The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewPepe Escobar Archive
The Deeper Roots of Chinese Demonization
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information

Immanuel Kant was the first thinker to actually come up with a theory of the yellow race.

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Fasten your seat belts: the US hybrid war against China is bound to go on frenetic overdrive, as economic reports are already identifying Covid-19 as the tipping point when the Asian – actually Eurasian – century truly began.

The US strategy remains, essentially, full spectrum dominance, with the National Security Strategy obsessed by the three top “threats” of China, Russia and Iran. China, in contrast, proposes a “community of shared destiny” for mankind, mostly addressing the Global South.

The predominant US narrative in the ongoing information war is now set in stone: Covid-19 was the result of a leak from a Chinese biowarfare lab. China is responsible. China lied. And China has to pay.

The new normal tactic of non-stop China demonization is deployed not only by crude functionaries of the industrial-military-surveillance-media complex. We need to dig much deeper to discover how these attitudes are deeply embedded in Western thinking – and later migrated to the “end of history” United States. (Here are sections of an excellent study, Unfabling the East: The Enlightenment’s Encounter with Asia , by Jurgen Osterhammel).

Only Whites civilized

Way beyond the Renaissance, in the 17th and 18th centuries, whenever Europe referred to Asia it was essentially about religion conditioning trade. Christianity reigned supreme, so it was impossible to think by excluding God.

At the same time the doctors of the Church were deeply disturbed that in the Sinified world a very well organized society could function in the absence of a transcendent religion. That bothered them even more than those “savages” discovered in the Americas.

As it started to explore what was regarded as the “Far East,” Europe was mired in religious wars. But at the same time it was forced to confront another explanation of the world, and that fed some subversive anti-religious tendencies across the Enlightenment sphere.

It was at this stage that learned Europeans started questioning Chinese philosophy, which inevitably they had to degrade to the status of a mere worldly “wisdom” because it escaped the canons of Greek and Augustinian thought. This attitude, by the way, still reigns today.

So we had what in France was described as chinoiseries — a sort of ambiguous admiration, in which China was regarded as the supreme example of a pagan society.

But then the Church started to lose patience with the Jesuits’ fascination with China. The Sorbonne was punished. A papal bull, in 1725, outlawed Christians who were practicing Chinese rites. It’s quite interesting to note that Sinophile philosophers and Jesuits condemned by the Pope insisted that the “real faith” (Christianity) was “prefigured” in ancient Chinese, specifically Confucianist, texts.

The European vision of Asia and the “Far East” was mostly conceptualized by a mighty German triad: Kant, Herder and Schlegel. Kant, incidentally, was also a geographer, and Herder a historian and geographer. We can say that the triad was the precursor of modern Western Orientalism. It’s easy to imagine a Borges short story featuring these three.

As much as they may have been aware of China, India and Japan, for Kant and Herder God was above all. He had planned the development of the world in all its details. And that brings us to the tricky issue of race.

Breaking away from the monopoly of religion, references to race represented a real epistemological turnaround in relation to previous thinkers. Leibniz and Voltaire, for instance, were Sinophiles. Montesquieu and Diderot were Sinophobes. None explained cultural differences by race. Montesquieu developed a theory based on climate. But that did not have a racial connotation – it was more like an ethnic approach.

The big break came via French philosopher and traveler Francois Bernier (1620-1688), who spent 13 years traveling in Asia and in 1671 published a book called La Description des Etats du Grand Mogol, de l”Indoustan, du Royaume de Cachemire, etc. Voltaire, hilariously, called him Bernier-Mogol — as he became a star telling his tales to the royal court. In a subsequent book, Nouvelle Division de la Terre par les Differentes Especes ou Races d’Homme qui l’Habitent, published in 1684, the “Mogol” distinguished up to five human races.

This was all based on the color of the skin, not on families or the climate. The Europeans were mechanically placed on top, while other races were considered “ugly.” Afterward, the division of humanity in up to five races was picked up by David Hume — always based on the color of the skin. Hume proclaimed to the Anglo-Saxon world that only whites were civilized; others were inferiors. This attitude is still pervasive. See, for instance, this pathetic diatribe recently published in Britain.

Two Asias

The first thinker to actually come up with a theory of the yellow race was Kant, in his writings between 1775 and 1785, David Mungello argues in The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500-1800.

Kant rates the “white race” as “superior,” the “black race” as “inferior” (by the way, Kant did not condemn slavery), the “copper race” as “feeble” and the “yellow race” as intermediary. The differences between them are due to a historical process that started with the “white race,” considered the most pure and original, the others being nothing but bastards.

Kant subdivided Asia by countries. For him, East Asia meant Tibet, China and Japan. He considered China in relatively positive terms, as a mix of white and yellow races.

Herder was definitely mellower. For him, Mesopotamia was the cradle of Western civilization, and the Garden of Eden was in Kashmir, “the world’s paradise.” His theory of historical evolution became a smash hit in the West: the East was a baby, Egypt was an infant, Greece was youth. Herder’s East Asia consisted of Tibet, China, Cochinchina, Tonkin, Laos, Korea, Eastern Tartary and Japan — countries and regions touched by Chinese civilization.


