Why do I love China and the Communist Party of China (CPC)?
It was not always the case.
In fact, for the majority of my life, some 48 years, I hated China and I hated the CPC!
Why This Article
I want to tell my odyssey, my journey to the West, that has taken me far far away from my Motherland.
I hope to connect with a few overseas Chinese who feel similar yearnings that I feel now towards China. I would like to connect with those who feel helplessly sinking in the sea of Western “narratives” or LIES about China promulgated in the mass media, the mainstream and so-called “alternative” media in the West, especially in the USA and Canada.
I am also hoping to connect with a few mainland Chinese who might be able to help me return back to China.
Who knows maybe I will get lucky and President Xi Jinping will hear about my odyssey and be moved to grant me my Chinese citizenship again!
The Arc of My 50 Year Odyssey
It all began one night in Shanghai in early 1972. I don’t remember the exact date as I was only 6 and 1/2 years old when this traumatic event happened and it affected the course of my entire life.
But before I get to that seminal story of how my hatred of China and the CPC began, here is a speech that I gave in early December 2001 (or 2002 I forgot) in the Financial District in San Francisco, California with a bullhorn in hand!
The title on my rambling speech that I literally shouted at the lunchtime passerby’s was “A Warning Of Today’s Holocaust”:
Communists in China have killed over 60 million Chinese people since they have taken over China. Freedom and justice do not exist in Communist China today. Many “Made in China” goods found at Kmart, Wal-Mart, and elsewhere are produced by the slave labor of Chinese people suffering in Laogai concentration camps.
Chinese Communists have killed over 1 million Tibetans. They are currently waging a cultural genocide to wipe out all Tibetan culture through massive population transfer.
Chinese Communists are readying to take Taiwan by force that could lead to the killing of thousands and maybe millions of Taiwan’s people.
Chinese Communists are threatening the people of the United States with nuclear ICBM’s.
Western governments, liberal and conservative, including the United States are beholden to multinational corporations. These companies are interested in two things: (1) captive markets to sell their goods (i.e., totalitarian countries like China), and (2) cheap labor to lower their costs of production (i.e., slave labor found in countries like China).
Western governments and the multinational corporations reason that greater trade with Communist China will somehow cause the Communist dictators to allow freedom and democracy to flourish. The fallacy of this argument was clearly demonstrated by the Tiananmen Square massacre and by the current persecution of the Falun Gong and Zhong Gong spiritual groups.
The motto of the Communists is “Retain power at all costs.” Sacrificing the few or the many to control the rest is their means. The massacre at the Tiananmen Square and its aftermath serve as a stark warning to the Chinese people and to the world.
The truth of China and Tibet today is not really known by the ordinary people of the West. If they realized what is happening, they would equate this to what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1940’s — but worse, a lot worse.
Would Westerners buy Nazi goods produced from concentration camps? Would they help the Nazis build their war machine if they knew the truth?
History has a tendency to repeat itself for those who never learn from it. If the IOC gives the 2008 Olympics to Communist China, it’s Nazi 1936 all over again. Except this time the enemy has the means to destroy millions of people in a matter of minutes.
“Never again….” Repeated again. Today. . . .
Everything in my speech is a LIE! Except for this statement: “The truth of China and Tibet today is not really known by the ordinary people of the West.” But not in the way that I meant it in 2001!
This event of my San Francisco speech was the nadir of my odyssey to the West.
In 2003, I began to suspect that some of the “facts” listed in my speech were not truthful. However, it wasn’t until early 2020 and the onset of Covid-19 that I finally realized that everything I thought I knew about China and the CPC were LIES. Finally, the insidious and toxic veil was completely lifted from my mind and my heart about the truth and reality of China and the CPC.
I was finally liberated! Free at last! Free at last! Free at last!
But my odyssey was long and arduous and painful. And it is not over yet.
I will return back to my Motherland to contribute what I will towards China’s National Rejuvenation.
