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New paradoxical hanjianism [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2009-8-12 05:59:17 |Display all floors
Initial Prosperity and its identical twin Xiaokang Society are now within the reach of a great majority of our well-deserving people.

During these auspicious times, it is natural for friends and foes alike to sing praise to our successes in re-constructing our motherland. It is precisely at moments like these that we need to keep level-headed and remain eminently vigilant of the truism that one sugar-coated cyanide caplet is deadlier than a barrage of rattata machine-gun fire.

Hanjianism under the cloak of democratic internationalism as has apparently been developed today (e.g. in Taiwan province) is the caplet whose poisonous effect is so deadly that, if left untreated, will short-circuit our nation's modernization efforts.

Here, I believe we have to make a clear distinction between true internationalism and Hanjianism. The former sprouts forth from a noble heart but the latter can only stem from a despicable one.

Authentic internationalism has gone the way of the dinosaur. Not too long ago orthodox communists singing the Internationale used to believe that workers of all nations shared harsh circumstances and bleak economic prospects while working for the capitalists, and would therefore naturally congregate to form a mainstream political force. This was spelt out in Karl Marx's "The Communist Manifesto" in the Nineteenth Century.

This is no longer the case because heavy industries have lost their erstwhile preponderant position in national economies today, while high-tech information and new-material industries have arisen to take their place. As everyone knows, by the very nature of their work and disposition most computer programmers do very poorly in gregarious settings and you simply can't pull well-organized proletarian rabbits out of proverbial programmers' hats.

In Marx's time technology and social engineering had not advanced to the level that prosperity could trickle down to the masses from the top. The prevalence of abject poverty amongst the working classes in all nations provided fertile soil for them to share a feeling of belonging to a noble trans-national cause. At that stage the term "internationalism" was synonymous with altruism -- a rightfully noble sentiment.

Now technological innovations in high-tech assembly-line mass production have made it possible for the common masses to procure the basic amenities of a comfortable life so long as their governments adopt sound fiscal and social policies. The long dark shadow of traditional capitalist exploitation has been tempered with the equally long arm of judicial systems within which grievances could be redressed with expectations of fair equitability.

Ironically, it is against this background of improving living standards and judicial justice that Hanjianism has raised its ugly head in China and especially Taiwan during recent years. It would seem as if the more the mainlanders prosper, the more the Hongkong democrats and the Taiwan splittists want to disown their Chinese identities.

This is why the behavior is characterized here as "Paradoxical Hanjianism."

In the past, the Hanjians throughout Chinese history had raised hell only during inauspicious times. Some of them were ethnic Hans (like Wu Sangui in late Ming dynasty) while others were minority 'Hu Ren' like An Lushan and Gao Xienzi in Tang Dynasty.

These turncoats usually appeared towards the end of a dynastic cycle. For instance, rebel An Lushan nearly pulled the plug from under Tang Gao Zhong's reign in 755 A.D., while Wu Sangui actually helped the Manchus to establish their iron rule in Beijing before peasant rebel Li Zicheng could consolidate his victory over the Ming generals in the capital in 1644.

In contrast, Paradoxical Hanjianism in China is now in full throttle when the nation is enjoying unprecedented material prosperity and is in fact in its ascendancy phase. It began in earnest after the end of the Cultural Revolution at the third plenum of the eleventh congress of the CCP in November, 1978, when their former Pollyannaish belief in a world of borderless proletarian commonality was shattered and replaced by a system of commodity-based pragmatic empiricism.  

Furthermore, I would say that Taiwan is actually not so much in danger of becoming independent as it is in danger of becoming the fifth island of the Japanese empire if Americans are tricked into fighting a war over Taiwan for the benefit of the Japanese. Independence is out of the question because of Taiwan's cultural history and geographical location. If the island does not revert back to Chinese control it will fall under the jurisdication of the Japanese. As for the Americans, If they can hardly control a small country like Iraq despite their unchallenged military prowess, how can she control a big nation like China even if she wins such a war?

