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1. One reason why China will never join the G-8 Rich Men's Club as a member is that the Club included the same eight invading nations during the Boxer Uprising -- the content of the main thrust here in our Second Wind to compare then and now. If you don't know what happened to China you'll never understand why we are so proud of her accomplishments today.|
2. Note how the Japanese always aped the European colonialists while murmuring the mantra "East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere," "East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere."......What they actually wanted was to swallow China whole -- like a snake would swallow an elephant -- and for fifty years after the Jiawu War and the resultant Treaty of Ma-Guan (Shimonoseki) in 1895, she went out to accomplish just that.
3. While the Japanese from the emperor down were fixated on the invasion as their national goal as sanctified in the "Tanaka Edict", the Manchus under their Empress Dowager Cixi were totally self-absorbed in their little aristocratic games. As a minority tribe which had originally hailed from outside Shanhai Pass, they couldn't care less about the welfare of the ordinary Hans, who were killed en masse during the successive waves of foreign invasion. Cixi was hoarding scarce resources to celebrate her 60th birthday when the Japanese struck in 1894, and six years later she was going to send in the Boxers to avenge her loss of face, not to relieve the plight of the nation.
4. That war in 1894 exposed China's soft belly and led directly to the joint attack and occupation of Beijing by the eight nations in 1900, in a farce which the Western nations has been calling the Boxer "Rebellion" in their own history books. How could it be a "rebellion" when the resisting elements were Hans in Beijing -- their own capital -- defending their own nation? Rebellion against whom?
5. Western havoc in China was wrought not just in corporeal dimensions, but also in the realm of the nation's psychology. If an ethnic Chinese becomes acculturated in Western ways, he/she might begin to put him/her-self a notch above other Chinese. Such is the case with many Hongkongers even today, who had been educated in the British system for 156 years before the retrocession in 1997. A large part of the system is still intact, and ironically some of the best and brightest students in China are fighting to get a chance to study in Hongkong instead of Qinghua and Beida upon the enticement of thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Not only in MBA programs, but in other fields as well. Many still believe the same course content taught in English is worth more. As a resident of HKSAR, I can tell you that it is a losing deal. Not only are these students from the Mainland forsaking forever their right to attain high official positions in the Chinese government such as the Defense Chief or the CCP leader or the premier, the scholarship money has to be spent in a place where the cost of living (not equal to standard of living) is high, so that 20,000 dollars in Hongkong money isn't worth as much as a scholarship of 6,000 yuan in Beijing or Shanghai.
6. What's more, the teaching standards of new campuses such as the Hongkong Science and Technology University run by a former Houston University professor -- a Taiwanese who tried to hustle for the Nobel Prize by putting himself in the limelight on superconductivity research in the 1980s and failed because he DIDN'T pioneer ANYTHING ORIGINAL but was only trying to pull wool over the eyes of the lay people (no wonder he and the equally hustling Yang Zhen-ning were good friends) -- still leaves much to be desired. In terms of prestige, these new schools couldn't be compared to HKU by any stretch of imagination, but because they are offering high tuition scholarships, young students from the mainland have been fooled by this showmanship. The guy is no better than a Las Vegas con man. During a recent CCTV interview, he said he wanted to build his university into the Princeton of East Asia. Since Princeton was able to attract scientists like Albert Einstein to work there, this guy thinks he can attract the best Mainland students to go and study in his university. He has forgotten that America was the dominant English-speaking nation after WWII, and that's how Princeton was able to attract scientists from all nations to work there -- eventually for the benefit of America -- but what is his university going to do for China when the medium of communication used is English?
Would China want to cater to this con man's wishes and let its brightest students to go study in his campus in preference over Beijing and Qinghua? Would the Houston professor really be able to build a Princeton of East Asia in Hongkong where the medium of communication is English? Would Germany have been able to build a scientific center in Europe in pre-WWII days in a German University using English as its medium of communication? Would France have been able to build a similar institution like the Pasteur Institute in which the language used is English?
I tell you -- China would not be able to build a true scientific Mecca until she is willing and able to build her own Chinese-speaking universities into scientific powerhouses. Otherwise it is all a stack of smoke going up a chimney.
I say this Houston professor is a con man because I saw how he played the Chinese media in the 1980s by inviting Chinese journalists to his lab whether he was able to raise the absolute temperature of his superconductivity experiments by a few degrees. In actual fact, new compounds with superconductive properties are being discovered all the time, and Chinese scientist Zhao was amongst the many. The past few decades had witnessed the birth of many high-temperature superconductors. The first one was actually produced by Georg Bednorz and Alex Müller, who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1987, but strangely during the early 1980s this guy from Houston University was talking everyday to the Chinese media in America about how his “breakthroughs” were likely to lead to the award of a Nobel Prize. This publicity stunt, together with his son-in-law-relationship to a well-known Mainland Chinese mathematician, propelled him to the frontpage in the Chinese media in the 1980s. Yet in 1987, the Nobel was indeed rewarded – not to him – but to two hitherto-known physicists who weren't media-savvy and therefore virutually unknown to the Chinese Diaspora.
Now we know all high-temperature superconductors are type-II, in which cooling is a critical factor for their utilisation. As is widely known in this field, the important limit is 77 K (-196°C), the boiling point of liquid nitrogen, which is a cheaper and more manageable alternative to liquid helium. Many such superconductors are used in commercial gadgets today, including the medically indispensable MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines.
7. Right now, with more ongoing international business transactions, there are Australia-sponsored degree programs in Logistics offered in Shanghai. For instance, the Shanghai Waimao Xueyuan (Shangai Foreign Trade Institute or SFTI) has a program jointly sponsored by Melbourne University. So here we have two programs where the content and curriculum are exactly the same and run by the same school. The one taught by native teachers carries a tuition fee of 3000 yuan per academic year, and the exact same program taught by Australian teachers in Shanghai cost 8000 yuan seven years ago. The only difference was that one certificate came from SFTI and the other one stamped with the emblem "Melbourne University." So here the diploma carries the name of an Australian university above the seal/stamp, but the course is charged two and a half times the tuition even though the content is exactly the same. This kind of mentality that foreign things are better still exists in big cities like Shanghai today, and this stemmed from that period and total eradication from the public's subconscious mind will take time. Mao tried to do it in a hurry, but he was merely painting on a mosaic in his 28 years of rule. When the rains came upon his departure, the same heap of "congyang" rubbish floated right back to the top.
8. In the case of Hongkongers, many have not even visited the Mainland, let alone tried to understand their kindred compatriots north of the town of Lowu in the New Territories just south of Shenzhen. In the midst of snow storms in a large part of China last week, all you see in local newspapers are demands for guaranteed mainland delivery of low-priced pork for the Spring Festival. They have already forgotten that it was due to the preferential policies in the CEPA that their economy had recuperated in the past few years. Without the Mainland, Hongkong is really less than nothing -- it can't even muster enough drinking water for its huge population from its reservoirs. The way how a significant number of Hongkongers still think today is an example of the severe psychological trauma inflicted on the nation in the last century. Pre-Qing Chinese were cock sure of themselves. What you see today is merely a shadow of China's unfortunate spell in the last 168 years, and especially since the quickening descent into chaos after the Boxer Uprising, leading to the two revolutions of 1911 and 1949.
Wei Chao, M.D.