Author: changabula

China: A Role Model to All Nations [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2007-7-22 13:25:50 |Display all floors

Reply #13 schreiber's post

schreiber, how are we treated in a humiliating way....I have yet to experience that!

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Post time 2007-7-22 16:34:37 |Display all floors
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Post time 2007-7-22 18:44:43 |Display all floors
Lets talk about colonization.

Originally posted by schreiber at 2007-7-22 12:59
Mengzhi, you mean colonization like in Tibet, right? You mean exploitation as in rampant corruption or demanding sole recognition in exchange for diplomatic ties? Perhaps you refer to humiliating w ...

I'd like to talk about the glorious days of the British Empire beginning with the ventures of the East India Company around 1620, to the handover of Hong Kong in 1997. This period may seem too far away but with lasting impacts on societies around the world.

When I visited Britain, the superpower during that colonial period, I could not help wondering where did the riches go? Except for some treasures they took from other countries (Egypt, India and China) and kept in the museums, I could not see a significantly high level of living standard compared with other European countries which were not a colonial power.

Does that mean that Britain was moral and kind?
They colonized but never pilfered?
You have a child's heart if you believe so.

Here's my observations based on facts scattered everywhere for you to reflect.

1. Britain's colonial ventures were a joint project between the government and the business elites (e.g. East India Company, Jardine Matheson, Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, etc.) There was no need for popular support for ventures far away. The people wouldn't know it in the first place if the newspapers (another elite group) did not talk about it (Remember there were no TVs or Internet during that time). As a consequence, the population did not have the right to share the benefits of colonization. If you want to see the magnitudes of these benefits, just look at how the business elites live, their auctioning of world treasures which wound up in their homes, their country mansions, their investments overseas,etc. These are the facts for you to dig up. Especially, look at the salaries and retirement benefits for government and business officials who have worked in British colonies overseas.

2. The British people either don't care or are kept in the dark regarding their country' colonization overseas. When you talk to an average Britisher, he does not seem to know much about his country's glorious days as a result of colonization one or two generations ago. When Britain handed over Hong Kong in 1997, the Hong Kong press went to London and tried to get a sense of the popular mood by interviewing students and business people in the streets. Most of them did not know the handover event took place. Some expressed surprise to hear the question. Some even thought that Britain returned Hong Kong back to Japan! For the British people to know: Hong Kong is a big deal although it's a tiny dot on the map. HK was the most successful British colony, maybe the longest kept too (150 years). Certainly, HK had brought a lot of money to the British Treasury, to the business elites, and to a lot of English civil servants who had worked there before. All you need is to look at the HK government official records, the salary scales of English officials, the subsidized housing they got, and the retirement benefits they enjoyed. Remember the British colonial government in HK ran continuous huge surpluses every year, a clear sign that they were not spending the money where they earned. The money was deposited in the British Treasury and major banks. If you are a responsible English citizen, you should ask where did the surplus money go, if it did not go to serving the people.

[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-7-22 06:50 PM ]
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Post time 2007-7-22 18:49:27 |Display all floors
Colonization cannot involve justice because the act of colonizing is occupation and rule by a powerful minority.

Therefore, colonization is never conducive to peace.


* A few centuries ago, Britain colonized Africa and brought the natives to their American colonies as slaves. It took the American civil war to abolish slavery, but racial discrimination is still a burning issue in America today.

* European settlers, mainly Dutch and English, colonized South Africa and practiced Apartheid which threatened a civil war until it was abolished not long ago.

* Britain left the Indian subcontinent in a hurry in 1948, arbitrarily creating a Hindu India and a Moslim Pakistan which have fought several wars since then and are still in a semi-warring state.

* Britain also left the Middle East in a hurry after the end of WWII. Look at the mess of that region today.

* All the European colonial powers such as Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Portugal,etc., together with Japan and US occupied pieces of territories on the China coast known as extra-territorial regions where their own laws applied. They almost succeeded in dividing China among themselves.

* British merchants were pushing opium to the Chinese people around 1840. When the Chinese government burned the opium, the British navy intervened and China lost. The British called it the Sino-British war but the Chinese called it the Opium War.

* They fought wars on Chinese soil over the Chinese territories they occupied. The loser rewarded the winner with a piece of Chinese soil. Example, the Russo-Japanese war of 1904.

* Part of the reason for World War I was due to conflicts between the European colonial powers over their African and Asian occupations.

* All of the above caused a lot of illwill toward Western countries. As a result, the corrupt governments of Asia and Africa tend to blame their own problems on the West, and the people believe them. This creates a lot of difficulties for the West to get cooperation from Asian and African countries especially regarding the issues of economic development and climate change.

One thing always puzzles me:

Do the people of the colonial powers know what their governments were doing one or two generations ago?
Do they get the real picture or a "good" picture invented by the government?
Are there any books exposing the injustices of that era?

I only know that the Japanese government has tried to change their textbooks to gloss over their colonial past with just a few words like "our China campaign".

In other words, how much of Western colonial history is being rewritten to paint a good and kind picture of their governments?
Any opinion from my European friends?
What did you learn about your recent history?
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Post time 2007-7-22 18:59:00 |Display all floors
The West has created a situation by colonization that the rest of the world has a good reason to blame them for their own development problems.

The Americans want to take advantage of this because by comparison they did less colonizing except to the native Indians, and they kicked out the British in 1776. So they sympathize if everyone blame the Dutch, the South Americans blame the Spanish and the Portuguese, and the rest of the world blames the English. But you see, the American government never knows how to play this game of rallying the former European colonies.

However, we know that blaming somebody is convenient but will not take us anywhere. That is why China is just going ahead withouit blaming anyone.

Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong developed faster due to their individual unique circumstances, not because they were former British colonies, although the British very much want to say so.

If you don't believe me, look at Thailand which has never been a Western colony before, Japan which the West wanted but failed to colonize, South Korea and Taiwan which were Japanese colonies until 1945. Also look at South Africa mostly colonized by the Dutch but on the verge of a breakout.
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Post time 2007-7-22 19:01:36 |Display all floors
Another point.

The people of the colonizers besides the colonized are also the victims.

Everybody knows the injustices done to the colonized people. But do the ordinary people in the West know that colonization also did them wrong?

They will never find out if their history books all depict the "good" picture rather than the real picture. The real picture is that the riches obtained by colonization only went to the monarchy, the high officials in the government, and the top executives of the big corporations. Because the government has to protect the big corporations in their foreign ventures, the sons of the average family had to fight and die for the corporations. What benefits did they get in return? How many wars did Britain have to fight during the colonial period, where, and what are the casualties? What do the history books say?

The people of the West should scrutinize their governments for what they did one or two generations ago.

by Chungtfung ( )


What benefits did they [people from the west] get in return?

Better infrastructure and more wealth that trickled down from to to bottom.

[ Last edited by changabula at 2007-7-22 07:04 PM ]
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Post time 2007-7-22 19:05:33 |Display all floors
China on the other hand is the opposite of those evil western colonizers.
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