By reason of geography alone, Japan would be the only beneficiary of a Sino-U.S. war over Taiwan. Have you ever wondered why Koizumi consistently wants to assist Bush by sending Japanese troops to Iraq to die? --- only a nation that has much to ask of America would want to do things which no other country would dare. To the Japanese neo-militarists, the price of such assistance is revival of Japanese militarism without hindrance from the Americans and the eventual Japanese control of Taiwan.

Now here's a tentative explanation for the phenomenon of Paradoxical Hanjianism:

This is akin to the mentality of the spoiled daughter of a rags-to-riches Beverly Hills billionaire, who wants to establish total 'independence' from her rich parents by turning to prostitution in the dark alleys of Seventy-seven Sunset Strip.

The richer the parents become, the more shamelessly the spoiled brat behaves simply to hurt her parents. She would rather call her pimp 'daddy' than to acknowledge that she is the biological child of her rich folks. This all happened after she had read some nihilist literature while in high school, just like the Hanjians in Hongkong and Taiwan began to disown their Chinese essence after reading a few Western works on 'democracy' and 'freedom' and considered themselves experts on the subject.

Why has this happened?

This has happened because of the unfortunate circumstances under which many sectors of the Chinese nation were brought up in the last half a century. Each sector of China's population -- in Hongkong, Taiwan and the Mainland -- was brought up with a fundamentally different perspective on life. The only common denominator they share is their mutual dislike for one another -- the other sectors always seemed ridiculous if you believe what the news media in your sector say day in and day out. That's why intercourse and san-tung (three links) is so important.

To the Hongkongers, their Northern Cousins were always stereotypical peasant-soldier revolutionaries, while the Taiwanese women were always nightclub performers who spoke no Cantonese and therefore very 'alien' to the fiercely local-minded Southerners.

To the Taiwanese, the Mainlanders were poor treebark-and-banana-peel consumers who always went to bed with empty stomachs, while the Hongkongers were always English-speaking pretenders who weren't even Chinese, let alone Taiwanese.

To the Mainlanders, the Hongkongers were filthy-rich capitalists who sucked blood from leftist workers, while the Taiwanese were all reactionaries waiting to be liberated.

It was easy under these circumstances to grow up in Hongkong and Taiwan developing a rabid phobia of being identified with the Mainlanders when they went abroad to study or work. Like Peter disowning Jesus after the Last Supper, they would disown their allegiance to their motherland because that's the way they were schooled, even though deep in their hearts they knew that kind of betrayal was unconscionable.

Many would say they are Chinese when asked by foreigners, but would always add without prompting that they are from Hongkong or Taiwan, as if that would put a respectable distance between themselves and the Motherland.

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Post time 2009-8-12 06:02:32 |Display all floors

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Things have now changed a little for the better in Hongkong after the retrocession in 1997, but is going the other way in Taiwan because Hanjian forces are still at work sculpting and chipping away at the character of our young people using filthy chisels. They are now emphasizing the teaching of Taiwanese history in lieu of Chinese history, as if warming a limb while keeping the rest of the body frozen will help to revive the unconscious, frostbitten man in an accident.

In the case of Hongkong, at times when it is considered politically correct to show their genuine feelings towards their motherland as in the case of Yang Liwei's recent visit to Hongkong in early November 2003, they try to atone for their guilty feelings of having disowned China in less auspicious times in the past (while under the sole influence of the Brits) by over-compensating with exaggerated enthusiasm.

That explains why the reception was so tumultuous that Yang Liwei said his heart never missed a beat in Outer Space but that he was genuinely moved by the enthusiastic crowd in Hongkong, so much so that even his heart had fluttered uncontrollably.

In the case of Taiwan, this never happened precisely because Paradoxical Hanjianism has now taken root under the cloak of democratic internationalism.

