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Why Xi Won’t Repeat Ming Dynasty Mistakes
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Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the Jiayu Pass, a famed MIng Dynasty era part of the Great Wall in Jiayuguan City, during an inspection tour of northwest China's Gansu Province, August 20, 2019. Photo: Facebook

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With hybrid warfare 2.0 against China reaching fever pitch, the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative, will continue to be demonized 24/7 as the proverbial evil communist plot for economic and geopolitical domination of the “free” world, boosted by a sinister disinformation campaign.

It’s idle to discuss with simpletons. In the interest of an informed debate, what matters is to find the deeper roots of Beijing’s strategy – what the Chinese learned from their own rich history and how they are applying these lessons as a re-emerging major power in the young 21st century.

Let’s start with how East and West used to position themselves at the center of the world.

The first Chinese historic-geographic encyclopedia, the 2nd century B.C. Classic of the Mountains and the Seas, tells us the world was what was under the sun (tienhia). Composed of “mountains and seas” (shanhai), the world was laid out between “four seas” (shihai). There’s only one thing that does not change: the center. And its name is “Middle Kingdom” (Zhongguo), that is, China.

Of course, the Europeans, in the 16th century, discovering that the earth was round, turned Chinese centrality upside down. But actually not that much (see, for instance, this 21st century Sinocentric map published in 2013).

The principle of a huge continent surrounded by seas, the “exterior ocean,” seems to have derived from Buddhist cosmology, in which the world is described as a “four-petal lotus.” But the Sinocentric spirit was powerful enough to discard and prevail over every cosmogony that might have contradicted it, such as the Buddhist, which placed India at the center.

Now compare Ancient Greece. Its center, based on reconstituted maps by Hippocrates and Herodotus, is a composite in the Aegean Sea, featuring the Delphi-Delos-Ionia triad. The major split between East and West goes back to the Roman empire in the 3rd century. And it starts with Diocletian, who made it all about geopolitics.

Here’s the sequence: In 293, he installs a tetrarchy, with two Augustuses and two Caesars, and four prefectures. Maximian Augustus is charged to defend the West (Occidens), with the “prefecture of Italy” having Milan as capital. Diocletian charges himself to defend the East (Oriens), with the “prefecture of Orient” having Nicomedia as capital.

Political religion is added to this new politico-military complex. Diocletian starts the Christian dioceses (dioikesis, in Greek, after his name), twelve in total. There is already a diocese of the Orient – basically the Levant and northern Egypt.

There’s no diocese of the Occident. But there is a diocese of Asia: basically the Western part of Mediterranean Turkey nowadays, heir to the ancient Roman provinces in Asia. That’s quite interesting: the Orient is placed east of Asia.

The historical center, Rome, is just a symbol. There’s no more center; in fact, the center is slouching towards the Orient. Nicomedia, Diocletian’s capital, is quickly replaced by neighbor Byzantium under Constantine and rechristened as Constantinople: he wants to turn it into “the new Rome.”

When the Western Roman empire falls in 476, the empire of the Orient remains.

Officially, it will become the Byzantine empire only in the year 732, while the Holy Roman Empire – which, as we know, was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire – resurrects with Charlemagne in 800. From Charlemagne onwards, the Occident regards itself as “Europe,” and vice-versa: the historical center and the engine of this vast geographical space, which will eventually reach and incorporate the Americas.

Superstar admiral

We’re still immersed in a – literally – oceanic debate among historians about the myriad reasons and the context that led everyone and his neighbor to frenetically take to the seas starting in the late 15th century – from Columbus and Vasco da Gama to Magellan.

But the West usually forgets about the true pioneer: iconic Admiral Zheng He, original name Ma He, a eunuch and Muslim Hui from Yunnan province.

His father and grandfather had been pilgrims to Mecca. Zheng He grew up speaking Mandarin and Arabic and learning a lot about geography. When he was 13, he was placed in the house of a Ming prince, Zhu Di, member of the new dynasty that came to power in 1387.

Educated as a diplomat and warrior, Zheng He converted to Buddhism under his new name, although he always remained faithful to Islam. After all, as I saw for myself when I visited Hui communities in 1997 when branching out from the Silk Road, on my way to Labrang monastery in Xiahe, Hui Islam is a fascinating syncretism incorporating Buddhism, the Tao and Confucianism.

Zhu Di brought down the Emperor in 1402 and took the name Yong Le. A year later he had already commissioned Zheng He as admiral, and ordered him to supervise the construction of a large fleet to explore the seas around China. Or, to be more precise, the “Occidental ocean” (Xiyang): that is, the Indian Ocean.

Thus from 1405 to 1433, roughly three decades, Zheng He led seven expeditions across the seas all the way to Arabia and Eastern Africa, leaving from Nanjing in the Yangtze and benefiting from monsoon winds. They hit Champa, Borneo, Java, Malacca, Sumatra, Ceylon, Calicut, Hormuz, Aden, Jeddah/Mecca, Mogadiscio and the Eastern African coast south of the Equator.

Those were real armadas, sometimes with over 200 ships, including the 72 main ones, carrying as many as 30,000 men and vast amounts of precious merchandise for trade: silk, porcelain, silver, cotton, leather products, iron utensils. The leading vessel of the first expedition, with Zheng He as captain, was 140 meters long, 50 meters wide and carrying over 500 men.

This was the original Maritime Silk Road, now revived in the 21st century. And it was coupled with another extension of the overland Silk Road: after all the dreaded Mongols were in retreat, there were new allies all the way to Transoxiana, the Chinese managed to strike a peace deal with the successor of Tamerlane. So the Silk Roads were booming again. The Ming court sent diplomats all over Asia – Tibet, Nepal, Bengal, even Japan.

ORDER IT NOW

The main objective of pioneering Chinese seafaring has always puzzled Western historians. Essentially, it was a diplomatic, commercial and military mix. It was important to have Chinese suzerainty recognized – and materialized via the payment of a tribute. But most of all this was about trade; no wonder the ships had special cabins for merchants.

The armada was designated as the Treasury Fleet – but denoting more a prestige operation than a vehicle for capturing riches. Yong Le was strong on soft power and economics – as he took control of overseas trade by imposing an imperial monopoly over all transactions. So in the end this was a clever, comprehensive application of the Chinese tributary system – in the commercial, diplomatic and cultural spheres.

Yong Le was in fact following the instructions of his predecessor Hongwu, the founder of the Ming (“Lights”) dynasty. Legend rules that Hongwu ordered that one billion trees should be planted in the Nanjing region to supply the building of a navy.

Then there was the transfer of the capital from Nanjing to Beijing in 1421, and the construction of the Forbidden City. That cost a lot of money. As much as the naval expeditions were expensive, their profits, of course, were useful.

Yong Le wanted to establish Chinese – and pan-Asian – stability via a true Pax Sinica. That was not imposed by force but rather by diplomacy, coupled with a subtle demonstration of power. The Armada was the aircraft carrier of the time, with cannons on sight – but rarely used – and practicing “freedom of navigation”.

What the emperor wanted was allied local rulers, and for that he used intrigue and commerce rather than shock and awe via battles and massacres. For instance, Zheng He proclaimed Chinese suzerainty over Sumatra, Cochin and Ceylon. He privileged equitable commerce. So this was never a colonization process.

On the contrary: before each expedition, as its planning proceeded, emissaries from countries to be visited were invited to the Ming court and treated, well, royally.

Plundering Europeans

Now compare that with the European colonization led a decade later by the Portuguese across these same lands and these same seas. Between (a little) carrot and (a lot of) stick, the Europeans drove commerce mostly via massacres and forced conversions. Trading posts were soon turned into forts and military installations, something that Zheng He’s expeditions never attempted.

In fact Zheng He left so many good memories that he was divinized under his Chinese name, San Bao, which means “Three Treasures,” in such places in Southeast Asia as Malacca and Siam’s Ayutthaya.

What can only be described as Judeo-Christian sadomasochism focused on imposing suffering as virtue, the only path to reach Paradise. Zheng He would never have considered that his sailors – and the populations he made contact with – had to pay this price.

So why did it all end, and so suddenly? Essentially Yong Le run out of money because of his grandiose imperial adventures. The Grand Canal – linking the Yellow River and the Yangtze basins – cost a fortune. Same for building the Forbidden City. The revenue from the expeditions was not enough.

And just as the Forbidden City was inaugurated, it caught fire in May 1421. Bad omen. According to tradition, this means disharmony between Heaven and the sovereign, a development outside of the astral norm. Confucians used it to blame the eunuch councilors, very close to the merchants and the cosmopolitan elites around the emperor. On top of it, the southern borders were restless and the Mongol threat never really went away.

The new Ming emperor, Zhu Gaozhi, laid down the law: “China’s territory produces all goods in abundance; so why should we buy abroad trinkets without any interest?”

His successor Zhu Zanji was even more radical. Up to 1452, a series of imperial edicts prohibited foreign trade and overseas travel. Every infraction was considered piracy punished by death. Worse, studying foreign languages was banished, as was the teaching of Chinese to foreigners.

Zheng He died (in early 1433? 1435?) in true character, in the middle of the sea, north of Java, as he was returning from the seventh, and last, expedition. The documents and the charts used for the expeditions were destroyed, as well as the ships.

So the Ming ditched naval power and re-embraced old agrarian Confucianism, which privileges agriculture over trade, the earth over the seas, and the center over foreign lands.

No more naval retreat

The takeaway is that the formidable naval tributary system put in place by Yong Le and Zheng He was a victim of excess – too much state spending, peasant turbulence – as well as its own success.

In less than a century, from the Zheng He expeditions to the Ming retreat, this turned out to be a massive game changer in history and geopolitics, prefiguring what would happen immediately afterwards in the long 16th century: the era when Europe started and eventually managed to rule the world.

One image is stark. While Zheng He’s lieutenants were sailing the eastern coast of Africa all the way to the south, in 1433, the Portuguese expeditions were just starting their adventures in the Atlantic, also sailing south, little by little, along the Western coast of Africa. The mythical Cape Bojador was conquered in 1434.

After the seven Ming expeditions crisscrossed Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean from 1403 for nearly three decades, only half a century later Bartolomeu Dias would conquer the Cape of Good Hope, in 1488, and Vasco da Gama would arrive in Goa in 1498.

Imagine a historical “what if?”: the Chinese and the Portuguese bumping into each other in Swahili land. After all, in 1417 it was the turn of Hong Bao, the Muslim eunuch who was Zheng He’s lieutenant; and in 1498 it was Vasco da Gama’s turn, guided by the “Lion of the Sea” Ibn Majid, his legendary Arab master navigator.

The Ming were not obsessed with gold and spices. For them, trade should be based on equitable exchange, under the framework of the tribute. As Joseph Needham conclusively proved in works such as Science and Civilization in China, the Europeans wanted Asian products way more than Orientals wanted European products, “and the only way to pay for them was gold.”

ORDER IT NOW

For the Portuguese, the “discovered” lands were all potential colonization territory. And for that the few colonizers needed slaves. For the Chinese, slavery amounted to domestic chores at best. For the Europeans, it was all about the massive exploitation of a workforce in the fields and in mines, especially concerning black populations in Africa.

In Asia, in contrast to Chinese diplomacy, the Europeans went for massacre. Via torture and mutilations, Vasco da Gama and other Portuguese colonizers deployed a real war of terror against civilian populations.