Schlegel was like the precursor of a Californian 60s hippie. He was a Sanskrit enthusiast and a serious student of Eastern cultures. He said that “in the East we should seek the most elevated romanticism.” India was the source of everything, “the whole history of the human spirit.” No wonder this insight became the mantra for a whole generation of Orientalists. That was also the start of a dualist vision of Asia across the West that’s still predominant today.

So by the 18th century we had fully established a vision of Asia as a land of servitude and cradle of despotism and paternalism in sharp contrast with a vision of Asia as a cradle of civilizations. Ambiguity became the new normal. Asia was respected as mother of civilizations — value systems included — and even mother of the West. In parallel, Asia was demeaned, despised or ignored because it had never reached the high level of the West, despite its head start.

Those Oriental despots

And that brings us to The Big Guy: Hegel. Hyper well informed – he read reports by ex-Jesuits sent from Beijing — Hegel does not write about the “Far East” but only the East, which includes East Asia, essentially the Chinese world. Hegel does not care much about religion as his predecessors did. He talks about the East from the point of view of the state and politics. In contrast to the myth-friendly Schlegel, Hegel sees the East as a state of nature in the process of reaching toward a beginning of history – unlike black Africa, which he saw wallowing in the mire of a bestial state.

To explain the historical bifurcation between a stagnant world and another one in motion, leading to the Western ideal, Hegel divided Asia in two.

One part was composed by China and Mongolia: a puerile world of patriarchal innocence, where contradictions do not develop, where the survival of great empires attests to that world’s “insubstantial,” immobile and ahistorical character.

The other part was Vorderasien (“Anterior Asia”), uniting the current Middle East and Central Asia, from Egypt to Persia. This is an already historical world.

These two huge regions are also subdivided. So in the end Hegel’s Asiatische Welt (Asian world) is divided into four: first, the plains of the Yellow and Blue rivers, the high plateaus, China and Mongolia; second, the valleys of the Ganges and the Indus; third, the plains of the Oxus (today the Amur-Darya) and the Jaxartes (today the Syr-Darya), the plateaus of Persia, the valleys of the Tigris and the Euphrates; and fourth, the Nile valley.

It’s fascinating to see how in the Philosophy of History (1822-1830) Hegel ends up separating India as a sort of intermediary in historical evolution. So we have in the end, as Jean-Marc Moura showed in L’Extreme Orient selon G. W. F. Hegel, Philosophie de l’Histoire et Imaginaire Exotique, a “fragmented East, of which India is the example, and an immobile East, blocked in chimera, of which the Far East is the illustration.”

To describe the relation between East and West, Hegel uses a couple of metaphors. One of them, quite famous, features the sun: “The history of the world voyages from east to west, Europe thus absolutely being the end of history, and Asia the beginning.” We all know where tawdry “end of history” spin-offs led us.

The other metaphor is Herder’s: the East is “history’s youth” — but with China taking a special place because of the importance of Confucianist principles systematically privileging the role of the family.

Nothing outlined above is of course neutral in terms of understanding Asia. The double metaphor — using the sun and maturity — could not but comfort the West in its narcissism, later inherited from Europe by the “exceptional” US. Implied in this vision is the inevitable superiority complex, in the case of the US even more acute because legitimized by the course of history.

Hegel thought that history must be evaluated under the framework of the development of freedom. Well, China and India being ahistorical, freedom does not exist, unless brought by an initiative coming from outside.

And that’s how the famous “Oriental despotism” evoked by Montesquieu and the possible, sometimes inevitable, and always valuable Western intervention are, in tandem, totally legitimized. We should not expect this Western frame of mind to change anytime soon, if ever. Especially as China is about to be back as Number One.

(Republished from Asia Times by permission of author or representative)
• Category: History • Tags: American Media, China 
Hide 44 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. jsinton says:

    The fact is when the CCP knew they had a major epidemic problem, they did their best to hide it from their own people. When they couldn’t hide it anymore, they locked down Hebei and most other cities, but allowed international flights to come and go unimpeded. They intentionally infected the world with the virus because they didn’t want to be left holding the bag. Nuke them.

  2. It should be stated none of the above is exceptionable. Racism is an anthropological constant.

  3. East East and West is West and ne’er the twain shall meet.

    • LOL: Ann Nonny Mouse
    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir
  4. JasonT says:

    Do you really want a nuclear war?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  5. @jsinton

    You’ve summarized our MSM narrative but missed all the facts. There was no hiding and no ‘whistleblowers,’ as the timeline shows:

    Dec. 27 – Dr. Zhang Jixian, Hubei ICU doctor reports to Wuhan Municipal Health on pneumonia patients with an unknown cause..

    Dec. 30 – Wuhan issues notice of an unknown viral illness first observed in late December.

    Dec. 31, a high-level team from informed the Beijing office of the WHO of “cases of pneumonia unknown etiology.”

    Dec. 31 – China informed the WHO about the virus.

    January 2, The WHO’s incident management system was activated across country office, regional office and headquarters.