While the original purpose of democracy was to devise a system of government enabling the best talents in a community to solve day-to-day problems, it has now evolved in places like Taiwan to make disowning one's motherland a legal alternative. This is equivalent to kidnappers giving a child the chance to disown his parents once every few years, a choice that he should not have been given in the first place. In the meantime, the kidnappers empty the child's trust fund for college to use it to buy sophisticated, expensive weapons to ward off his parents when they come to fetch him.

It means that to the Taiwan government, the national interest of foreigners like the Americans is more important than that of their compatriots on the mainland. Touting 'democratic internationalism' as an excuse, they would make it easier for foreigners to procure residential papers in Taiwan than for pregnant mainlander women on the island to receive the same considerations.

They would rather throw away seven billion dollars buying useless mothballed American Kidd Class destroyers than to spend a small portion of that seven billion building more schools and playgrounds for the needy, disadvantaged children under their jurisdiction.

This is the abject abyss to which Paradoxical Hanjians have sunk at the beginning of the new millennium.

In the case of the mainlanders, after the Eleventh Party Congress in November 1978, suddenly Taiwan and Hongkong looked rather attractive as 'outside' sources of investment. Traders from these two capitalist enclaves were treated like VIPs with a big dollar sign as the reflected image on the cornea of the suddenly-enthusiastic host.

It was during these periods that so-called democratic parties flourished in both Hongkong and Taiwan. The former was represented by British-educated barrister Martin Lee and the latter by the TIers imprisoned in the 1979 Formosa Magazine affair. The lawyer who represented the TIers in court during that publicity stunt -- Chen Suibian -- is now the dog-headed chief of Taiwan and the woman who was an activist in that affair -- Annette Lu -- is now the big mama in his harem.

The rise of democratic internationalism as touted by these two groups mark the end of Shame and beginning of Paradoxical Hanjianism.

Superficially the kind of direct election espoused by the Hongkong democrats should be workable, and many of the July 1, 2003 demonstrators were amongst the British-educated elite in Hongkong -- including barristers and financiers who lost much in property values in their portfolios after the retrocession of Hongkong to Chinese rule -- and they had demonstrated because of those personal losses. They couldn't care less about country and honor -- to them, those were for the birds -- and given a choice they would not hesitate to become modern-day Wu Sanguis if that would help to increase the value of their portfolios. In practice, however, direct election does not work when so much of the old colonial rubbish still floats around in Hongkong harbor's murky waters.

They did not understand that the message they were sending to the world was not that they were grumbling about losses in property values and economic malaise that had little to do with the central Beijing government, but that they did not value highly enough the political unity of the entire Chinese nation. Their selfishness is surpassed only by their ignorance in world affairs, and they are simply waiting for their heads to be chopped off or their bodies to be dissected alive in the next Japanese invasion.

It is in this context that Hanjianism is presently not seen as unacceptable in some sectors of Chinese society at home or abroad. There is no shortage of Chinese on the Internet rooting for the belief that there is something called Good Treason as long as it brings material prosperity to themselves.

There are people at home or abroad who sincerely believed that selling out China to the Americans is good for the Chinese people. For example, they condone what Gao Zhan the Chinese woman at the American University in Washington D.C. (who was convicted of spying for Taiwan by the Mainland authorities in 2001 and then a few days ago by the Americans for sending sensitive electronic products to China) has been doing. They say she is free to earn money as she sees fit. They believe that China, as it exists to day, has no sustainable value as a government for the Chinese people. They even subscribe to the American propaganda piece that 'only the Americans could bring democracy to the world by knocking down all borders and inept governments.'

In other words, treason has become fashionable and Yueh Fei and Wen Tianxian are no longer patriotic role models as they have been for centuries. To these political dilettantes, everything is subjectable to second interpretations. To me, they should undergo DNA paternity testing first to ascertain whether their dads might not have been orangutans from Sumatra.

Below every pretty flower there is always some cow dung. In time of prosperity China is bound to see her share of naysayers.