This absolutely major structural difference is at the root of the world- system and the geo-historical organization of our world, as analyzed by crack geographers such as Christian Grataloup and Paul Pelletier. Asian nations did not have to manage – or to suffer – the painful repercussions of slavery.

So in the space of only a few decades the Chinese abdicated from closer relations with Southeast Asia, India and Eastern Africa. The Ming fleet was destroyed. China abandoned overseas trade and retreated unto itself to focus on agriculture.

Once again: the direct connection between the Chinese naval retreat and the European colonial expansion is capable of explaining the development process of the two “worlds” – the West and the Chinese center – since the 15th century.

At the end of the 15th century, there were no Chinese architects left capable of building large ships. Development of weaponry also had been abandoned. In just a few decades, crucially, the Sinified world lost its vast technological advance over the West. It got weaker. And later it would pay a huge price, symbolized in the Chinese unconsciousness by the “century of humiliation.”

All of the above explains quite a few things. How Xi Jinping and the current leadership did their homework. Why China won’t pull a Ming remix and retreat again. Why and how the overland Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road are being revived. How there won’t be any more humiliations. And most of all, why the West – especially the American empire – absolutely refuses to admit the new course of history.

(Republished from Asia Times by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History • Tags: China 
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  1. All passing empires should “admit the new course of history”. All empires come to pass, all empires hold power at the price of peace.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

  2. Every member of the overseas Chinese diaspora is obliged to serve their homeland when called upon, whether they admit it or not.

    Placement of a Chinese immigrant fifth column in North America and Europe is a strategic victory in waiting. They are the beachhead; Belt and Road is the invasion that will reconnect them to the Motherland.

    The day will come when first, second, third and fourth generation Chinese immigrants in the West will openly turn against their hosts, offering their services to the new, dominant Chinese global superpower.

    We remaining Europeans will have to fight for our sovereignty and ethnic interests, or accept the overlords who live among us.

    • Troll: d dan
    • Replies: @littlereddot
    , @Jeremygg5
  3. Anonymous[129] • Disclaimer says:

    Gansu Province
    STATUS: INSPECTED

  4. Isn’t that map shit fake intellectualism for the real simpletons?
    I mean, at the end of the day, all maps are made to find home, so that’s the center of attention.
    Good example being the map / cord in the minotaurus story.
    Dive deep into your fear, beat up you inner lupis, “remember” the “steps” and dance hopefully with intact mental health home.

    The difference between a sane Gedankengang and the sick angloidish train of thought, bound to derail. Or become zerjudet.

  5. anon[294] • Disclaimer says:

    Chan China Flexes On Virgin America. Will test more Chinese in a little more than a week than America has tested period.

    Wuhan to test all residents for coronavirus in 10 days after new cases emerge

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/wuhan-to-test-all-residents-for-coronavirus-in-10-days-after-new-cases-emerge/ar-BB13X5Ps

  6. Tom Verso says:

    Size Matters: Zheng’s is Bigger than Columbus

    A reoccurring story in the ‘OMG how great the Chinese are’ is the ‘size matters’ theme about the 15th Century Zheng “Armada.”

    Everybody who writes about Zheng’s voyage ogles over the size of his fleet, size of his ships and size of his crews, etc.

    No wonder Columbus statues are being removed and defaced. In street parlence:
    “He ain’t be shit compared to d’ah Chink.

    Fleet and Ship Size
    Zheng: 200 ships, the lead ship 140 meters long and 50 meters wide.

    Columbus: 3 ships, total length of all three ships combined 54 meters (Nina 15, Pinta 21, S. Maria 18 meters). Literally all three of Columbus’ ships could fit in one of Zhaeng’s.

    Crew Size
    Zheng: 30,000 men.

    Columbus: 86 men.

    Places Visited
    Zheng: 12 (Champa, Borneo, Java, Malacca, Sumatra, Ceylon, Calicut, Hormuz, Aden, Jeddah/Mecca, Mogadiscio and the Eastern African coast)

    Columbus: 1 (Bahamas).

    …. Aye now the plot thickens …

    Characteristics of Voyages
    Zheng: Hugging the coastline of the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. Traveled a known historic route and known sea conditions. He could get back to shore line if weather and sea conditions became dangerous. Little risk to ships and crew.

    Columbus
    Sailed out into an absolutely unknown ocean that was magnitudes more violent and volatile than the South China Sea and Indian Oceans. No safe place to go if the sea and weather became violent.

    Historic Results of Voyages
    Zheng: Nada.
    Zheng went back to China never to be heard of again until 21st Century historians and documentary producers started making a big deal out of his world history insignificant South Seas tour.

    Columbus:
    Changed the whole of world history – literally!

    //////////

    Periodically, a replication of Columbus’ favorite ship the La Pinta comes to my hometown port of Rochester, NY on Lake Ontario. Everytime it comes, I go down early in the morning of the first day to visit and stand on the ship utterly awed. I never cease to be amazed! There are yachts in the marina that are significantly bigger than the Pinta.

    I would not want to be on this ship in a Lake Ontario storm.

    I wonder what manner of men sailed it across the unknown Atlantic?

    The answer: EUROPEAN MEN!!!

    European men changed the world and the Chinese are just getting around to catching up. The only thing that is Chinese in China today is the language and food. Every other significant aspect of the society is European copied.

    To wit:
    Mathematics (Calculus)
    Science based on Calculus (physics, chemistry, etc.)
    Industrial systems base on science
    Medical science and practices
    Market Economics system
    Central Back financial system
    Stock and Bond Market Exchanges
    Pirated Western copyrighted music, film, TV shows, etc.
    100,000 Classical European music virtuosos (Beethoven, Bach, etc.)
    10’s million Chinese tourist visit Europe every year (especially Columbus’ Italy)
    I-PHONES!!!!

    Picking up on my drift here.

    The size of Zheng’s Armada counted for nothing in world history.

    It was Columbus’ dinky-ass so not an Armada that was the manifestation of European genius, ambition, courage, creativity that China and the rest of the world today tries so desperately to emulate.

  7. d dan says:
    @Tom Verso

    “European men changed the world and the Chinese are just getting around to catching up. “

    Exactly! Chinese used its forces “just getting around” to maintain peace and to promote trades. “European men changed the world” by invasions, conquers and colonization.

    Even today, China never aspires to change anyone’s history, whereas US is still trying to make China and the world change, through wars, revolutions, “democracy”, etc.

    Time changes but peoples don’t

    • Agree: showmethereal
  8. Antoniof says:
    @Tom Verso

    Lets resolve our problem first before we think soo high of ourself

  9. @d dan

    Exactly! Chinese used its forces “just getting around” to maintain peace and to promote trades. “European men changed the world” by invasions, conquers and colonization.

    Well said, d dan!
    I am pretty damn sure that black Africa would have be far better off under the tutelage of the “diplomat and warrior”. I need to get this story of Zheng He out to everyone in Africa (North Africa, East Africa, West Africa & Southern Africa) for obvious geopolitical reasons during these trying times of global Western tyranny by the “usual suspects.”

    Educated as a diplomat and warrior, Zheng He converted to Buddhism under his new name, although he always remained faithful to Islam. After all, as I saw for myself when I visited Hui communities in 1997 when branching out from the Silk Road, on my way to Labrang monastery in Xiahe, Hui Islam is a fascinating syncretism incorporating Buddhism, the Tao and Confucianism.

    Wow, I have no doubt that the backwardness in those African nations that adopted Islam was due to the ignorant destructive exploitative Wahhabi Sunni version. Sorry folks, but “seeing is believing” and I’ve seen with my very own eyes from exploring the dark continent for more than a decade now to draw this conclusion.

    In fact, I would argue that Shia Islam would’ve been a much better positive outcome for those countries in Africa that chose (or was forced) to became “Islamic”. Anybody care to debate me on this assertion right now? Let’s go!

    One more thing…
    This Hui Islam appears to be a far more spiritual and intelligent version of Islam than, you guessed it, backwards Sunni Wahhabism. Thank you, Saudi Araibia for poisoning the world with your barbaric version of Islam.

  10. Pepe, this is one of the most inspiring articles I’ve ever read on The Unz Review.
    Many thanks!

    Permission to copy and republish on many African blogs and forums with full attribution to you and a link back to Unz? This story needs to be told far & wide — especially in Africa which has disastrously suffered under the yoke of Western & Arab colonialism.

    I have a pretty vivid imagination. And this is what’s running thru my mind right now after reading this most insightful article:

    “Imagine if Zheng Hi reached Africa before the Arabs and Europeans. Now, imagine if he created mutually beneficial African trading outposts from North to South & East to West and imparted these elements of “Buddhism, the Tao and Confucianism” onto the entire continent’s populations – especially black sub-Saharan Africa. Can you imagine where African society would be today??

    It boggles the mind to think of the intellectual development and capacity of the typical African inhabitant’s mind under this most profound & positive Chinese influence compared to Islam and the fake Western version of exploitative Christianity. Now combine that mental development over centuries with the superior athleticism of black Africans and you have a very powerful human specimen. Yes?”

    Just my 2 cents.

  11. It’s how Chinese expansion always happen as the result of the expansion of the other.

    Chinese have been deeply conservative. They prefer walls over bridges. They did send a fleet once all the way to Africa, but it was an exception that proved the rule. Chinese soon folded the entire plan. Also, unlike Western voyages that involved investors as well as the state, the great Chinese expedition was totally a statist enterprise. Chinese generally preferred to be left alone. When Russians were threatened with barbarians, they acted like barbarian warlords too and conquered the barbarians. Russians liked to see themselves as warriors.

    In contrast, Chinese liked to see themselves as civilized men of letters and, as such, disdained warrior stuff. So, China maintained just enough military to defend itself. If China really put their mind to it, they could have built up a huge army and conquered the northern barbarians and expanded further. Instead, Chinese hunkered down and built vast walls to keep ragtag barbarians out. It’s no wonder Russians got to own Siberia(even though much of it is closer to China). Instead of building walls, they figured they’d conquer those around them. In contrast, Chinese wanted to be left alone in their civilization of letters and manners. Chinese way was to keep foreigners out than conquer them.

    As the result, the expansion of China happened due to foreign initiative(as opposed to Chinese inertia). It was under Mongol rule that Chinese became part of something truly huge. Granted, it was the Mongol than Chinese empire but under Mongol rule, Chinese became the main subject people of the greatest empire the world had known up to that time.
    And much later, it was under Manchu rule that China expanded further into the Northwest and Southwest. Prior, Chinese had ignored those areas as lands of barbarians or foreign peoples.
    So, without foreign invasion, modern China would be maybe 1/2 or 1/3 of its current size.

    And this pattern continues in the 21st century. China came under Western imperialist domination. At one time, it was colonized by Europeans and Japan. But even as an independent state under CCP rule, China decided to play junior partner to the US, the lone superpower. China accepted the role of sidekick to the greatest empire the world had ever seen: The Anglo-American-Canadian-Australian empire. As junior partner in this, Chinese business and contacts came to expand all over the world. Just like Hong Kong once served the UK, China came to play the role of Big Hong Kong to the US empire. But if Hong Kong, a mere city state, could never overtake the UK, China with its 1.3 billion people(with some talent) could go from junior partner to someone demanding recognition as equal partner.
    China also lucked out because Jews took over the US, and in that sense, Chinese expanded under the Empire of Judea as well. Even as Jews have relied on an alliance with Anglos, they also feel resentment against White Christian Civilization. Therefore, Jews decided to forge elite alliances with Chinese and Hindus to balance things out — Anglos didn’t like this but they played along because, having been cucked, they dare not say NO to whatever Jews want.

