The congressionally chartered commission chose Stanford because Silicon Valley represents the heart of the U.S. technological base. I participated as the State Department’s director of science and technology cooperation, in which capacity I served as the U.S. co-secretary of the U.S.-China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement of 1979. Mr. Perry observed that, “when you look back and you see somebody chasing you. And there’s a temptation to try to find some way of slowing him down. And I’ve always believed that’s the wrong approach. The right approach is to run faster.”
Asked specifically about China, Mr. Perry responded, “I don’t think there’s much we can do to hobble them, but I think there is a lot we can do to make sure we keep running faster.” Thus, it is discouraging that, 15 years after Mr. Perry’s cogent assessment, the American Association for the Advancement of Science notes the current U.S. government’s sharp reduction in funding for scientific research. Mr. Perry was correct then, and Mr. Zakaria is correct now.
George Dragnich, Arlington
The writer is a retired minister-counselor
of the U.S. Foreign Service.