Home > Opinion, politics > South China Sea, two opposing views from Philipines on the U.S. Asia ‘pivot’

South China Sea, two opposing views from Philipines on the U.S. Asia ‘pivot’

There has been a lot of coverage in the U.S. media lately about America’s Asia ‘pivot.’ In particular, U.S. seems to be taking sides with Vietnam and Philippines in their disputes with China.

The U.S. relationships with these two countries are nothing but complex. When the Philippines was colonized by the Spanish, the U.S. took sides with the Philippines to oust Spain. Little did the Filipinos knew they would have to fight the Americans in yet another attempt to gain freedom. Filipinos estimated 1+ million were killed as a result of that war. The story in Vietnam was not that dissimilar. The Vietnamese were fighting to end French aggression. After the French withdrew, the United States went in on the grounds of stopping Communism from spreading. From the North Vietnamese perspective, it was a new imperialist, and they were fighting yet again for their freedom. Again, with millions dead.

Geopolitics is a funny game, and us mere mortals simply have no idea what the true reality is. In this article, I would like to share two views from inside Philippines; one welcoming U.S. participation and the other oppose. Perhaps the easier way to make sense of the South China Sea dispute is simply this: one set of Filipinos wanting the disputed islands really bad and the other less bad – all the while with two giants tugging the camps apart. Imagine two elephants in a room with a little mouse. Sadly, the reality is it’s much more likely that the little mouse gets stepped on. (Wait, are elephants really afraid of mouse?)

A costly provocationRod P. Kapunan

(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on Saturday,  January 28, 2012.)

 Puppet states having a sense of decency always try to keep under wraps their uncomplimentary status because they still want to be accorded a degree of respectability by the international community. They strive to keep that even if their sovereignty is visibly absent to qualify them as independent states. In our case, we do the exact opposite of blindly obeying whatever that criminal state would want us to do, like antagonizing China without our national leadership weighing whether our holding of a joint military exercise in the disputed Spratly islands would do us good, or would in fact push us closer to confronting our giant neighbor.

There had been antecedent events in our relations with the US as when we expected them to be on our side, but turning out siding with the British created federation over our claim on Sabah. Many could read Washington’s motivation in wanting to create a deep wedge between this country and China. So, as we foolishly isolate ourselves from that most economically progressive country in the world today, our economy that is hanging by the thread suffers because of our self-inflicted denial to avail of the benefits of the “economic spin off” from what the Chinese call “chi”,or the energy generated by progress.

As our relations with China deteriorate under the auspices of this empty-headed government of President Aquino for, in the words of the late Senator Claro Recto, our canine devotion to allow ourselves to be pitted against a country against which we could never hope to win, the US takes advantage in our stead. Aside from the hard reality that we could not expect help from the Americans for the objective reason that their economy is in shambles, the US badly needs China to resuscitate its own economy. In the end, we forfeit by technicality whatever economic gain we could obtain from the booming Chinese economy because of our blind allegiance to a country that in all these years obstructed all our attempts to industrialize.

Political analysts could clearly see that our current policy towards China is a US formulated policy. Instead of questioning that, the Aquino government rather sounded the bugle for our soldiers to get ready for war. The unpleasant thing about our hallow belligerency is we are the ones spending for our own defense preparations, a dubious policy not seen by the government as our contribution to keep afloat the bankrupt US economy. A second look at that approach of sowing threat to the region’s security and political stability is it could trigger an arms build up, a situation that could be exploited by the US to sell more of their costly weapons to countries in the South China Sea that have been agitated by Western media propaganda of China’s alleged hegemonistic ambition.

Right now, China stands as our number two trading partner next to Japan. In the first half of 2010, we accounted $13.1 billion in our trade with that country or an increase by 52.6 percent from the 2009 posted at $8.6 billion. Most importantly, we continue to enjoy a favorable trade balance, that for the same period we accounted a total of $7.5 billion in imports, while the Philippines exported to China a total of $5.6 billion. The indubitable fact is without China, our economy would have dived deep into the sinkhole a long time ago.

For all that we have been saying about those cheap goods from China, it was those cheap goods we look down with disdain that allowed our people to wade through the economic difficulties to stretch their purchasing power to buy goods they could not otherwise afford for the same goods made in the US and Europe. Cheap imports somehow slowed down the drain to our much needed foreign exchange earnings by way of inter country import substitution for cheaper products.

On the contrary, the upgrading of our defense capabilities would not help our economy. Under the present situation when the world is reeling from the brunt of the economic downturn, our massive purchase of arms is both criminal and treasonous. Undeniably, it is this poor-as-a-rat country that is subsidizing the US economy that has been sacked empty by the combined action of those bank looters in Wall Street and war maniacs in Pentagon.

Even the purchase by President Aquino of that mothballed Hamilton Class US cutter renamed Gen. Gregorio del Pilar for a cost of P450 million with an added P120 million operational cost for the next two years has raised much skepticism as to what kind of defense shield President Aquino wants to build. The government ignored the fact that cutters of that class are mainly used for customs services; to intercept smugglers, sea poachers, for patrol, but not to engage enemy ships in possible sea battle. Not satisfied, the government is also planning to acquire another for the same cost.

Nonetheless, the amount we spent to purchase a costly second-hand cutter does not seem to match with the depressing truth that many of our people skip their meals for want of nothing to eat. If we are to consider the Social Weather Stations report as of September 2011, it reported that one in five households, or 21.5 percent, or an estimated 4.3 million families nationwide experience having nothing to eat in the last three months. That means our expenditures for armaments simply do not tally to our priority of whether to feed our people or to fight China.

Even the proposed acquisition of F-16 is quite staggering with each costing about (F-16 A/B) P627.8 million or P808.4 million for the newer version (F-16 C/D) a piece. So, it we purchase a dozen of them, that would cost us P7.534 billion or P9.7 billion, respectively. That means, even if we allocate our entire budget just to purchase those weapons of war, that would not suffice. What is a dozen against China’s array of modern aircraft like their 200 SU-27,150 SU-30, 100 J0-11 and an undisclosed number J-20 Stealth fighter bomber. Worse, Wikipedia states that the F-16s had been in the US Air Force inventory since 1976 or for 36 years already, and had long stopped purchasing those aircrafts that today is being sold at astronomical cost despite its outdated technology. Maybe, it would be most prudent if we think of the 30.6 million Filipinos or 6.12 million families who are suffering from poverty as estimated by the Population Commission.

As said, China will never consider us a threat to its national security. For them to naively think we are is a big joke. China is an emerging world-class superpower no country could stop. It has a much improved weapons system, and there is no way we could match that. The only way we could compel China to change their thinking of us is when we decide to build our own nuclear bomb. That then could radically alter the balance in the region, and China need not be provoked to launch a pre-emptive strike against a fanatical puppet like the Philippines.

(rodkap@yahoo.com.ph)

 

PHL sees expanded US military ties keeping China aggression at bayAMITA O. LEGASPI, GMA News

January 27, 2012 4:05pm

The Aquino administration is pinning its hopes that Chinese incursions into the disputed West Philippine Sea will stop once an expanded military cooperation with the United States is in place.
“But not just that, everything we are doing to enhance our maritime security, whether it be with the US or on our own or with other countries is meant to defend our territorial integrity,” Ricky Carandang, head of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, told reporters at a briefing Friday.

He then confirmed that talks are ongoing between US and Philippine officials on enhancing defense cooperation between the two allies.

The Philippines badly needs defense cooperation agreements with other countries, the Place official said.

“I don’t think anyone will deny that the Philippine defense capability has lagged behind its neighbors in the last several decades,” Carandang noted, adding that “… the Aquino administration, since it came into office, has been working very hard to enhance our defense capabilities, particularly our maritime capabilities,” he said.

“We’re doing this in cooperation not just with the United, but also with Australia and other Asian neighbors. So that’s part and parcel of our efforts to enhance our defense capabilities,” he added.

In Camp Aguinaldo, Defense chief Voltaire Gazmin echoed Carandang’s remarks. “It may even result on no intrusions if we have (US) ships plying our area. Its not actually just in the Philippines because this is a large channel (where the US will be moving).”

“I would look at it from the positive point of view that there will be stability because we have enough deterrent. If we do not have a deterrent, there might be violation of our territories. Now, if we have good neighbor on the block, there will be not much intrusions, we will not be exploited,” Gazmin added.

For his part, Foreign Affairs chief Alberto del Rosario said: “Yes, it is to our definite advantage to be exploring how to maximize our treaty alliance with the United States in ways that would be mutually acceptable and beneficial.”

But Del Rosario quickly stressed that “any actions taken will be consistent with our treaty obligations and in accordance with Philippine laws and the 1987 Constitution.”
Brunei, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietman and the Philippines are locked in a geopolitical dispute over the Spratly Group of Islands, with each country either claiming all or parts of the disputed area also referred to as the South China Sea.

The Philippines has lodged diplomatic protests against China’s repeated incursions into the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea.

Treaty partners of the Philippines are “obliged to help defend us when there are incursions into undisputed Philippine territory, that has not changed,” said Carandang.

Nothing is final

Asked if US military presence in the Spratlys will be visible in the tension-filled area  once an agreement has been forged, Carandang said he does not know.

“What we are really talking about is in undisputed Philippine territory. We never had Balikatan exercises in those disputed Philippine territories, always been in areas that are indisputably with the Philippines,” he said.

With the talks still in the early stages, Carangdang noted nothing is final and that it will not lead to a return of US military bases in the Philippines.

“We are not talking about permanent American military presence here, we are talking about temporary presence which does not violate our Constitution,” he explained.

US military presence in the Philippines started in 1898, after the Americans wrested control of the archipelago from Spain, which ruled over the islands as its colony for nearly four centuries since 1521.

In June 1991, the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales province buried the US Naval Base in Olongapo’s Subic Bay in ash and, months later in September, the Philippine Senate decided not to ratify the extension of the US bases treaty.

No basing arrangement

“Any arrangement we have with the US or any other country will be done in conformity with our treaties, our laws and our Visiting Forces Agreement in particularly with the US, Carandang told reporters Friday.

“So we do not believe that any of these things will be violative of the law,” he added.

None of the current initiatives involves basing arrangements similar to what the country had prior to 1991, the Palace official noted.

“Hindi po tayo nag-iisip na magbalik ng US bases similar to Subic and Clark prior to 1991. No. What we’re really looking at is our enhanced defense cooperation,” he said.

While it is not yet clear if the new military arrangement with the US can be forged during a meeting between President Benigno Aquino III and President Barack Obama around the middle of the year, military matters are on the agenda of bilateral talks, Carandang explained.

“I’m not sure what kind of timetable we’re looking at. But certainly, defense issues have been part of the discussions of enhanced bilateral relationships. And when the President goes to United States, it… certainly, again… defense issues will be discussed. — VS/RSJ, GMA News

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  1. zack
    January 29th, 2012 at 00:53 | #1

    interesting, and thanks for the update; the western media had me convinced all filipinos were hysterically shrieking for war against China or some variant

  2. Malaysian Along
    January 29th, 2012 at 01:04 | #2

    For me as a Malaysian, Philippines action is provocative to Malaysia not China due to state of Sabah dispute. Malaysia always reject the claim the state of Sabah is part of Philippines Province. Malaysia and Brunei also involved in South China Sea dispute.

    Although the world news reviews that Philippines is disputing with China but in actual, they disputing with Malaysia the state of Sabah. The confrotational between Philippines and Malaysia reignited from flames which extinguished in 1960’s from Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines and lead to establish MALPHILINDO.

    Sabah issue remains controversial in Malaysia and Philippines. I’m afraid that President Aquino will seek US interference the state of Sabah from Malaysia. If US support Philippines in South China Sea dispute, diplomatic friction between Malaysia and USA occured. Just like Pakistan and USA.

  3. JJ
    January 30th, 2012 at 04:48 | #3

    @Malaysian Along

    That’s a very interesting comment and I had no idea about this. It’s interesting that so many people think the disputes among Asian countries are all because of China.

  4. LOLZ
    January 30th, 2012 at 07:54 | #4

    The South China Sea dispute reminds me off the GOP race. Everyone attacks the fore runner until the fore runner is no longer, then everyone attack each other. China is the one of the largest, if not the largest trade partner for all of the nations involved in this dispute. Yet none of these nations need oil as much as China does. I don’t think any politicians would attempt to back down from an absolute stance since it makes them look like cowards to the public, but I think behind the scenes each nation are likely to try to make deal with China to get this resolved.

    Of course, you will always get some politicians who want to utilize the anti-China rhetoric to gain popular support. This works to some extent (Chen won the Taiwan election this way), however without China’s cooperation economically these nations will suffer (The US is certainly not going to buy that much more goods from Filipino or Vietnamese goods, China may), and the anti-China leaders will soon be out of the picture.

