Press release: International relations experts Jeffrey Sachs and Zhang Weiwei to discuss US-China ‘Cold War’

Tuesday 20 October 2020

For immediate release

This year has seen US-China relations deteriorate to their worst point since the early 1970s. The trade war continues unabated; the US administration has attempted to ban Tiktok and WeChat from US app stores; and secretary of state Mike Pompeo has been attempting to persuade US allies to remove Huawei from their 5G infrastructure.

The New Cold War is becoming entrenched, and there is even the possibility of a hot war. Meanwhile, humanity faces the twin threats of pandemics and climate change – threats which urgently require a coordinated global response, rather than a confrontation between the US and China. With the US presidential elections just around the corner, what path should the new administration chose?

The No Cold War campaign is hosting a dialogue between leading US and Chinese analysts Jeffrey Sachs and Zhang Weiwei, in which they will discuss such questions as:

  • What should the US and Chinese governments do in order to shift from confrontation to cooperation and prevent a further deterioration in relations between the two countries?
  • How are humanity’s attempts to avoid climate catastrophe affected by the New Cold War?
  • What is the significance of the US presidential election for US-China relations?
  • How is the rest of the world affected by deteriorating US-China relations?

Jeffrey Sachs is a leading US analyst opposing a new cold war with China. He is an economist, academic, expert in sustainable development, and former director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. He has written numerous books, including the influential The End of Poverty.

Zhang Weiwei is professor of international relations at Fudan University, former interpreter to Deng Xiaoping, and author of several key books including the best-selling The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State.

The dialogue will be chaired by Jenny Clegg, author of China’s Global Strategy – Towards a Multipolar World.

The event will take place on 24 October at 14:00 British Summer Time online over Zoom. Registration is free and open to all via Eventbrite. The event will also be broadcast live on No Cold War’s Youtube channel  and on its Facebook page.

About the campaign

The No Cold War campaign held its inaugural meeting on 25 July 2020, with an online conference attended by participants from 49 countries, and has since attracted significant support.

The campaign’s founding statement, ‘A New Cold War against China is against the interests of humanity’, has been translated into seventeen languages and has been signed by a growing list of prominent politicians, intellectuals, social movement leaders, campaigners and journalists from across the world.

No Cold War founding statement

A New Cold War against China is against the interests of humanity

We note the increasingly aggressive statements and actions being taken by the US government in regard to China. These constitute a threat to world peace and are an obstacle to humanity successfully dealing with extremely serious common issues which confront it such as climate change, control of pandemics, racist discrimination and economic development.

We therefore believe that any New Cold War would run entirely counter to the interests of humanity. Instead we stand in favour of maximum global cooperation in order to tackle the enormous challenges we face as a species.

We therefore call upon the US to step back from this threat of a Cold War and also from other dangerous threats to world peace it is engaged in including: withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement; withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Accords; and its increasing disengagement from UN bodies. The US should also stop pressuring other countries to adopt such dangerous positions.

We support China and the US basing their relations on mutual dialogue and centring on the common issues which unite humanity.

The statement is available in seventeen languages – for more information click here.

The initial signatories include – in a personal capacity:

  • Diane Abbott MP, former Labour Party Shadow Home Secretary (UK)
  • Celso Amorim, former Foreign Minister and Defence Minister of Brazil (Brazil)
  • Ajamu Baraka, Green Party candidate for US Vice-President in 2016, (US)
  • Medea Benjamin, Peace activist and cofounder CODEPINK (US)
  • Barbara Finamore, author of Will China Save the Planet?’ (US)
  • Gerald Horne, Chair of History and African American Studies, University of Houston (US)
  • Martin Jacques, Senior Fellow, Department of Politics and International Studies Cambridge University (UK)
  • Irvin Jim, General Secretary, National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (South Africa)
  • Maite Mola, Vice-President European Left Party (Spain)
  • Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize Winner (Argentina)
  • John Pilger, Prize Winning Journalist, Director of ‘The Coming War on China’ (Australia)
  • N Ram, former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu (India)
  • Carlos Ron, President, Simón Bolívar Institute for Peace and Solidarity Among Peoples (Venezuela)
  • João Pedro Stedile, MST (Brazil)
  • Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President of the US in 2012 and 2016 (US)
  • Yanis Varoufakis, Economist, Member of Parliament, and former Finance Minister (Greece)
  • Wang Wen, Executive Dean, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China
  • Colonel Ann Wright, US Army (retired), Veterans for Peace (US)
  • Zhang Weiwei, Professor, Fudan University, author ‘The China Wave’ (China)