The same people who chastise Yueh Fei for blind loyalty to the Sung emperor fault PLA fighter-pilot Wang Wei for 'meaningless' sacrifice over Hainan Island on April 1, 2001 --- somehow I see a Japanese black hand in many of these coordinated campaigns of defamation of the cream of our nation. Without these mighty role models as pillars of selfless heroism in our people, we would not have endured this long as a distinctive civilization and would have gone the way of the Sabines or Carthagians.

Many Hanjians nowadays suggest that China has adopted capitalism wholesale. So it is opportune to offer an explanation of what capitalism is and is not. Market mechanism is not the prerogative of capitalism: socialism with Chinese characteristics is a nicely-working system using the market mechanism as a tool. The Stalinist mold did not allow market mechanism because to the Soviets the tool itself was equivalent to capitalism, to which the Soviets could never subscribe, and that in a nutshell is the reason for their economic failure.

Just like most things in our imperfect world, each nation has something we can learn from and other aspects which we must avoid at all costs. The Hanjians in China are fawning all over the United States right now. Still, that does not mean that the U.S. is our implacable enemy and that we have nothing to learn from the Americans. At the least, we can learn their methods of converting some of our Hanjians like Gao Zhan and Katrina Leung into shameless double or triple agents.

Lastly, let me close out this discussion by talking about the two forces in America which are going to influence the growth prospects of Hanjianism in China. In the U.S., there are those who truly want to befriend the Chinese and only want to compete with us in trade. To this group, so long as it is not against their national interest to do so, they will let us live in peaceful co-existence.

But then there are those Americans who regard all Chinese people as remnant 'commies' and that the only good Chinese is a dead Chinese. This latter group is in retreat now because their ideas did not pass the mustard test in Iraq and Korea and few people in America would want to fight WWIII over Taiwan. The most they would do is sell the Taiwanese Hanjians mothballed weapons at hefty prices in order to take them as suckers for as long as possible before the Mother of all Chinas beckons to retrieve them into her fold.

Wei Chao, M.D.

(P.S. this content first appeared here at CD on 2003-11-29 20:35 under the title "False Internationalism and paradoxical hanjianism."   As I read Pei Minxin's article in the current issue of Foreign Policy, and as I noted Representative Hu's role in the Rio Tinto spying case, this article that I wrote six years ago comes to mind.  Each of the two is self-righteously trying to justify his own behavior behind false pretenses of Internationalism.  That is in fact paradoxical hanjianism.)

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Post time 2009-8-12 07:19:02 |Display all floors

Pei's claws at the keyboard

The Rio Tinto spying case is far-reaching because corruption has now reached the center of China's strategic core interests, and the investigation itself had been authorized personally by China's president Hu.

If Stern Hu Si-tai -- the principal Rio Tinto rep stationed in Shanghai -- is to be released without undergoing a trial, then every state secret would become fair game for sale to foreign entities, in the process bringing untold amount of damage to the nation.  Traitors are in abundant supply in any commodity-based economy, and China's is no exception.

For the time being, let's place him in the back burner and delve into the other principal mentioned above -- the little-known Pei Min-xin (outside academic circles), whose series of articles at Foreign Policy shows why throughout Chinese history many so-called intellectuals had always been looked down upon by the revolutionaries -- many such characters were simply spineless.  It would seem many of them would simply sell their souls to the highest bidder and strictly toe the line of their sponsors.  Pei is such a character -- he is an opportunist who would never speak in the same tone of voice if he is physically inside the Chinese mainland.   I had watched him on Phoenix TV and seemed like a reasonable fellow -- up until the moment he returns to Washington D.C. and started to put his claws to the keyboard.

So here I'll upload his comments in the current issue of Foreign Policy and then refer to each of them for more discussions.  

Stern Hu's case is still unfolding, and so there will be pertinent discussions on him in due course.

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Post time 2009-8-12 07:24:23 |Display all floors

Title: Think Again: China's Rise

Don't believe the hype about the decline of America and the dawn of a new Asian age. It will be many decades before China, India, and the rest of the region take over the world, if they ever do.
BY MINXIN PEI | JUNE 22, 2009 in "Foreign Policy."

1.  "Power Is Shifting from West to East."

