Make America great again by addressing inequality

The writer heads the China Development Forum

Anger triggered by the death of George Floyd continues to spread in the US. My experience as a Chinese researcher focused on economic and social development issues tells me that his killing by a Minneapolis police officer does not only reflect entrenched racism toward black people in the US. It is rather a symbol and a demonstration of the many difficulties a minority may encounter in America.

I took my first trip to the US in the 1980s, to a conference at the UN headquarters in New York. As part of the visit I attended a show performed by children from around the world. The first group on stage came from the Soviet Union. They all had light-coloured hair and skin and wore uniform clothing. The American children were different: they had black, white, yellow or brown skin, and were of different heights and weights.

I was impressed. The US was truly a melting pot of multiracial groups, where people worked and played together. No matter their skin colour or their religious background, they all believed they were at the same starting point and had a chance to achieve the “American dream”.

As head of a Chinese non-profit organisation, I continued to visit the US, researching and observing its efforts to promote social equity, from…

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