    Chinese, along with Hindus, benefited from the Jewish strategy. But Chinese could also get burned by it because if Jews feel that China is growing too independent(and too close to Russia and Iran) and/or the White West is growing angry about globalism, their safest bet is push the Yellow Peril card and blame all the problems of globalism on the Chinese, something the GOP is more than happy to go along with. GOP is like a jealous lover. It worships Jewish power/wealth and wants to be the main whore of the Jews, but Jews have been sleeping about with Suzie Wong and Sally Patel, and bitter GOP is willing to do anything to be the #1 concubine of Jewish Power. It’s Whore Wars. So, GOP never blames Jews despite all the harm Jewish Power has done to whites and instead woos the Jews by saying, “Suzie Wong bad, so come back to us good white cuck-whore, we so horny and sucky-sucky you long time.”

    Now, on the matter of Chinese inertia. It’s true and untrue. History has shown that, when given a chance, Chinese love to trade, do business, gamble, and have a good time. Hong Kong was Chinese ‘greed’ on steroids. Perhaps, Confucius said bad stuff about merchants precisely because too many Chinese wer a bunch of greedy snakes who care about money and gold. (It’s like Moses may have emphasized morality and submission to God precisely because Jews are such a troublesome and unruly lot.) So, Chinese aren’t innately about inertia.
    Inertia resulted from emphasis on virtue and manners over materialism. Commerce makes people competitive without end. Cultivation eventually leads to enervation — look at the status of the humanities in the academia. While Chinese studied and competed very hard to exams, all that studying didn’t lead to any productivity. Also, they were studying to be refined, mannered, and pompous than capable with practical matters or productive pursuits. Also, once people passed the exams and secured good positions, they felt they made it and lost the fire. In contrast, a merchant wants to make more and more and more and more. There is a limit to wisdom and manners, but there is no limit to ‘greed’ for more money. So, commerce is far more competitive than ideas and values. European growth owed to commerce, not the church. Jews came to greatness with money-making, not Talmudic studies.

    Because Chinese civilization had such disdain for merchants, even those involved in commerce were less likely to invest further to grow richer than invest in education to have their children become civil servants who produced nothing and just put on pompous airs. It’s no wonder some of the biggest Chinese merchants succeeded OUTSIDE China in Southeast Asia or under Western rule. Without the weight of traditional Chinese prejudice against commerce, they should shamelessly keep making more money.

    On those grounds, one might say Chinese inertia is a myth. But it was very much a reality because the Chinese elites and Chinese state understood the threat of excessive commerce and stifled it as much as possible(and Maoism took it to new extremes). Commerce could lead to independent spirit among the people engaged in something close to free enterprise. Also, merchants don’t just wanna trade within the domain but with the whole world, and that could undermine state authority. Also, those who care most about money and material gain have little sense of loyalty to one’s people and culture. Their main concern is MORE MONEY, and they will work with and serve any side for self-gain. This was the dark side of Hong Kong. It was free and enterprising, and those were positives, but it was also a case of Chinese collaborating with foreign imperialists against the motherland for self-gain. This mindset is still alive in Hong Kong, which is why there were all massive cuck-collaborationist protests against China.
    Surely, the story of Anglos well illustrate the dark side of commerce. Materialist Anglos in UK, US, Canada, and Australia are willing to cut ties with their own race & culture and cut deals with Jews for self-gain. Just look at the likes of Clintons, Bidens, McCains, and even Trumps(whose nationalism has turned out to be mostly bogus).

    Chinese state also feared commerce because it understood the Chinese character very well. Chinese culture is about subservience and loyalty. It’s about son’s submission to father, young brother’s submission to older brother, subject’s submission to superiors, and etc. Given this nature of the Chinese, too much commerce and enterprising spirit could undermine traditional hierarchy. Prestige would be defined by greed than by virtue and manners. Also, in a world of open trade, many Chinese might choose to be submissive to OTHER powers and civilizations. If Chinese character is about submission, who’s to say it will always submit to Chinese authority? Maybe it will submit to foreign authority if the Chinese regard foreigners as a better bet for better life. Again, the case of Hong Kong shows this to be true. Chinese there instantly switched their loyalties to Britain for material gain.

    But what about Singapore? Didn’t the Chinese there seek independence from the British Empire? They had commerce and independence from foreign empire. Maybe Lee Kwan Yew was more visionary than the Chinese elites in Hong Kong. Individuals do matter in history. But then, as Singapore wasn’t attached to China, it had no fears about a Chinese takeover. Thus, it could remain independent even gaining independence, especially as weak and backward Malaysia hardly posed a threat. In contrast, without the protection of the British Empire, Hong Kong would end up ruled by Big Bad Mao(and he was very bad, so bad to even give moral credence to Chinese who cucked to foreigners).

    Singapore is an interesting case because it’s as if Lee understood the conundrum of the ‘Chinese national character’ and sought to find some kind of balance. He understood that too much statist control could lead to inertia, as happened in Chinese history. Paradoxically, such inertia was the end-product of massive energy. The Chinese state, traditional and communist, tried to carry out huge projects and, as such, had to mobilize and control countless people. So, the Great Wall got built. Great irrigation projects got completed. But in emphasizing collective force and unity of purpose, it robbed Chinese of individuality and initiative. (Same happened with Stalinism in the USSR. It achieved great things in heavy industrialization and war economy, but the people just got used to be told what to do, what to think, and lost a sense of private enterprise and individual spark.) And yet, excessive individualism can spiral out of control, with the ONLY thing that comes to matter being money, hedonism, and nihilism. So, Lee of Singapore sought to create a new kind of Chinese-led order that would allow for tight statist controls & guidance while allowing ample room for commerce and enterprise. And this model, than the Hong Kong one, is what mainland China adopted. How this will all play out is anyone’s guess, but me thinks there’s needs to be true leaps in vision and leadership for China to make it to the next stage, but under CCP rule, such hasn’t been possible.
    Same with Russia. Putin has done rather well, but he has failed to lay down the foundation for a truly powerful and glorious Russia. After he goes, Russia may well turn into just a big Ukraine as your average Russian is numbnut.

    • Agree: Daemon
    • Replies: @Antoniof
    , @Daemon
  12. nmaben says:

    Pepe has to be a closet communist. First of all, Pres. Xi is not a President, he is the chairman of the Communist Party. He’s in Mao’s old position. China is currently a communist dictatorship, with a mercantilist bent. Certainly, not a system one would want to emulate worldwide if one values personal freedom. As far as China’s maritime accomplishments go, they were many no doubt. Having said that, when one is an absolute dictator they can accomplish a lot both good and bad. And many of the Emperor/dictators did just that. Now China has Xi another dictator for life. Again, not a system I am interested in emulating.

  13. ‘… the context that led everyone and his neighbor to frenetically take to the seas starting in the late 15th century – from Columbus and Vasco da Gama to Magellan…’

    …all of whom were, at a guess, born within five hundred miles of each other.

  14. @d dan

    ‘… Even today, China never aspires to change anyone’s history..’

    ! Quite a few would differ with you on that point. Most obviously, the Tibetans, but they’re hardly unique.

    • Replies: @d dan
    , @showmethereal
  15. Some interesting history on this thread, in the article itself and from replies…though the article’s title is misleading. (The title suggests that some evidence is provided about how Winnie the Pooh won’t repeat mistakes, then only links history to the current dictator with a few sentences in the last paragraph!)

    Is it not the case that we should be discussing the present and the future rather than 15th century personages?

    Pepe and the collection of wumaos on this site would love for you to believe that the CCP only wants peace and free trade and will never harm a fly. They claim that the CCP doesn’t want to invade, conquer or colonize.

    Rubbish!

    Lies, murder, fraud, coercion, theft, backstabbing and double-dealing are just some of the methods that the CCP and its corrupt factions use today, and will continue to use as long as they exist.

    • Troll: d dan
  16. @Beavertales

    There is a passage from the Talmud that goes something like this “we see the world for not what it really is, but for what we ourselves are like inside”.

    The Chinese have no interest in ruling the world. If they had it in their DNA, they would have done so in 1405. Perhaps you project your collective Western civilisational inclinations of dominance and conquest on the Chinese?

    Your prophetic description however, is oddly reminiscent of how the Kingdom of Hawaii was annexed.

    • Agree: Black Picard
    • Replies: @Smith
  17. @Tom Verso

    You revel in how much the Europeans conquered with so few men.

    The Chinese are proud to say that with many times the number of men and ships, they did not conquer a single petty kingdom or establish a single colony, but established trade routes and diplomatic ties.

    Thank you for illuminating how the European and Chinese priorities continue to be so different even after 500 years.

    A former Malaysian Prime Minister said recently and I paraphrase from memory “we have been trading with China for 2000 years with no issue. Yet withing 50 years of the Europeans arriving, they conquered Malacca from us”.

    • Replies: @Parfois1
  18. Another great article, Pepe.

    I do think that readers would have benefited with a clarification of the unfortunate term “tributary system” that has been used to describe that uniquely Chinese diplomatic relationship. Rather that the European usage of a one way relationship of a dominant state exacting a payment from a vassal, the Chinese “tributary system” was a little more nuanced.

    The Chinese insisted on this system not because it wanted gold or payment from the tributary state, but acknowledgement of its cultural supremacy. In a typically Chinese form of largesse, the Chinese emperors were obliged to return gifts of far more value to the tributary state than they had originally presented to the emperor. Foreign states were so fond of this system that the Chinese court eventually had to limit presentation of tribute to once every two years.

    This little bit of historical trivia actually is very practical for those who really want to deal with China.

    The Chinese sense of prestige is deeply set into the Chinese psyche. Even though Westerners have learned to use the term “saving face” etc from China, they don’t really know what it means. It does not mean a weaker party desperately doing something to lessen his own embarrassment. Rather it really refers to the powerful allowing the weaker party some concessions in their dealings so that he can walk away with his head held high. In this way it reflects on the magnanimity of the stronger party. It serves the long term purpose of strengthening their mutual relations. But it can never be done overtly or it would not achieve its aim.

    Here is how it can be applied in practice. If Trump really wanted certain things from China, twisting their arms is certainly not the best way to do it. The best way is to give something to China, acknowledge them as equals and fan their egos. That Chinese sense of prestige will oblige them to return the favour, but more so.

    But alas, so few Americans have the humility to listen, much less understand.

    • Agree: d dan
    • Thanks: Mary Marianne, Parfois1
    • Replies: @Antoniof
  19. d dan says:
    @Colin Wright

    “! Quite a few would differ with you on that point. Most obviously, the Tibetans, but they’re hardly unique.”

    Talk is cheap. If you think Tibet is not part of China, ask you government to support an independent Tibet. Even better, sponsor its membership in UN.

    No? Not even a single country recognizes Tibet as a separate country. ZERO!

    So no, China has not changed the history of Tibet – which has been part of China longer than there is a country called United States.