  5. January 30th, 2012 at 08:58 | #5

    “Free” media has no obligation to be fair. The coverage of this SCS dispute in the English language mainstream press is yet another example of one-sided reporting – it is equivalent to propaganda. To understand our world, everyone should at least rely on media from around the world.

  6. aflame
    January 30th, 2012 at 09:23 | #6

    LOLZ :
    Of course, you will always get some politicians who want to utilize the anti-China rhetoric to gain popular support. This works to some extent (Chen won the Taiwan election this way), however without China’s cooperation economically these nations will suffer (The US is certainly not going to buy that much more goods from Filipino or Vietnamese goods, China may), and the anti-China leaders will soon be out of the picture.

    This is only half-correct, China is an important but not the top export partner for any of those countries (VN, MY, PH, ID).

    And it’s not all about oil (the proven reserve is not high). The south china sea is one of the most important sea lanes in the world, IMO it’s political/trade value worths much more than it’s oil.

    Here in Vietnam there are few official reports about the dispute, the VTV (equivalent of CCTV) only cover once or twice when the 2011 incidents ocurred. Some protests are stopped by the police, and I haven’t heard of any politician that openly show anti-china sentiments, so no anti-china leaders for you. (There’s even a rumor that some of the current leaders are actually backed-up by China)

  7. pug_ster
    January 30th, 2012 at 13:20 | #7

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/01/201212462936516565.html

    Maybe the problem is that the Philippines fighting amongst themselves and not just China.

  8. January 31st, 2012 at 08:48 | #8

    Awesome share mate you have done an excellent job by posting this topic,as i was looking for it for the past three days,the words chosen in this paragraph are great and the main idea of the topic is conveyed superbly,keep up the good work mate.

  9. January 31st, 2012 at 11:46 | #9

    The territorial disputes in Southeast Asia is much more complicated than most outsiders believed. The Malaysian state of Sabah was leased by the British from the Sultanate of Sulawesi. That’s why the Philippines still have claim today. The Malaysian state of Sarawak was carved up by the British from the Sultanate of Brunei. Luckily, except for a few islands, Brunei gave up all claims on Sarawak. Indonesia has several islands and land dispute with Malaysia.

    The Malay Muslim majority states in Southern Thailand was given by the British to Thailand. That’s the area Thailand has the biggest insurgency problem. Due to these conflicts, Malaysia “used to” support the Moro Liberation Front in the Philippines and the Patani Liberation Front in Thailand. Gaddafi used to support them too!

    Technically, Indonesia considered itself the successor of the Majapahit empire in SE Asia thus still has claim on many areas. Vietnam and the Philippines also have overlapping claim. Although Australia supported the independence of Timor Laste, it got into a territorial dispute almost as soon as the new country is founded.

    http://www.etan.org/issues/tsea/tseafact.htm

    Australia’s Christmas Island is 2600 km from Perth, however, you will never read any news of Australian “aggression” and bullying of its weaker neighbours.

  10. zack
    January 31st, 2012 at 13:21 | #10

    @Ray
    it is because Australians are invariably Caucasian and therefore of higher moral superiority compared to the Asian races; i’m sorry to say but that sort of racism still holds a strong strand of belief even amongst Westerners who consider themselves ‘non racist’.

  11. True Blue Sea
    January 31st, 2012 at 22:17 | #11

    The U.S. military industrial complex is trying so hard to maintain 750+ billions defense spending by spreading flame of war around the globe.
    U.S. can not and will not placed her carrier battle groups in front of Philippine, Vietnam or any other countries in southeast Asia because there are not much to gain from doing so.
    To the contrary, U.S. has a lot to lose because those carrier battle groups caused hundreds of billions dollars to replace.
    In additional, U.S. still owed China 1.4+ trillion dollars.
    Philippine is bringing a knife to a gun fight (a retired U.S. coast guard cutter up against Chinese aircraft carrier battle group with satellite tracking and targeting system support).
    Vietnam with two stand alone guided missile destroyers will also be target practice for Chinese aircraft carrier battle group with satellite tracking and targeting system support.

  12. Malaysian Along
    January 31st, 2012 at 23:33 | #12

    Preah Vihear Temple conflict between Thailand and Cambodia shows the effect that border the dispute lead to war time era in South East Asia. Diplomatic relation between Thailand and Cambodia very tense and like cold war mentality. We want peace South East Asia without blood bath for just a Buddhist temple. The Preah Vihear Temple issue remain hot in not just Thailand and Cambodia. It involves South East Asia future what happened if this continuous conflict lead to ASEAN collapse and more conflict spreading to the rest of South East Asia to handle border conflicts.

    The Thai-Cambodia border conflict is a biggest lesson for ASEAN to handle peace and prosperity involving states in South East Asia. If Thailand and Cambodia didn’t reach the best solution to solve the conflict. We see wars in South East Asia again and people in South East Asia will paranoid between neighboring state. It is a lose-lose war with total devastation of prosperous Thailand and waking from nightmare Cambodia for just a temple.

  13. aeiou
    February 1st, 2012 at 05:01 | #13

    zack :
    @Ray
    it is because Australians are invariably Caucasian and therefore of higher moral superiority compared to the Asian races; i’m sorry to say but that sort of racism still holds a strong strand of belief even amongst Westerners who consider themselves ‘non racist’.

    American universities often discriminate against Asian students in the guise of affirmative action. I mean universities are the most liberal of liberal institutions and they don’t think twice about limiting asian applicants. If this were to happen to Jews – who are as if not more over represented – every liberal in America would be screaming Jewish prosecution.

  14. Dave Bongaleu
    February 1st, 2012 at 06:15 | #14

    You guys are truly pathetic. Harden up.

  15. Malaysian Along
    February 1st, 2012 at 07:36 | #15

    @Malaysian Along
    Error: Preah Vihear temple is not a Buddhist Temple but a Hindu Temple

  16. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 10:42 | #16

    Read the comments from Filipinos after all these West Philippines/South China Sea articles; that will tell you where the hearts of the majority are, and they certainly arent with the PRC!

  17. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 10:54 | #17

    The reality on the ground (sea) in the West Philippine Sea/SCS dispute is that the PRC PLAN forces are the only actors who have clashed with the vessels of every other claimant state (PLAN even pointed guns at Indonesian naval forces when trespassing into Indonesian waters, and RI isnt even a claimant in the SCS dispute!). This is why media covers China more harshly. Clashes between the ASEAN states in the SCS are rare if unheard of, meanwhile fleets of PRC naval militia posing as “fishermen” (funny how they “fishermen” often ram their boats into the ships of other countries and stab coastguard officers of other countries!) invade the soveign waters of other states, often escorted with heavily armed “fishery” patrol vessels (ie PLAN ships). This hegemonic and imperialist behavior is rightly condemned!

  18. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 10:58 | #18

    @Ray Ray speaking of Majapahit, Indonesians haven’t forgotten the major invasion sent from China in the 13th century in an effort impose a semi-colonial relationship upon them. Indonesians and other Asian know it isn’t just the whiteman who is capable of colonial hegemonism, their historical interactions with China make them very wary. this is one reason why Indonesia decided to support bring USA in the East Asia Summit mechanism in ASEAN; to check PRC expansionist tendencies.

  19. silentchinese@gmail.com
    February 2nd, 2012 at 11:14 | #19

    @Haikun

    Yeah!
    I support you, how dare those chinese try to enforce their claims with the same methods that Phillipines and Vietnam used to enforce theirs!! How DARE they!

    these are the facts. you can make your judgement who is actually on top in this dispute:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spratly_Islands_dispute

    In Sprately,

    Republic of the Philippines holds 7 islands, 3 reefs totaling 84 Ha.
    Vietnam holds 6 islands, 16 reefs, 6 banks totaling 47 Ha.

    the Aggressive Chinese. holds. 9 reefs. most of them tiny with no acreage to worth mention.

    so
    who did most island grabbin?

    and as for “PRC PLAN forces are the only actors who have clashed with the vessels of every other claimant state”

    that;s utter BS and you know that because Vietnam grabbed Southwest cay from Phillippines in a most interesting episode. with help of some prostitutes…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policies,_activities_and_history_of_the_Philippines_in_Spratly_Islands#Southwest_Cay_invasion

  20. silentchinese@gmail.com
    February 2nd, 2012 at 11:15 | #20

    SO Haikun….

    what were you saying?

  21. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 11:33 | #21

    @silentchinese@gmail.com You did a very good job of making a non-point, congratulations!!! The incident you speak of occurred in 1975, Vietnam didn’t even instituted “doi moi” or its liberalization until about 1986 and join ASEAN until about 1995. Sure talk about Vietnam from almost 40 years ago when we are talking about issues pertaining to today! Speaking of mid-1970s isnt that when PRC, invaded and occupied the sovereign territory of the Vietnamese people (ie Paracel Islands)?!!!?!?!?

    No lets keep the converation about the issues of TODAY. PRC and its PLAN forces are the ones running around West Philippine Sea/SCS and bullying EVERY other claimant. This is the fact of the matter.

  22. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 11:34 | #22

    So SilentChinese; what were YOU saying?

  23. true blue sea
    February 2nd, 2012 at 11:42 | #23

    All those islands, reefs and other grabbing were happened when Chinese didn’t had a blue water navy.
    Talk is cheap, put the money where your mouth is.
    Now Philippine and Vietnam are facing fully armed and ready to get some real life combat experience Chinese aircraft carrier battle group and they are crying and running back to sugar daddy, U.S..
    Chinese’s GPS for southeast Asia is also up and running.

    U.S. only go to war with countries that can’t really fight back and tested U.S. latest weapons on those countries (ie. M1A tanks, M2 armored personal carriers, apache helicopters, cruise missiles, bunker crushing bombs, stealth fighters, stealth bombers, hellfire missiles, etc..)
    U.S. was not really fighting Vietnam back then. U.S. was more interested to test their weapons (m16 rifles, F4 fathom jets, F111 fighters, etc).
    If it was a real all out fight, U.S. would had crushed Vietnam in less than a year.

  24. true blue sea
    February 2nd, 2012 at 11:54 | #24

    If U.S. really concerned about Chinese economic and military expansion, U.S. should paid back 1.4+ trillions dollars to China and do not selling any more treasury bills to China.

    Interest from 1.4+ trillions dollars from U.S. is more than enough for Chinese to build more carrier battle groups.

    In other word, U.S. is paying Chinese to build more modern weapons.
    There you go, let’s put it in open.

  25. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:02 | #25

    China has always been a hegemonic and expansionary power, South East Asians know this. Koreans and Japanese know this. Tibetans, Uigurs, Mongolians and other minorities who had their lands usurped DEFINITELY know this! PRC has no legitimate claims on the vast majority of the West Philippine Sea, this is clear to all but the most brainwashed hyper ventilating fenqing. Posters like true blue sea just expose the ugly face of PRC hyper-nationalism and expansionism that other Asians know is lurking under the facade of the so-called “peaceful rise rhetoric”. I am not anti Chinese but I am a realist and anti-imperialist; ASEAN states are right to guard against PRC expansionism by seeking expanded ties with the Americans.

  26. Charles Liu
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:10 | #26

    Totally true dude, China’s bombing of Libya is a complete violation of UN Resolution 1973. Before that China’s invasion of Iraq on false WMD accusation. Equally to all those long subjugated land that don’t belong to China, China’s false imperial claim over Faulkland islands, Northern Ireland, occupation of Native American land, are all completely bogus.

    Shame on China!

  27. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:23 | #27

    Look how the above poster (Charles Liu) tries to respond with diversionary tactics, nothing in his post about the West Philippine Sea/SCS issue at all. Typical of Chinese (well posters of any nationality really) who cant mount a genuine counter argument. Intellectual light weight.

  28. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:33 | #28

    If you want to know how South East Asians feel about China and its bullying arrogance on the West Philippine Sea/SCS issue then I recommend reading the comments below articles in the Manila Standard, GMA, and others sources; they express near unanimous contempt for the PRC’s hegemonic designs on their maritime territories. Even better is reading Global Times articles on the subject; Vietnamese and Filipino netizens pour out of the wood work to condemn PRC expansionism!!! One Global Times article which threatened the Vietnamese in typical PRC imperial hubris rhetoric was SWAMPED by almost 100 Vietnamese posters who far out numbered the Chinese posters (the PRC posters in typical fashion resorted to calling their opponents South East Asian monkeys! but wait it is only the whiteman who is racist???). PRC media is so far from reality I am thankful the Western media outlets and others are here to report at least something close to the real situation, even if imperfectly! One minute it is all “Asian Unity” blather in the PRC press, the next it is “Crush the Vietnamese and Filipino monkeys and nuke Japan while we’re at it”, lol come on you think other Asians don’t read this with out being offended and suspicious of PRC agenda!!!