One Night In Shanghai
I was born in Shanghai in July 1965. My parents are both medical doctors. When I was around 5 years old, my parents left me in Shanghai with my uncle Jack, my father’s younger brother. With my little sister, they went to Kunming for work purposes. They believed that the quality of life in Shanghai would be better for me, being their first child and only son and all. So I lived with Jack on the small piece of land that my paternal grandfather had bought before the Communists liberated China.
On this land, which exists today as a public park, there were 3 very small houses. I slept in the middle one, a single bedroom house.
One night in late January or early February 1972, eight plain-clothed local policemen came into my room, just as Jack was tucking me into bed. Of course, in those days, nobody locked their doors or gates. God forbid! Only criminals and counter-revolutionaries would do such a horrible thing!
My bedroom is square in shape, with the entrance door in the middle of one wall and my bed leaning against the opposite wall. Looking towards the door from my bed, to my left is an old jukebox radio, one that had large push buttons for selecting various radio stations.
Six of these policemen took Jack to my right and they were engaged in some discussion that I couldn’t hear. The two other policemen went to the jukebox radio to my left.
I had a bird’s eye view of everything.
Looking at the two policemen, I noticed that one of them was pushing various buttons on the jukebox radio. Then the other one shouted out to Jack across the room asking or rather demanding, “Did you do this?”
In China at that time, it was illegal to listen to radio stations from Hong Kong or Taiwan. Parenthetically, I hear that it’s “illegal” in Taiwan to listen/watch certain mainland Chinese media in 2022! The duo policemen were accusing my uncle of listening to an illegal radio station with evidence that they manufactured right in front of my eyes!
Of course, Jack protested that he wasn’t listening to any illegal radio station. But his protests were in vain and they took him away right there and then.
Just as they were all leaving my bedroom, I stood up on my bed and pointed to one of the two policemen with my right hand and shouted as loud as I could, “He did it! He did it!”
But the lonely voice of a little child was not enough that night.
My uncle Jack ended up in some reform jail for 30 days.
I was left alone with our nanny and cook for what seemed like years to a six year old.
Years later, we were able to piece together what really happened and why Jack was take away to reform jail.
But the scar from that night left an indelible mark on my soul and damaged my views and opinions about China for the next 48 years!
From that night onward, I feared and hated China and the CPC!
Nixon in China
From February 21 through 28, 1972, US President Nixon visited China. It was a historical event. From the American objective, the intended purpose of this visit was to draw China into America’s orbit, to counter the Soviet Union. From the Chinese objective, it was the baby steps towards opening China to the West once again.
Incidentally, the geopolitical tango among Russia, China, and the United States has always been the key to the stability or instability on this planet. This is even more true today in 2022 with the events unfolding in Ukraine and Taiwan.
If people remember anything about that historical visit, they remember Nixon meeting with Chairman Mao in Beijing. What they forget is that Nixon also stopped in Shanghai before flying to Beijing.
This is where the trouble began for my uncle. Apparently, Nixon landed at Shanghai’s Hung Chiao Airport which is located very close to our land. Don’t ask me how close (maybe 5 km), but close enough that our local police decided weeks before the important visit to round up all the potential “rabble rousers” and “trouble makers”.
Being a somewhat free thinker with no job and in his 20s, Jack was lumped into the “trouble maker” category. So, he was rounded up with the rest of undesirables a few weeks before Nixon graced our neighbourhood.
During his initial stopover before flying to Beijing, Nixon was only in Shanghai for one hour, but the pre-fallout of his visit lasted a lifetime for me.
Leaving China for Canada/USA
My family left China in October 1973 (my mother joined us later) for Hong Kong. Don’t ask me how that was accomplished, as it was very rare for Chinese citizens to leave China legally in the early 1970s. That story could be another future article!
In October 1974, we left for Vancouver, Canada. I grew up in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineer from the University of British Columbia in 1989.
