The godfather of democracy in China, Wei Jing Sheng 魏京生, telling America that the country has done nothing to protect democracy activists in America. Mr Jing had rejected US citizenship. He still considers China his home even after having lived in the US since 1997. His struggle against the CCP began early as 1978 during Deng Xiao Ping’s time. The first time he got into trouble was for writing an essay pasted on a wall entitled The Fifth Modernization (第五个现代化). Having spent a total of about 14 years in jail, his knowledge and experience dealing with the CCP is vast.
America has its ethics and values. The US government must not seem like a hypocrite, but how can one remain gentlemanly when dealing with hooligans?The hell with what they “counter preach” about freedom of speech and human rights which only you have to observe. Censor then as they would censor you. That’s only fair. You can’t let your own values put you at a disadvantage. America had been a complete hypocrite in his “war on terror”. People didn’t care. The hell with human rights when you’re dealing with terrorists. But this time, America is grossly underestimating the bigger threat not just to itself but also maritime ASEAN.
All of China’s enlightened military commanders have been dismissed. Highly influential ones like General Liu Ya Zhou have been arrested. Fighter jets and warships had made aggressive moves in disputed areas. America should wake up and listen.
A student at a school in Jiangxi Province discovered a rat head in his lunch provided by the school. He took crystal clear videos of the rat’s head, showing its teeth, whiskers and ears. After he had uploaded the video on social media, the school authorities reported the matter to the police and jointly announced that after investigations, it was determined that the item shown by the student was actually a duck neck and not a rat head.
In response to that, Chinese netizens like this teacher made the following video. He showed his students a picture of a rat, telling them it’s a duck. Those who agreed with him (the very few who didn’t raise their hand) could run one round less than the rest. He then gave them another chance to earn the right to run one round less than the rest. Those who still disagreed with him and willing to run one round more to insist on telling the truth had to step out.
This time, it’s a small minority. The teacher said not quite correctly that it’s a test of independent thinking. Actually, all the kids were capable of independent thinking. It’s just that after realising that they might suffer if they told the truth, they went ahead to toe the official line.
All the while, the interested parties have been paying too much attention to the Tiananmen massacre that took place on 4 June 1989. Prof Xin tells us that there are actually 4 phases in this uprising. The final phase took place in the provinces outside Beijing. People had gone berserk, rioting on the streets and for the first time since 1949, openly called for an end to CCP rule.
The world had missed a golden opportunity to help China democratise. Too much attention was focussed on the “stars” at Tiananmen, most of whom had already fled the country, swarmed by journalists. The biggest threat to the party actually came from protesters who brought the revolution to the next level in the 20 days following 4 June. If the free world had reported on and supported the protesters before they were rounded up and summarily executed, Chinese history might have taken a different course from then on.
It’s has happened during Covid lockdowns, but interestingly, it’s becoming even more common these days. Scavengers are stealing food offerings to departed ancestors and spirits. According to Chinese law, offering are not considered rubbish and taking them away from graveyards is an act of theft.
But as a kid, I’ve often seen my elders remove edible offerings and serving them at the dining table after prayers. The rationale is that food should not be wasted just as some homeless guy in the video explained. If you’re the one who have left food offerings on the altar or tombstone, would you mind if some homeless person helps himself?
But I guess that’s not the real worry. The real worry is, are we going to see a repeat of the Great Famine?
The two are fundamentally different. It doesn’t matter whether anyone recognises Taiwan’s independence. Taiwan is effectively independent. You don’t need to apply to Beijing to get a visa to visit Taiwan. You don’t even need to ask Beijing for permission to conduct military exercises in Taiwan.
The obvious but often ignored fact is that Taiwan under the Republic of China has been an independent country since 1912. That’s longer than the history of the People’s Republic of China, PRC which has only been around from 1949. That is why the CCP was not recognised as the legitimate government of mainland China until Kissinger’s secret visit in 1971. Since the UN cannot recognise two Chinas, they decided to change their minds and recognise the PRC This piece of history is absolutely significant and cannot be ignored when we hear the ludicrous statement that the PRC does not recognise the “independence” of the ROC. If anything, it should be the other way around; that the ROC government does not recognise the legitimacy of the insurgents who had taken over the mainland.
It’s not really about Winnie the Pooh and there’s finally someone in the West who reads the CCP correctly. Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd (who speaks Mandarin) laments that China under Xi, has deviated from the path of reforms and “Red China is back”. Dutch history professor Frank Dikotter replies that Red China never really went away. It’s people like Kevin Rudd (myself included until about 5 years ago) who had been sleeping through the “new China” era.
Kissinger’s secret trip to China in 1971 in response to the Sino-Soviet conflict in 1969 gave America the impression that the PRC could become an ally. Later that year, ROC (Taiwan) was kicked out of the United Nations. With the death of Mao in 1976 and Deng Xiaoping ushered in what was ostensibly a new China. Mao’s 苦肉计 (self-inflicted by invading the USSR) would fool Americans for the next 50 years. You can read the details in my book 36 Dirty Tricks From Ancient China. When China was roped into the WTO in 2001, George Bush, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, John Howard were all convinced that China would democratise as it modernised and its economy grew. How naive.
The fact is, China never really gave up its party dictatorship and never planned to do so. Deng gave the Chinese people a lot more freedom than they had in the past, but once they overstepped the line and threatened party dictatorship, Deng’s government came down on protesters with a sledgehammer. When Fa Lun Gong founder Li Hong Zhi claimed that his movement had more members than the CCP, that was the last straw and Jiang Zemin’s government came down on Fa Lun Gong with a sledgehammer. When Jack Ma became better known and had more books written about him than Xi Jinping, Xi’s government had him in the crosshairs. The last straw came when social media was abuzz with the joke that if there were elections in China, Jack Ma would be president.
Not just Xi himself but the entire party realised that technocrats had grown too influential and were taking over. Thus the crackdown on various businesses, popular artists and the big push for 国进民退 and 内循环. Deng’s maxim of working hard and keeping a low profile 韬光养晦 could have been referring to private businesses which were the main engines that brought China to where it is today – not communist ideology. Allowing private businesses to flourish was merely a temporary measure to grow the economic pie. Communist doctrine dictates that anything and everything in China ultimately belong to the “country” and the “people”. The party decides who gets what when and for how long. Throughout the good years, the pigs have been fattened. It’s time for the communist dictatorship to show its true colours and harvest. They never changed. They had just been waiting for an opportune time to strike. Even if Jiang Zemin or Deng Xiaoping were in power today, they would be doing the same thing. They didn’t do it back then because the China was not ready yet.
Economic miracles seem to be unique to Asia, but there is really no such thing as an economic miracle. The problem with developed countries is that they have the habit of throwing all sorts of obstacles in the form of rules and regulations in the path of unbridled “wealth generation”. If Elizabeth Holmes were Chinese, she would be frolicking around like Meng Wanzhou instead of sitting in jail. Theranos would likewise be successfully listed and simply suspended when fraud is uncovered. Bad for investors, good for the economy. Behind every phenomenon that appears to be an economic miracle, is pile of skeletons in the closet.
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