    • Troll: bigduke6, Grahamsno(G64)
    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  20. Antoniof says:
    @littlereddot

    >>Even though Westerners have learned to use the term “saving face” etc from China, they don’t really know what it means. It does not mean a weaker party desperately doing something to lessen his own embarrassment. Rather it really refers to the powerful allowing the weaker party some concessions in their dealings so that he can walk away with his head held high. In this way it reflects on the magnanimity of the stronger party. It serves the long term purpose of strengthening their mutual relations. But it can never be done overtly or it would not achieve its aim.

    its called magnanimity

    The history of the west is full of examples Alexander the great also called alexander the magnanimous is a good example of it

    Porus fought against Alexander the Great in the Battle of the Hydaspes (326 Bc)thought to be fought at the site of modern-day Mong, Ancient Greek historians describe the battle and the aftermath of Alexander’s victory. Anecdotally, after the defeat and arrest of Porus in the war, Alexander asked Porus how he would like to be treated. Porus, although defeated, proudly stated that he would like to be treated like a king. Alexander was reportedly so impressed by his adversary that he not only reinstated him as a satrap of his own kingdom but also granted him dominion over lands to the south-east extending until the Hyphasis , more or less the same he did with eveyone he considered worthy

    The chilvary code in the middle age for example is the continuation of the same cultural legacy

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  21. Antoniof says:
    @Priss Factor

    china was a imperialist nation in the past , is only after the catastrofic rebellions of al lushan in the tang dinasty that would end with more than 20 million chinese dead , losing all their new conquered territory while indian influences like busdism were taking over the chinese soul that posterior dinasties limited any influences with the external world ,a comparable phenomenom of the isolated middle age european kingdoms .
    The army in the tang was heavily turk / mongolic, the merchant sogdians a iranisn people and philosofical influences were indian, TANG was the equivalent ROME while han dinasty were the greeks .

    I think the reason europe trascended the middle ages and china stagnated is because in the european case a new victorious people germans emerged over the ashes of rome while rome served as example to emulate( holy roman empire) and a will to form an glorious empire, meanwhile original chinese ( romans) survived and they looked with horror to the tang multiracial / multicultural dinasty serving as a custodiary tale for the next dinasties.

    Winner/ loser mentality

  22. This is surreal! People are posting about the CCP as if :

    1. the criminal thugs represent the Chinese people.

    2. the criminal thugs are somehow the heirs of past Chinese dynasties / systems.

    The history is fascinating.

    Current reality is frightening.

    • Troll: d dan, Mary Marianne
    • Replies: @Anon
  23. Anon[173] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hong Kong Awake

    90% of people here are cripto fascist and china is the closest to that model in their view

  24. From https://asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/China-up-close/Haunted-by-a-phantom-China-fights-a-modern-day-siege

    [MORE]

    Haunted by a phantom, China fights a modern-day siege

    Bitter memories of Boxer Rebellion make virus compensation a non-starter

    KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer

    MAY 14, 2020 04:37 JST

    TOKYO — In the heyday of the Qing dynasty, the emperor who was credited with stabilizing China after years of war eventually came across a seemingly intractable foe, malaria.

    Having contracted the mosquito-borne disease, Emperor Kangxi (1661-1722) pursued all avenues for an effective remedy but to no avail. His condition only worsened.

    By chance, a French Jesuit named Jean de Fontaney, who was part of a Christian mission to China, had some quinine, a magic bullet for malaria, and presented it to the ailing emperor.

    The emperor made four ministers try the drug first to make sure it was harmless before taking it himself. The drug kicked in, and he was fully cured.

    The jubilant emperor then granted Fontaney and his colleagues permission to build a church within the imperial palace. The Church of the Saviour, Beijing, was completed in 1703.

    This tale, borrowed from “Beijing Rekishi Sanpo (History Walk),” a book by Japanese scholar Kenichi Takenaka, tells a wonderful anecdote of international cooperation saving a Chinese ruler from certain death.

    Unfortunately, it does not apply today. The reality of international politics involving China is extremely harsh. China’s rapid rise and President Xi Jinping’s aggressive foreign policy are partly to blame.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on China to disclose information about the initial stages of the novel coronavirus outbreak. French President Emmanuel Macron has said that it would be “naive” to believe official accounts provided by China.

    Lawmakers in the U.S. are seeking compensation from China for the suffering that the virus has caused.

    Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump and Macron reportedly agreed during a telephone conference on the need to reform the World Health Organization, which faces continued criticism of being pro-China.

    The chorus of criticism has reminded Chinese people of a historical event that took place 120 years ago.

    “It is like a modern-day Eight Nation Alliance,” one Chinese person said. “They are blaming China for everything. What is the true reason for this encirclement?”

    “There must be a huge conspiracy behind the move to demand compensation from China,” said another.

    The original Eight Nation Alliance was a military coalition of foreign powers that pushed into the Qing dynasty in 1900 to liberate Beijing’s foreign legation district, where foreigners and Chinese Christians had sought refuge from anti-Christian, anti-foreign rebels in a fracas that came to be known as the Boxer Rebellion. The “boxers” were Qing dynasty-backed rebels who were practiced in martial arts and thought they were impervious to foreign weapons.

    One of the battlefields was the Church of the Saviour. Westerners and local Christians holed up in the sanctuary, waiting for rescue forces, as the angry Boxers attempted to break in.

    In the end, the boxers were not invulnerable, and the eight nations — the U.K., U.S., Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Japan and Austria-Hungary — defeated the rebellion.

    Under the Boxer Protocol, signed in 1901, the Qing government agreed to pay damages to the eight foreign nations plus Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, who were also involved.

    The amount of the damages was 450 million taels of fine silver, several times more than the Qing government’s annual budget of the time. The Qing government eventually agreed to pay the huge amount over a 39-year period.

    The obligation was passed down to the newly established Republic of China after the 1912 fall of the Qing dynasty. Including interest payments, the amount of the damages nearly doubled, sowing the seeds of a deep resentment that is remembered even by later generations.

    Today, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the names of the eight countries show a frightening coincidence. The one-time recipients of fine silver have suffered the most human and economic losses from COVID-19. The European nations of Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the U.K. went into lockdown one after another. The U.S., Japan and more recently Russia have struggled to contain the outbreak.

    Australia and New Zealand, who were not part of the Eight Nation Alliance, have joined the new encirclement criticizing China, conservative commentators in Beijing say.

    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for an independent on-site investigation in China by public health experts to see what happened there. According to Australian media, he has conveyed the need for such a probe to foreign leaders such as Trump, Merkel and Macron.

    New Zealand has expressed support for Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the WHO’s annual meeting, which is to begin on Monday. Taiwan succeeded early on at keeping the virus at bay.

    Alarmed by Australia’s and New Zealand’s calls, China has launched an all-out counterattack.

    According to an Australian grain producers’ group, China is considering an import tariff of as much as 80% on Australian barley. China has also filed a strong protest with New Zealand.

    Xi has been busy telephoning other foreign leaders in a bid to break the international coalition against China. But many recipients of these calls lead small countries with limited global influence.

    One leader Xi talked to raised international eyebrows. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un congratulated Xi for his “victory in the war against the unprecedented epidemic and strategically and tactically controlling the overall situation,” according to Korean Central News Agency. It came just after Kim made his first public appearance after a long interval, ending weeks of speculation about his health.

    Meanwhile, China looks confident of winning over at least one Eight Nation Alliance member, Italy.

    Italy is the only Group of Seven major industrialized country to have participated in the China-led Belt and Road Initiative. Xi’s signature infrastructure-building project is designed to create a massive economic zone from China to Europe.

    Chinese opinion leaders are confident Italy is not part of the “new” Eight Nation Alliance. They are relieved that China has successfully driven a wedge in the camp of the Free World, which is often critical of China.

    Another reliable partner for Beijing is Russia, which is eager to join hands at every opportunity to counter the U.S. During their recent telephone conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Xi to cooperate within the framework of BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — including on anti-coronavirus measures.

    But Russia itself has seen a sharp increase in the number of new infections, and Brazil and India are under states of emergency.

    For Chinese people who study history, the parallels between China’s current situation and what happened at the dawn of the 20th Century are clear.

    The Boxer Protocol was an unequal treaty that recognized the right of foreign powers to station troops in China. Many believe it precipitated the fall of the Qing dynasty.

    The memories are bitter.

    But China today is the world’s second-largest economy, and a global power that is feared by others. It cannot continue to be haunted by the phantom of an Eight Nation Alliance that causes it to lash out at other countries with angry criticism and retaliatory measures for perceived slights.

    China needs to imaginatively think about its next bold move. Can it become a country that is open, transparent and cooperative? The world watches closely.

    Katsuji Nakazawa is a Tokyo-based senior staff writer and editorial writer at Nikkei. He has spent seven years in China as a correspondent and later as China bureau chief. He is the 2014 recipient of the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist prize for international reporting

  25. Daemon says:
    @Priss Factor

    I’m curious, how did you come to these insights? These are not realizations
    any run of the mill foreigner can come to grips with.

  26. antibeast says:

    Well-written and highly-erudite article. Just a few comments:

    At the end of the 15th century, there were no Chinese architects left capable of building large ships. Development of weaponry also had been abandoned. In just a few decades, crucially, the Sinified world lost its vast technological advance over the West. It got weaker. And later it would pay a huge price, symbolized in the Chinese unconsciousness by the “century of humiliation.”

    This is inaccurate because the Europeans took three centuries BEFORE they were able to surpass China sometime in the 1800s when the UK overtook China as the world’s largest economy. That was because the Qing Dynasty under the warlike Manchuswaged almost two centuries of warfare to double the size of the Chinese Empire at about the same time that the Europeans were colonizing Southeast Asia. During this time, the Qing Dynasty officially banned overseas emigration and foreign trade but the Overseas Chinese from Fujian Province circumvented the ban and settled in and traded with Southeast Asia. The Spanish Galleon Trade carried Chinese luxury goods which sailed to Mexico and thence to Europe lasted for three hundred years with an estimated half of the silver mined in Mexico and Peru ended up in China.

  27. bigduke6 says:

    I understand that Mr. Unz wants to provide an alternative to rampant anti-China sentiment in Western media, but Escobar, Godfree Roberts and their commenters are just shills and yellow supremacists. Is there no other way?

    • Replies: @Hong Kong Awake
  28. @bigduke6

    I understand that Mr. Unz wants to provide an alternative to rampant anti-China sentiment in Western media, but Escobar, Godfree Roberts and their commenters are just shills and yellow supremacists. Is there no other way?

    IMHO there are many people who conflate opposition to the clowns who are ruining ‘Western’ nations with support for the CCP. They turn a blind eye to the crimes of the horrible CCP surveillance state because it seems to act as a counterweight to the Anglo-American establishment.

    Many have written very interesting replies to Pepe’s sinophilic article, but they seem to have forgotten that most Chinese at this time have lost traditional virtues thanks to the very same CCP that threatens to become, or which has already become, imperialistic. This renders Pepe’s use of historical precedents absurd.

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    , @German anon
  29. @Hong Kong Awake

    most Chinese at this time have lost traditional virtues

    To quote someone from this site:

    “Let me tell you about the history of your people and your nation…”

    Congratulations, you are a living meme.