    January 4, WHO announced a “cluster” of pneumonia cases—with no deaths—in Wuhan.

    January 7, CCDC identified the novel coronavirus (nCoV)

    January 9. WHO posted a novel coronavirus (nCoV) note on its website

    January 11, the WHO informed the public that it has received “the genetic sequences for the novel coronavirus from the Chinese authorities” and issued guidance on how to prepare if this virus spread widely.

    January 13, China made the first test kits available.

    Jan 15–Wuhan’s health commission said that “although significant evidence confirming human-to-human transmission has yet to be found, the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out”.

    Jan. 21– WHO confirms human-to-human transmission of the virus.

    Jan. 22 – Last flight out of Wuhan

    • Replies: @Paulbe
  6. The article starts with the claim that the USA seeks dominance whereas China seeks cooperation. It continues with…

    China, in contrast, proposes a “community of shared destiny” for mankind, mostly addressing the Global South.

    Considering Chinese politics, this is clearly a lie. China only resorts to cooperation when it is unable to get from others what it desires by means of soft conquest, extortion or installing whole client states (as is currently happening in Myanmar or some Central Asian countries). We should all clearly remember the aggression China inflicted on Taiwan, India, Vietnam, even on the Soviet Union simply because of its territorial claims. Bonus points for those who realize that many of those claims weren’t even official.

    At the same time the doctors of the Church were deeply disturbed that in the Sinified world a very well organized society could function in the absence of a transcendent religion.

    I don’t know why Europeans should have been bothered by this at all. English philologists and historians of the 18th and 19th century were known to be in awe of what ancient India has created and what it represented. Considering that even though China was an organized society, its organization also depended on unusually brutal laws, even compared to other non-European cultures. Let’s not forget that Qing Empire wasn’t even actually Chinese. It was forced upon the Chinese people by a group of invading Manchu nomads. The phenomenon of some northern people conquering most if not all of China is a recurring theme in Chinese history. This kind of north-south dynamics already sounds familiar to some people.

    So by the 18th century we had fully established a vision of Asia as a land of servitude and cradle of despotism and paternalism in sharp contrast with a vision of Asia as a cradle of civilizations.

    Both concepts don’t exclude each other. Both China and India have a history of culture, have brought forward several influential poets and writers and their own schools of thought. That doesn’t exclude the possibility that much of their history either consists of being enslaved by neighboring countries or being ruled by a totalitarian monarchy. In case of China, you often find both combined.

  7. Paulbe says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    Thank you. I have been struggling to see any evidence of a wilful cover-up by the Chinese on this. All I’ve seen so far is evidence of a bureaucratic process that may have been able to move marginally faster, with the benefit of hindsight. I seriously doubt that, with even the best will in the world, things would have unfolded much differently had a few things happened a day or two sooner in the short time-frame in which this unfolded.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
  8. @Swiss Reader

    Do you have evidence for your claims that “China only resorts to cooperation when it is unable to get from others what it desires by means of soft conquest, extortion or installing whole client states (as is currently happening in Myanmar or some Central Asian countries). We should all clearly remember the aggression China inflicted on Taiwan, India, Vietnam, even on the Soviet Union simply because of its territorial claims?” or are you just making stuff up?

    And, btw, ‘evidence’ doesn’t mean, ‘other people allege this too.’

    • Replies: @Escher
    , @KA
  9. anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:

    Can you refute, with evidence, the timeline presented by (#5) Godfree Roberts? I don’t care about his motives, etc. — please stick to the facts of the matter.

  10. mijj says:

    your rant sounds very much like the rote repetition of a favoured fiction. It would be interesting to know the source of your “knowledge”. Do you have a source, or is it the propaganda victor’s “everyone knows”?

  11. @jsinton

    This one is just a paid troll-farm troll who got in here first because he’s doing his 8-hour shift and watching and waiting to slip in this nonsense he got from a talking points memo (only he’s supposed to garble it a bit, using his creativity, so it doesn’t look exactly like all the other regurgitations of the same talking point memo). Pay it no mind.

  12. Chinadidits are trolls. Troll-farm trolls. Not some guy who annoys you online, which is not the true definition of troll. (The key is, trolls want you to think that trolls are just simply annoying guys. Thus suckering you with extreme prejudice.) Nope. True trolls work for our owners and just keep repeating talking points. There are lots of sources explaining how you too can identify their characteristic tactics. (Go look ’em up if you are so minded.) Tactics which are amazingly lame, given all the money our owners have to throw at the problem. The thing is, as usual, (never fails) our owners just can’t help but exploit and underpay their workers, even if it means they get no bang for their buck; Exhibit A: lame half-ass Chinadidit cliches.

  13. Escher says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    China invaded India in 1962, crossed the Soviet border in 1969, and attacked Vietnam in 1979, but you persist in asking for proof that these invasions happened.
    Roberts is worth every yuan he gets paid, or maybe he’s mortgaged his cojones to the Bank of China.