  29. silentchinese@gmail.com
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:37 | #29

    Haikun :@silentchinese@gmail.com You did a very good job of making a non-point, congratulations!!! The incident you speak of occurred in 1975, Vietnam didn’t even instituted “doi moi” or its liberalization until about 1986 and join ASEAN until about 1995. Sure talk about Vietnam from almost 40 years ago when we are talking about issues pertaining to today! Speaking of mid-1970s isnt that when PRC, invaded and occupied the sovereign territory of the Vietnamese people (ie Paracel Islands)?!!!?!?!?
    No lets keep the converation about the issues of TODAY. PRC and its PLAN forces are the ones running around West Philippine Sea/SCS and bullying EVERY other claimant. This is the fact of the matter.

    Oh….

    So,

    Let me get this straight.

    back in 70s. 80s, 90s, etc, when Phillipines and Vietnam decided to play the game of grab-an-island. regradless who and where actually has any legal claims….

    it didn’t matter.

    what it matters today is that China is playing the game too (mind you it hasn’t grabbed any islands lately) and Phillipines and Vietnam sees that this game no longer profits them. as they had most to loose.

    am I getting what you are saying?

    legality and validity of the claims aside, I find the attitude self-indiginant tone and false victim hood of these claimants astoundingly hypocritical.

  30. silentchinese@gmail.com
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:43 | #30

    Haikun :China has always been a hegemonic and expansionary power, South East Asians know this. Koreans and Japanese know this. Tibetans, Uigurs, Mongolians and other minorities who had their lands usurped DEFINITELY know this! PRC has no legitimate claims on the vast majority of the West Philippine Sea, this is clear to all but the most brainwashed hyper ventilating fenqing. Posters like true blue sea just expose the ugly face of PRC hyper-nationalism and expansionism that other Asians know is lurking under the facade of the so-called “peaceful rise rhetoric”. I am not anti Chinese but I am a realist and anti-imperialist; ASEAN states are right to guard against PRC expansionism by seeking expanded ties with the Americans.

    1. The fact that china proper has had historically an outward radiating influence is not a complete minus to people of east and southeast asia.
    only people who are under-educated and narrowily nationalistically-minded object to that historic fact and cast in the prism of contemporary ethos of struggle between national-states.

    translation: A influential china wasn’t a bad thing. and you can’t make historical judgements based on contemporary concept of national states.

    ===
    2. I challenge any one to produce a valid accepted reference to the term “West Philippine Sea” anywhere before 2000s.

    one can not make a term up in thin air to support a claim and then play the victim all the time. people will get tired of this game.

  31. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 12:55 | #31

    “self-indiginant tone and false victim hood” indeed an area where the PRC narrative leads the world my friend! I think the CCP wrote that playbook!

    But seriously you are comparing the environment of the Cold War to that of today’s international politics in order to excuse the expansionary and hegemonic policy that the PRC has adopted toward a maritime region where it has at best an EXTREMELY feeble claim (actually its claim is only taken seriously within the PRC but not elsewhere). Sure Vietnam invaded Cambodia and helped the Pathet Lao overthrow the monarchy in Laos, but hey that was in the Cold War. PRC also invaded Vietnam in 1979 and stole the Paracel Islands before that but hey that was back then also, a different international environment with different norms. We try not to do things like that anymore (with the notable exception of the USA’s foolish invasion of Iraq which has been widely rebuked). But now here we have PLA ships running around shooting at and threatening other states in their maritime territories and PLAN sabatours posing as fishermen conducting a low intensity asymmetric warfare against other states from Japan and Korea down to Indonesia. No other state in East Asia behaves this way in the post Cold War world.

    Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines all have strong and legitimate claims based on UNCLOS (to which China is a signatory party!) and also due to their historical use of the area for fishing and sustenance. The PRC claim is extremely weak in both of these areas (actually under UNCLOS it is non existent), thus you see these inflated claims and bullying tactics employed in an effort to COERCE smaller states. Luckily the USA is in the area and won’t let this imperial behavior go unchallenged. Indeed ASEAN states are smart and will go ahead and develop the natural resources in the West Philippine Sea regardless of what noises the PRC makes. India is already working with Vietnam and the PI is working with international companies. PRC wont be able to change this. Now that America is in the picture reality on the ground will be favorable to the rightful claimants since PRC bullying tactics will be met with decisive deterrence. Heck even the PRC’s so called buddies the Russians are selling fast attack boats and subs to the Vietnamese (ouch hows that knife in the back feel?!).

    Anyways you dont to really seem to have a point beyond trying to justify the hegemonic behavior of the PRC, so all I can say about your argument is: FAIL.

  32. pug_ster
    February 2nd, 2012 at 13:31 | #32

    @Haikun

    13th century? Really?

    @Haikun

    Not Anti Chinese huh? Is that why you call people here fenqings? If China is indeed an imperialist country, let me know if they start sending gunboats sometime this century.

  33. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 13:54 | #33

    @pug_star, first fenqing is a legitimate tag for many of the posters here; excessively nationalistic/militaristic, reactionary, and xenophobic… sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade.

    Second, 13th century Yuan Dyansty attempted to extort and colonize pre-modern Indonesia; Indonesians replied by cutting of the ears and branding the face of the Chinese emissary! China invaded and got whooped, last imperialist adventure that far south for a few centuries. Today Indonesians, especially in East Java continue to celebrate this victory over a foreign aggressor and it shapes think towards China even today; Indonesians know that imperialistic threats don’t only come from the “West”!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Java

    As for gunboats, yep China is intruding even into Indonesian waters!!! The socalled “fishery vessels” (read PLAN gunships) even pointed their guns at Indonesian coast guard ships trying to protect Indonesian maritime waters from scourge of rouge (and often merderously violent) PRC “fishermen”. From the Jakarta Post:
    Indonesia does not claim any small island in the South China Sea, and does not consider China as a neighbor in the context of maritime delimitation. Indonesia only considers Malaysia and Vietnam as its neighbors with which maritime boundaries need to be settled in the South China Sea.

    “…..Indonesia does not even see that it has to deal with China when it comes to maritime entitlement in the South China Sea.

    However, the presence of Chinese fishermen in the area in 2009 and 2010 seemed to suggest the opposite. Not only did the fishermen come to fish in what Indonesia believes to be its waters, but they were also guarded by a “Chinese fishery administration vessel”. It can be inferred that China extends its maritime claim up to an area which Indonesia believes to be its own.”

    Indonesians aren’t taking kindly to PRC hegemonic behavior. This is why ASEAN is coming together and adding the USA to the EAST ASIA SUMMIT mechanism. And this is only talking about Indonesia, never mind PRC’s behavior towards other ASEAN states, Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. It all belies the reality of the false “peaceful rise” rhetoric… don’t take my word for it, go read East Asian media outside of the sock puppet media in the PRC.

  34. silentchinese@gmail.com
    February 2nd, 2012 at 14:12 | #34

    @Haikun

    1. you still fail to show me any stuff regarding valid usage of “West Phillipines Sea” pre-2000.

    2. UNCLOS does not forefeit your existing territorial claims. as china’s claim is affirmed repeatly by at least mid-century, which is waaayyy before UNCLOS or even UN itself. UNCLOS does not apply to these islands.

    3. China’s claim on paracel and spratley dates pre-ww2. wether or not these claims are legitmate is another question. the historical fact that they certainly claimed before viet nam or phillipines. that’s a historic fact that no amounts of chest thumping by nationalists like you who cry “imperialist” and running towards uncle sam first thing their claims gets challenged… can deny. facts are facts.

    you can not stake your claims later than the other guy; start grabing island and grabbed majority of it;
    and still claim to be a victim.

    for example.
    if you have a dispute with your neighbor on some property, despite the fact that you made your claim later that other guy, and you grabbed more of the disputed property. you still cry being victimized… it wouldn’t stand up in court of public opinions.

    The only reason US is semi-interested in these disputes is because they wanted you guys to distract the chinese. once the usefulness is gone US wouldn’t care less wouldn;t it. so stop piling on the indigination here.

  35. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 14:13 | #35

    @pug_star, sorry I take that back, it wasn’t the last imperial invasion that far south; I forgot Zheng He invaded and plundered Sri Lanka in the 15th century. He also carried the plague which ended up reaching Europe and causing the deaths of millions of Europeans… jeeez thanks a lot Zheng He!!! Its ok, I don’t get all hostile and hold century long grudges unlike fenqings :D!
    Just a short look at the aggression committed by Zheng He:

    -Attack on the Old Port Pacification Superintendency in Sumatra in 1407
    – Violence in Java in 140
    -Threats to Burma in 1409
    -Attack on Sri Lanka in 1411
    • Perhaps the event most telling as to the nature of the eunuch-led maritime
    voyages was the military invasion of Sri Lanka, the capture of a local ruler and
    his being carried back to the Ming court in modern Nan-jing in 1411. Zheng
    He invaded the royal city, captured the king, destroyed his military and carried
    the king and his family members back to the court. Some say that the Tooth
    relic of the Buddha was also taken, but there are no contemporary texts which
    support this. As happened in similar scenarios in Yun-nan, the Ming appointed
    a puppet ruler to replace the king, presumably to act in ways beneficial to the
    Ming.
    -Attack and capture of Su-gan-la of Samudera in 141
    ——-
    Of course all this ignores the multiple attempts by China to colonize Annam (Vietnam) through the use of military force. They did however successfully colonize Yunnan. Mind you this is long before the advent of Western colonialism. Hey I don’t blame Zheng He, he was living in a different world thank we do today.

  36. silentchinese@gmail.com
    February 2nd, 2012 at 14:16 | #36

    @Haikun

    Mongol invasion of Java?
    really?
    that you blame on the chinese imperialism?
    come on.
    you know fengqing is not a chinese phenom right?

  37. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 14:21 | #37

    @silentchinese, i don’t deny that pre-CCP Chinese governments made claims to the WPS/SCS, the validity of these claims is certainly and rightfully suspect. So just to be clear, using your logic; Japan’s claim on Senkaku is valid since they claimed it since 1895 and patrolled it since the end of WW II. I mean China did cede Senkaku to Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, and just as the PRC claims SCS based on the claims of previous Chinese governments so must it honor the concessions made by previous Chinese governments right? I don’t believe things are that linear but it seems to be what you are saying.

  38. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 14:29 | #38

    @silentchinese@gmail.com Yes proto-colonialism was an inherent element of the Sino-Centric “tribute” system prior to Western globalization. Why is it relevant? Because past actions and norms feed into today’s behaviors. Many in the PRC see themselves as the inheritors of this system of Chinese supremacy in the East Asian hierarchy which feeds into the belligerent and hegemonic behavior of the PRC today, especially as material conditions of the PRC to more actively assert itself. It also is in the mind of other Asian states who are wary of the PRC; Chinese aren’t the only ones who have long memories of suffering indignities at the hands of foreign powers… just ask the Vietnamese!

    BTW; fenqingism is most definitely a reality within China. Not that China is unique in the regard of possessing hyper-nationalist reactionary citizens.

  39. February 2nd, 2012 at 14:52 | #39

    Hmm – Haikun threw out a lot of banters about history – perhaps he can provide some links to reputable sources for each of the major assertions he made.

    In general, I think we ought to write a post on what is colonialism (as I alluded to earlier only recently in this comment).

    I promise that we will get to it, but since we are not professional bloggers (we have lots of other obligations, and blogging brings us no money), I can’t give a precise timeline…

  40. silentchinese@gmail.com
    February 2nd, 2012 at 15:01 | #40

    @Haikun

    learn your history buckaroo .
    Japan’s claim on Senkaku wasn’t 1895, 1895 is the treaty of shimoniseki date where they claim the treaty covered the issue. but too bad that treaty got voided in ww2.

    Currently They based their claim on terri nullus. which is a bit of hollow because they had chinese maps that put these islands in qing dynasty’s control.

    also, all the “tribute” system bull aside.

    you don;t find it ironic that you cite a Mongol Invasion of Java to pin the blame on chinese?

    come on,
    Mongol? Invasion of Java? Chinese? do you find it a bit of a strech?a

    It’s like blaming the sacking of bagdadd on CHinese, or the subjecgation of Moscovy princes on the Chinese.

    mis-read historical bullcrap through and through.

    and what’s wrong with the tributary system?

    certainly kept peace.

