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Diplomat Chas Freeman Considers War Is Possible, Perhaps Even Probable, without Action

May 26, 2020 (EIRNS)—Ambassador Chas Freeman, a retired U.S. diplomat with service in China and Saudi Arabia, as well as the Defense Department, was interviewed by China’s Global Times today under the title: “Nixon’s Chinese Translator Views Decoupling as Foolish.” After briefly describing his role during the initial Nixon visit to China in 1972, Freeman said that “After 1972, the momentum was toward greater cooperation and away from the likelihood of armed conflict between the two countries. Now it is in the opposite direction.” The U.S.-China relationship is now “clearly the worst they have been” since before 1972, and “unless we come to our senses,” we are heading for war.

“Neither country wants a nuclear war or an escalation of conflict to the nuclear level,” Freeman said,

“but each must recognize that, in the absence of better mutual understanding than we now have, both are possible, perhaps even probable. In short, how to manage conflict is something we need actively to discuss. Ignoring the possibility that we might fight each other increases the chances that we will end up doing so.”

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic

“is neither the beginning nor the cause, but the catalyst of an accelerated effort by American xenophobes and ideological opponents of China to reverse our two countries’ interdependence. These efforts, which have the support of a few foolish Chinese as well as anti-China zealots in positions of power in the U.S., are now fraying many of the bonds between our two societies. But decoupling will injure and impoverish both countries as well as the rest of the world.”

Freeman continued:

“We humans live on a single planet with a highly integrated economy. In the end, in our own respective interests, we must find ways to pursue mutual benefit, notwithstanding our differences. Almost no one outside our two countries wants to see the end of Sino-American interdependence or to be forced to choose between us.... Countries friendly to both of us can help us avoid full decoupling and help set the stage for the re-knitting of ties in the future.”

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