  14. KA says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    China needs to consider the reality that this time it is fighting for its life . It will survive .But survival is not the task at hand . Winning is. It needs help of … countries sanctioned by USA

    China should brace itself for a long fight .
    But hopefully it has by this time realized that it’s back is against the wall and begging won’t help .

    Taliban wanted to hand over Bin Ledeen, Saddam wanted to leave , and hold election , Pakistan allowed its land and society be pulverized and polluted , Syria cooperated with rendition and anti terror program .
    Begging , cooperation , and peaceful coexistence are foreign words to USA.

    China should know that it is dealing with a gigantic vampire controlled by Wall Street , drug mafia, banking and pentagon .

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts, lysias
    • Replies: @orionyx
    , @Anonymous
  15. @Escher

    China certainly could have invaded India in 1962, but it won international praise for not doing so–after being praised for attempting to settle the matter diplomatically.

    Chou en Lai had made at least three visits to Delhi, begging Nehru to call off his ‘forward policy’ (forward of the Line of Control–in other words, his invasion of Chinese territory) to no avail. The memoir of an Australian diplomat, Gregory Clark, throws some light on the events:

    As with Vietnam, the real question which needs to be answered is how obvious facts of communist/anti-communist conflicts can be hidden and distorted for so long by the bureaucratic press and academic establishments which postwar Western societies have spawned. Maxwell, who wrote for The Times from New Delhi during the 1962 fighting, was the only correspondent there who refused to accept uncritically the official Indian account of events. This led to his virtual expulsion from the country. [India’s China War. Neville Maxwell].

    My own experience as China desk officer in the Department of External Affairs during 1962 may also be relevant.

    At the time it was not difficult to realise that something was very wrong with the Indian statement of their dispute with China. Peking had all but declared openly it would renounce its not inconsiderable claim to the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA), by far the largest and most valuable of the territories in dispute. Its claim to the Aksai Chin region inthe west seemed strong, and it was clearly moving towards an AksaiChin/NEFA exchange as a basis for settling the dispute.

    Delhi, however, rejected this highly favourable proposal, and demanded a complete Chinese evacuation of the Aksai Chin. To validate its claimto the area its historians produced an obviously false quotation from aBritish proposal to China in 1899. During 1962 India began openly tomove troops into the disputed territory to force the Chinese from posi-tions they already occupied. Chinese protestations that this would inevit-ably lead to serious clashes were ignored. The Chinese argument thatan evacuation of the Aksai Chin should in all fairness be matched by anIndian evacuation of the NEFA was dismissed.

    This in itself was remarkable enough, but Nehru then decided to go one step further and drive the Chinese out of territory to which India could not conceivably have any claim. At the western end of the McMahon Line which separates India and China in the NEFA there is a small wedge of territory known as the Dhola Strip. It was clear fromthe maps available before the fighting, and from the original of the McMahon Line circulated by the Chinese after the fighting began, that the area lay to the north of the McMahon Line. Even on the basis of co-ordinates given by the Indians the strip lay in Chinese territory.

    I should add that this was not simply my own conclusion; it was confirmed (or at least failed to be denied) by the competent authorities in both London and Washington at the time.

    Desk officers are responsible for initiating the processes by which information passes up the bureaucracy to the policy makers. Immediately after the Chinese move to repel the advancing Indians from Dhola Strip, however, Canberra came out with its denunciations of “Chinese aggression” and pledges of unconditional support to India.

    Nevertheless, the evidence of Indian duplicity was so overwhelming that a paper setting out the background to the dispute and recommending conditions on Australian aid to India was accepted up to a fairly high level in the Department. It was killed at the next rung on the bureaucratic ladder, however, on the grounds that it was ‘not in the Australian interest to see any relaxation of tension between China and India’. The gentleman responsible for this wisdom was subsequently to oversee the first Australian commitment of troops to Vietnam.

    China attacked Vietnam in 1979? After Vietnam invaded Cambodia and threatened to annex all of what it called ‘Indo-China,’ Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew, seeing where this could lead, approached the US the US for help. But the US had had enough of fighting in SE Asia so he approached Deng Xiaoping who, inn turn approached the Vietnamese.

    They refused to leave Cambodia, so Deng talked to Moscow, then went to Washington on January 1, 1979, and told President Carter, “The little child is getting naughty, it’s time he get spanked.” (小朋友不听话,该打打屁股了). On February 15, the first day that China could have officially announced the termination of the 1950 Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance, Deng declared that China planned to conduct a limited, 30-day attack on Vietnam to support China’s ally, the Khmer Rouge of Cambodia, and redress the mistreatment of Vietnam’s ethnic Chinese minority and the Vietnamese occupation of China’s Spratly Islands.

    With the support of the ASEAN nations, Moscow, and Washington, he completed the expedition in 28 days and Vietnam has not invaded anyone since.

    • Replies: @animalogic
  16. As Pepe Escobar makes clear in this excellent article: history does not end. But empires delude themselves their great civilization will not come to pass because of forces such as “exceptionalism”, “manifest destiny” or the intellectual superiority of “enlightenment”. All empires rise, and fall, over the struggle of one thing – power. Although their rulers, blind to history and reason, do not see this.

