Dr. Jack C. Westman's groundbreaking book, The China-America Alliance, lays out a framework for worldwide collaboration through the alliance of America and China, potentially paving the way for a form of world peace.
"We have more in common than we think," says Westman of the two countries.
As a man who participated in both the tearing down of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall, who has held International positions for the prevention of nuclear war for some 30 years, and has met with both Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Martin Luther King Jr., he has a firm grasp on what we need in order to have a strong global alliance.
And it all comes down to families.
"The family is really the bedrock and family values in our culture are almost identical to those in China. In China they are quite pervasive, where as here they are limited to middle class families," says Westman, a university professor and psychiatrist who at age 90 has a long list of honors, and faculty and medical positions, and is still going strong.
"Even more ominously, one-third of the children in the United States are failing in some aspect of their lives," says Westman. "China is confronted with dealing with the impact of rural to urban migration of millions of families with and without their children. Children in both countries; are exposed to the direct and indirect consequences of family instability, safety hazards, violent behavior, virtual reality, sexual stimulation, materialism and individualism."
Collaboration is the key, he explains in the book. As two powerful countries allied in marketplace trading, with co-existing concerns to strengthen the family unit, there is enough power and sway that the world will listen.
"Unless we collaborate on the two major things I stress in the book-global warming and air pollution- we will continue to see a decline in health and prosperity for our children and future generations," says Westman. "Air pollution is an immediate hazard in both countries, global warming is more long-term. The third hazard which you don't hear much about but could potentially jump at us overnight, is the potential for a nuclear weapon disaster, either an attack or an accident. There are thousands of these weapons across the world. The danger is there, it's real, and we are ignoring it."
At last someone is addressing the diminishing schism between China and America! Dr. Jack Westman's erudite and compassionate, humanistic overview of the differences and similarities between China's and America's government focus on the capitalistic nature, becoming more economically similar and that collaboration between the two giants, could alter the international tensions over the globe. - Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer
In the book, Westman quotes Stephen Walt, professor of international relations at Harvard University, who gives four reasons why America and China should be dedicated to preserving global peace. "First, when any country is on top of the pyramid, the last thing it should want is anything that might dislodge it. Second, peace is good for business. Third, peace promotes human welfare, whether in the form of new products; better health care; improved government services; inspiring books, art, and music; and all the other things that bring prosperity. Last but not least, peace is morally preferable."
ut how do we get there? Westman explains: "The first step is to differentiate realistic thinking (big picture thinking) and unrealistic thinking (little picture thinking). Both countries need to look ahead to see how their perceptions and actions will affect themselves, others, and the world. Events have multiple causes. Can we see both sides? Americans and East Asians tend to perceive and think about the world in different ways. Americans reason analytically, and East Asians reason holistically. The result is that East Asians are more sensitive to the impact of their behavior on others than are Americans."
Both countries are seeing an increase in suicide rates and violence. Pollution is terrible. People in both countries feel entitled.
"We do not consider our transgressions to be blunders-we expect them," writes Westman. "Some even have become rites of passage-the experimentation with illegal drugs in high school and college and the "other woman" or "other man" during a mid-life crisis. Growing up and growing old have somehow come to include growing cynical. Our attention to the quality of our characters has spilled over into inattention to the quality of our work, of our mothering and fathering and of our educational system. The debt gets paid in strange theaters: lack of competitiveness in foreign markets, youngsters who turn to drugs, and illiteracy in high school graduates. We have lost attention to detail in so many areas of our daily lives that we are actually taken by surprise by people who do care deeply about a product well made, an inspired student or a friendship never violated."
The well being of China and the United States are interdependent. Although both nations are
competitors in many ways, their common interests and values clearly depend upon global stability and collaborative relationships. "We are entering the Asian Century," says Westman.
Thoroughly researched, this book is overflowing with theories, examples and quotes from great people throughout the history of the world, who each have been passionate about their work or beliefs, humanitarians, scientists, leaders, politicians, psychiatrists, cosmologists, the list goes on. I found this book absolutely fascinating and compelling reading. It has laid out a firm strategy for China and America to independently rekindle their cultural values, then work together to control hostility and corruption in both societies, and achieve mutual economic dependence.
Susan Keefe, Midwest Book Review
While the book has a sobering effect that tallies up the problems both countries face, it offers great solutions when we work together, and above all, hope for our future.
About Jack C. Westman Dr. Westman is a Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He has published extensively on individual differences in children, learning disabilities, child abuse and neglect, child advocacy, family therapy, children and parents' rights, and public policy. He has been editor of Child Psychiatry and Human Development, President of the American Association of Psychiatric Services, and President of the Multidisciplinary Academy of Clinical Education. He is currently President of Wisconsin Cares, and volunteers with Canyon Scholars, both organizations intent on building better families and strengthening children's options in life. Westman holds an M.D. and an M.S. from the University of Michigan. He lives in Wisconsin.
The China-America Alliance: East Asian and American Cultural Values Promote Global Harmony, (ISBN 3330650885, 2017, paperback, $40.00, 476 pages, available on Amazon.