    Nor was Chinese the bully and the “Barbarians”s always the victim.

    chinese trubutary system grew out the necessities to keep tribes that were constantly invading china proper checked. It was originally a Zhou Dynasty feudal method to keep all the nobles in a organized order. it was only later adapted to deal with foreign entities.

    It you want to count how many times china proper was invaded by what your would proscribed as “victims”… I don;t think you want me to go down that route, because that would be a ugly and bloody history which you would instantly yell “not true” and cast in modern color of chinese imperial propaganda. despite the fact that most of all what you would call imperial han chinese prob has mixed “barbarian” blood…. not all from motherside either.

    also,

    you need to learn to keep history history and contemporary contemporary. not all things should be seen through prism of history. that would color your judgement through and through. that’s how WW1 and WW2 started and that’s how nazis claimed victimhood. the safe thing is I guess idiot hot heads like you are not in charge in china, nor are in the mainstream. and in the asian countries that they might get to be mainstream, usually they are not powerful enough to do enough damage the peace and prosperity of Asian (usually)

  41. February 2nd, 2012 at 15:37 | #41

    @Haikun
    Oh really? The Indonesian remembered Yuan invasion 700 years ago but somehow forgot recent Portugese, Dutch, English and Japanese invasion. Very smart and objective. The Yuan dynasty invasion was condemned by all Chinese historians.

    Indonesia today has direct dispute with Australia, Malaysia etc.

    In case you don’t know Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand all buy arms from PRC.

  42. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 15:47 | #42

    @Allen I am guessing that you are moving towards that assertion that only Westerners have colonized/are capable of colonizing. Hope I’m not putting words in your mouth but this would in fact be a standard, if unenlightened and certainly (and ironically) Eurocentric, view of colonialism. I won’t go into the the long history of humans taking over the lands of their fellows both near and far but suffice to say Western colonialism is but a part of the human story in this area, significant mostly for the breadth and scale that it occurred on coupled with it leading to onset of globalization.

    Now you could use semantic to define colonialism as a strictly Western phenomena but I think that would be dishonest and a demonstration of ones lack of understanding of human history. Cheers.

  43. February 2nd, 2012 at 15:50 | #43

    I am not a historian (I am a scientist, engineer and a lawyer), I nevertheless think these two articles might be of interest.

    http://www.allempires.com/article/index.php?q=zheng_he_ming_china

    http://www.allempires.com/article/index.php?q=zhenghe

    Suffice to say that zheng he’s expeditions were never meant to oppress others – militarily or economically. In fact, the tribute system it created was never meant to generate a profit for China; on the contrary, it was by design mean to give others more than it brought in.

    Of course, during these time, there is the aberration that is 永樂 – who did carry out some ill-advised and uncharacteristic aggressive campaigns that weakened Ming rather than spread Ming influence.

    Many scholars today might think that China withdrew from the world with the ending of the Zheng He expeditions. But the more correct view is probably that the Zheng He expeditions were doomed from the start – because China never looked to colonize and was to shy about profiting from any of its interaction from the outside world; it was simply too gun ho about impressing others with the treasures, glories and riches of China and too concerned with creating a political order that is centralized and controlled not dynamic and organic.

  44. February 2nd, 2012 at 15:56 | #44

    @Haikun

    Should “colonialism” be limited to a Western phenomenon?

    Perhaps.

    People have always mingled with each other – through trade, intermingling, war, etc. That’s true.

    But what happened since 1492 with Columbus of America and subsequent raping and suffering of the world at the hands of European power is unprecedented in world history.

    That no one should deny.

    For me, colonialism as limited to this period – and their consequences for humanity – ought to stand by itself. It should not be diluted away as just another human interaction in history.

    If you want to call that Eurocentric, so be it. Colonialism of such scale and oppressiveness is an European invention. However, since it caused such traumatic effects throughout world, it is also a world experience. From the point of view of the victims, it is not an Eurocentric experience at all.

  45. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 16:09 | #45

    @Allen I don’t think the Puritans who went over to the Americas meant to largely take over the land of the natives; they went to escape the religious oppression of the Church of England. Welcome to the rule of unintended consequences. But when you start sailing around the world with a large force of men to foreign lands then things happen; miscommunications, conflicts, transmission of disease that locals are unaccustomed to, demand for tributes which go awry, etc.

    BTW my understanding is that Zheng He’s expeditions ended not because “China never looked to colonize and was to shy about profiting from any of its interaction from the outside world” (I don’t believe that meshes with historical reality at all given China’s historical expansionism and gradual colonization of surrounding lands) but because Mongolian invasions forced the state to expend more capital on building land defenses (ie Great Wall) to protect their Northern frontier. Other factors likely were involved but I dont claim to be an expert in the era. However I think it was a missed opportunity for China to initiate globalization on its terms. Instead China retreated into isolationism and globalization was undertaken under the auspices of European colonialism… what globalization under Chinese leadership might have looked like we can only speculate.

  46. February 2nd, 2012 at 16:24 | #46

    Basically, this Haikun (means navy) dude is saying is pretty much the western narrative. During a dispute between China against any state, China is at faults, his evidence is that because the other state said so.

    Frankly, I think he is living in his own fantasy when he claimed that Japanese claim on Diaoyu is valid because he think so. And he failed to mention that the Zheng He expedition was in respond to attacks. The Ming fleet never fired the first shots. He conveniently forget to point of that the Sri Lankan king tried to seize Ming fleet. And in those cases that the Ming fleet launched attacks was under the invitation by local rulers against pirates. Of course, when a Chinese fleet attack a pirate, the pirate would be the victim. He also failed to point out that some of the settlements attacked were also ethnic Chinese.

    He then accused Charles Liu by using diversionary tactics while he did exactly the same thing by saying that China attempted to colonize Vietnam. Did Vietnam not did the same to its neighbour state? Same with Myanmar, Thai etc when they were strong. Like I have said Chinese historian all spoke out against the Yuan attack. Vietnam has a special relationship with China because they claimed linkage with the state of Yue during the spring autumn period. Vietnam in Chinese/Vietnamese means south of Yue. The province of Guandong at that time used to be called Yue 越too but was changed to Yue 粤 to distinguish it from the Vietnamese. The modern Vietnamese obviously can chose their own modern name but stick to the ancient Chinese state of Yue.

    Another fact he pretend doesn’t happened is that Majapahit is also an empire built on annexation and invasion of many of its neighbours. The modern state of Malayisa, Singapore of Timor Laste are more wary of Indonesia than anybody else. Indonesia tried to retake those states during the 1960s but was beaten back.

    The straits of Malacca got its name from a Malay Sultanate in modern day Malaysia. At that time Majaphit (1400s) was very weak and Malacca broke off and founded its own kingdom. Here’s the detail that he doesn’t know. Malacca got protection from Zheng He’s fleet and Paramesuara http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parameswara_(sultan) (the ruler of Malacca) even visited China. That’s how Malacca got to control the trade in that region before being invaded by Portugal in 1511 and in due cause 1641 by Holland. He also failed to mentioned that other rulers in the region including Philippines http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultanate_of_Sulu,
    Brunei http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdul_Majid_Hassan etc also visited China.

    In reality all claim would be decided by politics, strength and position of each claimants. All his arguments is that since the side opposing China is making a claim, they are all right and China is all wrong. However, he failed to address there is alternate view even in Philippines itself as evidence by the article of this thread.
    I am so glad he posted here so we can understand their true mentality!

  47. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 16:29 | #47

    @Allen No one denies Spanish and Portuguese initiated what we now think of as colonialism. But a more nuanced view is in order. Have you lived in Spain? If you have you will notice the Moorish influences because Spain and Portugal were both themselves colonies of the Moors who invaded Iberia as part of the expansion of Islam colonialism into North Africa. Islamic colonialism left a deep impact on Iberian society; genetically, culturally, and politically, and socially although surprisingly little in the religious realm. Anyways it was Islamic colonialism which introduced and acclimated Iberians to the concept of African slavery which was before then an alien concept. This is because Islamic colonialism had been exploiting black Africans for 100s of years before the Europeans ever did and on just as massive of a scale. The impact of this you can research yourself in particular I recommend ” The Iberian Roots of American Racist Thought”. This is not to excuse the slave trade committed mostly by the Iberian states (North America only received about 4% of total slave trade, the vast majority was under the Spaniards and Portuguese) but to give nuance to the backdrop upon which these events played out… If you just draw a linear line between the “West” and colonialism I doubt your grasp on history because you fail to understand its interacies.

    Furthermore the “West” itself has been colonized and its lands taken by other. In addition to the Islamic colonization of Iberia you have the Turks invading to the west (Istanbul used to be the center of Western Christianity, Constantinople, until invaded and pillaged by the Turks). Even our East Asian friends have colonized Europe lest we forget the brutal Mongol invasion of Europe which was at least relatively short in its duration due to imperial overreach. But the fact remains that largest hegemonic empire in the world was not “Western” but “Eastern”!

    Allen you challenge the West to view China through unbiased lenses but I ask you what lens are you wearing when you look at the socalled “West”?

    (excuse poor grammar)

  48. February 2nd, 2012 at 16:31 | #48

    @Haikun

    Let’s agree (for now) to disagree on what is colonization. If China’s expansion to its current borders if colonization, then so is the result of every nation on earth.

    Let’s also agree to agree that we do not know what globalization under Chinese leadership would have looked like. Maybe it will be as violent and oppressive as the West. Maybe it won’t (my preference).

    But I want to respond to this:

    But when you start sailing around the world with a large force of men to foreign lands then things happen; miscommunications, conflicts, transmission of disease that locals are unaccustomed to, demand for tributes which go awry, etc.

    A major difference of Western expansionalism (Columbus) and Zheng he is that when China spread out, it sent its best diplomats, its most educated to lead missions of peace. The West sent its downtrodden – pirates, religious zealots, and those looking for loot – to the Americas and beyond to lead missions of conquests.

  49. February 2nd, 2012 at 16:39 | #49

    @Haikun

    Thanks for sharing the nuances of Spanish culture and history. And yes- Europe itself were the target of attacks -religious and otherwise. Of course, the facts that there are so many states in Europe attests to the fact that the attacks and couterattacks were viscious and never really settled anything.

    To my “lens,” this only strengthens my point though that while human history is often violent, that violence does not make colonization as we witnessed since 1492 to be just another normal chapter of that violent history. Ergo, just because you can find chapters of Chinese history to be violent (even intolerant) does not mean that China is just another colonizer like the European powers.

    Now – one thing I do wonder about is whether Russia is a colonizer in the Far East? I need to think more about that and will reserve my formal answer in my colonization post.

  50. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 16:42 | #50

    @Ray I missed typed the name, it should be haijun, but yes you are right on that matter.

    #1 I never said Senkaku/Diaoyu was legitimately Japanese, I was just using its as a counter example. Frankly I dont think PRC or Japan have a stronger or weaker claim.

    #2: You misunderstand my review of Chinese expansionist behavior; it is not to try to beat down China but simply to demonstrate that China is just as capable as the West in behaving with imperialist hubris. Has China always been a benevolent state, never conquering and taking the lands of other? That would be a first in human history.

    #3: As for Indonesia, I have lived there, I am very well aware that it like almost every modern state is an amalgamation of people with Java being the dominate center of power that over took others. Again you seem to misunderstand the purpose of my exercise which is not to damn China and excuse others but to illustrate how past Chinese behavior impact modern geopolitics.

    #4 if you have more info on Zheng He’s invasion of Sri Lanka please share. Here is one source from the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore: http://www.ari.nus.edu.sg/docs/wps/wps04_031.pdf

  51. February 2nd, 2012 at 16:46 | #51

    @Haikun
    Your understanding of world history is pathetic at best. Ming China never intended on colonization because it was already too rich to require additional territory. On top of that the fleet expedition was always condemned by the mandarin class who felt it was a waste of money. The Ming, Qing tribute system was the biggest joke in the annals of world history. The reality was that China would give easily ten times the value of the tributes back to the local rulers. That’s why so many states want to have a tribute relationship with China! And during the French invasion of Vietnam and Japanese invasion of Korea, the very weak Qing still send troops under this obligation, lest so you forget.

    China’s historical expansion when the Han majority is in charge is always limited to traditional Han populated territory. It is the minority like the Tibetan, Mongol, Man etc which launched invasion of China that eventually incorporated those minority territory into China. I’ll tell you this, if the Japanese is able to conquer China, Japan would become part of China, not the other way round. It is precisely this reason China was able to stabalize and stay in one piece since Qin. Contrast that to all empires build by outward expansion like the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman, Yuan, Portugal, Span and UK. Of course Yuan rules overseas collapse after only 100yrs. There’s no surprise here because all external expansion will eventually failed being replaced by localism. This is the cycle of history.