  17. Realist says:

    How much are you being paid for your US propaganda? The US is the most belligerent, war mongering hegemon on the planet…a nasty ass country that thinks nothing of killing tens of thousands of its own citizens to tremendously increase the wealth and power of its elite…the Deep State. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of foreigners killed in the process.

    • Replies: @Escher
  18. KA says:

    Are you American.? So, they thundered ? The howl was worse than one elicited by the moon sighting by the wolf . Controlled by the corporations, both parties only survive only to please the corporations .
    Elimination of left lite Bernie or of Corbyn prove the deadly destructive unwanted repellant filth nature of the beasts that promote ideas views and leadership of a country. To the corporation, being American or British is like harboring an idea that is worse than supporting the slavery until the concept of public ownership of America or Britain hits the nerve of them .
    American is a concept that is like out of body but permanent feeling . To the corporations ,that is normal . To the corporations being American means supporting wars against other countries and supporting wars against ourselves . The former is about security safety about democracy freedom and persecution and start day of the year is always 911 before it was the infamous day of Pearl Harbor .
    The latter is about agreeing to borderless country ,about accepting less than what is due for the labor and services rendered to the business so that business can run despite life running aground .
    To the godless corporations,anti war activity is like failing the duties given by god,not following the path shone light on by god ,not discharging responsibility ordered and imposed by god . This god is manifested in the unique amalgamation of contrasting and contradictory concepts that have been flowing from the warrior nation from 1890.

    It’s time to say no illegal war and no illegal immigration .

  19. orionyx says:

    The West is spoiling for a fight with China: a fight that will spoil the planet.

    China will not lose, but will hold its own.

    The West will be very lucky to come a poor second.

    More’s the pity. Another 10 years, and China’s peaceful trade initiatives, coupled with the inevitable decline of the West and the disappearance of the Zionist entity, would have made the world a far, far better place than any Westerner ever imagined, or could hope to achieve.

    • Agree: lysias
  20. It all goes back to the Yellow Peril of the 1800’s… But Pepe don’t blame a religious faith for what fanatics do. A lot of the so called Christian leaders acting little like what the bible says they should act. I never read the Koran – but i’ve met enough Muslims to know that the fanatical Muslims don’t represent the whole faith.

  21. @Swiss Reader

    Taiwan was not a country… It was a civil war. The Indian border issues are simply because the British never saw a region they didn’t like starting problems. They drew a fake border and then gave India independence. Soviet Union?? Russia was part of the western bullies that forced China to give up lots of her territory. They sorted their issues out. Vietnam? China gave it back once Vietnam left Cambodia…
    So basically you are saying China should have just let herself get bullied?

  22. @Escher

    Fake news. The British drew a fake border and India occupied what they knew wasn’t India. Then at the goading of the west – sought to push up to the border. China beat them back all the way down to the proper Indian territory. China after holding it voluntarily moved back to the fake border and gave India the respect to let it negotiate honestly. That hasn’t happen.
    The Soviets inherited an unequal treaty. China went along with it. But why did China attack the Soviets??? The Soviets were the ones behind the “East Turkmenistan” talk and tried to break off Xinjiang. That made China attack in the east to show it wasn’t going to be bullied. Soviets stopped the shenanigans in the west and China honored the borders in the east.
    True it did invade Vietnam – because Vietnam occupied Cambodia. Once Vietnam left Cambodia – China gave it back it’s land via treaty.
    I challenge you to dispute those facts.

  23. Anon[130] • Disclaimer says:

    Pepe, you can’t really blame those guys from Germany of long ago for coming up with those funky ideas. The white nations were completely dominant at their time and it was very difficult not to see themselves as the apex. The collective white countries were basically the chads of the world who demanded that the other scrawny nerd countries give up their lunch money.

    But for alt-tightens to hold that air of superiority today is inexcusable. Starting from the start of the 20th century you had thinkers like Bertrand Russell who looked deeply into Chinese history to understand their current condition and mindset. He wrote the Problem of China which was quite astute (it’s contents are not what the title suggests). Today you have thinkers like Martin Jacques and even Ray Dalio who are really trying to understand China and teach others not to reflexively rely on old cliches. But some people will never seek them out to learn something.

  24. @Godfree Roberts

    One may wonder whether the Chinese invasion of Vietnam was one of China’s finest moments.
    After all, Vietnam invaded Cambodia to over throw the Khmer Rouge & Pol Pot, a worse bunch of blood drenched lunatics it’s hard to recall. Vietnam did the world a favor.
    (Incidentally China and the US supported Pol Pot)

    • Replies: @Godfree Roberts
  25. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    You have to admit, it is rather too much of a coincidence that this new super powerful virus that is highly contagious, much deadlier than the flu but not deadly enough to kill off too many of its hosts, causes great organ damage to those who recovered, does not give clear immunity and can reinfect, came from a city that also houses a bioweapons lab that specializes in studying the same type of virus originated from bats. Whoever engineered this virus gets an A+, it could not have been better engineered.