    😀

  30. @Hong Kong Awake

    Exactly china at this point is a totalitarian merchant nation in everything except its political form

    It wouldnt surprise me if jews and chinese end up afirming a deal and distributing the world slaving the rest in the process .

    We dont have any real allies we must fight our own battles

  31. @d dan

    ‘So no, China has not changed the history of Tibet – which has been part of China longer than there is a country called United States.’

    Oh nonsense. Tibet — like Korea and presumably a dozen other peripheral states around the Middle Kingdom — had a tributary relationship with China. But it was no more ‘part’ of China than Mexico is ‘part’ of the United States. Indeed, the relation would be remarkably analogous.

    Would you approve if we abruptly seized all of Mexico, removed its government, and begin settling it?

    It was simply a semantic sleight of hand. Yes, Tibet et al generally maintained a submissive attitude towards China. That didn’t make them part of China — until suddenly China said it did.

    ‘China’ — in its long-term, culturally and politically unified borders — was a far smaller place than the grossly enlarged entity we call by that name today. That only appeared when the Communist state managed to simply merge into one state all of the various aspirations, pretensions, and complex dependencies of the previous regimes.

  32. dearieme says:

    What a lot of tripe.

    the Europeans, in the 16th century, discovering that the earth was round is wrong by a couple of thousand years.

    the true pioneer: iconic Admiral Zheng He: an absurd claim. The man led show-the-flag journeys to parts of the world already well known to China’s literate neighbours. What he didn’t do is explore anywhere. He added nothing to the sum of knowledge of the civilised world.

  33. @Colin Wright

    You already seized Texas from Mexico, annexed the Kingdom of Hawaii, annexed the Marshall Islands where you genocided the indigenous people with cancer from atomic bomb radiation — to not speak of the fact that the USA itself is land seized from the natives, whose last pitiful remnants are now mired in alcohol and drug abuse in their human zoos/reservations.

    In contrast, Tibetan GDP grew by 9% in 2019, and the ethnic Tibetan population in Tibet grew from 1 million in 1953 to 2.61 million in 2003. The truth is that Americans have zero grounds to criticize China’s handling of Tibet, and whatever came out of your mouth can safely be classified as hubris.

  34. d dan says:
    @Colin Wright

    “Oh nonsense. Tibet… was no more ‘part’ of China than Mexico is ‘part’ of the United States. “

    US: founded 1776
    Qing dynasty: founded 1636

    Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Qing_dynasty_18c.svg

    “It was simply a semantic sleight of hand… ‘China’ — in its long-term, culturally and politically unified borders — was a far smaller place than the grossly enlarged entity we call by that name today.”

    Right, you are good at semantic sleight of hand. What is “long-term”? 400 years? 1000 years? Using your standard, I will fix your sentence for you:

    ‘US’ — in its long-term, culturally and politically unified borders — simply does not EXIST.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  35. @Mary Marianne

    ‘You already seized Texas from Mexico, annexed the Kingdom of Hawaii, annexed the Marshall Islands where you genocided the indigenous people with cancer from atomic bomb radiation — to not speak of the fact that the USA itself is land seized from the natives, whose last pitiful remnants are now mired in alcohol and drug abuse in their human zoos/reservations…’

    ‘Mary Marianne’…what a fine, Anglo-Saxon name.

    And look! You’ve finally posted. A fine, pro-Chinese post to go with all of your pro-Chinese ‘agrees.’

    There are a couple of respects in which China is preferable to Israel. One is that we’re not morally responsible for her crimes. The other is that her propagandists aren’t all that sophisticated.

    Are they?

  36. @d dan

    You ignore the minor detail that the Qing dynasty (which wasn’t Chinese in the first place, by the way) didn’t actually incorporate any of these regions into a meaningful ‘China.’ In fact, they became ‘Chinese’ in — at most — about the same sense that Guatemala circa 1920 became ‘American.’

    All these regions only became ‘China’ in the sense of being incorporated into a modern, unitary nation-state at various points between 1900 and now — or so. Manchuria probably went first, when your declining ‘Chinese’ dynasty was unable to keep Han Chinese out. I’d say the current crushing of Uigher identity suggests that it is only now that Sinkiang is being substantially added to ‘China.’

    • Replies: @d dan
    , @antibeast
  37. @Mary Marianne

    ‘You already seized Texas from Mexico, annexed the Kingdom of Hawaii, annexed the Marshall Islands where you genocided the indigenous people with cancer from atomic bomb radiation …

    Aside from everything else, I find this chronic abuse of the word ‘genocide’ irritating.

    First off, it’s not a verb.

    Secondly, I’ve met people from the the Marshall Islands. Necessarily, they weren’t victims of genocide. In fact, there seem to be quite a few of them…and they’re quite agreeable, if decidedly not Americanized.

    What’s your opinion about the Marshall Islanders you’ve met?

  38. d dan says:
    @Colin Wright

    Wow, just two short paragraphs and it is truly breathtaking in arrogance. You are supposed to tell China and Chinese people what is or is not “meaningful China”. You know so much about Chinese culture and history you can define “Chinese” for them.

    “Qing dynasty (which wasn’t Chinese in the first place, “

    And the reason Qing wasn’t Chinese is … ? Silence? Just because the emperors weren’t Han that the country suddenly wasn’t Chinese? If that is the case, US was not American from 2008-2016 because a black man was the President. It doesn’t matter if the people are still the same, the language, culture, religion were in practice for thousands of years. Colin Wright decides that Manchurian aren’t Chinese, and a few of them became the emperors should just make the whole country non-Chinese.

    “didn’t actually incorporate any of these regions into a meaningful ‘China.’”

    How? Do you mean Qinq had no political control of Tibet? Or do you mean Qinq couldn’t send its army into Tibet as and when they like? Or Qinq couldn’t appoint political and religious leaders in Tibet? Or Qing emperors’ edicts or Qing’s laws weren’t applicable? Just answer those questions and you can tell how ridiculous your statement is.

    Or do you mean that Qing did not “genocide” Tibetans and make them all speak Han or Manchurian, like what US had done? Well, this last question I concede you are right – they didn’t.

    “about the same sense that Guatemala circa 1920 became ‘American.’”

    It is so hilarious to hear you liken the relationship between Qing and Tibet with that of US and Guatemala/Mexico. I understand US bullied left and right in those region, but at least Guatemala/Mexico were independent countries. They had their presidents, just like US had presidents. If those presidents met, they addressed each as presidents of their respective countries.

    Now, imagine anyone in Tibet called himself the emperor (or king, or whatever) of Tibet. He would be promptly arrested and beheaded, probably with his whole family too. Is that how you think Tibet is a separate country from Qinq?

    “All these regions only became ‘China’ in the sense of being incorporated into a modern, unitary nation-state at various points between 1900 and now”

    And the reason is because Qing was NOT a modern nation state. You don’t like it? Too bad. That was how Qing ruled their regions. And that was the reason they were Chinese, not American.

    “… current crushing of Uigher identity…”

    Yet more harebrain snippet. Fact 1: Han settled in Xinjiang much earlier than Uighur. Fact 2: China has 55 ethnic minority living with Han for thousands of years. And they all have their culture, religion, language and practice preserved much better than the native Americans had after only 200 years of living with white people.

    “… it is only now that Sinkiang is being substantially added to ‘China.’”

    Still more innovative term: “substantially added”? Just look at Qing map I posted previously, would you? It is not so “substantially” complicated.

    • Troll: Colin Wright
  39. antibeast says:
    @Colin Wright

    Please allow me to comment on your reductio ad absurdum arguments below:

    You ignore the minor detail that the Qing dynasty (which wasn’t Chinese in the first place, by the way) didn’t actually incorporate any of these regions into a meaningful ‘China.’ In fact, they became ‘Chinese’ in — at most — about the same sense that Guatemala circa 1920 became ‘American.’

    If the Qing Dynasty wasn’t “Chinese”, then why did the Manchu rulers call themselves the Qing Dynasty? And if Qing didn’t “actually incorporate” those regions into the Chinese Empire, then why did they invade, occupy and administer those regions?

    All these regions only became ‘China’ in the sense of being incorporated into a modern, unitary nation-state at various points between 1900 and now — or so. Manchuria probably went first, when your declining ‘Chinese’ dynasty was unable to keep Han Chinese out. I’d say the current crushing of Uigher identity suggests that it is only now that Sinkiang is being substantially added to ‘China.’

    Tibet became part of the Chinese Empire after the Mongols incorporated them into the Yuan Dynasty. That’s how the Mongols established Tibetan Buddhism as the court religion and appointed the Dalai Lama to be the official teacher to the Imperial Court. After the Fall of the Ming, the Qing then annexed Tibet as part of the Chinese Empire. The Yuan (Mongols), Ming (Han) and the Qing (Manchus) recruited Tibetan Monks to spread Tibetan Buddhism throughout the Chinese Empire which was how the tantric practices and mystical beliefs of Tibetan Buddhism became part of Chinese Buddhism as attested to by hundreds of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and temples built throughout this period. The Forbidden City (aka the Palace Museum) is home to the former imperial palace, official residence of the emperor, his family, and entourage during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). The museum now houses 42,000 religious artifacts, 80 percent of which are related to Tibetan Buddhism. This rich collection witnessed the height of Tibetan Buddhism in China.

    The Han Dynasty annexed the Xinjiang region which was lost after the Fall of the Tang Dynasty. The Uighurs settled in the Xinjiang region during this time and converted to Tibetan Buddhism. After a period of rule by the Western Liao, the Mongols then annexed the Xinjiang region which became part of the Yuan Dynasty after the Mongol Empire disintegrated. After the Fall of the Yuan, the Xinjiang region endured centuries of warfare by Muslim invaders before the Qing finally annexed the region. The original inhabitants of the Xinjiang region were the Tocharian Buddhists whom the Muslim invaders destroyed after the Fall of the Yuan. That’s when the Uighurs converted to Islam after the Muslim conquests. The ancient Silk Road passed by the Xinjiang region which was the route through which Buddhism entered China and became the subject of the well-known Chinese Classic called “Journey to the West”.

    Sorry to bother you with all this history stuff. Couldn’t help myself explain some history for someone from a country without much history.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  40. To be honest, so long as the current Chinese elites don’t bend over with their pants down to be fucked. China is already good to go.

    The moment China’s PPP GDP become world number one, it was already smooth sailing. N that was 6 years ago.

  41. @antibeast

    ‘If the Qing Dynasty wasn’t “Chinese”, then why did the Manchu rulers call themselves the Qing Dynasty? ‘

    But since they were Manchu, how could they be Chinese?

    We seem to have a paradox here…or maybe you just don’t have an argument.

    • Replies: @d dan
    , @antibeast
  42. d dan says:
    @Colin Wright

    But since they were Manchu, how could they be Chinese?

    Most Manchu called themselves Chinese today. Who are you to tell them that they are not? Just because they are not ethnic Han ? If so, can Chinese claim that Obama is not American simply because he is black? Can they claim that USA stands for “United States of Africa” because Obama is black?

    “We seem to have a paradox here…or maybe you just don’t have an argument.”

    You are the one who run out of argument and just trolling. What an arrogant SOB!

  43. antibeast says:
    @Colin Wright

    But since they were Manchu, how could they be Chinese?

    You seem to think that being “Chinese” is a racial/ethnic construct. “Chinese” is a nationality just like “American”. Otherwise, Obama would have been called the President of Black people in America not the President of the USA.