    I have to say again, you are either dishonest or stupid when you chose and selected very narrowed points of history to peddle your agenda. If you want to use history, state the complete pictures.
    No, by turning back from colonizing or invading its smaller neighbour, China did not miss any opportunity. Your argument is that because a certain lady is eventually being raped by someone, China should have go ahead and do it. That’s somehow your demented argument. The European domination of human history is 500 yrs at best out of 5000 yrs of human civilization development.

    Globalization does not equate to European colonization. The initial European colonial pioneers like Portugal and Spain passed out from over extension by the 1700s, barely two hundred yrs.

  52. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 17:09 | #52

    @Allen I concur that European colonialism is unique in its geographic breadth and the fact that it ushered in the modern era of globalization (and Westaphalian state system yada yada). However at its base motivations (to expand the empire, gain material benefits, assert supremacy over ones neighbors) is it really so different? Do you think Mongols (an East Asian people) the largest empire in history stopped just because they felt like it? No of course not; they encountered imperial overreach (America can tell you a thing or two about this!), problems with communication and imperial management, etc. Same with Alexander the Great, same with the Islamic expansion whether Turks, Moors, or the Mughal Empire. Same with China trying to expand into Mongolia,modern day Xinjiang, Tibet et al. Limited resources and technological shortcomings are the main factors that prevented globalization pre-1492. But Europeans, honing their skills fighting each other, made technological leaps in bounds in navigation (compass and star based nav), transportation (blue water ships), and warfare (highly organized command structures coupled with firearms and body armor) which allowed them to expand in such an unprecedented manner… their behavior was not unprecedented, but the scope of their activity was.

    BTW, I notice that there is a particular tendency among Chinese and especially mainland Chinese to view the world through the lens of East & West. Elsewhere in Asia this is less common. I believe the CCP is heavily invested in this false dichotomy because it is politically expedient, but I think it serves to strong limit the ability of Chinese people to understand international politics. But that is something for another day perhaps

  53. February 2nd, 2012 at 17:23 | #53

    @Haikun
    Well, there’s no denying that the Ottoman try to expand into Europe. But you are defending Spain/Portugese behavior which enslaved or wiped out whole tribe of people. You are right in that the Iberian peninsula was at the forefront of fighting the Islamic invasion. Their fight for not coming under foreign domination is noble. It is also because of this threat (the Ottoman empire is many times more powerful than the Iberians) that they improvise military tactics, military hardware, naval force to counter a superior enemy. Modern military organization can be traced directly to “Spanish” innovation then. However, what they eventually did was wrong!

    Nobody is defending the Yuan or Ottoman invasions here but you are trying to defend European’s invasion which in many ways are more absolute. I think you are the one who has a problem here. Why did you left out the fact that Constantinople was weaken by the sacking of the crusaders! What I am seeing is your continual justification of European colonialism and equating Chinese to them! For the past 500 yrs China did not practice colonialism as practiced by the European! I have refuted every examples you have make out (the only exception is the Yuan dynasty but that was 700 yrs ago). Like I have said by adopting Confucianism, all wars and invasions are vilified in the court. China does not have a hegemonic policy as you stated. The reason is simple, if both sides claim the same territory, only one side is hegemonic? Is Australia hegemonic against Timor Laste? Is Indonesia hegemonic against Malaysia? Is UK being hegemonic against Argentina? So instead of pretending to be fair you have already taken side before examining the basis of each claim.

    For me, I feel all claimants have their reason to forward their claim. Canada/US/Russia have disputes too. If I say Russian or US’s claim is hegemonic, I am not being objective. Even Denmark, Norway, Sweden have territorial differences. What I have problem with is the language the western mass media used and perpetuated by you. You keep on saying that China is bullying the other claimants while conveniently forgetting that Chinese fishermen being harassed, hurt or arrested too! The PRC and ROC both have their nationals to take care of. Same with all the other claimants. I feel each claimant should decide which policy to pursue or settle the claim.

    However, some outside countries pretend that they are doing it for the sake of being objective and fair. Imagine China backing the claim of certain party in the South Atlantic, Arctic. This would only worsen the situation. Does putting a foot in another dispute make China objective and fair?
    Modern day economic, political system is a legacy of European colonialism. The system they have set up help them plundered the other continents until this very day.

  54. February 2nd, 2012 at 17:32 | #54

    BTW, I notice that there is a particular tendency among Chinese and especially mainland Chinese to view the world through the lens of East & West. Elsewhere in Asia this is less common. I believe the CCP is heavily invested in this false dichotomy because it is politically expedient, but I think it serves to strong limit the ability of Chinese people to understand international politics. But that is something for another day perhaps.

    Anybody care to guess what he is trying to say?

  55. February 2nd, 2012 at 17:38 | #55

    Same with China trying to expand into Mongolia,modern day Xinjiang, Tibet et al.

    Would it make sense if someone say, UK is trying to expand into England; USA is expanding into New York?

    Can anybody see the hypocrisy of this fellow?

  56. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 17:47 | #56

    @Ray I think you misunderstand what I was endeavoring to convey, something which is especially important with regards to China which often views geo-politics and history through the false dichotomy of “East vs West”. What I was trying to convey is nuance which the false East West dichotomy, a dichotomy which is fundamental in shaping the world view of 1.3 billion Chinese, cannot capture. Do you think the fact that the Spaniards and Portuguese spent 700 years under the colonial yoke of the Moors who introduced them to African slaves and shaped their views on racial hierarchy, is totally irrelevant? I’m not insinuating the the Spanish have no agency and that they were preordained all due to the Moors to mistreat millions of Africans by instigating the trans Atlantic slave trade. NO, that is a completely false assertion! What I am saying is that your epidermal understanding of the phenomena of “colonialism” contributes to your inability to understand the reality of international politics. China’s invasion and colonization of Tibet is condemnable, the US colonization of the Philippines in condemnable, the Turks invasion and genocide against Armenians is condemnable. But if you start trying to rationalize these things and portray it as a one sided phenomena by the West against all others (which PRC media excels at) then naturally I will confront you.

    The broader picture I am trying to paint is one of human fallibility, one of a common human ability to oppress and mistreat his fellow man. This applies as much to the USA, UK, and Russia as it does to the PRC, Japan, Thailand, or India. I am challenging your East-West world view because this is the most corrosive cancer afflicting Chinese relations with foreign states.

  57. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 17:53 | #57

    Ray :
    Same with China trying to expand into Mongolia,modern day Xinjiang, Tibet et al.
    Would it make sense if someone say, UK is trying to expand into England; USA is expanding into New York?
    Can anybody see the hypocrisy of this fellow?

    What hypocrisy? Are you saying that Xinjiang Tibet, Mongolia, Yunnan, Liaoning, et al were Chinese territory since “ancient times”, oh boy congratulations you can chant falsehoods from Xinhua ad-nausum (don’t put that on your resume!). The fact of the matter is that more than 50% of the territory which constitutes the PRC today is land that was/is inhabited by non-Han people who were once independent. China has much in common with the US; it took and settled the lands of other people.

  58. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 18:02 | #58

    Ray :
    BTW, I notice that there is a particular tendency among Chinese and especially mainland Chinese to view the world through the lens of East & West. Elsewhere in Asia this is less common. I believe the CCP is heavily invested in this false dichotomy because it is politically expedient, but I think it serves to strong limit the ability of Chinese people to understand international politics. But that is something for another day perhaps.
    Anybody care to guess what he is trying to say?

    What I am saying is that the CCP is heavily invested in modern day “Orientalism” or in this case “Occidentalism”. There is a political incentive to construct a “Western” other, an aggressive and imperialist other to be contrasted with the benevolent and harmonious (haha choke) Heavenly Kingdom (who of course represents all Asians except those running dogs of the West such as Vietnam or the Philippines or whoever is not obeying PRC directives recently). In Chinese media and talking with PRC academics you hear about the socalled West so much it has become passé. Look at how much you use the “West”. care to define the West for me? What are its traits in your mind? How many of these preconceptions did you absorb from PRC media? How many of them are relevant and even true?

  59. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 18:04 | #59

    You often talk about racism in the US, but to be sure Han Chinese are very capable in this field as well. Or is this Western media propaganda? (yes I am employing classic diversionary tactics!)

    “Racial profiling of Tibetans and Uyghurs at Beijing hotels and bathhouses?
    This notice put up by the Huayuan Road Public Security Bureau in Beijing’s Haidian district requests owners of hotels and bathhouses in the neighbourhood to ensure that all Tibetan and Uyghur guests are reported to them. Business owners are also to ensure thorough identification and verification of the ethnicity of all guests, according to the notice.
    Here in Shanghai, we saw the same sort of notice put up at Tomorrow’s Square (the building that houses the JW Mariott) during the Olympic season in 2008. That notice requested “anyone that can be identified as Tibetans, Xinjiang Uyghurs and Qinghai Hualong Hui’s” to be reported to the security department.
    In 2009, we told you about a 27-year-old Uyghur photographer and media student by the name of Kuerbanjiang Saimaiti who arrived in Shenyang from Xinjiang, only to find that no hotel or internet cafe was willing to let him stay overnight just because he was Uyghur.
    And the government continues to wonder why Tibetans and Uyghurs don’t feel more Chinese??? SRSLY!”

  60. February 2nd, 2012 at 18:28 | #60

    @Haikun
    No, I understand your fallacy perfectly well. Modern China never promotes an “East vs West” mentality. The Chinese majority always talk about peaceful co-existence. It is you who have this mentality judging from all your posts. Your current one even try to pass the blame of European African slave trade as a legacy of the Moors.

    Tibet, like Gansu, Fujian etc is part of China. The Chinese did not colonize Tibet the way European did to North and South America or Australia, NZ. Look at the contrast below.
    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011/07/tibetan-vs-first-nations/

    I am challenging you to put forth evidence that that China sink to the level of the European colonists in the last 500 yrs (exploitation of land, eradication of local religion, culture, language etc, replacement of locals by settlers). We can go all the way back to the time of Christ if you want to. I never for once said it is ok for the Roman, Persian, Yuan, Ottoman etc did by invading and colonizing others. The Chinese empire is too rich to necessitate external expansion unless one of the border states launched an invasion first. The Han would be happy staying behind the great wall but the Hun would not stop invading so eventually the Han has to pacify the areas. However, no genocide or slavery happened. The Han was happy to allow self rule to friendly rulers. Same thing happened to the Tibetan during the Tang dynasty. It is always the smaller state which invaded first, demanded monetary compensation. The Han/Tang would try to bring them close by marrying princesses to them (sometimes they demanded that). Nevertheless, the smaller kingdoms would still invade whenever they have an aggressive ruler. Eventually the Han/Tang would have to absorb the smaller state to avoid continual fighting much like the Qin absorbed all the Chinese states.

    China continual intervention of Vietnamese and Korean kingdoms was mostly because of this reason too, to install a friendly ruler. Maybe that is still an invasion but its intention is to prevent border attack. Sometimes it is also because of succession dispute and China has to step in to. It is never an outright domination and exploitation exercise. Of course China would get burned when it backed the wrong sides (which happened many times). However, the nature of the war is very different. Although I must agree that the Yuan model is the worst but like I have said no sane Chinese defend the Yuan’s action.

    Of course I am not saying the Chinese are saints. There are bones in everybody’s closets. Most of the Chinese actually don’t have the “we vs them” mentality hence I have pointed out for over two thousand years I have not seen an example of Chinese (except the Yuan) ganging up and enslaving or destroying many nations of people. Chinese have their own problems, fallacies etc but that’s another story all together. Frankly, if you look at the Indian civilization (which in some way is similar to Chinese one). Outward expansion by invasion or colonization is actually very rare. Both India and China are too large and too rich already! Both have grown by leaps and bound by being invaded!

  61. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 18:28 | #61

    @silentchinese@gmail.com I just want to be clear: is or is not the Yuan Dynasty considered part of China’s historical lineage? Or is Chinese history only Han Chinese? Can you have your cake and eat it too?

  62. February 2nd, 2012 at 18:37 | #62

    @Haikun

    I still think there is a huge difference between “colonialism” of the last 500 years and traditional warfare / empire building. You may think it’s merely a technological / fighting difference. Maybe. But even if the intent were not any more evil, the results were. The fact still stands that entire peoples have been lost – and there has been huge suffering of a scale unknown before in history that “normal” warfare / interaction doesn’t capture. To those who possess gigantic power comes gigantic responsibilities. So if I damn the West only because it has more power, it is only fair.