    China committed four huge sins that they need to own. First, by putting a bioweapons lab in the middle of a major metropolis and transportation hub of a country of 1.4 billion, a monumentally stupid decision in hindsight. Second, by trying to cover up then reporting false numbers to minimize the outbreak. Third, by not launching an open and immediate investigation into the origin of the virus but instead continuing to deny any allegation. Last but not least, which is the most egregious of all their sins, by insisting on allowing their citizens to fly all over the world even after Wuhan was on a (belated) lockdown, and repeatedly attacking Trump for blocking their citizens from coming in.

    I think China needs to be severely punished for their role in this pandemic. The US needs to initiate plans for a total decoupling. Cancel all the 1.1Trillion treasury bills that they own. No more interests payments and no more principal payment. We also need to immediately order all our industries to return manufacturing to the US. Give them a one year grace period. After that, all manufacturers who do not move back their factories will face a 100% tariff on all imports from China/rest of Asia. Sure our exporters will hurt, namely the farmers. But most export oriented farming is owned by the 4 major multinationals who hire hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants anyway, not the mom and pop farmers.

    Most importantly, it’s also time to cancel all visas to Chinese nationals — no more EB5, student, tourist, work, business visas or asylum for their fake asylum seekers, and send packing all current and former US citizens in the US. These people cannot be counted on to be loyal to us.

    East is East and West is West. Globalization is a stupid idea. All those who sympathize with the East can move there. And all those who want continued globalization can move to Israel or any other place that wants it. But it’s time for the West to retreat back to the West. End all immigration and return to our Western roots.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  26. @Ann Nonny Mouse

    For ways that are dark and tricks that are vain, the heathen Chinee is peculiar.

  27. anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:

    Is that you, Lang Li?

  28. @Swiss Reader

    You haven’t posted for long here, but your posts are excellent.

  29. @animalogic

    I suspect the ‘blood-drenched Pol Pot’ narrative was cooked up to distract us from one of the worst war crimes in human history, the US bombing of non-combatant Cambodia.

    Between October 4, 1965 and August 15, 1973, US Air Force B-52 bombers made Cambodia one the most heavily bombed nation in history: 2,756,941 tons’ worth, dropped in 230,516 sorties on 113,716 sites. Just over 10 percent of this bombing was indiscriminate, with 3,580 of the sites listed as having “unknown” targets and another 8,238 sites having no target listed at all.

    The database also shows that the bombing began four years earlier than is widely believed — not under Nixon, but under Lyndon Johnson. The impact of this bombing, the subject of much debate for the past three decades, is now clearer than ever. Civilian casualties in Cambodia drove an enraged populace into the arms of an insurgency that had enjoyed relatively little support until the bombing began, setting in motion the expansion of the Vietnam War deeper into Cambodia., a coup d’état in 1970, the rapid rise of the Khmer Rouge, and ultimately the Cambodian genocide.

    The Far Eastern Economic Review, the London Economist, the Melbourne Journal of Politics and others have provided analyses by highly qualified specialists who have studied the full range of evidence available, and who concluded that executions have numbered at most in the thousands; that these were localized in areas of limited Khmer Rouge influence and unusual peasant discontent, where brutal revenge killings were aggravated by the threat of starvation resulting from the American destruction and killing.

    These reports also emphasize both the extraordinary brutality on both sides during the civil war (provoked by the American attack) and repeated discoveries that massacre reports were false.

    There’s a great deal of nonsense in our media about Cambodia, especially the atrocity figures. You can see Noam Chomsky analyze them here:

    • Replies: @Escher
    , @animalogic
  30. Escher says:
    @Godfree Roberts

    So Pol Pot is also a poor misunderstood modernizer like the god emperor Mao?

  31. Escher says:

    How is calling out Chinese aggression the same as justifying equally egregious (if not worse) acts committed by the American establishment?

    • Replies: @Realist
  32. @Escher

    Mao was not in the killing business but for sheer, gratuitous cruelty, mass murder and devastation, Pol Pot was an amateur compared to most postwar US Presidents and the barefaced lies they t0ld to justify mass killings (it’s not defending Saddam to note that the hysterics about him were hilariously hypocritical and late, and it’s not defending Pol Pot to note that criticism of the Khmer Rouge often has a lot more to do with attacking leftism than it does with actually talking about the deaths in Cambodia–of which a fair estimate of the direct U.S. contribution is at least 250,000).

    If you doubt this, read Distortions at Fourth Hand, by Noam Chomsky & Edward S. Herman, The Nation, June 6, 1977.

    What Chomsky and Herman do is cite scholarship that suggested that the number of those killed was less than other estimates. In any conflict, it is well-accepted that there will be some variation in estimates of those who have died. Apologists for American actions such as the war in Iraq will suggest that deaths are lower than studies with accepted methodologies. Why is it that they are engaging in good-faith argument but Chomsky and Herman were not? Are modern scholars engaging in apologetics for the Kaiser when they question the deaths in World War I? No! And the standard that anyone who is engaging in scholarship that critically examines death tolls is akin to David Irving is nightmarish, chilling real discussion about history given our uncertainty. In this case, it’s actually far worse than chilling, in that it is also part of a narrative to try to poison the well against Chomsky’s critiques and to try to retroactively defend American atrocities.

