WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- "What is worth remembering about U.S.-China cooperation in fighting Japanese aggression in World War II is that, at the time, the interests of the U.S. and China differed, yet they still cooperated, united by a common foe," renowned American public intellectual Robert Lawrence Kuhn has said.
Kuhn made the remarks to Xinhua when responding to a question about the 75th anniversary of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.
"To China, the battle on Chinese soil was existential: their country invaded, partially occupied, and suffering unspeakable horrors. To the U.S., the battle on Chinese soil was diverting Japanese forces and resources, reducing Japan's capacity to wage war against America and American interests throughout the Pacific theater," Kuhn said.
"It is a propitious time to reflect on the past in order to better understand the present and to better plan the future," he added.
"Such reflection seems especially relevant today because, sadly, the U.S. and China, the world's two largest economies, have moved ... from collaborators to competitors, with some now calling the U.S. and China adversaries; a descent into a hostile, perilous, zero-sum game," added the expert.
"If common foes are what we need, the U.S. and China have common foes in abundance. They are not marching soldiers but they are every bit as dangerous and deadly: pandemics, climate change, world poverty, world inequalities, terrorism, organized crime, wars and threats of war in numerous locations," Kuhn said.
"That said, while appreciating lessons to be learned from history, I also believe, to take a contrarian position, that history lessons have limited value today," he said.
"Our epoch is unique. For multiple reasons, especially instant global communication, our geopolitical conditions are sui generis -- unique, never happened before -- which should give us pause to reflect before we react," Kuhn said.
"The burden is on us, especially leadership in the U.S. and China, to find the right road on which both great countries and peoples can walk in peace and harmony, with honesty, dignity and mutual respect," he said.