Not really.

Dine on a steady diet of books like The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East or When China Rules the World, and it's easy to think that the future belongs to Asia. As one prominent herald of the region's rise put it, "We are entering a new era of world history: the end of Western domination and the arrival of the Asian century."

Sustained, rapid economic growth since World War ii has undeniably boosted the region's economic output and military capabilities. But it's a gross exaggeration to say that Asia will emerge as the world's predominant power player. At most, Asia's rise will lead to the arrival of a multi-polar world, not another unipolar one.

Asia is nowhere near closing its economic and military gap with the West. The region produces roughly 30 percent of global economic output, but because of its huge population, its per capita gdp is only $5,800, compared with $48,000 in the United States. Asian countries are furiously upgrading their militaries, but their combined military spending in 2008 was still only a third that of the United States. Even at current torrid rates of growth, it will take the average Asian 77 years to reach the income of the average American. The Chinese need 47 years. For Indians, the figure is 123 years. And Asia's combined military budget won't equal that of the United States for 72 years.

In any case, it is meaningless to talk about Asia as a single entity of power, now or in the future. Far more likely is that the fast ascent of one regional player will be greeted with alarm by its closest neighbors. Asian history is replete with examples of competition for power and even military conflict among its big players. China and Japan have fought repeatedly over Korea; the Soviet Union teamed up with India and Vietnam to check China, while China supported Pakistan to counterbalance India. Already, China's recent rise has pushed Japan and India closer together. If Asia is becoming the world's center of geopolitical gravity, it's a murky middle indeed.

Those who think Asia's gains in hard power will inevitably lead to its geopolitical dominance might also want to look at another crucial ingredient of clout: ideas. Pax Americana was made possible not only by the overwhelming economic and military might of the United States but also by a set of visionary ideas: free trade, Wilsonian liberalism, and multilateral institutions. Although Asia today may have the world's most dynamic economies, it does not seem to play an equally inspiring role as a thought leader. The big idea animating Asians now is empowerment; Asians rightly feel proud that they are making a new industrial revolution. But self-confidence is not an ideology, and the much-touted Asian model of development does not seem to be an exportable product.

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2.  "Asia's Rise Is Unstoppable."

Don't bet on it. Asia's recent track record might seem to guarantee its economic superpower status. Goldman Sachs, for instance, expects that China will surpass the United States in economic output in 2027 and India will catch up by 2050.

Given Asia's relatively low per capita income, its growth rate will indeed outpace the West's for the foreseeable future. But the region faces enormous demographic hurdles in the decades ahead. More than 20 percent of Asians will be elderly by 2050. Aging is a principal cause of Japan's stagnation. China's elderly population will soar in the middle of the next decade. Its savings rate will fall while healthcare and pension costs explode. India is a lone exception to these trends-any one of which could help stall the region's growth.

Environmental and natural resource constraints could also prove crippling. Pollution is worsening Asia's shortage of fresh water while air pollution exacts a terrible toll on health (it kills almost 400,000 people each year in China alone). Without revolutionary advances in alternative energy, Asia could face a severe energy crunch. Climate change could devastate the region's agriculture.

The current economic crisis, moreover, will lead to huge overcapacity as Western demand evaporates. Asian companies, facing anemic consumer demand at home, will not be able to sell their products in the region. The Asian export-dependent model of development will either disappear or cease to be a viable engine of growth.

Political instability could also throw Asia's economic locomotive off course. State collapse in Pakistan or a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula could wreak havoc. Rising inequality and endemic corruption in China could fuel social unrest and cause its economic growth to sputter. And if a democratic breakthrough somehow forces the Communist Party from power, China is most likely to enter a lengthy period of unstable transition, with a weak central government and mediocre economic performance.

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Post time 2009-8-12 07:26:51 |Display all floors
3.  "Asian Capitalism Is More Dynamic."