    We seem to have a paradox here…or maybe you just don’t have an argument.

    No paradox here. Lots of examples where the ruling family is of a different ethnicity than the people being ruled: Catherine the Great of Russia was born German but she had to become Russian in order to rule Russia after her husband Peter III who was also German was deposed for being too pro-German which made him unpopular.

    • Replies: @d dan
  44. Malla says:

    Thus from 1405 to 1433, roughly three decades, Zheng He led seven expeditions across the seas all the way to Arabia and Eastern Africa, leaving from Nanjing in the Yangtze and benefiting from monsoon winds. They hit Champa, Borneo, Java, Malacca, Sumatra, Ceylon, Calicut, Hormuz, Aden, Jeddah/Mecca, Mogadiscio and the Eastern African coast south of the Equator.

    Zheng He’s crew did impart some technology to our fishermen. Even today in South India, fishing technology thought by the Chinese of that fleet exists and those nets are called ‘Cheena vala’ in Malayalam language where ‘Cheena’ stands for ‘Chinese’.

    For the Europeans, it was all about the massive exploitation of a workforce in the fields and in mines, especially concerning black populations in Africa.

    In Asia, in contrast to Chinese diplomacy, the Europeans went for massacre.

    This is pure B.S. trope. I have proven with my posts about how the British for example brought loads of benefits to its empire and in many cases were far kinder and fairer to the common people than the local king/sultan was.

  45. d dan says:
    @antibeast

    “Lots of examples where the ruling family is of a different ethnicity than the people being ruled…”

    The argument can goes even further than that on multiple fronts. The Manchu came to power ONLY with the crucial and substantial military and political assistance of Han, without which, it is questionable whether they could even break through the Great Wall, let alone conquering the whole China. Having done that eventually, they had to rely on Han politicians, scholars, bureaucrats for supports and guidance to govern and control the country. Their political structure, thinking and practices were as much Han as that of Ming or Song dynasties. The word “qing” itself is a Han word, in the tradition of thousands years of other Han dynasties. All the Qinq emperors knew Han language, and they even stayed in the Forbidden City built by the Ming emperors. If you analyse it deeply, you can consider Qing a Han dynasty in almost every aspects, even in its name.

    Secondly, the concept of “Han” itself is vague and evolving. Han becomes the largest ethnic group in the world precisely because it was an amalgamation of diverse local groups within China through thousands of years of political union and cultural assimilation. If you look further enough (says Zhou), Han people themselves were divided into many groups of different cultures and languages. Even today, you hear and see the differences through their dialects. The differences in terms of genes, physical appearance, language pronunciation and habits between southern Hans (e.g. Min/Fujian, Yue/Cantonese) from northern Hans (e.g. Beijinger) are as big or even bigger than the difference between northern Hans from Manchu.

    It is very clear that Mr Wright is losing the debate on all grounds: historical, cultural, racial, logical… He is driven to his untenable conclusion purely on his political agenda – that China needs to be divided, perhaps in the Soviet style.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  46. Malla says:
    @Colin Wright

    I think the best solution is to have a plebiscite in Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia among the native peoples (ethnic Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongols etc….) and see if they want independence or not. But China would never allow that. I think most probably they would want to have their own nations back. But unless we have a plebiscite we cannot say.

    • Replies: @d dan
  47. d dan says:
    @Malla

    “I think the best solution is to have a plebiscite in Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia among the native peoples (ethnic Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongols etc….) and see if they want independence or not. But China would never allow that.”

    LOL. If California wants independence, do you think the other 49 states would want to have a say too? What about my county or my neighborhood? Can my street declare independence and stop paying taxes if everyone here agrees?

    Tell me which country of the world allows that before you demand that as a “solution” from China for a currently non-existence problem in China.

    • Replies: @Malla
    , @foolisholdman
  48. antibeast says:
    @d dan

    The argument can goes even further than that on multiple fronts. The Manchu came to power ONLY with the crucial and substantial military and political assistance of Han, without which, it is questionable whether they could even break through the Great Wall, let alone conquering the whole China. Having done that eventually, they had to rely on Han politicians, scholars, bureaucrats for supports and guidance to govern and control the country. Their political structure, thinking and practices were as much Han as that of Ming or Song dynasties. The word “qing” itself is a Han word, in the tradition of thousands years of other Han dynasties. All the Qinq emperors knew Han language, and they even stayed in the Forbidden City built by the Ming emperors. If you analyse it deeply, you can consider Qing a Han dynasty in almost every aspects, even in its name.

    China has always been a multiethnic Empire with a multicultural Civilization. Various ethnic groups (Han, Turks, Mongols, Manchus, Khitans, Liaos, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Persians, Arabs, etc.) have served the Empire as administrators, teachers, artisans, soldiers, monks, merchants, etc. and contributed their languages, cultures and religions to create the multicultural Civilization of China, especially during the Yuan and Qing Dynasties. The Manchus themselves didn’t have a written language of their own, so they copied the Mongolian script which was based on the Old Uyghur script. The Han, Tang, Song and Ming Dynasties were more “nationalist” in enforcing Confucianist (Han, Tang) and Neo-Confucianist (Song, Ming) orthodoxy while the Yuan and Qing were more “multiculturalist” in allowing various languages and religions of the Mongolians, Uyghurs, Manchus, Tibetans, Persians, Arabs and Turks serving the Chinese Empire to become part of Chinese Civilization.

    Be that as it may, you’re correct that the core nation serving the Chinese Empire was the Han people who possessed the language, culture, ideology and technology necessary for the Chinese Empire to function. Both the Mongols and Manchus, in fact, hired Han Chinese to help them conquer other lands to expand their Empires because they lacked the engineering expertise to develop weapons for conquest. And yes, these Han Chinese defected to the Mongol and Manchu camps to help them conquer all of China which forced the Mongols and Manchus themselves to become Chinese in order to rule China.

    Secondly, the concept of “Han” itself is vague and evolving. Han becomes the largest ethnic group in the world precisely because it was an amalgamation of diverse local groups within China through thousands of years of political union and cultural assimilation. If you look further enough (says Zhou), Han people themselves were divided into many groups of different cultures and languages. Even today, you hear and see the differences through their dialects. The differences in terms of genes, physical appearance, language pronunciation and habits between southern Hans (e.g. Min/Fujian, Yue/Cantonese) from northern Hans (e.g. Beijinger) are as big or even bigger than the difference between northern Hans from Manchu.

    The “Han Chinese” was the creation of the Han Dynasty which promulgated Confucian orthodoxy as the official State ideology and national culture of the Chinese Empire founded by the Qin Dynasty. Before then, various kingdoms sharing the Huaxia cultures lived under the Qin Empire which united those kingdoms by force. That’s how the Huaxia peoples became “Han Chinese” which is not an ethnicity but a nationality. Over a period of two thousand years, hundreds of ethnic groups have been absorbed into the “Han Chinese” nationality. Yes, you’re correct that the regional variations of the “Han Chinese” are due to the amalgamation of these various ethnic groups and their assimilation into the “Han Chinese” nationality. The Northern Chinese (dongbeiren) tend to follow Tantric Buddhism which shows their Mongolian, Tibetan, Manchu and Uyghur roots, having adopted Tibetan Buddhism which flourished during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.

  49. Malla says:
    @d dan

    Tell me which country of the world allows that before you demand that as a “solution” from China for a currently non-existence problem in China.

    Any people in the world should have that right. In my own country India, if the Kashmiris, North Easterners including the Sikkimese and even the Sikhs of Punjab want independence from India, in my view they should have the right to a fair plebiscite. Like the one they had in Scotland a few years ago. I respect the United Kingdoms of Great Britain & Ireland of today for this magnanimity.

    Non existent problem in China? Sure, I will take your word for it.

    • Replies: @antibeast
    , @d dan
  50. Malla says:
    @Colin Wright

    Check this out

    China Doesn’t Want You To Know About This Place
    The Mongols too are not very happy about Han rule and Han Chinese taking over their lands.

    • Replies: @antibeast
    , @d dan
  51. Malla says:
    @Mary Marianne

    In contrast, Tibetan GDP grew by 9% in 2019, and the ethnic Tibetan population in Tibet grew from 1 million in 1953 to 2.61 million in 2003

    LOL, India’s population under the British Raj increased from 100 million to 388 million by 1941.

  52. antibeast says:
    @Malla

    The Mongols too are not very happy about Han rule and Han Chinese taking over their lands.

    You should tell that to their Mongolian ancestors who invaded China and became “Chinese”. Just because there are ethnic Mongols living there doesn’t mean they’re not “Chinese” by nationality. The term “Chinese” is a nationality not an ethnicity.

    • Replies: @Malla
  53. antibeast says:
    @Malla

    Any people in the world should have that right. In my own country India, if the Kashmiris, North Easterners including the Sikkimese and even the Sikhs of Punjab want independence from India, in my view they should have the right to a fair plebiscite. Like the one they had in Scotland a few years ago. I respect the United Kingdoms of Great Britain & Ireland of today for this magnanimity.

    India became a unified country only after the British left in 1947 while China has been an Empire and a Nation-State since 220BC. That’s a difference of 2,167 years!!!

    • Replies: @Malla
    , @foolisholdman
  54. Malla says:
    @antibeast

    That’s a difference of 2,167 years!!!

    So? Make it 20,000 years, make it 50,000 years. If people want their own distinct national freedom all this numbers and years should not matter.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  55. Malla says:
    @antibeast

    You should tell that to their Mongolian ancestors who invaded China and became “Chinese”.

    You can define them as Chinese as much as you want, they do not consider themselves of Chinese ethnic group. Besides was not the Great Wall of Chine built to protect the Chinese civilization from the barbarian Mongols? So the Great Wall marked the borders of China once upon a time? Is the Great Wall a border of China today? How did that happen.
    And for god’s sake, the Uyghurs are nothing like the Han.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  56. antibeast says:
    @Malla

    You can define them as Chinese as much as you want, they do not consider themselves of Chinese ethnic group. Besides was not the Great Wall of Chine built to protect the Chinese civilization from the barbarian Mongols? So the Great Wall marked the borders of China once upon a time? Is the Great Wall a border of China today? How did that happen. And for god’s sake, the Uyghurs are nothing like the Han.

    The term “Chinese” refers to nationality not ethnicity. Yes, the Qin Dynasty built the Great Wall to keep out the Northerners. The Han Chinese never invaded Tibet, Mongolia or Manchuria but the Mongols and Manchus invaded China and then incorporated Tibet, Xinjiang, Mongolia and Manchuria as part of the Chinese Empire. Once established, they promoted Tibetan Buddhism as the official religion of the Imperial Court, appointed the Dalai Lama as the Imperial Tutor and recruited Tibetans and Uyghurs to serve as officials, soldiers, teachers, monks, artisans, merchants, etc. throughout the Chinese Empire. Over time, the Mongols, Manchus, Tibetans, Uyghurs along with Persians, Arabs, Turks amalgamated and assimilated to become “Chinese” by nationality.

    • Replies: @Malla
  57. antibeast says:
    @Malla

    So? Make it 20,000 years, make it 50,000 years. If people want their own distinct national freedom all this numbers and years should not matter.