After my graduation, I left for the United States where I spent approximately the next 20 years working as a mechanical engineer, project engineer and project manager. I was a professionally licensed mechanical engineer in the state of California.
For the first 4 years, I joined what turned out to be a spiritual cult in Montana! Of course, you find out about these sticky and uncomfortable truths after the fact!
It was during my sojourn in the USA that my opinions about China hardened to such a degree that my resultant false beliefs led me to give that public speech in San Francisco.
The cult that I had join, like a lot of cults, is extremely pro-USA and anti-China. Incidentally, the Washington Times, a newspaper owned by the Moonies or the Unification Church, a Korean cult with considerable influence in South Korea, Japan and the USA, is extremely pro-USA and anti-China. The Epoch Times, an “alternative” news rag owned by the Falun Gong cult, is over-the-top pro-USA and anti-China. Their “news” about China are re-posted by an influential alternative news blog called zerohedge.com which is quite popular with libertarians and the “free market” believers.
Permit me to say the following about cults in general:
If I can summarize the defining characteristic or modus operandi or spiritual DNA of all cults, the words of George W. Bush encapsulates it best: “You are either with us or you are against us!”
As long as you is going along with the cult’s teachings and philosophy and actions, everything is hunky dory and you are treated as a “member of the family”. But once you cross that line against their teachings or their philosophy or their actions, then you instantaneously become a persona non grata and their mortal enemy.
The United States of America, at the level of its governing elites which alternates between the left and the right every so often, is basically a cult, a very dangerous and vindictive cult. Many Americans who believe religiously in the American MYTH are members of the American cult.
It was also in the USA that the LIES about China and the MYTHS about the USA began to unravel for me.
I want to address four of them now (before continuing to tell my odyssey), and expose them for the LIES and MYTHS that they are, as they have affected me and many others very deeply. Sadly, they continue to do so for millions of people around the world.
1. Tibet Genocide LIE
One of the LIES that I learned while I was with the cult in Montana, called the Summit Lighthouse (TSL) and the Church Universal and Triumphant (CUT), is the genocide of 1.2 million Tibetans and the destruction of over 5,000 Tibetan monasteries. This was and still is one of their fundamental political “teachings”.
Along with Hollywood movies about Tibet that feature A-list movie stars like Brad Pitt, it was all too easy to swallow this particularly insidious LIE hook, line and sinker.
Michael Parenti, one of the few progressives in America who talks about the ugly and genocidal reality of the American Empire, wrote an article called “Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth”. I encourage everyone who wants to know the truth about Tibet and China’s liberation of Tibet to read his article which can be found at:
- Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth (2007)
Michael Parenti • Red Sails • December 2020 • 7,900 Words
Basically, before Tibet was liberated by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 1951, Tibet was a medieval kingdom of land-owning lamas, secular leaders, serfs, and slaves. Many more serfs and slaves (95%) than important lamas and secular leaders (5%). The important land-owning lamas, whose progeny is now paraded in the West as “holy men” with their “ancient wisdom” dressed in saffron robes, were in fact slave owners. They maintained a brutal system of serfdom and slavery for centuries for their exclusive benefit and pleasure.
Up until 1959.
Quoting from Parenti’s article:
[The] Drepung monastery was one of the biggest landowners in the world, with its 185 manors, 25,000 serfs, 300 great pastures, and 16,000 herdsmen. The wealth of the monasteries rested in the hands of small numbers of high-ranking lamas. Most ordinary monks lived modestly and had no direct access to great wealth. The Dalai Lama himself “lived richly in the 1000-room, 14-story Potala Palace.”
Secular leaders also did well. A notable example was the commander-in-chief of the Tibetan army, a member of the Dalai Lama’s lay Cabinet, who owned 4,000 square kilometers of land and 3,500 serfs. Old Tibet has been misrepresented by some Western admirers as “a nation that required no police force because its people voluntarily observed the laws of karma.” In fact, it had a professional army, albeit a small one, that served mainly as a gendarmerie for the landlords to keep order, protect their property, and hunt down runaway serfs.
