The Problem of Information
The West and China are careening toward war or, at minimum, some type of conflict—hot or cold. We see it escalating and read or hear about it frequently from nearly every news source on the planet. Unfortunately, media reporting is often exaggerated, sensationalized, or only aimed at supporting one side or the other. Think tanks and “experts” are predominantly one-sided or hardline. Some sources provide excellent information but the issues are extraordinarily complicated and often rooted in years of history. Not everyone is a political scientist or scholar, so truly understanding can be difficult.
Some kind of voice is needed in the middle and one that makes its primary role explaining and educating, not trying to convince. The reason there are few voices in the middle is that it is hard, depending on your perspective, to see the other side in anything but the starkest terms. The China Peace Initiative aims to provide learning tools that bridge these gaps.
Meet the Founder
Brent Johnson, founder of the China Peace Initiative, describes the effort as “a labor of love for the peoples of China and the West.”
Johnson, an American, first went to China in 1990 as an exchange student to Taiyuan, Shanxi province. Later he taught English in China’s far northeastern city of Harbin and then returned to the USA for graduate studies in Chinese. His master’s degree thesis was a study of China’s grain production. Returning to China in 1997, he would then spend most of the next twenty years living and working in the only city he has ever really called home, Beijing.
During his time in China, Brent worked in both for-profit companies and not-for-profit social service organizations, and across many different industries including manufacturing, agriculture, publishing, research, education, and at the end of his time in China, healthcare. He travelled the country extensively and spent considerable time in China’s countryside. Not very many foreigners have spent as much time interacting with people from so many different walks of life in China.
“Unfortunately, so many people—on both sides—just seem to want to fight,” he says. “But do they
really understand where the other side is coming from, what they really mean when they say and do things? I don’t think so.”
CPI publishes thoughts, questions, and information about the interaction between the West and China to
The CPI Logo
In the Chinese mystical tradition, the crane flies between the heavens and earth and seeks wisdom. It is a symbol for true happiness and immortality. Legend has Daoist monks transforming upon their death into a crane and traveling on lofty journeys. In the Western biblical tradition, the crane is a snake-eater and thus defeats evil. It is a symbol for good deeds and repentance. In the Chinese language the word for crane is a homonym for the first character in the word peace. The sound of the crane is a lament. All mankind will cry out in sorrow if war cannot be avoided between the great Chinese and Western civilizations. The CPI crane is looking backward as well as stepping forward.
China Peace Initiative is a 501c3 non-profit, non-tax organization in the USA.
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