    Sure, you can ask Indians to form two dozen countries and several hundred princely states so they can have the “distinct national freedom” to speak their own languages, practice their own religions and live their own cultural traditions. That would make sense because what is “India” if not the colonial creation of the British Raj which united the disparate kingdoms, principalities and tribes into a unified country? That’s why India can’t be compared to China — Empire, Civilization and Nation-State –which owes its national, cultural and historical identity to none other than itself.

    • Replies: @Malla
  58. d dan says:
    @Malla

    “Any people in the world should have that right. In my own country India, if the Kashmiris, North Easterners including the Sikkimese and even the Sikhs of Punjab want independence from India, in my view they should have the right to a fair plebiscite.”

    Take care of your country before trying to solve “problems” for China. Words are cheap. Spit out all the small nations that India has invaded much more recently than worrying about ancient countries that existed before your nation was even found.

    “Non existent problem in China? Sure, I will take your word for it.”

    You are the one who proposed a “solution” without even defining or mentioning the “problem”, let alone showing any evidences for the existence of the problem in China. And of course, you think the burden is on my side to prove the non-existence.

    Can’t get more idiotic than this when communicating with China-haters.

    • Replies: @Malla
    , @Malla
  59. d dan says:
    @Malla

    “Check this out”

    You should cite the source, e.g. CIA, or whatever…

    • Replies: @Malla
  60. Malla says:
    @d dan

    Ya rite, any thing criticizing PRC is CIA. You Chinese are as idiotic as thos elow IQ Indian nationalists. China is conspiring 24/7 to break up India, ooohhh tukde tukde gang (tukde tukde = Piece piece). Oh please…

    • Replies: @d dan
  61. Malla says:
    @d dan

    Spit out all the small nations that India has invaded much more recently than worrying about ancient countries that existed before your nation was even found.

    I am all for giving them independence. If they want independence.

    ancient countries

    Listen bitch, stop throwing your ancient BS around. Whom are you showing off to your ancientness to. You are talking to an Indian, the whole world knows we are an ancient civilization.

    You are the one who proposed a “solution” without even defining or mentioning the “problem”, let alone showing any evidences for the existence of the problem in China.

    Evidence of the problem in a Communist country? Really?

    • Replies: @d dan
  62. Malla says:
    @antibeast

    It does not matter if India was 20,000 states and China was one humoungous single nations state for 300000 years. People who want independence should have the right to get it, it is as simple as that. Nothing is constant, the world changes. India was once the largest GDP in the world, it is not now. The world changed.

    I am not comparing India to China, I have no interest in doing so. All I am saying any people who want independence should be given the chance to get it. India was just an example I took. I can take the example of Irian Jaya from Indonesia or Biafra from Nigeria or the chitagong Hill Tracts from Bangladesh or the Kurds from Turkey or the Basques from Spain.

    Besides even before the British came, the Mughals had united a large chunk of India. And then there was the ancient Maurya Empire which had united a lot of the subcontinent.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  63. d dan says:
    @Malla

    “…are as idiotic as thos elow IQ Indian nationalists”

    Ad hominem? So fast?

    If not CIA, please cite the source where it comes from. Why so difficult?

    • Replies: @Malla
  64. d dan says:
    @Malla

    “I am all for giving them independence. If they want independence.”

    Yes, more grand cheap words. Please show some actions. Since India is a “democracy”, fair voting should be easily allowed, no? Please allow Sikkim to vote for independence, and allow them to be independence when they vote yes. Please lobby your government. Please post more “Sikkim Independence” comments, with the same enthusiasm you show with Free Tibet and Uighur comments. Please show us you are not hypocrite.

    “Listen bitch, stop throwing your ancient BS around. Whom are you showing off to your ancientness to. You are talking to an Indian, the whole world knows we are an ancient civilization.”

    OK, I have offended an Indian by defending against his attack on China. Hmm, wonder who should apologize to whom first.

    “Evidence of the problem in a Communist country? Really?”

    In other words, no evidence is needed, not even a statement of the problem is needed – just because CCP has the label of “Communist” in its name? But readers should just believe you have a “solution” to that unknown problem. And China should stand guilty of any charges Malla or anyone should throw out.

    Great to know the logic and the rules of “debate” from an Indian.

    • Replies: @Malla
  65. Malla says:
    @d dan

    Can’t get more idiotic than this when communicating with China-haters.

    Don’t exhibit your stupidity by jumping to conclusions. I am no China hater. I have supported China many times on Unz and am a bit of a Sinophile meself. Supporting the independence of Tibet or Xinjiang does not necessarily make one, a China hater.

    • Replies: @d dan
  66. Malla says:
    @d dan

    Cite source? Really? Watch the video again.

  67. Malla says:
    @d dan

    Yes, more grand cheap words. Please allow Sikkim to vote for independence, and allow them to be independence when they vote yes. Please lobby your government.

    Sikkim deserves independence from India, 1000%.

    Please post more “Sikkim Independence” comments, with the same enthusiasm you show with Free Tibet and Uighur comments

    Here comes this guy who just jumps to conclusions. Anybody who reads my comments would know I have posted far far more posts about the illegal takeover of Sikkim by the Indian Government than I have posted anything on Tibet or Xinjiang. Anybody who reads my post will know I often viciously criticize the Indian Governments childish irrational anti-China positions. Anybody who reads my posts would know that I oppose Indian domination of Bhutan’s foreign affairs and actually advocate, Bhutan developing diplomatic links with China as a balance to India’s influence.

    OK, I have offended an Indian by defending against his attack on China. Hmm, wonder who should apologize to whom first.

    LOL. Showing your “ancient” credentials to an Indian, of all the people. Seriously. Stop it, it is funny.

    In other words, no evidence is needed, not even a statement of the problem is needed – just because CCP has the label of “Communist” in its name? But readers should just believe you have a “solution” to that unknown problem. And China should stand guilty of any charges Malla or anyone should throw out.

    All I am saying is that an ethnic group who wants independence should have the right exercise that desire. And the power preventing the said group from getting independence is acting like an imperialist power. Simple as that. That said power could be the PRC, Republic of India, Indonesia, Spain, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Morocco, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom etc….

    Great to know the logic and the rules of “debate” from an Indian.

    You seem to have become an expert in this field. Tell me more about it.

    • Replies: @d dan
  68. antibeast says:
    @Malla

    It does not matter if India was 20,000 states and China was one humongous single nations state for 300000 years. People who want independence should have the right to get it, it is as simple as that. Nothing is constant, the world changes. India was once the largest GDP in the world, it is not now. The world changed.

    You confuse “nationality” with “ethnicity” which you define as people having a distinct language, culture, religion different from the majority population. If your premise is true, that all ethnic minorities should have the “distinct national freedom” to form their own sovereign states, then the concept of multiethnicity and multiculturalism would die along with it. And since ethnic groups form all the time, then that would lead to complete fragmentation of the world.

    I am not comparing India to China, I have no interest in doing so. All I am saying any people who want independence should be given the chance to get it. India was just an example I took. I can take the example of Irian Jaya from Indonesia or Biafra from Nigeria or the chitagong Hill Tracts from Bangladesh or the Kurds from Turkey or the Basques from Spain.

    Yes, you were. Citing Sikkim (which had nothing to do with India anyway) is in poor taste as India indeed invaded, conquered and annexed that Buddhist country after becoming independent of the British Raj.

    Besides even before the British came, the Mughals had united a large chunk of India. And then there was the ancient Maurya Empire which had united a lot of the subcontinent.

    What’s the language used in India today? English. That’s the British colonial legacy. Before then, “India” simply didn’t exist except as a conglomeration of various kingdoms, principalities and tribes with mutually unintelligible languages, antagonistic religions and hostile cultures. The Mughals were Muslims who were hostile to Hinduism as did the other Muslim invaders eg, Timurids, who destroyed much of Hindu India. Same thing happened in Central Asia and Xinjiang where Muslim invaders destroyed Buddhism. The Uyghurs were originally Buddhists who were forced to convert to Islam by their Muslim conquerors.

    • Replies: @Malla
  69. d dan says:
    @Malla

    “I am no China hater. I have supported China many times on Unz and am a bit of a Sinophile meself. Supporting the independence of Tibet or Xinjiang does not necessarily make one, a China hater.”

    Ah, I see. So it is due to your ignorance of Chinese thinking.

    Just to teach you something new about Chinese: support to split China up is considered one of the highest form of hostility toward Chinese. (BTW: this is probably not unique to China) It is probably seconded only to direct military invasion. For example, if Taiwan would to declare independence tomorrow (even peacefully), it will result in military invasion from China immediately – 100% guarantee. And if US is to intervene to support such independence, China will risk nuclear war to fight against US.

    None of the hostile actions by US or any country, like trade wars, economic sanctions, tech embargo, bombing of embassy, cyber attack, bio attacks, or the so-called confiscation of China assets for Covid-19 “reparation”, etc would rise to that level to invite such response.

    I don’t care whether you support the splitting up of India (which I don’t believe), but your position in this issue alone is sufficient to elevate you to the elite “China-hater” club of Navarro, Bannon ilks. Congratulation.

    On the other post:

    “Cite source? Really? Watch the video again.”

    Oh boy, need more explanation?

    If you posted a link to NY Times, obviously the reader would know the article is from NY Times. The deeper question about the source is where did NY Times get the info – through CIA, through direct investigation by their journalist so-and-so, or what? I want to know who funded those research by that rabid China hater to allow him to post his collection of videos. I knew you won’t be interested in investigating the ultimate source and just want the readers to believe whatever info the guy is presenting. Just saying.

    OK, no offend. Sometime I feel like I am talking to a young student.

  70. d dan says:
    @Malla

    “Anybody who reads my comments would know…”

    OK, if what you say are accurate, then I credit you with your consistency, and I take back my word about “hypocrite”.

    “All I am saying is that an ethnic group who wants independence should have the right exercise that desire. And the power preventing the said group from getting independence is acting like an imperialist power. Simple as that….”

    The absoluteness of your ideal is probably getting to you. No, the world is not as simple as you wish. It doesn’t work that way and it shouldn’t. And not everyone who is against your Utopian dream is an imperialist power. Not China, and not all country in your list.

    “You seem to have become an expert in this field. Tell me more about it.”

    What???

    • Replies: @antibeast
  71. Malla says:
    @antibeast

    The term “Chinese” refers t…………Over time, the Mongols, Manchus, Tibetans, Uyghurs along with Persians, Arabs, Turks amalgamated and assimilated to become “Chinese” by nationality.

    Yes I am aware. Han Chinese do not have much of a history of conquering others. Others wanted to become Han Chinese most probably because Han Chinese culture was so awesome in those days. Everybody wanted entry. Even the conquerers would eventually be conquered by awesome superior Chinese culture.

  72. Malla says:
    @antibeast

    If your premise is true, that all ethnic minorities should have the “distinct national freedom” to form their own sovereign states, then the concept of multiethnicity and multiculturalism would die along with it.