Young Tibetan boys were regularly taken from their peasant families and brought into the monasteries to be trained as monks. Once there, they were bonded for life. Tashì-Tsering, a monk, reports that it was common for peasant children to be sexually mistreated in the monasteries. He himself was a victim of repeated rape, beginning at age nine. The monastic estates also conscripted children for lifelong servitude as domestics, dance performers, and soldiers.
The Dalai Lama, before his much acclaimed “escape” to India, lived in luxury in his Potala Palace in Lhasa. His worldly possessions included “8,000 kg of gold [worth about $500 million US dollars in today’s terms], 5 million kg of silver [worth about $4.4 billion US dollars in today’s terms], 20,000 pieces of jewelry, and more than 10,000 items of expensive silk and fur clothing.” His family “owned 27 manors, 30 areas of pasture, and 6,000 serfs”.
Not exactly the Hollywood image of piety and non-attachment that he magically acquired later on in the West.
As to the 1.2 million Tibetans killed by the PLA, Parenti wrote the following rebuttal:
Both the Dalai Lama and his advisor and youngest brother, Tendzin Choegyal, claimed that “more than 1.2 million Tibetans are dead as a result of the Chinese occupation.” The official 1953 census–six years before the Chinese crackdown–recorded the entire population residing in Tibet at 1,274,000. Other census counts put the population within Tibet at about two million. If the Chinese killed 1.2 million in the early 1960s then almost all of Tibet, would have been depopulated, transformed into a killing field dotted with death camps and mass graves–of which we have no evidence. The thinly distributed Chinese force in Tibet could not have rounded up, hunted down, and exterminated that many people even if it had spent all its time doing nothing else.
This particular insidious LIE has a “ring of truth” much like the Kuwaiti incubator babies story that was created out of whole cloth by the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the USA. Her tearful and pivotal testimony before the US Congress and televised nationally and worldwide was what precipitated the first American Gulf War against Iraq in 1991.
The Americans love putting out the facade of a good excuse to wage their genocidal wars. Most of them, if not all, are fake.
However, the truth cannot be hidden for those who seek it. Here is a YouTube documentary series on what Tibet was like before and after her peaceful liberation from serfdom and slavery, as told by former Tibetan serfs and slaves who lived during those times.
2. Tiananmen Square Massacre LIE
Most of us remember the iconic photo of the Chinese man standing in front of and stopping a column of PLA tanks near Tiananmen Square in June 1989.
Most Westerners believe that thousands of protesting Chinese students were crushed and killed by PLA tanks inside Tiananmen Square. How could this not be true? After all, the BBC and the New York Times both reported this and continue to tell this Tiananmen Square massacre narrative.
I saw it live on TV! Or so I thought.
Although that iconic photo is real, however, no one died inside Tiananmen Square. About 300 people were killed during the June 4th incident outside of Tiananmen Square, most were PLA soldiers and the rest were mainly workers, not students. The students had left Tiananmen Square peacefully early on June 4th.
Those key student leaders who were trained and goaded on by the American CIA (the National Endowment for Democracy or NED) were whisked away secretively via Hong Kong to the United States where they were then offered lucrative scholarships to attend prestigious universities.
Student leaders who benefited from American generosity or quid pro quo after Tiananmen Square include Chai Ling (Princeton University), Wu’er Kaixi (Harvard University), Wang Dan (Harvard University), Liu Gang (Columbia University), Feng Congde (Boston University), and Li Lu (Columbia University).
Here is the story of a cool-aid drinker and bonafide journalist who attended candle light vigils on almost every June 4th demonstration at Victoria Park in Hong Kong for 30 years. His recent awakening to the reality and truth of the so-called “Tiananmen Square Massacre” is quite refreshing and enlightening to read:
- How Psy-Ops Warriors Fooled Me About Tiananmen Square: A Warning
Nury Vittachi • Friday • June 4, 2022 • 3,200 Words
In perfect hindsight, the student protestors in Tiananmen Square were 100% wrong, demonstrating for Western style “democracy”. In actuality, they were instigating a “color revolution” to overthrow the CPC, before this phrase came into vogue much later.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping was 100% correct.