    As for the East-West dichotomy, maybe we simply have a different world view. One reason you may not see that as often in other colonized territories may be that most of the world has been colonized and defeated in a way that China has not. China, in many ways, has retained its identity and independence that even big powers like India cannot claim (India is a product of colonization (including its system of governance), whatever it may think of colonization; most of Latin America still has the white minority in control of politics and economies ). There have been only a few truly big independent centers of powers in history. The West is currently definitely one. China has traditionally been one and will fast become another. I am talking about civilizational power centers that something like Indonesia or Malaysia or Vietnam or a Korea or a Japan or even an Ottoman Empire cannot claim.

  63. February 2nd, 2012 at 18:49 | #63

    @Haikun
    What hypocrisy? Are you saying that Xinjiang Tibet, Mongolia, Yunnan, Liaoning, et al were Chinese territory since “ancient times”, oh boy congratulations you can chant falsehoods from Xinhua ad-nausum (don’t put that on your resume!). The fact of the matter is that more than 50% of the territory which constitutes the PRC today is land that was/is inhabited by non-Han people who were once independent. China has much in common with the US; it took and settled the lands of other people.

    This is where your propaganda failed you. Xinjiang used to be known only as Western region from Han dynasty until 1700s.
    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011/07/on-chinese-language-dialects-and-chinese-people/
    The people from those regions immigrated into China’s central plain. They married and settled throughout the ages. To speak plainly in case you don’t understand. This is what happened: Hu moved into central China during this time http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteen_Kingdoms. (many other groups where to do that throughout history). Hu married a Han Chinese woman. They have many children. So one day, one of this children decided to move back. This is considered invasion and colonization?

    Come on, Chinese people with last name like Dugu, Muyong, Zhangsun, Yiuchi, Yuwen, Linghu have more claim to Xinjiang than Uighur. Of course the Uighur are Chinese citizens too. They are not discriminated by law, ever! A few bad apple might practiced racism but to use isolated cases to represent the norm is again intellectual dishonesty. During the Yuan dynasty hundred of thousands of Mongolians married and settled into China. You even have Chinese like this who chose to defend the Northern Yuan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wang_Baobao

    Please, don’t try to paint it as a racial thing. The Chinese by tradition are very pragmatic, not really burdened by the concept of race, ethnicity etc. In fact those words only come into existence in the 19th century by translation. Most Uighur Chinese are also not extremist or racist as you try to paint them.
    Like I have said, China is not like the US. Unless, a bunch of first nation people also get to move to Europe and settle there, or a bunch of Chinese minorities got wiped out in concentration camps both situation are not the same.

  64. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 19:18 | #64

    @Ray

    Ray :
    @Haikun
    I am challenging you to put forth evidence that that China sink to the level of the European colonists in the last 500 yrs (exploitation of land, eradication of local religion, culture, language etc, replacement of locals by settlers). We can go all the way back to the time of Christ if you want to. I never for once said it is ok for the Roman, Persian, Yuan, Ottoman etc did by invading and colonizing others. The Chinese empire is too rich to necessitate external expansion unless one of the border states launched an invasion first. The Han would be happy staying behind the great wall but the Hun would not stop invading so eventually the Han has to pacify the areas. However, no genocide or slavery happened. The Han was happy to allow self rule to friendly rulers.

    Wow really?! You want to set your self up like that really? “exploitation of land, eradication of local religion, culture, language etc, replacement of locals by settlers” pretty much typifies the reality of BOTH Xinjiang and Tibet! CCP took over appointing religious leaders after invading, some freedom of religion that is (or do Tibetans get some sort of say?yea right pal!)! Replacemtent of locals by settlers is standard policy in both places yet again!!!~ In Tibet this was a major factor in the 2008 Lhasa riots (oh wait unless you think it was all a NED/CIA consipracy, in which case I have some healthy Sanlu to sell you!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinicization_of_Tibet#Migration_of_Chinese_.28Mostly_Han_and_Hui.29
    -and in Xinjiang the Han population went from 5% in 1940s to more than 40% today under the CCP policy of dillute the local inhabitants under a deluge of Han… think that might have contributed to the Urumqi riots? Not justifying but just saying.
    -http://www.cfr.org/china/uighurs-chinas-xinjiang-region/p16870#p4

    Oh wait and I forgot to mention Inner Mongolia which has all the same characteristics! Shall we get into Yunnan, Liaoning, GuangXi, Sichaun and others???? Man you are really out of touch or willfully ignorant of China (or drinking your Xinhua approved SANLU!).

    Ok you try to rationalize aggression against Vietnam and Korea (install a friendly leader, hahah, can the west use this excuse to plz!?), but I challenge you to go to those countries and spout such non-sense (I bet you havent been to either!). You think they want to end up like Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang or Tibet; part of China since ancient times? please dont make me laugh!

    Western colonialism and Chinese arent the same so lets just coin a new term colonialism with Chinese characteristics. But at the end of the day China is not much different than the Western powers you like to rail against. Cheers.

    (excuse grammar and spelling errors)

  65. February 2nd, 2012 at 19:55 | #65

    @Haikun

    Xinjiang is a crossroad. The territory is no more Uighur than Han Chinese (or whatever other race you want to focus your eye on). FYI though, the Han Chinese were there much earlier than Uighurs. There are other ethnicities involved. See this comment I left some time ago.

    And no – I don’t consider present day movement of people within China to be colonization of its own territories. It’s an effect of modernity (people travel more easily) – not any effort to destroy people.

    Since you brought up Tibet several times, please see following and point to any objective indicators of colonization:

    http://www.international.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=2732

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Sautman-2006-Colonialism-Genocide-Tibet.pdf

    Aggression against Vietnam and Korea – hmm, I guess everything is about colonization for you – even conventional skirmishes. I guess WWII is about the Allies colonizing the Axis.

    Ok…

    Please read up on history (including modern ones). My most recent read includes Kissinger’s new book which has some good chapters on China’s involvements in Korea and Vietnam. You can start there.

    Finally, Vietnam and Korea has their own nationalist agendas. They – being so similar to China – will do their best to distinguish their story from that of the Chinese. It’s like what I see in Taiwan – some going full length to revise history for contemporary political purposes.

    Ok – you may accuse that of any polity – revising history to suit their current political circumstance. I guess I can agree that history is a tool of politics. No surprise there again…

  66. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 20:33 | #66

    @Ray yes I’m sure Xinjiang and Mongolia were long Han territory which is why Han people made up less than 5% of the population pre-1949… if you want to revise history you are dong a poor job! @Allen is right; history is a political tool, expecially in the hands of Han nationalists who try to rationalize their colonization of non-Han lands. Xinjiang might have been a cross roads of people but its long term inhabitants definitely weren’t Han Chinese, to assert otherwise is intellectually dishonest and an exersise in blatant historical revisionism. The fact is China invaded non-Han lands and migration of Han people has since eroded the demographics of the ethnic minorities who were the original inhabitants. Some of this is further back in history with earlier episodes of Han colonialism (ie Yunnan, Heilongjiang, Liaoning) while the more recent invasion and occupation of non-Han lands such as Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia were accompanied by a proactive government policy to encourage Han migration in order to subdue the local ethnics. You can try to rationalize this as different from western colonialism (ie its “internal migration”) all you want, it doesnt change reality. So white migration to Hawaii, California and the west was also the same! Hey that just reinforces my view of the commonalities between China and the USA on this issue! BTW most first nation people in the Americas died not of a active campaign of extermination or “concentration camps” (all though many were sent to “reservations) they died of diseases which they had not previously been exposed to, kind of like how 1/3 of Europeans died from the plague which came from China.

    As for race, I can say in all honesty that China has far more issues with race than any Western country I have lived in. To China’s credit, it is not as bad as Korea which is tops in East Asia as far as racism goes. Least racist in East Asia are Philippines and Thailand… perhaps Indonesia. China though, common I wasn’t born yesterday!

  67. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 20:40 | #67

    @Allen You seem very uncomfortable with the idea that China could be a colonial state… you seem deeply attached to the idea that colonialism is a Western phenomena but again I would challenge you on this. China may have expanded in ways different from the West but in many ways the geographic body of modern China is the result of what is essentially colonialism. I think it is different from European colonialism and more similar to American colonialism/expansionism. But at the end of the day it seems to be an exercise in semantics which is detached from the reality of history.

    Personally I dont see the USA or China as a colonial powers. They expanded and consolidated with their ethnic majorities (ie Anglos/Hans) the territories they took over. But both most certainly took territories which they did not originally inhabit.

  68. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 20:46 | #68

    @Allen Finally on the issue of Vietnam and Korea, I think they have good reason for differentiating themselves from China; they have seen the fate of other kingdoms or societies that got too close to China and ended up urspered and subjugated! Tibet, Xinjiang, and inner Mongolia hold powerful lessons for China’s near neighbors; none want the fate of suddenly becoming a part of China “since ancient time/time immemorial”! The only reason there is a free Mongolian state today is because the USSR wanted a buffer state, otherwise Mongolians would all be subjegated to the CCP. In fact there are Han nationalists today who still assert that Mongolia, Vietnam and Korea are rightful Chinese territory due to the history of the tribute system. Can you blame them for being wary of the PRC? Certainly they dont have that worry with the USA.

  69. pug_ster
    February 2nd, 2012 at 21:24 | #69

    @Haikun

    As for race, I can say in all honesty that China has far more issues with race than any Western country I have lived in. To China’s credit, it is not as bad as Korea which is tops in East Asia as far as racism goes. Least racist in East Asia are Philippines and Thailand… perhaps Indonesia. China though, common I wasn’t born yesterday!

    Maybe you are born yesterday and probably you are not Chinese. Sinophobia is well entrenched in many Southeastern countries. The May 13, 1969 in Malaysia and Jakarta riots in 1998, Indonesian killings in 1965 and 1966. Dozens of Chinese are kidnapped in the Philippines every year and probably killed, not to mention the April 2010 kidnapping and killing of Hong Kong tourists. In Thailand, Sinophobia is not the main problem, rather are Muslims. In the last 5 years thousands were killed in violence in the south of Thailand.

    As bad as racism in South Korea and Japan goes, at least you don’t have to worry about losing your life because you are Chinese.

  70. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 21:52 | #70

    @pug_ster wait only the white man is capable of racism, what are you doing challenging the bedrock foundation of the PRC “East-West” false dichotomy! Yea I know many South East Asians despise ethnic Chinese (particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, but also to some extent in Burma and RP, of course Vietnam already expelled most of the ethnic Chinese that lived there). But Chinese aren;t racist too? I guess I was born yesterday haaha! yea right, look how Chinese talk or look at the so called African brothers! Every hear Chinese talk about South East Asians? all monkey this and monkey that! Koreans= damn bangzi, Japanese=midget devils! Westerners who take our Chinese women? Well just ask your resident racist Wayne the keyboard bachelor who watches in envy when a white man walks by with a Chinese woman but can only bite his stubby lip!

    But dont feel bad Westerns also face some racist crap in South East Asia but at least we dont have to worry about getting mob killed… that is true. Do you know why Indonesians hate ethnic Chinese? Not a loaded question, just asking.

  71. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 21:54 | #71

    @pug_ster aren’t you “Frank” the ethnic Chinese guy in Malaysia? I know you got multiple handles 😛 if so you are just a plain hater all around.

  72. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 22:01 | #72

    I love this gif: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Territories_of_Dynasties_in_China.gif

    No China wasn;t a colonial or expansionary state, luckily it was surrounded by territories that werent inhabited by other peoples! Thus the expansion you see was totally without aggression nor displacement of people who might have been inhabiting those lands since “ancient times”!

  73. pug_ster
    February 2nd, 2012 at 22:03 | #73

    @Haikun

    Gees, from talking about your BS filled rants to talking BS strawman rants about me. Okay Troll, I will respond your rants about me. Let’s see, where did I say that only white men are capable of racism? Where did I say that Chinese are not also racists? And no, I am not Frank and I have never been to Malaysia, dumbass.

  74. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 22:05 | #74

    半殖民地 (semi colony) might be a good term for the status of Tibet, Xinjiang, and Mongolia in recent history before they were invaded by the PRC. of course now they entered the (满?)殖民地 status, I am not sure they should be classified as wholly incorporated yet since they all possess active resistance movements.

  75. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 22:06 | #75

    @pug_ster I was being sarcastic! Jeewhiz, rant much pustar?! Somebody need a hug?

  76. February 2nd, 2012 at 22:34 | #76

    Haikun :
    @Allen China may have expanded in ways different from the West but in many ways the geographic body of modern China is the result of what is essentially colonialism. I think it is different from European colonialism and more similar to American colonialism/expansionism. But at the end of the day it seems to be an exercise in semantics which is detached from the reality of history.

