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Statement

Saving Lives in America, China, and Around the World

The world is now in the midst of a once-in-a-century global health pandemic that threatens the lives and livelihoods of billions. This coronavirus transcends borders and nationalities, and until a vaccine is found, a cluster of cases in any one country will endanger the health and safety of people everywhere. For this reason, there has rarely been a time in which the fates of the world's nations were so clearly linked and where American leadership and purposeful international coordination were so urgently required.

The most urgent task before us is to mount a much more effective campaign here at home at the local, state, and federal levels that stops the spread of the disease and protects our most vulnerable populations. In addition to addressing our own shortcomings, the United States must simultaneously work with allies and friends to meet the common coronavirus challenge together and lead a broader global effort to contain and defeat the virus abroad, particularly in developing countries in Africa, Latin America and other parts of Asia that will otherwise be ravaged by the disease.

No effort against the coronavirus – whether to save American lives at home or combat the disease abroad -- will be successful without some degree of cooperation between the United States and China. China’s factories can make the protective gear and medicines needed to fight the virus; its medical personnel can share their valuable clinical experience in treating it; and its scientists can work with ours to develop the vaccine urgently needed to vanquish it. Through forums like the G-20, the United States can work to develop a framework for a shared global response that draws China and others together in sharing relevant scientific data; comparing best medical practices; aligning efforts to step up production and distribution of medical supplies; and coordinating funds and clinical trials for vaccine and treatment research, testing, production, and distribution. The goal should be to eliminate this disease at home and abroad at a cost that is affordable to all.

Despite recent progress against the disease, China has much to answer for in its response to the coronavirus: its initial coverup, its continuing lack of transparency, its failure to cooperate fully with U.S. and international medical authorities, and its blatant propaganda campaign to shift the blame for the crisis to the United States. It is possible that future revelations will raise more questions. Notwithstanding this, we the undersigned believe that the logic for cooperation is compelling.

Recent steps taken in Washington and Beijing suggest that both governments appreciate the significance of this moment and are taking some initial steps together. The purpose of this statement is to encourage further steps in that direction and to show that there is broad bipartisan support for such cooperation. It is in that spirit that this statement is offered.

The kind of cooperation we are promoting has precedent: during the height of the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union worked together to vaccinate the entire world against smallpox. It is true that the United States and China are increasingly in competition and have serious differences in interests and values. But America need not concede its interests or values, or condone China's handling of the crisis, to cooperate on coronavirus. Nor should such differences impede cooperation among local governments, NGOs, corporations, scientists, and private citizens on both sides of the Pacific that together form the core of any joint effort.

In time, in order to prevent or prepare for future outbreaks, there will be a need for a global review of the coronavirus pandemic: its origins, the conditions that allowed it to spread, the failure of the institutions tasked with response, and the potential fragility of medical supply chains so critical to the health and safety of billions. But for now, as the pandemic sweeps the globe, the focus should be on finding the resolve to work together to contain and defeat the virus at home and abroad. Millions of lives in both countries and around the world will depend on it.

SIGNATORIES

Madeleine Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group; Former Secretary of State

Graham Allison, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Assistant Secretary of Defense

Jeffrey Bader, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Charlene Barshefsky, Senior International Partner, WilmerHale; Former U.S. Trade Representative

Max Baucus, Former U.S. Ambassador to China; Former U.S. Senator from Montana

Jan Berris, Vice President, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

Robert D. Blackwill, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Planning

Jeffrey L. Bleich, Special Master for the United States District Courts; Former U.S Ambassador to Australia and Special Counsel to the President

Antony Blinken, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, WestExec Advisors; Former Deputy Secretary of State

John Bridgeland, Founder & CEO, Civic Enterprises; Former Director, White House Domestic Policy Council

Nicholas Burns, Professor, Harvard University; Former Under Secretary of State

William J. Burns, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Former Deputy Secretary of State

Kurt M. Campbell, Chairman and CEO, The Asia Group, LLC; Former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Victor Cha, Vice Dean and D.S. Song-KF Professor of Government, Edmund A. Walsh School for Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Former National Security Staff, 2004-2007

Michael Chertoff, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, The Chertoff Group; Former Secretary of Homeland Security

Tai Ming Cheung, Professor, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

Thomas J. Christensen, Director, China and the World Program, Columbia University; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Jerome A. Cohen, Founding Director, U.S.-Asia Law Institute, NYU

William Cohen, Chairman and CEO, The Cohen Group; Former Secretary of Defense

Peter Cowhey, Dean and Qualcomm Endowed Chair, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

Wendy Cutler, Vice President and Managing Director, Washington, D.C. Office, Asia Society Policy Institute; Former Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative

Robert Daly, Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the U.S., Wilson Center

Abraham Denmark, Director, Asia Program, Wilson Center; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia

Rush Doshi, Director, Brookings China Strategy Initiative; Fellow, Yale Paul Tsai China Center

Elizabeth Economy, C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director, Asia Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Gary R. Edson, Former Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy National Economic Advisor

Karl Eikenberry, Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, Retired

Donald Evans, Former Secretary of Commerce

Richard Falkenrath, Chief Security Officer, Bridgewater Associates; Former Deputy Homeland Security Advisor

