Former POTUS Bill Clinton is still popular and highly regarded, not just in America, but around the world. Various colleges and universities have awarded “Clinton honorary degrees”, including Doctorate of Law degrees. In 2011, President Michel Martelly of Haiti awarded Clinton with the National Order of Honour and Merit to the rank of Grand Cross “for his various initiatives in Haiti and especially his high contribution to the reconstruction of the country after the earthquake of January 12, 2010”. In November 2013, Clinton was awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by then President Barack Obama.

But mention Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky and many people under the age of 30 will only have a vague idea of some sex scandal. People are forgetful, but we must also give credit to Bill Clinton for all the good that he had done. I won’t go into all the lurid details of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair (you can easily find them online), but I will focus on the noose which his enemies had tried to tighten around his neck, the final blow which almost killed his political career mid-term and the surprising who or what that saved Bill Clinton from almost certain impeachment by a Republican-dominated Senate. No, it’s not his lawyers.

To begin, there has been a hail of accusations that Bill Clinton has been a “sex addict”, guilty of various degrees of sexual harassment or misconduct during his 1992 and 1996 election campaigns. Half a dozen women started talking to the media. Among them was former Miss Arkansas (1958) Myra Belle Miller alias Sally Purdue who made the most frivolous complaint that Clinton had said that as governor of Arkansas, he couldn’t guarantee her safety if she showed her legs like that.

Several others followed, including Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey, Elizabeth Ward Gracen and Juanita Broaddrick. Americans were flabbergasted. Some were amused at how the leader of the free world could be consumed by accusations of sexual misconduct. Thanks to Hillary Clinton who ran a Nuts & Sluts campaign to dig up the women’s past and shame them, Bill Clinton managed to dodged the accusations which were often not backed by substantial evidence.

But Clinton would soon meet his nemesis – Monica Lewinsky. The big difference here, it was a current case. Their sexual relationship lasted between 1995 and 1997. Clinton ended a televised speech in late January 1998 with the statement that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.”

They got him this time. Lewinsky had evidence in the form of a stained dress. Clinton had no choice but to confess, not just to his “inappropriate relationship” with Monica Lewinsky but also the fact that he had lied. Further investigation led to charges of perjury and to the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives. At the start of the impeachment proceedings, many observers were almost certain that Clinton was a goner. But the Clintons would put up a fierce fight and a very dirty and creative one at that.

Hillary Clinton’s Nuts & Sluts campaign targeted the women. There has to be one targeting the men as well. They engaged Larry Flynt, a publisher of hardcore pornography, Hustler.

Flynt sponsored a $85,000 full-page ad in the Washington Post, offering up to US$1 million for “documentary evidence of illicit sexual relations” with a member of Congress or other high-ranking government official. It may sound laughable to most people, but Flynt’s advertisement unleashed an army of sleaze investigators. New scandals broke out. Senators and Congressmen who appeared to be squeaky clean in public seemed capable of doing a Bill Clinton too.

One Congressman was said to be so nervous that he confessed all his infidelities to his wife even though he was not targeted. Anyone who attacked Clinton was fair game, including journalists and TV hosts. Sure enough, attacks against Clinton began to subside. In February 1999, the Republican-majority Senate voted to acquit Clinton!

Two tricks from the book can be identified here. One is 釜底抽薪and the other is 打草惊蛇. 釜底抽薪 means to avoid attacking the enemy head-on but weakening him in another area to make him lose the will or ability to fight. 打草惊蛇 is to sound a warning to someone who can hurt you that you can hurt him too. Larry Flynt had unknowingly employed two dirty ancient Chinese tricks.

For more dirty tricks used in ancient China, check out my book.


李代桃僵 means to sacrifice a relatively less important person or item and allow the more important item to escape when both are threatened.

Hu Xijin is a Chinese political propagandist, journalist and the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a state-owned tabloid under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party’s official People’s Daily newspaper.

In 2020, the Gobal Times published an article suggesting that Chinese fighter jets should enter into Taiwan’s claimed airspace and if shot down, consider it to be a declaration of war. There was also a Weibo message from the Global Times threatening the US that if any US military aircraft landed or took off from Taiwan, China would also consider it a declaration of war and invade Taiwan with the objective of “reunification”. For months, pundits and other qualified experts feared that war might break out across the Straits.

TAIPEI, June 6 2021 (Reuters) – The United States will donate 750,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan as part of the country’s plan to share shots globally, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth said on Sunday, offering a much-needed boost to the island’s fight against the pandemic.

Taiwan is dealing with a spike in domestic cases but has been affected like many places by global vaccines shortages. Only around 3% of its 23.5 million people have been vaccinated, with most getting only the first shot of two needed.

Speaking at Taipei’s downtown Songshan airport after arriving on a three-hour visit with fellow Senators Dan Sullivan and Christopher Coons, Duckworth said Taiwan would be getting 750,000 doses as part of the first tranche of US donations.