Hardly. With the United States brought low by Wall Street and the European economy enfeebled by its welfare state and inflexible labor market, most Asian economies appear in great shape. It is tempting to say that Asia's unique brand of capitalism, by seamlessly weaving together strategic state intervention, corporate long-term thinking, and insuppressible popular desire for material betterment, will outcompete either the greed-devastated U.S. model or the hidebound European variant.

But though Asian economies-with the notable exception of Japan-are among the fastest-growing in the world today, there's little real evidence to suggest that their apparent dynamism comes from a mysteriously successful form of Asian capitalism. The truth is more mundane: The region's dynamism owes a great deal to its strong fundamentals (high savings, urbanization, and demographics) and the benefits of free trade, market reforms, and economic integration. Asia's relative backwardness is a blessing in one sense: Asian countries have to grow faster because they're starting from a much lower base.

Asian capitalism does have three unique features, but they do not necessarily confer competitive advantages. First, Asian states intervene more in the economy through industrial policy, infrastructural investment, and export promotion. But whether that has made Asian capitalism more dynamic remains an unresolved puzzle. The World Bank's classic 1993 study of the region, "The East Asian Miracle," could not find evidence that strategic intervention by the state is responsible for East Asia's success. Second, two types of companies-family-controlled conglomerates and giant, state-owned enterprises-dominate Asia's business landscape. Although such corporate ownership structures enable Asia's largest companies to avoid the short-termism of most American firms, they also shield them from shareholders and market pressures, making Asian firms less accountable, less transparent, and less innovative.

Finally, Asia's high savings rates, by providing a huge pool of indigenous capital, undeniably fuel the region's economic growth. But pity Asia's savers. Most of them save because their governments provide inadequate social safety nets. Government policies in Asia penalize savers through financial repression (by keeping deposit rates low and paying household savers measly returns on their savings) and reward producers by subsidizing capital (typically through low bank lending rates). Even export promotion, ostensibly an Asian virtue, seems overrated. Asian central banks have invested most of their massive export surpluses in low-yielding, dollar-dominated assets that will lose much of their value due to the long-term inflationary pressures generated by U.S. fiscal and monetary policies.

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Post time 2009-8-12 07:28:22 |Display all floors
4.  "Asia Will Lead the World in Innovation."

Not in our lifetime. If you look only at the growing number of U.S. patents awarded to Asian inventors, the United States appears to have a dramatically receding edge in innovation. South Korean inventors, for example, received 8,731 U.S. patents in 2008-compared with 13 in 1978. In 2008, close to 37,000 U.S. patents went to Japanese inventors. The trend seems sufficiently alarming that one study ranked the United States eighth in terms of innovation, behind Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland.

Reports of the death of America's technological leadership are, to paraphrase Mark Twain, greatly exaggerated. Although Asia's advanced economies, such as Japan and South Korea, are closing the gap, the United States' lead remains huge. In 2008, American inventors were awarded 92,000 U.S. patents, twice the combined total given to South Korean and Japanese inventors. Asia's two giants, China and India, still lag far behind

Asia is pouring money into higher education. But Asian universities will not become the world's leading centers of learning and research anytime soon. None of the world's top 10 universities is located in Asia, and only the University of Tokyo ranks among the world's top 20. In the last 30 years, only eight Asians, seven of them Japanese, have won a Nobel Prize in the sciences. The region's hierarchical culture, centralized bureaucracy, weak private universities, and emphasis on rote learning and test-taking will continue to hobble its efforts to clone the United States' finest research institutions.

Even Asia's much-touted numerical advantage is less than it seems. China supposedly graduates 600,000 engineering majors each year, India another 350,000. The United States trails with only 70,000 engineering graduates annually. Although these numbers suggest an Asian edge in generating brainpower, they are thoroughly misleading. Half of China's engineering graduates and two thirds of India's have associate degrees. Once quality is factored in, Asia's lead disappears altogether. A much-cited 2005 McKinsey Global Institute study reports that human resource managers in multinational companies consider only 10 percent of Chinese engineers and 25 percent of Indian engineers as even "employable," compared with 81 percent of American engineers.

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