Peter D. Feaver, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy, Duke University; Former staff member of National Security Council

Evan A. Feigenbaum, Vice President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Michèle Flournoy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, WestExec Advisors; Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Richard Fontaine, CEO, Center for a New American Security

M. Taylor Fravel, Professor and Director of the Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Francis Fukuyama, Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University

Julian Gewirtz, Academy Scholar, Harvard University; Former Special Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy

Paul Gewirtz, Professor and Director, Paul Tsai China Center, Yale Law School

Bonnie Glaser, Director, China Power Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Michael Green, Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies; Former Senior Director for Asia, National Security Council

Carlos Gutierrez, Co-Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group; Former Secretary of Commerce

Stephen Hadley, Former National Security Advisor

Paul Haenle, Former NSC China Director under President George W. Bush

Chuck Hagel, Former Secretary of Defense and U.S. Senator

Avril Haines, Senior Research Scholar, Columbia University; Former Principal Deputy National Security Advisor

Melanie Hart, Senior Fellow and Director for China Policy, Center for American Progress

John Holdren, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Yanzhong Huang, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Yasheng Huang, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jon Huntsman Jr., Former U.S Ambassador to China

Pradeep Khosla, Chancellor, University of California San Diego

James Kralik, Managing Director, Linden Street Capital Limited

Stephen D. Krasner, Professor, Stanford University; Former Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State

Arthur Kroeber, Founding Partner and Head of Research, Gavekal Dragonomics

David M. Lampton, Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University

Mike Leavitt, Founder, Leavitt Partners; Former Secretary of Health and Human Services

Winston Lord, Chairman Emeritus, International Rescue Committee; Former U.S. Ambassador to China

Anja Manuel, Director, Aspen Strategy Group and Security Form; Former State Department Official

Evan S. Medeiros, Penner Family Chair in Asia Studies, Georgetown School of Foreign Service; Former Senior Director for Asia, National Security Council

Derek Mitchell, President, National Democratic Institute; Former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs

Lisa Monaco, Former Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor

Andrew J. Nathan, Professor, Columbia University

Barry Naughton, Professor, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

Joseph S. Nye, Professor Emeritus, and Former Dean, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Chair, National Intelligence Council

Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School; North American Chair of the Trilateral Commission; Former Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan

Stephen A. Orlins, President, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

Douglas Paal, Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Former Senior Director for Asia Affairs, National Security Council

Minxin Pei, Professor and George R. Roberts Fellow, Claremont McKenna College

John Pomfret, Former Washington Post Bureau Chief in Beijing

Jeffrey Prescott, Former Special Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President

Mira Rapp-Hooper, Schwarzman Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Ely Ratner, Executive Vice President and Director of Studies, Center for a New American Security; Former Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President

Susan Rice, Former National Security Advisor and US Ambassador to the UN

John Roos, Partner and Co-Founder, Geodesic Capital; Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan

Daniel H. Rosen, Founding Partner, Rhodium Group

Gary Roughead, Former Chief of Naval Operations

J. Stapleton Roy, Former U.S. Ambassador to China and Director Emeritus, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Wilson Center

Kevin Rudd, President, Asia Society Policy Institute; Former Prime Minister of Australia

Daniel Russel, Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy, Asia Society Policy Institute; Former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

Rexon Ryu, Partner, The Asia Group; Former Chief of Staff to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

David Sandalow, Inaugural Fellow, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University; Former Assistant Secretary of State

Kori Schake, Director of the Foreign and Defense Policy Program, American Enterprise Institute

Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society

David Shambaugh, Professor and Director of the China Policy Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

Josette Sheeran, President and CEO, Asia Society

Wendy R. Sherman, Professor and Director of the Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs

Victor Shih, Associate Professor, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy

Susan Shirk, Research Professor and 21st Century China Center Chair, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State

Julianne Smith, Former Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President

James B. Steinberg, Professor, Syracuse University; Former Deputy Secretary of State

Jake Sullivan, Margo Family Distinguished Fellow, Dartmouth College; Former Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State

Lawrence H. Summers, University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University; Former Secretary of the Treasury

Tommy Thompson, Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center; Former Secretary of Health and Human Services

Kurt Tong, Partner, The Asia Group, LLC; Former Consul General in Hong Kong and Macau

Frances Townsend, Executive Vice President, MacAndrews and Forbes Incorporated; Former Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor

Ezra Vogel, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

Kenneth Wainstein, Former Homeland Security Advisor

Jessica Chen Weiss, Associate Professor of Government, Cornell University

Damon Wilson, Former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs

Robert O. Work, 32nd Deputy Secretary of Defense, serving both the Obama and Trump Administrations

Thomas Wright, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Sharon H. Yuan, Managing Partner and General Counsel, The Asia Group, LLC; Former Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade and Investment Policy and Senior Coordinator for China


Organizers

About the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations

The Center on U.S.-China Relations was founded in 2006 and is based at Asia Society’s New York headquarters. The center undertakes projects and events which explore areas of common interest and divergent views between the two countries, focusing on policy, culture, business, media, economics, energy, and the environment.

About the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy

The 21st Century China Center was established in 2011 at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. It is a leading university-based think tank that produces scholarly research and informs policy discussions on China and U.S.-China relations.