The important thing to note here is that it was a US C-17 military aircraft that landed and took off in Taiwan. It was a direct challenge to the CCP’s “promise” (made through the Global Times) to invade and belligerently reunify with Taiwan if the US Airforce tried to land and take off from Taiwanese soil. In the wake of this “provocation”, China released a statement saying that US senators visiting Taiwan on a military plane was a “vile provocation”. Of course, it was obligatory for the PLA to reply with a few threatening airspace intrusions but they did not fire a single shot to make good their threat.

That’s like challenging Xu Xiaodong to a duel, promising to knock him out with your Taiji Quan but failing to turn up on the day of the duel. Would you still have the cheek to say 好戏在后头?

Nationalistic Chinese netizens were up in arms. Some were still naively waiting to watch the invasion of Taiwan live on TV. Others expected some form of action that would at least cripple the US or Taiwan. They were all disappointed. And of course, all those threats made against Taiwan and the US could not have been made without the approval of the Boss himself. It was a tremendous loss of face for the Boss who and although Hu Xijin had often bent over backwards for the boss and tweeted threats and accusations, trolling international social media platforms with his churlish remarks to show his “patriotism”, he ended up being sacrificed – as predicted by unqualified non-experts.

Just weeks after the embarrassment that the US had caused China, Hu Xijin was forced to announce his “retirement”. This is a fine example of 李代桃僵, one of the 36 Dirty Tricks From Ancient China.

Patriots Smashed?

These days, many netizens in mainland China are are using various apps and VPN to get onto the real internet. We have Comrade Shi Bingfeng and his 烂尾楼。Many other Chinese netizens have also been revealing the truth about the state of China’s economy by showing deserted industrial estates and shopping malls.

But at the same time, there are wealthy “patriots” cloistered from the harsh realities who do not wish to know the ugly truths. Their main aim of getting onto the www is to quarrel with dissidents living overseas. A sobering blow hit one of these patriots recently. He is 18-year-old Liu Sitong, a keen follower and hater of a Taiwanese YouTuber who practically made a career out of taunting belligerent mainland netizens.


Liu swore to bring a case against the Taiwanese YouTuber and even did a live recording of his trip to the police station. He told the reception counter there he was there to make a police report against a Taiwanese pro-independence YouTuber. He was told not to record the procedure. Liu complied (partially) and secretly recorded the audio instead.

When his statement was being recorded, the officer asked him how he had managed to view the Taiwanese YouTuber’s video. Liu confessed that he had illegally used an app, 789 accelerator to get over the great firewall. The officer reminded him that his actions were illegal and before the youngster knew it, he was slapped with a fine of 3,000 yuan for accessing inappropriate content on the internet.

爱国青年”遭遇社会主义“铁拳” 刘思桐翻墙被罚— 普通话主页

Liu shot a video (without showing his face this time) of him wailing with incomprehension, swearing to make the Taiwanese YouTuber pay. Netizens were at a loss whether to mock or to pity him. While Liu Sitong did not expect the PLA to overrun Taiwan and arrest the Taiwanese YouTuber because of his report, he did expect the poor Taiwanese YouTuber to be blocked from any access to the privileges of living in mainland China and he also expected to get a medal for speaking out against Taiwanese independence. Liu was shocked when he got slapped with a fine while the Taiwanese YouTuber continued his pro-independence taunts.

Liu Sitong must be mad with fury and confusion by now. He had shot videos of high tech, prosperous China (or rather his exclusive neighbourhood in Beijing) and uploaded on YouTube to show Taiwanese that they ought to feel sorry for themselves. He is obviously naive and ignorant, but with 。With his 789加速器, he ought to be able to educate himself and open his eyes to the rest of the world. Instead, he chose to police the internet for the authorities.

The incident has revealed yet another hard truth for these idealistic patriots. While the official propaganda machine warns and threatens Taiwan all the time, it has not made it clear to the general public that their freedom is restricted and all they are expected to do is to echo the slogans and threats. This ought to be very clear from the police officer taking his statement told him while his patriotic actions were commendable, it’s an offence to access prohibited content. That’s like breaking a law to do a good deed. The police gave him a discount and he only had to pay 1,000 yuan.

In recent times, hordes of netizens from China have tried to extend official propaganda onto the international platform in an attempt to beat the free, China-bashing world at its own game. How many of them are official 5毛 given permission to 翻墙? How many are unofficial patriotic volunteers like Liu Sitong? People in the latter group are now given a clear message what their rights are and where they stand. Just enjoy your material wealth and speak only when you are spoken to. Hopefully, there won’t be any foolish Chinese netizens who might thing that their country has jurisdiction over Taiwan and just about any Chinese person in the world.

Don’t Waste Food – give it all to me

Remembrance of hungry times or having experienced the Great Famine are just excuses. When it’s summer, memories of a particularly cold winter will not make you put on more clothes.