    About 2100 years ago, after Hanwu defeated some Xiongnu tribes who had distinctive culture and language, among those who surrendered to Han there was a Xiongnu prince named 金日蝉 (Jin). He became an official in the Han Court and gradually got promoted to the very top. Before Hanwu died, Hanwu even asked him to become the sole chancellor for the next young emperor. Concerning about the backslash among Han officials, Jin asked for another Han official to be a co-chancellor.

    The expansion of Han people from a small proto-Han tribe in the central China proper to a billion+ people spanning across a large area, is nothing compared to the European Colonialism. To compare the two, you either are historically ignorant, or morally bankrupt. Sure there were wars and many were brutal, but in the end, often very soon, the surrendered tribes could sinify and become Han people. The sinification process was sometimes self-sinification involved tribes that weren’t Han to begin with, e.g. Liao, Jin.

    Sure there were some differences between the British/French Colonialism and the Spanish/Portuguese Colonialism, with the former often legally disallowed interracial marriages, and the latter allowed, which quite possibly had something to do with the Moorish Iberian history. In the Spanish/Portuguese colonies, white/black mixed children were called mixed, and in the British/French colonies, white/black mixed children were called black. Racial identity is quite different in Latin America. For instance, many Latin Americans who would be called blacks in the US/Canada actually call themselves Spanish. But regardless, they were nothing like the Han expansion in history — not even close!

    After PRC invaded/reclaimed Tibet, Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme even went to Beijing and became a Vice Chairman. Did something similar ever occur in the European Colonialism history?

  77. February 2nd, 2012 at 22:45 | #77

    Haikun :
    I’m sure Xinjiang and Mongolia were long Han territory which is why Han people made up less than 5% of the population pre-1949.

    Actually long before 1949 (at least 100 years further back), Hans was already the majority in Inner Mongolia. Percentage-wise there are certainly more Hans now in Xinjiang than in 1949. However, the bulk of the influx of Hans went to Northern Xinjiang cities that were originally built by Hans, or to some no man’s land. There are some disputes that the Hans migrated to no man’s land are competing fresh water with other ethnics. However, this is nothing like the Trails of Tears.

  78. pug_ster
    February 2nd, 2012 at 22:46 | #78

    @Haikun

    And I take it that the rest of your hate filled rants as sarcasm too?

  79. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 22:51 | #79

    @jxie congratulations on your ability to come up with innuendos and straight up LIES.

    “The expansion of Han people from a small proto-Han tribe in the central China proper to a billion+ people spanning across a large area, is nothing compared to the European Colonialism. To compare the two, you either are historically ignorant, or morally bankrupt.”

    Yea, keep up your reactionary delusions. Han people never inhabited Tibet, Xinjiang nor Mongolia until relatively recently (and these three areas make up some 50% of current PRC landmass), and when they did move in it with a gun pointed at the locals. Your pathetic attempts to rationalize the outright invasion of these formerly independent states rings as hollow as those put forward by European colonialist powers and just demonstrates your own inability to understand the history of China. Morally bankrupt is accusing the west of imperialism while trying to rationalize Han Chinese behavior that for all intents and purposes the same; Han Chinese invaded and took land that wasnt theirs, they then proceeded for initiate a massive immigration drive to dilute the demographics of the native inhabitants, exploit their resources, and subject the native people politically. You wrap this in the nice semantics of “Sinicization”, oh how pathetic! Just as other colonial people were “Westernized”! You speak the language of colonialism without even realizing what you are doing!

    BTW the president of the USA is an African American, where in the PRC is there any high level ethnic minority people? In the poli-buro, standing committee? You even have any women serving in that one party dictatorship? Wow take you empty moral posturing elsewhere cause you FAILED! And I guess you have a Lhassa 2008 and Urumqi 2009 and Inner Mongolia unrest 2011 because everything is going splendly with the minorities who have supposedly been a part of China since “ancient times” (oh that phrase again –vomit—)

  80. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 22:53 | #80

    @pug_ster don’t mistake truth for hate, cause only racists and liars hate truth. *your category is clearly demonstrated, and PS cant you do a little better than wanna be snarky one liners. Go to lunch already

  81. Haikun
    February 2nd, 2012 at 23:01 | #81

    @jxie “this is nothing like the Trails of Tears.” oh I’m glad you appointed yourself spokesman for the Uiygur ppl, I’m sure they heartily approve! I mean they must have been so happy to be invaded and their land appropriated, religion repressed by the merry bands of Maoists! I mean they must have welcomed the influx of foreigners who previously made up a meager >5% and now dominate them economically so that their best economic proposition is to move to Beijing and serve as street side kaorou vendor! Lets all do the Uiygur happy dance!

    Also you know there are many Mongolians who want their land back.

  82. February 2nd, 2012 at 23:02 | #82

    @Haikun

    If you are capable of writing a less emotional comment that is not fact-free, maybe we can have an intelligent debate. You are welcome to try again. Look, I am bored.

    Obama is actually a European/East African mixed.. Calling him an African American actually reveals quite a bit of the American history — but that’s another story.

  83. zack
    February 2nd, 2012 at 23:07 | #83

    @Haikun
    remind me again why China ought to care what you think?

  84. February 2nd, 2012 at 23:13 | #84

    @Haikun

    I am probably wasting my time typing this…

    Xinjiang is an artificial construct, started as a Qing province. The old saying in Ming/Qing was 北准南回, which meant there were Zhun people (Mongolian tribe) to the North, and Hui people to the South. Well Hui was a basket of Islamic groups, including Kazakhs and a few subgroups eventually collectively being called Uighurs. Uighurs and Kazakhs are still by far the majority in the land (Southwestern Xinjiang) they have lived in for the last several hundred years.

  85. February 2nd, 2012 at 23:36 | #85

    Been typing too fast 🙂 and missed the Edit window. In message 82, 2nd paragraph, it should be:

    “Obama is actually a European/East African mixed.”

    Almost all black slaves that went to Americas were from West Africa.

  86. February 2nd, 2012 at 23:39 | #86

    @jxie

    It’s fixed.

    We’ll work hard to bring that back. Currently we have no idea why it’s not working… Some kind of conflicts between plugins is my best guess…

  87. Haikun
    February 3rd, 2012 at 07:21 | #87

    @jxie I’ll just say this much; your rationalizing the appropriation of non-Han lands by a political entity composed mainly of Han people reads like Western Orientalist/Colonialist thought verbatim. Sorry if you perceived my sarcasm as being emotional. I won’t get into the semantics of race in America, that is a whole different story. Cheers.

  88. February 3rd, 2012 at 08:41 | #88

    @Haikun
    1. yes I’m sure Xinjiang and Mongolia were long Han territory which is why Han people made up less than 5% of the population pre-1949… if you want to revise history you are dong a poor job! @Allen is right; history is a political tool, expecially in the hands of Han nationalists who try to rationalize their colonization of non-Han lands. Xinjiang might have been a cross roads of people but its long term inhabitants definitely weren’t Han Chinese, to assert otherwise is intellectually dishonest and an exersise in blatant historical revisionism. The fact is China invaded non-Han lands and migration of Han people has since eroded the demographics of the ethnic minorities who were the original inhabitants. Some of this is further back in history with earlier episodes of Han colonialism (ie Yunnan, Heilongjiang, Liaoning) while the more recent invasion and occupation of non-Han lands such as Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia were accompanied by a proactive government policy to encourage Han migration in order to subdue the local ethnics. You can try to rationalize this as different from western colonialism (ie its “internal migration”) all you want, it doesnt change reality. So white migration to Hawaii, California and the west was also the same! Hey that just reinforces my view of the commonalities between China and the USA on this issue! BTW most first nation people in the Americas died not of a active campaign of extermination or “concentration camps” (all though many were sent to “reservations) they died of diseases which they had not previously been exposed to, kind of like how 1/3 of Europeans died from the plague which came from China.

    You see, this contrast greatly with US, Canada, Australia, NZ and S.America where the earlier settlers are now a minority! Like I have said many time China didn’t wipe out its own minority like you do. The fact is the minority moved into the central plain or the East and South which is a lot more fertile. You pathetically tried to ignored what happened since the Xingnu and the Hu which moved into China thus linking them to China. People congregate mostly on more fertile areas. That’s why remote area like Montana has a lot less population than NY or CA. Don’t you think your purported understanding of human migration is pathetic?

    Another reality on the ground is that the culture, language, religion of the minority are not changed even for thousands of years. This again contrast greatly to what happened in the US!
    Can everybody see how desperate this guy get when he try to blame the plague is from China killing both 1/3 European and most of the native American?

    As for race, I can say in all honesty that China has far more issues with race than any Western country I have lived in. To China’s credit, it is not as bad as Korea which is tops in East Asia as far as racism goes. Least racist in East Asia are Philippines and Thailand… perhaps Indonesia. China though, common I wasn’t born yesterday!

    That’s again only your opinion. If you look at crimes rate/ poverty rate of the minority the western countries compare to China you can get the reality. What you have here is your fantasy where the Chinese and now the Korean are racist!

    Opinion is worthless if not back up by fact. The majority of those incarcerated in prisons from western Europe to US are the minority despite making up only the minority in population. The truth is the minority has so much less opportunity, education so they are penalized by the system.

  89. February 3rd, 2012 at 08:52 | #89

    @Haikun
    Personally I dont see the USA or China as a colonial powers. They expanded and consolidated with their ethnic majorities (ie Anglos/Hans) the territories they took over. But both most certainly took territories which they did not originally inhabit.

    By his sick logic the wiping out whole nations of people is the same as mutual inter-marrying, trade etc which brought eventual integration. Of course the Tibetan Johkong temple (the oldest in Tibet) being founded by a Han Chinese is also lost on him.

  90. February 3rd, 2012 at 08:53 | #90

    @Haikun
    Explain to me why the ROC territorial claim is even bigger than the ROC?

    Stop your bs in name calling.

  91. February 3rd, 2012 at 09:04 | #91

    @Haikun
    Yea, keep up your reactionary delusions. Han people never inhabited Tibet, Xinjiang nor Mongolia until relatively recently (and these three areas make up some 50% of current PRC landmass), and when they did move in it with a gun pointed at the locals. Your pathetic attempts to rationalize the outright invasion of these formerly independent states rings as hollow as those put forward by European colonialist powers and just demonstrates your own inability to understand the history of China. Morally bankrupt is accusing the west of imperialism while trying to rationalize Han Chinese behavior that for all intents and purposes the same; Han Chinese invaded and took land that wasnt theirs, they then proceeded for initiate a massive immigration drive to dilute the demographics of the native inhabitants, exploit their resources, and subject the native people politically. You wrap this in the nice semantics of “Sinicization”, oh how pathetic! Just as other colonial people were “Westernized”! You speak the language of colonialism without even realizing what you are doing!

    Of course the Tibetan Jokhang temple (the oldest in Tibet) being founded by a Han Chinese is also lost on him. Zhang Qian and Ban Chao going all the way to Persia is lost on him as well. Li Bai was also born in Central Asia. Tang forces under the Korean general http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Xianzhi travelled all the way to the Pamir. So what you have just said is nothing but your pathetic lies. You are just writing your own version of history.

    BTW the president of the USA is an African American, where in the PRC is there any high level ethnic minority people? In the poli-buro, standing committee? You even have any women serving in that one party dictatorship? Wow take you empty moral posturing elsewhere cause you FAILED! And I guess you have a Lhassa 2008 and Urumqi 2009 and Inner Mongolia unrest 2011 because everything is going splendly with the minorities who have supposedly been a part of China since “ancient times” (oh that phrase again –vomit—)

    Look up on Chinese dynasties, around 1/4 are founded by minorities. Sigh.

    Now I know why 911 and the Fort Hood shooting happened. It is all the US’s fault by your logic.

    See what happened when your own government poisoned your own mind purposely. I have great sympathy for you. You might be one of the descendents of the victims.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment

  92. February 3rd, 2012 at 09:16 | #92

    Just for infortainment purpose. A frigate (1108) of the ROC navy was named after Ban Chao.

  93. true blue sea
    February 3rd, 2012 at 14:08 | #93

    Modern day China is a federation of 5 major ethnic groups and many minor ethnic groups.
    Vietnam and Korea were parts of commonwealth of China.
    There is no like American Indians genocide in China.
    There is no like imported black slaves from Africa in China.
    There is one party system but the president has to step down every 5 to 10 years.
    China is currently winning the world economic war.
    Vietnam and Philippine are major trading partners of China today. Is not it an irony?