The proofs are in the results.
China today is the second largest economy in the world. Some say she is the largest economy in the world using the Purchasing Power Parity method of calculating GDP. At the end of 2020, China lifted all of her citizens from extreme poverty! The total number of Chinese lifted out of extreme poverty totals over 700 million people! This is historical and unprecedented in human history! More about this later below.
When Chairman Mao declared the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949, China was basically starting from nothing, after many decades of devastation and destruction from the civil war and the war against the Japanese invasion. When Deng Xiaoping began to steer China’s course towards reforms and opening up in 1978, millions of Chinese people were still riding bicycles!
Today, only 44 years later, millions of Chinese people ride super trains that are the envy of the world. China is the largest automobile market in the world. The Chinese middle class is more than the entire population of the USA. The Chinese space program rivals both the American’s and the Russian’s in terms of technological advancement and achievements. China built her space program all by herself, literally from scratch.
I’d say China has attained phenomenal and historical successes since June 4, 1989 . . . under the leadership and vision of the CPC!
3. Xinjiang Genocide LIE
I am getting a little ahead of myself in telling my odyssey, but here is the latest LIE about China. It’s basically the same Tibetan LIE retold once again.
Today, we are told there is another CPC genocide. This time it’s in the Chinese province of Xinjiang where the ethnic minority, the Uygurs (or Uyghurs, as it is spelled in the West), live.
Xinjiang province, also known as the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is located in the western region of China. It is the home to over 25 million Chinese citizens, comprising of all the 56 Chinese ethnic groups. The Uygurs are a Turkic ethnic group native to Xinjiang. There are about 8 million Uygurs in 2000 and about 12 million in Xinjiang in 2020. Most Uygurs in Xinjiang are Muslims.
The Western narrative on Xinjiang, mainly driven by the United States, is that there are the following: (1) a genocide is waged against the Uygurs by the CPC, (2) Uygur forced labor is used in cotton production and other industries, (3) concentration camps where 1 million or 2 million Uygurs (depending on who is regurgitating this narrative) are imprisoned, (4) thousands of Muslim mosques are destroyed (where have we heard this before?), etc., etc., etc..
I am not going to waste your time or mine to go into this “Tibet Genocide 2.0” LIE retold for Xinjiang. But I will describe the three key sources of these Xinjiang LIES.
One is Adrian Zenz who is a German “anthropologist” known for his very distorted views and published reports on the Xinjiang “concentration camps” and “Uygur genocide”. He is a senior fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an anti-communist think tank in Washington, DC. Mr. Zenz is a fanatical right-wing, religious zealot whose mission in life seems to be to take down the CPC! Of course, US government money has nothing to do with his “mission”.
The second source of these Xinjiang LIES is an Australian think tank called the Australian Strategic Policy Institute or ASPI which is partially funded by the Australian government. The other sources of ASPI’s funding include such US/UK military industrial corporations as Lockheed Martin (known for producing the F-16, F-22 and F-35 jet fighters), BAE Systems (Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighters, Trident nuclear missile subs), Northrop Grumman (missiles), Thales Group (rocket and mortar systems), and Raytheon Technology (Javelin and Stinger missiles).
The third source is the so-called “World Uyghur Congress” that is funded by the US National Endowment for Democracy or NED which is publicly outed as a CIA front organization, and it is headquartered in Munich, Germany.
What I do want is to leave my readers with three videos on the reality and truth of Xinjiang and the Uygurs today:
4. American MYTH
Americans love to preach to the rest of the world about how fortunate they are living in the land of milk and honey: Freedom and Democracy!
