US and China does not have to be paranoia. It is an exercise in thinking through rationally. And talking about it among friends could be therapeutic.
Here are some backgrounds.
US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, made a major policy speech on May 23, 2022 at Georgetown University. It was a statement of the US policy towards China. It was a well-crafted speech, sounded reasonable. But hidden behind the speech are these basic unspoken positions.
1. The US recognizes China’s achievements in economics, military forces, and science and infrastructure. And China wants to be recognized as a major force in the world.
2. China has a Communist and dictatorial system. We do not think it is what the Chinese want and is sustainable.
3. The US could accommodate and cooperate with China if China is willing to follow the rules set by the US.
4. Otherwise, the US, with its allies, will block China in military, commercial, scientific fields, and energy sources.
Given the polarization of the US internal politics, and the entrenched control of military industrial complex system on government and public opinion, the US most likely will try to maintain its dominating position in the world. And could not take China as an equal power. The US will insist:
1. The US style democracy is the best and most suitable for the rest of the world.
2. The capital system is most efficient and it serves most people well all over the world.
3. The US defined RULE OF LAW is good for every country and people.
And we know China is on an entirely different position. They think:
1. We have finally broken out of the over one-hundred-year plus oppression of the Imperil West.
2. We are now strong and rich. We want to maintain our sovereignty and territorial independence.
3. We don’t have to take orders from the Imperial West any more.
4. Although we want to trade with other countries, we have more and more people reaching higher living standards. We have the people, the capital and now the market to be on our own.
And the Chinese Communist Party is moving in the following direction:
1. The Party wants to have tighter control of the big companies.
2. President Xi is the undisputed leader.
3. The Party has advanced technology to monitor and control the population.
4. The practice of intimidation and corruption of the past are coming back to affect the general population.
5. The best policy toward the US and its allies is confrontation. And try to win over or buy allies of our own.
The reality is:
1. The open and stable globalization period is over. It was under the heavy influence of the US. China and many other countries took advantage of the peace and moved ahead.
2. Most likely there will be at least 2 and may be 3 major blocks of countries in the world.
3. The supply chain, the technical standards, the military forces, the investments, and the people talents will all be re-aligned. The resultant world will be less efficient, but people will feel more secured and balanced.
4. The challenge of getting to such a world will take years. And will take tearing down existing infrastructure and well entrenched systems. Do we have to time to do it? And most important, do we have the leadership and wisdom to do it? Do the general population have enough wisdom to get educated and move towards such a new world?
5. Do we have the wisdom to avoid the crazy dictators, and manipulators of public opinion, given our established but no holds barred social medium?
What we, as Chinese Americans, should do:
1. Participate, in the way you feel comfortable, in the elections. Local. State. Federal.
2. Seek elective positions. Donate funds, time, and effort to candidates and causes beneficial to Chinese American.
3. Talk about the historical discrimination and the contribution of Chinese American in the US. We are a part of the heritage.
4. Talk about the recent and current hate crime and contribution of Chinese American to the US.
5. Emphasis our Chinese culture and ethnic affiliation. But we are not a part of the People’s Republic of China, the nation.
6. Speak out to encourage China to be more of a world citizen, contributing more to combating global warming, energy transformation, reduction of poverty, prevention of war, etc.
Just in Case Options — What we can do to protect ourselves:
1. Besides our US passport, maintain another valid passport.
2. Put some assets in a foreign bank. Somewhere we can get to in a hurry. And have sufficient funds to maintain a year of living at least.
3. Buy a real estate somewhere.
4. Try to live outside of the US for 3 months and see if you could tolerate it. Or like it.
5. Medical facilities are important for us.
6. Reduce the real estate holdings in the US.
7. Buy gold and put it somewhere outside of the US.
What we can do to help our adult children and grandchildren:
1. Set up a bank account in their names outside of the US.
2. Get them another passport.
3. Talk to them about what happened in the past. Japanese Interment. Chinese exclusion act.
4. Travel with them outside of the US.
by Andy Chu – June 2, 2022.