    The point of the Cambodia comparison was to compare Cambodia against East Timor in terms of coverage. In Cambodia, they noted that the reportage consistently used the least credible sources if it advanced the narrative, ignored scholars who disagreed (even if one with the benefit of hindsight believes those scholars to not be credible or to have been wrong), and obscured the U.S. role in the atrocities. In the case of East Timor, there was silence, then apologetics. That’s the point. It’s never apologetics to merely say that case X is treated differently from case Y and to develop that case. Chomsky and Herman showed that credible accounts in the case of Cambodia of atrocities were taken seriously by the media while equally credible accounts from East Timor were not. In fact, even skepticism about refugee claims is inconsistent here: Plenty of observers apologizing for the war in Vietnam were happy to ignore the claims of refugees fleeing Cambodian bombing.

    The Far Eastern Economic Review, the London Economist, the Melbourne Journal of Politics and others have provided analyses by highly qualified specialists who have studied the full range of evidence available, and who concluded that executions have numbered at most in the thousands; that these were localized in areas of limited Khmer Rouge influence and unusual peasant discontent, where brutal revenge killings were aggravated by the threat of starvation resulting from the American destruction and killing.

    These reports also emphasize both the extraordinary brutality on both sides during the civil war (provoked by the American attack) and repeated discoveries that massacre reports were false.

    There’s a great deal of nonsense in our media about Cambodia, especially the atrocity figures. You can see Noam Chomsky analyze them here:

  33. Realist says:

    How is calling out Chinese aggression the same as justifying equally egregious (if not worse) acts committed by the American establishment?

    Where the hell did you call out US aggression?

    • Replies: @Escher
  34. @Escher

    No doubt Pol Pot was brutal… But it is also true that had the US not bombed the living daylights out of Cambodia – he might never have gotten anywhere. Same with Mao. Had western powers not bullied China for so long – there would have never been a Communist Revolution. People who are bullied will join with anyone who can get rid of the bully.
    Western history is simply hypocritical. Kind of like how Alexander the Great and Roman emperors were “great conquerors” because they liked philosophy…. But Genghis Khan is viewed as a homicidal maniac. Hypocrisy. Plus the west will pretty up it’s history. I know of no record of Mongols forcing young boys into the Jeffrey Epstein treatment – like Greek and Rome military and societal upper echelon thought was a virtuous thing to do. Which goes into Pepe’s piece about racist views of others by the supposedly culturally superior west.

  35. @Godfree Roberts

    Thanks for this alternative PolPot view – I’ll have to have another look at it all.
    Not to defend the quantity or quality of the criminal bombing (& invasion) of Cambodia, but Cambodia & Laos (I believe) were key links in the Hồ Chí Minh trail, ie the primary avenue for VC & NVA supply & logistics. The US basically never shut the trail down — the tonnage etc testament to US frustration. Again, this not to excuse the grotty US actions re the KR etc.

  36. TG says:

    Hmm. Indulge me with another view on the issue.

    The western “elites” are not really racist, they are simply corrupt and venal and can no longer think beyond what they can grab this fiscal quarter. Witness the astonishing spectacle in the United States, faced with economic chaos due to the (possibly necessary, possibly not) coronavirus shutdowns, they reacted by giving themselves literally trillions of dollars in tax cuts and subsidies and bailouts – and the working class got crumbs, maybe. How will this affect the long-term economic stability of the United States? The elites just don’t care! We can always gut social security next year (‘because deficits matter’).

    The issue with China is not I think some sort of centuries-long cultural-historical issue, but really very focused: the US elites shipped their manufacturing plants to China because of the vast profits they could make from all that lovely cheap labor. China didn’t just have cheap labor – there is a lot of that around the world – they also have discipline, and political stability, and increasingly, economies of scale and infrastructure.

    So far so good. The US elites made tons of money, the US economy and working class was hollowed out, it was all good. But the idea was that China would be a nice docile cheap-labor colony, like Mexico or Bangladesh. The Chinese elites decided that they want to be actual rivals to power with the US elites: and suddenly the US elites realize that their power and prestige is threatened! Witness Donald Trump’s “trade war” with China: it was not aimed at moving manufacturing from China to the US, it was aimed at making sure that the US elites continued to profit from industries in China. If a Chinese company steals a technology from a US company, and supplants a US owned factory in China with a Chinese-owned factory in China, it is only the US elites that care: the average American worker does not have a (running?) dog in that fight.

    The US elites are still massively powerful, they still have the financial high ground, but they are also stupid and totally focused on their own short term profits. How will it end? Stay tuned next century!

  37. Escher says:

    You called the US a ton of names, as if that is justification for China to act belligerently towards its neighbors.

  38. Jane says:

    Prior to China being a communist country, which is when it’s people became slaves and millions upon millions were murdered.. Buddhism was it’s main religion. The communists destroyed China. I work with a Chinese woman whi states ’10 years ago we barely had any cars in China’. What you see there today is very very new, the USA and global trade created the China you see today. The CCP did not do this except for their working class working for pennies on the dollar for many many years.