It has more to do with selfishness and self-centredness than anything else. The hypothetical case of someone flipping the table over to make sure no one gets to eat is actually rather telling of what goes on in their greedy people’s minds. It’s in their perverted and competitive nature to have a sense of victory by depriving others of their rightful share and getting more than their rightful share. Having unfairly benefitted from what what’s supposed to be a sharing exercise gives these folks the feeling that they have won.

Such behaviour transcends all ages and their numbers may not be as small as this YouTuber may think. I’ll never forget the time I had hotpot in Chengdu. I was told by the waitress that the time limit was 2 hours. I was out of the place in half an hour. First of all, I was almost full and secondly, the food wasn’t that great.

When I passed that restaurant almost 2 hours later, the diners of all ages who had entered at about the same time I did were still gorging themselves silly. I doubt it has nothing to do with their experience with hunger. It’s about winning this game and the objective is to eat more than what they’ve paid for.

Conscience vs Fear

On state-controlled media in China and defiant journalists and editors during the 1989 failed revolution. This is an interview with Cheng Kai, former editor-in-chief of Hainan Daily. Mr Cheng presided over the newspaper during the Tiananmen incident.

His decision to veer from the party line (without opening supporting the students at Tiananmen) in 1989, publishing Zhao Ziyang’s photo, giving him significant coverage while putting official editorials on the 4th page, got him into serious trouble with the communist leadership.

While China Daily was the biggest creator of fake news, singing praises for Mao and his policies even when people were starving, the paper had its “golden age” in the 1980s. Former China Daily editor-in-chief Hu Ji Wei (1916-2012) joked that the China Daily during that time had only one truth – the date. Under Hu Ji Wei’s leadership since 1952, the paper gradually found its own feet and pulled away from party propaganda in the early 1980s.

As a member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Hu had even wanted to push for legislature to protect press freedom following best practices in Hong Kong. However, the proposal was shot down by Chen Yun who said that freedom of the press provided by the KMT gave the Communists opportunity to smear the KMT and win over the people. Chen admonished that they must never allow communist China to have press freedom and provide dissidents with the same opportunity to jeopardise their legitimacy.

After the departure of Hu Ji Wei in 1985, China Daily continued its advancement as a legitimate newspaper until 1989 when the reins were pulled again. Today’s China Daily is back to being the party’s mouthpiece that it was when Mao was in power. Hu was barred from official duties from 1990 because of his support for Tiananmen protestors. In 2010, Hu told the South China Morning Post: “China nowadays looks strong on the outside, but it’s actually very weak and afraid … the regime is rotten from within.”

Hu’s dying wish was for the authorities to withdraw their accusations against him. That wish was not granted.

The People’s Republic Of Amnesia – Who Else Remembers Tiananmen?

May be an image of outdoors and text that says "Louisa Lim THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF AMNESIA TIANANMEN REVISITED"

In memory of Tiananmen 1989.

“Memory is dangerous in a country that was built to function on national amnesia. A single act of public remembrance might expose the frailty of the state’s carefully constructed edifice of accepted history, scaffolded into place over a generation and kept aloft by a brittle structure of strict censorship, blatant falsehood and wilful forgetting.”

– Louisa Lim, former BBC China correspondent


In the aftermath of the massacre, publishing houses all over the world became inundated with manuscripts from witnesses and attention seekers. 30 years on, only a handful have anything to say. The rest seemed to have “lost interest”. This is a powerful book whose author found all the right people to interview.


A former PLA soldier; a witness turned artist. He remembers being fed by the protesters when the rations didn’t arrive. He keeps painting images from 8964 in an attempt to make peace with his conscience. Because of the sensitive themes of his paintings, he was not allowed to hold any exhibitions in China. He remained under the radar for his feelings of guilt would not allow him to move on.


The mothers who had lost their children. Whenever they sought answers, they were threatened and accused of being manipulated. How can we expect them to forget their loss, even though they are living in the People’s Republic of Amnesia.

The most accurate figure has to be the one initially reported by the Chinese Red Cross. 2,600 dead. Another 100 died in hospital. They were later forced to retract their statement, lending great credence to it.


The stories from the stars of Tiananmen like Chai Ling and Wuerkaixi have been told and retold numerous times. Ironically, a more powerful and revealing story comes from the minor characters. In June 1989, after hearing about the Tiananmen Square protests, Liao composed a long poem entitled “Massacre.” Knowing that it would never be published, he made an audiotape and recited the poem by using Chinese ritualistic chanting and howling, invoking the spirits of the dead.

He was later arrested and sentenced to 4 years in prison. After his released, he began to envy the martyrs who had either died on the square or who were executed. They didn’t have to deal with the heartbreak of seeing his former comrades flaunt their newfound wealth, completely forgetting the democracy movement they had started just a few years before that.

This is really the People’s Republic of Amnesia.