But as one British expat living in China, Jason Lightfoot, remarked about the USA in one of his YouTube videos titled “5 Reasons Why I LOVE Living in China!”:
“They may call themselves ‘the land of the free’, but how free are you if you can’t walk down the streets at night and feel safe? You need to keep a gun under your pillow to feel safe. You can’t walk down certain streets at night time or in the day time. You can’t afford your rent because cost of living is sky high. You drive down a road that’s crumbling, covered in potholes. It damages your car but you can’t afford to fix it because you’ve just been laid off. How free can you be in a society like this?”
To Jason’s astute observations, I would add this rhetorical question, “How free are you and how democratic is it to be forced to work 3 minimum wage jobs every day, seven days a week, just to pay the monthly rent and to provide food on the table for one’s family?”
Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a book called, “Nickel and Dimed,” describing this particular American plight. Her book came out in 2001 and things have gotten a lot worse since then.
As to the self-proclaimed notion that America is the world’s “greatest democracy”, Chinese venture capitalist and political scientist, Eric X. Li, said it best: “In America, you can change political parties, but you can’t change the policies. In China, you cannot change the party, but you can change policies.”
What is more important, democracy as in voting for political leaders or policy as in having infrastructure (here I include social infrastructure as well)?
In America, the common people neither have the political leaders that represent their needs and interests nor do they have adequate infrastructure necessary to carry on their daily lives. Most of their bridges, highways, dams, and other public works were constructed during the Great Depression and in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Today, America’s infrastructure is literally crumbling before their very eyes. Their once proud social infrastructure, health care and social safety nets have been dismantled and/or privatized. Their dismal and horrific Covid-19 results, with over one million deaths and counting, are a sad and eye-opening testimony to this stark reality.
The MYTH of America versus the reality of America is the difference between how America is portrayed in its Hollywood comic book movies and the harsh reality on Main Street, USA.
Cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort or anguish that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, values or attitudes simultaneously. Cognitive dissonance is a fundamental psychological problem suffered by all cult members. Including cult nations!
The late and great comedian George Carlin summed up the American Myth aka the American Dream ever so eloquently:
“They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep [or dead] to believe it.”
Enlightenment in Argentina
When I had enough of the cognitive dissonance living in the USA, I decided to leave. The hypocrisy and hubris of the Americans were just too much for me. As the Americans love to say, “Love America or leave!” I chose to leave. But where would I go? China was out of the question, because at that time I still feared China and the CPC. So, I looked for a country furthest from the USA that is not so pro-USA.
That country turned out to be Argentina.
Except for a brief period, I have been living in Patagonia, Argentina since August, 2008. In September 2010, I visited Shanghai with my parents. My fear of China and the CPC, though greatly diminished since my San Francisco speech, was still present.
In mid 2020, the Covid-19 epidemic, which started in Wuhan, China, paralyzed the entire world with lockdowns. In Argentina it was the same. With too much time on my hands and nothing to do, I began to study and research China and the CPC.
Under the direct leadership of President Xi Jinping and the CPC, the incredible response of China to contain and then defeat Covid-19 in Wuhan really impressed me. In just 76 days, this new and previously unknown epidemic was brought under complete control in Wuhan, thanks to the heroic and selfless efforts of tens of thousands of doctors, nurses, construction workers, delivery persons, grocery workers, local volunteers, truck drivers, and military personnel. Many volunteered from almost all regions of China to go to Wuhan to fight!
One of the best documentaries on Wuhan’s fight against Covid-19 is produced by Reporterfy Media and it’s called “Blaming Wuhan The Documentary”:
Incidentally, a few Chinese, including two that I know personally, have turned against President Xi Jinping, or it reconfirms their previous judgment of Xi as this evil dictator, because of the supposed fiascos that resulted from his in/actions in the recent Shanghai lockdown. One of the social media stories is about pets accidentally or intentional killed by public personnels disinfecting unattended apartments in Shanghai. And other such Internet stories like that.