    Dalai Lama Says China Has Turned Tibet Into a ‘Hell on Earth’

  39. JoeDo says:

    This is the website of Falun Gong. These are those that have fled the persecution in China. There are over 100,000 Falun Gong imprisoned in China in labor camps. They are used for body parts, while alive.. a beating heart makes the best transplant.. for the transplant tourism trade. Maybe one day you and your children will join them.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  40. Anonymous[798] • Disclaimer says:

    He doesn’t realize that China has at least 300 to 400 city-killer warheads they can fling back at the U.S. alone, and more besides that can reach Britain too.

    It doesn’t much matter if the U.S. has ten times as many warheads. China has enough to destroy us, maybe once or twice over – no one can die ten times over.

    We nuke them and they nuke us. Checkmate.

    Nukes are 100% off the table. Anyone suggesting that is worse than delusional, they are downright suicidal, and want to drag the rest of us along with them.

  41. Anonymous[798] • Disclaimer says:

    In my talks with mainland Chinese, I think it is already very clear to them that the Western elite wish to utterly either wipe out or enslave the Chinese people, couched, of course, as merely being against the “Communist Party”.

    In other words, China should be weak, divided and under the thumb of the West in the short run, and in the long run Chinese people should cease to exist. What genius actually thought the Chinese would accept this plan?

    But, being that the Chinese cultural character is cold, never excitable and never emotional, the Chinese will not react to this challenge like the old Soviet Union did, nor will they seek to be conciliatory as in the case of their Russian friends of the Post-Soviet Era.

    The Soviet approach was too paranoid and would siphon off valuable economic investment that would further strengthen China, while the latter Russian good-faith effort to befriend the West will only be seen as weakness, and invite further aggression.

    No, China will make themselves unable to be defeated by direct assault, and will employ full-spectrum methods to contest the global commons, engaging anyone interested (Russia, developed Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, parts of Europe) in economic, technological and diplomatic cooperation.

    All the while, military spending will be reigned-in (China spends ~2% of its GDP on the military – this will be maintained) and the rest will be ploughed into the ever more productive economic and scientific sectors.

    Look for the Empire-elite to try to inflict various “humiliations” on China in order to goad it into unproductive spending. It worked to an extent on the Soviet Union, when they had to back down after the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis. After that crisis, Soviet defense spending sky-rocketed, and their long-term prospects suffered.

    But the Chinese are wise to such methods, as they are to the whole “Strategic Defense Initiative/Star Wars” fake-out to get an adversary to waste money on technological dead ends.

    Side note: It seems we are trying a new variation of this with the “leaks” (actually dis-info) of the U.S. working on secret “alien” technology that’s about to give them an “insurmountable” advantage. The Chinese will indeed do research, but they won’t bite. “Alien tech” is too obviously exaggeration, with at best a kernel of truth. No sale.

    China will not be baited into a wasteful military build-up, nor by attempts to “humiliate”, nor by “boogie man” tactics of falling behind militarily or technologically. They will not be military aggressors like old Germany or Imperial Japan, nor be engaged in ideological crusade like the Cold War Soviets, nor be able to be cowed into a Plaza Accord-type acceptance of inferiority by the combined weight of the West like 1980s Japan, nor allow themselves to be denied access to the global non-West, as was the Soviet Union.

    The above were all laughably predictable mistakes, easily avoided. Don’t count on China to commit them.

    Since China has ZERO ideological baggage, they will not hesitate to learn and implement best practices from anyone and everyone. Industrial capitalism, social safety nets, innovation systems, state-private partnerships, “Wild East/cowboy” entrepreneurship, national level dictatorship, local-level democracy – all tools are available , and used, in China. Can we honestly claim such pragmatism on the part of the United States?

    To sum up Chinese popular sentiment: “China surely does not want a fight, but China is not afraid of one”.

    Americans, and Westerners in general, should beware that in trying to retain our lead over China, we do not instead destroy that lead all the more thoroughly, all the more quickly.

    • Replies: @HeebHunter
  42. Anonymous[798] • Disclaimer says:

    What China does within China is absolutely no concern of mine, nor of any non-resident of China. We are not some sort of ideological crusaders wanting to “rid the world of evil wherever it manifests”.

    Let Chine solve its China’s problems. Our views on them should have NOTHING to do with what they do in their own land.

    They live there, WE DO NOT. Simple as that.

  43. @Anonymous

    The kikes and their puppets plan is clear as day. Any form of national socialism cannot be allowed.
    They defeated the Germans and are exterminating them still for daring to strike at globalism.
    But God almighty wills it, it will not happen like that again. The Germans were hot headed and lost their war despite having the most powerful fighting force for a single people.
    The modern Chinese soldiers are untested, but there are almost a billion of them, and now they have the industrial capacity the Germans never had. If they just let the kikes and their 5 eyes anglo slaves tear each other apart, they will prevail.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Pepe Escobar Comments via RSS
The Shaping Event of Our Modern World
Becker update V1.3.2
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement