Author: knox1234

Opinion: Why do Americans have difficulty understanding China? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2018-11-14 16:37:41 |Display all floors
Let you tell you a bit about American history.

On November 2, 1791, American general Harmer fought a battle against Chillicothe, during which 300 Americans were killed.  The next year at St. Clair another Native American force surrounded the Americans, resulting in 800 American casualties.  It was called the Victory with No Name, because the whites didn't want to acknowledge the fact the natives could be smart and resourceful in battles.

But what happened subsequently was that a congressional investigation was called, and the blame was put on the poor soldiers (so as not to credit Indians with brain and brawn).

George Washington then got funds from the congress to build a professional army to be trained by Matt Anthony Wayne (some say he was Actor John Wayne's distant relative?).  Ever since then the U.S. military had its sights set on the West -- the "Manifest Destiny."  

After wiping out the natives in the west, these professional soldiers weren't stopped until the Korean War in October 1950 when Chinese soldiers entered North Korea on behalf of Kim Il Song and defeated the U.S. marines who had landed at Inchon.  This led to the longest retreat (250 miles) in U.S. military history.

And the French encountered ultimate defeat in Dien Bien Phu at the hands of China's general Wei Guo Qing (who devised all the battle plans, but credit was instead given to Vietnamese general Vo Nguyen-giap for political reasons -- to boost North Vietnamese morale), and the Americans had to withdraw from Vietnam after suffering their last defeat in 1975.

These negative experiences taught the Americans that they should never underestimate the resolve and capability of the Chinese PLA, or else they would have gone in to occupy all the islands in the South China Sea by now.

This part of U.S. history is important for us to understand why the Americans have failed to understand China -- because their genocidal success against the Native Americans had taught them that might is right, and that it is possible to get away with murder.

So it is not that they are incapable of understanding China -- it is just that they believe in their Manifest Destiny to rule the world by pushing westward from the thirteen colonies, and they don't believe China could be any different when it comes to empire building.

Therefore conflict and war is the only possible outcome in the long run -- the only thing stopping them now is how high a price they are willing to pay.

If they feel they have the absolute upper hand they will launch a war and I guarantee it.  So the only thing China can do is to build a military more powerful than that of the Americans.

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Post time 2018-11-17 09:26:26 |Display all floors
wchao37 Post time: 2018-11-14 15:01
I haven't bothered to come to this thread because the answer is so obvious -- there is no consensual ...

If what you put here is true, US' character flaw will make it extremely hard for the US to see eye to eye with China. And if this is true then US cannot see eye to eye with whichever other nation as long as US cannot control it.

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Post time 2018-11-17 10:28:17 |Display all floors
Brutal subjugation is not necessarily the result of a more 'advanced' culture taking advantage of a less advanced one.

It is completely a matter of choice.

For example, in the United States, the California Legislature decided not to allocate reservation land for the Native Americans (Indians) but instead chose to exterminate them physically.

Under Spanish rule, the population of Californian Indians had dwindled from 300,000 in 1769 to 150,000 in 1848 when the Americans took over.    In January 1848, a Californian newspaper called "Star" carried an editorial arguing that Indians were inferior non-Christian savages and opined that the latter needed to be treated like animals.  

Legislative ordinance spelt out the limited ‘rights’ of local Indians -- including that Indians couldn't testify in courts against whites.  So if an Indian got robbed or raped he/she or other witnesses couldn't testify against whites in court, not to mention that fact the Indians could be killed at random without cause.  

The so-called 'Indian Code' was supposedly written to 'protect' Californian Indians, but as in most promises or contracts made by white Americans with the natives, it turned into a hollow piece of paper which in reality suppressed the Indians even further.

Not only were the Indians rented like properties to whites as indentured laborers, no one was permitted to make higher bids once labor contract was signed between the two parties even though its duration was to last for only a few weeks, because in practice the contracts were always unilaterally 'renewed' against the wishes of the natives.  That means under the cloak of protecting work and businesses for the white businessmen, you can be found guilty for the 'crime' of bidding higher for a native.

In 1850 California passed an Act for 'governing and protecting' Indians, in which the infamous "Apprentice Program" was initiated.  They yanked native children away from their parents so that they could be in control of their lives from a young age (later they simply sent them to boarding schools to study English and the kids could even use their own native languages).  When white businessmen couldn't get enough of them using legal contracts, they simply pillaged Indian villages and kidnapped the surviving children as 'apprentices.'

In one of these cases documented by a man called Medley, prosecutors in a kidnapping case charged the white perpetrator for the crime of massive kidnapping, to which the white defendant replied, "I didn't kidnap them.  Their parents were dead."  When the court prosecutor asked him how he knew that, he simply grimaced and said, "I killed them myself" without displaying any sign of remorse or shame.

That's how the Native American population in California dwindled from 150,000 in 1848 to 120,000 in 1870.  The only Native Americans you see today in California are the pitiably few remnants you see from such willful, state-sponsored genocide using the excuse of justifiable Christian ethnic cleansing.

According to your passage above, you are framing your argument with the tenets of Social Darwinism as if it were physical law of nature.   

It is not.  

Had that really been a sacrosanct law of nature, Ming Admiral Zheng He's naval armada of up to 22,000 soldiers transported in hundreds of ships each measuring 3 to 11 times as large as Columbus's "Santa Maria" should have sent Europeans into slavery and traded them in open markets.  One of his four vice-admirals had already reached the Vatican according to studies of British naval/sub commander Gavin Menzies and subsequent findings.
In possession of superior cannons, mariners compass, and flying arrows (rockets), these Ming sailors could have at least pillaged the eastern coast of Africa.  Not a single record of such acts exists whether from home sources or the historical records from Europe, Africa or the Middle East.  

The only record we have today is the fact that from 1421 to 1433, Zheng He and his men made seven voyages to East Africa (and some historians claim that one of his four vice-admirals went as far as the Americas) and brought along China's extant technological know-how at that time to Vatican, and this eye-opening event ignited the Italian Renaissance represented by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci whose 3-D depictions of machines thitherto unknown to Europe were merely plagiarized versions of 2-D drawings long known in Chinese books like "Tiangonkaiwu."

That China could have exterminated the entire European population between 1422 and 1433 if it had the intention to do so is no longer a contested issue – it is a historical fact.  

Refocusing on today's China you can see that more than fifty ethnic minorities have been encouraged to thrive by having had a written phonetic system tailored to their needs since the 1950s, and yet white America still lodges complaints against China for her fair treatment of minorities while conveniently failing to mention their genocidal warfare against the Native Americans.

Such hypocrisy with evaluative double- or multiple- standards is both unprecedented and self-serving, and the narrative speaks volumes about the Western mindset.  

In this case, the only thing you need to remind yourself is that China’s 50-plus minorities are still physically and culturally intact, while America’s Native American population has almost been wiped out.

As a civilizational state with incomparably rich and colorful historical experience of multi-state governance, China is the only civilization that has had multi-state governance while taking care of all parties in a such a setting, and that's why even an unbiased Western observer would welcome China's age-old concept of Shijie Datong -- a Weltanchauung (world-outlook) now dubbed as Shared Destiny of Mankind.

That's why your allusion to America's 'resistance' to the reality of China's great power status,' though conceptually plausible, is still lacking in precision because America has neither the rational justification, historical depth nor the logistical capacity to force the rest of the world to foot the bill for Making WASP Males Great Again.

The world's expectant eyes -- including those of the environmentally-endangered islanders in the South Pacific -- are today focused on China, and it should be in everyone's interest to share in fulfilling her as well as Mankind's dream of shared prosperity, and not that of a self-serving clique of Trumpsters.

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