Even if these stories are true, what these Chinese critics lack is a discerning perspective. Comparing China’s with the American response and its aftermath, with over one million Covid-19 deaths and counting, these Chinese critics are nitpicking gnats from shit!
Finally, two things completely destroyed the last dregs of my fear and hatred of China and the CPC: (1) China’s Poverty Alleviation program which has successfully lifted over 700 million Chinese out of extreme poverty, and (2) the incredible journey of Xi Jinping, from the humble beginnings of a young farm worker to the all powerful leadership position as China’s President and Leader.
China’s Poverty Alleviation
I had a very old English book about China written at the turn of the last century. I have lost that book and I don’t remember its title. But what I do remember from that book is the figure of 700 million poor Chinese peasants and how the author salivated at the prospect of selling shoes to a few of those 700 million potential customers!
Chairman Mao, the CPC and the PLA liberated China from a century of imperialism and the disease of parasitic colonialism. They laid the solid foundation for a New China by quarantining and disinfecting China from foreign colonists and foreign invaders, and by building up the Chinese military and nuclear weapons. Mao and the CPC had the foresight to defeat the Americans attempting to enclose China via Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan, chiefly in the early 1950s during the so-called Korea War.
One of the key missions of the CPC is to liberate the Chinese people from centuries and even millenniums of poverty. This dream of Chairman Mao and the early pioneers of the CPC was but a dream when the People’s Republic of China was founded on October 1, 1949. There were over 700 million Chinese living in extreme poverty then, including 100 million impoverished rural residents.
China was still a very poor country in 1978 when Deng Xiaoping started his reform and opening up. However, under the collective CPC leadership and vision of Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping, Poverty Alleviation has accelerated from a rallying cry and a sacred mission to practical actions and state programs in the fulfilment of a 5,000 year old Chinese dream.
Incidentally, US President Lyndon B. Johnson launched America’s “War on Poverty” during his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. What are the results of America’s poverty alleviation since 1964? Where is the beef as the Americans would say?!?
What has taken place in China since 1978 is nothing short of the miraculous. However, there were no miracles or magic involved. China’s Poverty Alleviation involved the dedicated hard work of millions of CPC Party members and cadres.
Poverty Alleviation in China involved the hard work and ingenuity of over 3 million grassroots CPC officials stationed in some 128,000 poverty-stricken villages throughout all regions of China.
China’s Poverty Alleviation utilized the “five-batch” principles: (1) Local Industrial Development, (2) Relocation, (3) Eco-Compensation, (4) Children’s Education, and (5) Social Security.
Depending on the specific local conditions, problems and needs, a targeted poverty alleviation approach was employed using the “five-batch” principles.
Local Industrial Development involve nurturing existing or developing new local industries. As it says in the Bible, “If you give man a fish, you have fed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you have fed him for a lifetime.” Well, that’s exactly what China has done throughout her 832 counties. But there is a more practical Chinese saying, “If you want to get rich, build a road first.” Therefore, many local projects involve building much needed paved roads, bridges, highways, railways, 4G/5G Internet, and other infrastructure to connect isolated regions to the rest of China. Other projects involve building solar power stations and wind turbines for the generation of electricity. Then there is the growing of local agricultural products that are sold via the blooming e-commerce trade in China.
In really isolated and hard to access villages, the only practical solution to lift the impoverished locals out of decades and centuries of poverty is to relocate them to more suitable, accessible and fertile areas. Therefore for these poor villagers, Relocation is the key solution. However, these poor villagers were NOT forced to relocate. In many cases, it takes a lot of persistent effort on the part of the local first Party secretary to convince them to relocate to new and better communities where new housing has been constructed, typically free of charge (free housing), and, in many cases, completely furnished with the latest appliances and furnitures! Between 2016 and 2020, some 9.6 million Chinese have been relocated to 35,000 newly built residential communities with 2.66 million new houses and apartments newly built.