    Yes ALL distinct nationalities have that right in my books. Multiethnicity and Multiculturalism only if the people agree to it. If not separation is the best way.
    I am not saying it is possible Tibetans, Uyghurs or Mongols or others do not want to be part of the PRC. maybe they feel being part of the PRC is good or they feel they want independence. Most Chinese nationalists will try to convince that these peoples are happy with being part of China even if they are ethnically distinct from Han, but nobody in their right mind would take their word for it. Maybe they are right, maybe they are wrong. Unless we have some kind of plebiscite we will never know. In a Communist country it is much harder to know what is really going on.
    Anyways if there are forces who support such independence movements to harm China or break apart China for geopolitical reasons, I do not support them, the intentions are wrong. But nationalists through out the world use this excuse of “outside forces trying to break us up” to suppress independence struggles.

    India indeed invaded, conquered and annexed that Buddhist country after becoming independent of the British Raj.

    Yes that is true. And even though Sikkim does not have the kind of armed freedom struggle like we have in places like Nagaland, Sikkim in my opinion should be an independent kingdom.

    What’s the language used in India today? English. That’s the British colonial legacy.

    There is Hindi spoken throughout the North though.

    The Mughals were Muslims their Muslim conquerors…..The Uyghurs were originally Buddhists who were forced to convert to Islam by their Muslim conquerors

    Interestingly the Mughals had a culture remarkably similar to the Uighurs. Mughal dress and dance had more similarities with the Uighurs than even the Uzbeks!!!

    • Replies: @antibeast
  73. Parfois1 says:
    @littlereddot

    “Yet within 50 years of the Europeans arriving, they conquered Malacca from us”.

    Correction please, it did not take 50 years; only 13 years after da Gama’s first arrival at Calicut, India, in 1498. Malacca was conquered by Afonso d’Albuquerque in 1511.

    There are some historical errors in the article as well. Da Gama did not land at Goa in 1498, it was also conquered by d’Albuquerque in 1510… and later Hormuz at the entry to the Persian Gulf to complete the seizure of the choke points and gain control of the Indian Ocean trade.

    A busy warrior, he left a bad name in the East, especially in India.

  74. Parfois1 says:
    @d dan

    OK, no offend. Sometime I feel like I am talking to a young student.

    I was about to intervene in that tussle to “put things aright” and Malla in his proper place by reminding him that India, a colonial creation, not a nation, but a federation of many ethnic and linguistic peoples who never had a chance to choose their own political status and the ones that separated from that “Union” (Pakistan and Bangladesh) led to wars. And then we have an “Indian” wishing to “correct” China and its civilization to conform with his preference!

    Anyway, you and “antibeast” did a very good demolition job on him and saved me time and trouble. What mostly surprised me though was his obstinate and obdurate attachment to a doomed argument. Fanaticism comes to mind.

    I commend your patience and tenacity to teach him some basic facts and truths. I too learned something.

    • Replies: @d dan
  75. antibeast says:
    @Malla

    Yes ALL distinct nationalities have that right in my books. Multiethnicity and Multiculturalism only if the people agree to it. If not separation is the best way.

    Your thinking is not only deluded but also dangerous because you’re claiming that multiethnic or multicultural countries should NOT exist but splinter into monoethnic or monocultural nations. Just imagine countries like Singapore or Malaysia with multiethnic and multicultural populations. As immigrants, the ethnic Chinese or Indians don’t have full rights of citizenship in Malay-dominated Malaysia but they do have full rights of citizenship in Singapore. If your reasoning is applied to countries like Singapore or Malaysia, that would cause ethnic strife possibly leading to ethnic cleaning as what happened in the former Yugoslavia, Ukraine, etc.

    I am not saying it is possible Tibetans, Uyghurs or Mongols or others do not want to be part of the PRC. maybe they feel being part of the PRC is good or they feel they want independence. Most Chinese nationalists will try to convince that these peoples are happy with being part of China even if they are ethnically distinct from Han, but nobody in their right mind would take their word for it. Maybe they are right, maybe they are wrong. Unless we have some kind of plebiscite we will never know. In a Communist country it is much harder to know what is really going on.

    But why limit to Tibetans, Uyghurs or Mongols? Did you know that there are more Hui Muslims than Uyghurs in China? And that Islam was introduced to China via the Silk Road five centuries before the Uyghurs settled in Xinjiang? And that the Uyghurs converted to Buddhism thereafter before being conquered by Muslim invaders five centuries later? If every ethnicity, language, religion, culture, tribe, etc. are entitled to their own sovereign State, the world will be utterly chaotic. Indonesia, for example, which has 1,000 ethno-linguistic groups would have to splinter into 1,000 independent nations.

    Anyways if there are forces who support such independence movements to harm China or break apart China for geopolitical reasons, I do not support them, the intentions are wrong. But nationalists through out the world use this excuse of “outside forces trying to break us up” to suppress independence struggles.

    Most of the separatist movements in China are supported by Western imperialists. In many cases, their alleged grievances do not have any factual basis. For example, the claim that the Uyghurs are being persecuted for their Muslim religion is nonsensical because the Hui Muslims — who outnumber the Uyghurs — have been Muslims for 1,000 years longer than the Uyghurs but have completely assimilated into Chinese national life. In fact, the oldest Mosques in China are all located OUTSIDE of Xinjiang where the oldest Buddhist artifacts have been discovered along the Silk Road which is widely acknowledged today to be the birthplace of Buddhism in China.

  76. antibeast says:
    @d dan

    Here’s Malla’s statement:

    “All I am saying is that an ethnic group who wants independence should have the right exercise that desire. And the power preventing the said group from getting independence is acting like an imperialist power. Simple as that….”

    What Malla is advocating is the same kind of ethno-nationalism that White Nationalists profess to believe in because they want monoethnic and monocultural societies for White People Only. They don’t want to be part of and seek independence from their multiethnic and multicultural societies. Let’s paraphrase Malla’s statement below:

    “All I am saying is that White Nationalists who want independence should have the right exercise that desire. And the power preventing the said group from getting independence is acting like an imperialist power. Simple as that….”

    Very deluded and very dangerous thinking. Malla believes that multiethnic and multicultural societies should NOT exist because every ethnic group should have the right to create their own monethnic and monocultural society by forming an independent nation.

    • Replies: @d dan
  77. Trickster says:
    @Tom Verso

    Let me sum up:
    1. Whites made this world what it is today
    2. In 4000 years the Chinese managed to invent and patent the Rickshaw and Chopsticks
    3. They flock to Western countries packed like sardines in shipping containers
    4. There is no similar traffic of whites in the opposite direction
    5. There is a Chinatown in almost every US city
    6. There is no White Town in any Chinese city

    Question 1 for a dozen donuts ” How is it that a civilization 4000 years old cannot compete with a country founded in 1776 ?

    Question 2 for a cup of coffee: If they are so superior WHY do they hunger to come to the US ?

    And we have the winning answer from Trickster : Because whites are tops !

  78. d dan says:
    @Parfois1

    “I commend your patience and tenacity to teach him some basic facts and truths. I too learned something.”

    Thanks for your kind words. “antibeast” is a much more smart person and infinitely more patient than me. We should thank “antibeast”.

    • Replies: @d dan
  79. d dan says:
    @antibeast

    “Very deluded and very dangerous thinking. “

    Exactly. I am so happy that people like him won’t be allowed to spread his mad idea in China.

    It reminds me of some debates among young students long time ago. One student proposed that the whole world should disarm together and there would be world peace forever. The other than retorted by noting that if the bad guys cheated, the whole world would be conquered by the bad guys. And another proposed everyone should disarm on the same day X, … and so on.

    The world hasn’t worked in the way Malla wish for thousands of years, and it won’t for thousands more because it is practically infeasible, politically complicated, racially disastrous and ideologically dangerous. Persons who object to him are not dumb “Chinese nationalists”, but persons who think deeper. If he takes a small intellectual exercise, he would realize that the world would split into millions or even billions parts of all geographical shapes and sizes. Even if all 7 billions people are all impeccably honest and magically obey his principle religiously, the implications to the military, security, governance, economy, trades, globalism, … etc would be negative of epic proportion.

  80. d dan says:
    @d dan

    Sorry, I should also add that I think Malla is probably a kind person of integrity, knowledgeable and good heart. He is just politically naive.

  81. @d dan

    Actually, commenter Malla is what I would describe as “blackpilled” and probably does want the splitting up of India, so I do not think he is being two-faced.

    As far as China splitting up goes, I do not understand why such a proposition could cause such annoyance amongst Chinese nationalists as it is simply not viable given that Han ethnicity are 90% of the Chinese population and hold all the levers of power. The split up of India is much more viable, with the separatist movements in Kashmir and the North-East being the obvious ones and then a possible North-South split (the North, despite being more “Aryan” drags down the economic and innovative growth of India)

    That being said, Malla’s thinking is quite suicidal, it would only work if everyone agreed to do it. Say India was to split up, would that mean its neighbours would also split up along ethno-religious lines? I doubt it, they would just use this to dominate the smaller states.

  82. @d dan

    He could try it on the British Government vis-a-vis the Scots and the Spanish vis-a-vis the Catalans and the Italian government vis-a-vis the Venetians. Then if still had the energy he might like to persuade the Turks to allow the Kurds a referendum and go and talk to the Israelis….

  83. @antibeast

    I think you will find if you go there and talk to people, that at least half of the people in Scotland agree that the “Indyref” of a few years ago was “Fixed” by a massive campaign of media distortions, lies and false suggestions.

    • Replies: @antibeast
  84. antibeast says:
    @foolisholdman

    I think you will find if you go there and talk to people, that at least half of the people in Scotland agree that the “Indyref” of a few years ago was “Fixed” by a massive campaign of media distortions, lies and false suggestions.

    I don’t know much about Scotland but I do know that the USA fought a bloody Civil War to keep the South from seceding and forming their own independent Confederate nation. I also know that the IRA fought a bloody rebellion against the British to forcibly secede from the UK and unite Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.

    But that’s also the exact same reason that Putin used to allow Crimea to vote for seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia. Would the UK allow Northern Ireland to vote for seceding from the UK and joining the Republic of Ireland?

    And speaking of secession, there are White Nationalists who want to secede from the USA to form their own White Nations in America, just as there are Black Nationalists who want to secede from the USA to form their own Black Nations in America. Do you think the US government would allow both White and Black Nationalists the right to form their own mono-ethnic and mono-cultural nations in America?

  85. Jeremygg5 says:
    @Beavertales

    As usual, projecting the European’s way of thinking on the Chinese is foolish. It is not in the genes of the Chinese to conquer, colonize and extract. The Chinese had always been a defensive power and spent almost all the time defending herself against barbarian hordes. And for recognizing the Chinese emperor and the giving of some token tributes, neighboring powers receive annual gifts of tonnes of silver. This is unimaginable in the European mindset.

  86. @Tom Verso

    1) Columbus was LOST… He wasn’t being brave. 2) the scientific method did not start in Europe 3) Zheng He’s voyages are remembered everywhere they went. the reasons they weren’t “remembered” the same is because the Chinese didn’t do mass slaughter like the Europeans

  87. @Colin Wright

    Tibet lost to China centuries ago… That was not colonization. Tibet was an empire itself.

  88. @Antoniof

    “Chivalry codes” were adapted by the Europeans by what they learned from Islamic societies during the Crusades.

  89. Smith says:
    @littlereddot

    Still with this ridiculous lie.

    What did China do in 1405 that they can “conquer” the world? At the times, the Minh dynasty was facing problems against freaking japanese pirates and proved unable to conquer Vietnam.

    And you think Zheng He’s little fleet would somehow conquer the whole world for them?

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