The Committee for Rational Relations with China was formed in 1995 by George Koo and Lester Lee, two prominent members of the Chinese-American community. Other members include David Lam, Norm Matloff, David Sturdevant, Ron Unz and Vince Vasconi. Our group pursues the goal of facilitating U.S.-Chinese relations in a manner beneficial to both Chinese and American societies.
While we ourselves may be among China's strongest critics on certain human-rights and other issues, at the same time we believe that the American press and government have often engaged in unfair "China-bashing," holding China to much higher standards than those applied to American allies, and indeed higher than the standards the U.S. aplies to itself.
It is particularly unfortunate that much of the American rhetoric toward China is resented by the Chinese people themselves, both those in China and also many Chinese-Americans. A case in point is that of U.S. congressional threats to revoke China's Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status. While we Americans certainly have the right to weigh the positive and negative economic impacts of trade with China (say issues like the trade deficit or U.S. access to Chinese markets), it is dishonest and manipulative to call for restrictions on China trade on the grounds that such restrictions are aimed at helping the Chinese populace. Even the prominent China critic Orville Schell has stated that most people in China oppose such restrictions, and this sentiment has been echoed repeatedly in polls of Chinese foreign students in the U.S., immigrants who come to the U.S. from China, and so on.
The membership of the committee is:
Also here is Dr. Koo's Chinese Community Forum article.
A letter to Dr. Koo from a Chinese immigrant shows views which CRRC asserts are typical among immigrant Chinese-Americans.
Also here is the expose' by Professor Matloff of Rep. Nancy Pelosi's coercion of the students from China in the U.S. regarding her MFN bill.
In addition, here is the invited presentation by Dr. Matloff at the forum on U.S. Policy Towards China, December 2, 1995, moderated by the San Jose Mercury News.
Some significant newspaper and magazine articles, and so on:
[t]he Committee of 100, with the bicultural background of its membership, has a unique perspective on U.S.-China issues. This bicultural perspective, we believe, sheds much light on the origins of and the solutions to some of the misunderstandings that periodically threaten the relationship between the two countries.The paper makes a number of points similar to those made by us in the CRRC.
America's emerging conflict with the dictatorship of China differs from America's decades-long conflict with the dictatorships of the Soviet bloc in many ways, but among the least heralded is the different role being played by Americans of Chinese descent. During the cold war, denouncing communist Poland was a sure vote-getter in Chicago, and in Miami, candidates had to practically declare war on Cuba...But confronting China on human rights won't win you votes in the Bay area. Perhaps the biggest reason is nationalism. China's rise has heartened those Chinese-Americans with close ties to East Asia (and since two-thirds of Chinese-Americans were born in China, Taiwan or Hong Kong, most have close ties)...most ChineseAmericans don't see Jiang Zemin as illegitimate in the way Cuban-Americans see Fidel Castro as illegitimate.However, the article unfortunately goes on to suggest that money (in the form of profits made in China trade by some Chinese-Americans), not nationalism, is the main force at work here. This is obviously false---does Beinart think, for example, that all the thousands of Bay Area Chinese who signed a petition supporting holding the 2000 Olympics in Beijing (contrary to American policy) were China traders?
Related to Fan's essay is an article by Shao Dan of the Chinese-language World Journal. She received an award from the New California Media in 1999 for this article.
Opposing viewpoints: Though CRRC asserts that its moderate view of China is representative of what immigrant Chinese-Americans feel, there are several organizations founded primarly by immigrant Chinese-Americans who have views opposite those of CRRC, such as the following.
On October 7th from 4-6 P.M. APARC and CEAS will be co-sponsoring a talk by a Chinese dissident on the PRC prison system, to be moderated by Prof. Stanley Lubman. (Further details will appear in the Weekly Newsletter.) We are now looking for someone to act as interpreter for the 2 hours, and have set aside some funds for that purpose.
Please get in touch with me as soon as possible if you or anyone you know, would be interested. Thanks.
P.S. - The first CEAS Weekly Newsletter of the season will begin the week of September 21st. We will also be sending everyone a copy of the Fall '98 East Asia Events and Lectures brochure that week as well, which will give you a good overview of what's being planned all around campus this quarter.