Eco-Compensation entails transforming polluting local industries, such as coal mining, to more eco-friendly and sustainable businesses, such local eco-tourism. The guiding philosophy behind this principle is President Xi Jinping’s “Lucid waters and lush mountain are invaluable assets” concept which he first introduced in Yucan Village, Anji county of Huzhou city on August 15, 2005. China’s forestry services has hired 1.1 million poverty-stricken people as forest rangers, to protect the local environment and native wildlife and animals. Some of these newly trained forest rangers were previously employed in non-sustainable industries.
Children’s Education is the key to China’s bright future and to ensure that the cycle of poverty is broken forever. Between 2016 and 2020, “China ensured free compulsory education for 200,000 students from registered poor households, and free vocational education training for more than 8 million junior or high school dropouts.” This means free tuition for school children and tuition allowances for poverty stricken households. Along with relocation, this also means the relocated school children live near their schools, where previously they had to walk for hours to get to school. Some students even had to slide on steel cables across dangerous rivers to get to their schools prior to the building of bridges!
Last by not least is Social Security for the most needed and impoverished families. They may talk about “no child left behind” in the United States, but in China “no one left behind” is not only state policy but it is a reality. Since 2016, China has provided subsistence allowance or poverty support allowance to more than 19.36 million registered poor people. Social Security also includes free health care and health insurance for the most needy and impoverished people.
In November 2020, China succeeded in eliminating absolute or extreme poverty!
(Beyond the Mountain)
President Xi Jinping
The arc of journey of Xi Jinping is one of the most incredible stories in recent history and it will be studied by millions of people everywhere around the world.
Although President Xi Jinping came from a family well connected in the CPC, Xi himself had to literally start at the bottom. His father, Xi Zhongxun, was a Long March hero who later became the Secretary-General of the China State Council and a Deputy Prime Minister of China.
In 1969, at the age of 15, Xi Jinping was sent to the countryside along with tens of millions of Chinese youth. He worked as a manual farm laborer for 7 years in a small poor village called Liangjiahe in Yan’an, Shaanxi Province in northwest China. At night, Xi slept on a heated brick and clay bed in a room carved into a mountainside.
Nighttime was also when he could read his many books stored in a large brown box that he had lugged all the way from Beijing to Liangjiahe. His thirst for knowledge spanned literature, history, politics, and philosophy. After a hard day’s of manual labor, Xi would read his books well into the wee hours of the night and early morning with a kerosine lamp as his only source of light. Xi loved reading books like Goethe’s Faust, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet and MacBeth, Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, and of course Mao’s Little Red Book.
Since his father was a high CPC official, some people might wrongly assume that Xi would automatically become a CPC member. No, that was not the case! It took him 10 attempts to apply for CPC membership before he was finally accepted. Later Xi was elected as the village Party secretary or chief of Liangjiahe. For his exemplary work, he was awarded a motorcycle. Instead of keeping it for himself, Xi traded it for “a tractor, a flour-milling machine and a grain thrower”. These machines were much needed and they were extremely helpful to the local villagers.
In Liangjiahe, Xi Jinping found his mission in life: to serve the people! And it was here that the seeds of his ideas and concepts of “poverty alleviation” germinated.
The rest, as they say, is history!
One of the best documentaries on this incredible arc of journey is called “The Making of Xi Jinping” and I highly recommend everyone to watch this short series:
(Part 1: Liangjiahe Village, Shaanxi)
(Part 2: Zhengding County, Hebei)
(Part 3: Fujian)
(Part 4: Zhejiang)
(Part 5: Shanghai)
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In conclusion, I want like to end my article with two phenomenal videos. The last video shows the incredible gratitude that the Chinese people have towards their doctors and nurses in the fight against Covid-19 and you will never see this kind of emotional outpouring and national pride in the West. The first one is a seminal talk given by Eric X. Li, who like myself is a Shanghai native son, on WHY China’s system of government works which is the reason WHY the Communist Party of China or the CPC is LOVED by hundreds of millions of Chinese . . . including ME!