  94. true blue sea
    February 3rd, 2012 at 14:31 | #94

    Modern day China is more or less said and done.
    U.S. European Americans will not give the land back to American Indians.
    U.S. European Americans will not let African Americans to take land and to declare independent from the Union.
    U.S. European Americans will not give the southwestern states (CA, AZ, NM, TX) back to Mexico.
    U.S. European Americans will not give Hawaii back to native Hawaiians.
    U.S. European Americans will not give Alaska back to native Eskimos.
    U.S. European Americans are kept calling free this people and free that people?
    All in all, are people running around a circle and yelling hallow slogans?

  95. Wahaha
    February 3rd, 2012 at 20:52 | #95

    Why did you guys waste time with a Falun ?

    They cut their belly open searching for wheels, for god sake.

  96. zack
    February 4th, 2012 at 00:00 | #96

    @Wahaha
    applying lessons from the European christian method of doing things; in order to exterminate a religion, you must replace it with another as the Spanish conquistadores destroyed the aztecs and mayans and replaced it with a rather virulent strain of Catholicism. Same with the filipinos.

    what does this mean for a religion like falun dafa? falun dafa is a perversion of traditional Chinese spirituality, a cult masquerading as a traditional Chinese religion, not unlike the taiping rebellion. Naturally, scientific rationality and education is the cure and vaccine for such cult beliefs and the implementation of traditional Chinese moral codes and systems such as Confucianism and Taoism and Chan Buddhism and Chinese folk religion etc etc.

  97. Mikecheck
    February 21st, 2012 at 22:43 | #97

    @zack

    What Hindus call Buddhism? A nutty perversion of Hinduism.
    What do Jews call Christianity? A nutty perversion of Judaeism.

  98. zack
    February 22nd, 2012 at 01:21 | #98

    @Mikecheck
    and wahabbist islam is a nutty perversion of sunni islam. so what?
    we can do this all day.

    what’s your point?

  99. Mikecheck
    February 22nd, 2012 at 01:43 | #99

    It’s hard to tell by your tone but I assumed I was extending your chain of reasoning. You mentioned scientific rationality in the same paragraph as calling falun dafa a perversion of religion, and mentioned one religion replacing another, so I assumed you were taking that thought to it’s logical conclusion. I added two examples that followed that reasoning and just added the twist that everyone’s religion was once someone else’s cult.

  100. zack
    February 22nd, 2012 at 02:26 | #100

    @Mikecheck
    same shit, different smell.

    Falun dafa is a cult; how is it a cult? when converts eschew modern medicine in lieu of ‘faith healing’, it’s a harmful cultish influence; when religious leaders actively attempt to subvert secular national governments, it’s cabalistic treason. Look at how fundamentalist christianity has subverted US politics, especially with respect to science. There is an extremely strong vein of anti-science present within the US political establishment, specifically in the fields of evolutionary biology and stem cell research.

    Christianity is for all intents and purposes, a mutation of Judaism, and likewise functions as a virus intent on propagation. Such values have transplanted themselves into the Western consciousness that emphasizes missionising and loud overt advertising of one’s “faith” as opposed to reason and scientific evidence.

    Most religions, especially the most virulent and successful religions in the world today, tend to be perversions of universal human rights and scientific advancement.

  101. Mikecheck
    February 22nd, 2012 at 03:47 | #101

    You can’t tell when someone agrees with you can you? Preaching to the converted.

  102. Mikecheck
    February 22nd, 2012 at 03:53 | #102

    @true blue sea

    Just to cover two of your more hilarious points.

    “There is no like American Indians genocide in China.”

    I’m sure all of the now extinct ethnic groups and nationalities, that never had the pleasure of only being partially wiped out, might disagree.

    “There is no like imported black slaves from Africa in China.”

    True, with an enslaved peasantry why import black Africans?

  103. zack
    February 22nd, 2012 at 11:31 | #103

    @Mikecheck
    you were agreeing with me? sounds like some sort of face saving gesture on your part but if that’s what you need, go right ahead.

  104. February 22nd, 2012 at 12:08 | #104

    @Mikecheck

    hehe…

    I actually loved this comment.

    I will have to agree with you and disagree with zack here. Anyone applying rationality to religion will conclude – based on its history and thoughts – will conclude most religions as currently practiced to be perverted.

  105. Mikecheck
    February 22nd, 2012 at 16:08 | #105

    @zack

    Don’t project.

  106. February 22nd, 2012 at 23:03 | #106

    @Mikecheck
    “I’m sure all of the now extinct ethnic groups and nationalities, that never had the pleasure of only being partially wiped out, might disagree.”

    You need to be more specific. What are these now extinct ethnic groups and how were they “wiped out”?

    “True, with an enslaved peasantry why import black Africans?”
    Hyperbole. Explain who do you mean by the “peasantry” in China and how are they “enslaved”?

  107. Wayne
    February 22nd, 2012 at 23:16 | #107

    @Mikecheck

    You think slavery was abolished in the US after the civil war? Wrong.

    “…free men and women forced into industrial servitude, bound by chains, faced with subhuman living conditions and subject to physical torture. That plight was horrific. But until 1951, it was not outside the law.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/10/books/10masl.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjUF1ktxxIQ&feature=player_embedded#!

    The entire documentary is here:
    http://video.pbs.org/video/2176766758

    The use of corvee labour in the Western colonies was little better than slavery.

  108. Wayne
    February 22nd, 2012 at 23:17 | #108

    Now Mikecheck. Explain what minority groups the Han chinese ‘wiped out’?

  109. Mikecheck
    February 23rd, 2012 at 18:43 | #109

    @Wayne

    About slavery: Please reread my comment. I did not mention anything about the abolishment of slavery in the US. Are you trying to pick a fight where there is none? Next time don’t go to so much effort providing evidence for a one-way argument.

    About ethnic group: read my reply to Sigmar.

  110. Mikecheck
    February 23rd, 2012 at 18:50 | #110

    @Sigmar

    @Sigmar

    Ethnic Group Extinction:
    Did China have more or less ethnic groups or nationalities in the past than it does now? Likely, yes. Most every place in the world used to have more ethnic and linguistic groups than it does now. Using species and language evolution as models for ethnic groups, there was greater species diversity in the past and greater language diversity in the past, so there should be more ethnic group diversity in the past, right?
    When Europeans began exterminating Native Americans in the late 15th century, the Native Americans had already had many millennia to work on exterminating themselves. Numerous groups had certainly been killed off either through direct violence, isolation, or assimilation with other dominant groups.
    Since China has a longer history of war and assimilation than almost any other country on Earth then it should have exterminated the most other peoples. By the time Europeans even “discovered” the Americas China had been homogenizing itself for 4500 years.
    Just because the West conquered and killed efficiently, and kept good records of it, doesn’t mean that they did it the most. Many people want China to have the longest most “illustrious” history but ignore the fact that 5000 years of history is 5000 years of mostly conquering, destroying and pacifying, not by just the Han, but by every other local dominant group as well. The Yi, Bai, various branches of Miao, etc. etc. all pushed other groups to extinction in order to become the dominant group.

    Slavery:
    The Xinhai Revolution and the Communist Revolution all used the language of “freeing the peasants of China from slavery and servitude”. The Qing had enslaved the people of China for 200+ years and other emperors had done the same before them. Most people in China were virtual slaves. Why import slaves when your own people already are? I was/am obviously talking about the past and made no reference to anyone at the present in China being currently enslaved, although that still does unfortunately happen.

  111. February 24th, 2012 at 00:23 | #111

    If we are not careful about what is enslavement and oppression, we are going to shoot our foot.

    Throughout history, there have been conflicts between peoples. Peoples intermingle, cultures merge, diverge, are born, die…

    Political conflicts are also often raised in the name of ethnicity … with warfare along ethnic lines. Are all those things “genocide”?

    I don’t want to get into a discussion of “genocide” again here, but to me it is a hollow concept with lots of emotional baggage. There are lots of things that are crimes against humanity – to emphasize and elevate a certain thing because of recent historical experience – to define that as the ultimate crime – to discuss normal politics by evoking those images of “crimes” – that to me is a crime in itself.

    This reminds me of my conversation with Hemulen some time ago in this thread.

    He gave these three quotes as proof that China did engage in genocide.

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/11/is-china-an-inclusive-society/#comment-33360

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/11/is-china-an-inclusive-society/#comment-33362

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/11/is-china-an-inclusive-society/#comment-33371

    And one of my many responses

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2008/11/is-china-an-inclusive-society/#comment-33427 – not necessarily the best, but it does lead me to summarize some of my positions and also lead me to discuss what I often see as “revisionist history” and a good quote I read recently on revisionist history.

    The controversial Russian historian Richard Pipes has observed before, “the trouble with revisionism is that it treats deviations and exceptions not as shadings of phenomena but as their essence.” Revisionist claims are often exaggerated because that’s often the way academic careers are made. “Each generation of historians establishes its claims to the originality of which modern reputations rest by casting doubt on the work of its predecessors usually stressing exceptions and nuances … It is for first reason that the last word on any given historical subject is often the first.” (see http://books.google.com/books?id=098M3m4gP1kC)

    As China becomes the center of world attention, many will try to distort her history. Perhaps the above quote will apply to many of these distortions…

  112. Mikecheck
    February 26th, 2012 at 01:52 | #112

    @jxie

    Unfortunately any Muslim group that was hard to define on other ways became “Hui”. For example the Utsuls in Hainan. They are Cham people from SE Asia, ethincally very far from other Hui groups. Yet, to make things easier for somebody, they are just classified as Hui.

  113. Rhan
    February 26th, 2012 at 07:10 | #113

    There was slavery in China during Xi Zhou era, perhaps the term is different, not 奴隶, they called it 庶民, but this changed during Chunqiu with ideas like 民为贵社稷次之君为轻. Fact remain that contemporary China don’t import slave like what others did, I think the reason is perhaps the Chinese do perceive non-Chinese as different or even barbarian but not to the point of slave, and thus no slavery.

  114. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 08:51 | #114

    @Rhan

    I disagree a little.

    庶民 was different than 奴隶 during Western Zhou and subsequent Spring/Autumn and Warring Nation period.

    庶民 simply means “common people”, who are the general population who have no hereditary titles/ranks.

    During this time, there was also a system set up where, hereditary noble titles, pass down only the eldest son in succession, the younger sons instead are given a noble rank that’s 1 rank below their father.

    This is an fairly unique system in China. (Similar systems did exist in Europe, but in Chinese system, the system applied to Nobles as well as Royalties).

    For example, a King may pass his title to his eldest son (or named successor son), but the other sons of the King will be given the titles of Dukes. Dukes may pass title to eldest sons, but the other sons of Dukes will be given 1 rank less, perhaps Baron.

    In the Chinese system of those days, there are total of about 5 noble ranks below the King.

    So if a lowest ranked noble dies, his eldest son inherits his title, but the younger sons become “common people”, 庶民.

    庶民 is not considered “slaves”.

    *Slavery was officially abolished prior to the Unification of China under Qin.

    However, some have pointed to the continued existence of 官奴 in China through out up until 1910.

    But “官奴” denotes only convicted criminals who are compelled to work for the Government as servants.

    In equivalence, that is the same as “prison labor” in Western history, not actually “slaves”, because 官奴 cannot be sold or bought.

    Only the government has 官奴, and 官奴 can be released as civilians upon completion of sentences.

    *I mean, it would be equivalent of calling “chain gangs” in US as “slaves”. (Which would mean that US didn’t abolish “slavery” until 1970’s).

  115. jxie
    February 26th, 2012 at 09:17 | #115

    @Mikecheck

    Not only that, at times, especially when Mongols controlled the bulk of the Middle East, Jews, Christians and Manicheans were all call Hui Hui. Sometimes there would be an adjective to distinguish them. For instance, Jews were called 术忽回回. In Qing, if no adjective being applied, it typically meant Muslims. In a way, it sort of likes how today the US called a large group of migrants all “Asian Americans”.

    Pertain to the topic in hand, Xinjiang. In Ming the other “Huis” living in the China Proper were forced to marry Hans and mostly lost their distinguished appearances. However, Xinjiang was never controlled by Ming. Qing gained control of the modern-day Xinjiang and made it a province. Describing the several Turkic Islamic subgroups of people in Southern Xinjiang as “Uighers” actually is a very new phenomenon, started less than 100 years ago. The pre-Qing history of the modern-day Uigher people, is a mess. They themselves don’t keep reliable written history that far back, especially before they adopted the Arabic script and turned Islamic. Chinese on and off kept a tab on them in different eras with many different names, whenever Chinese’s influence went that far west. For instance, in Yuan a group in the modern-day Xinjiang was call 畏兀儿, from which the term Uigher was coined in the 20th century. A school of thought is that the 畏兀儿 people actually were Buddhists who were driven out by the ancestors of modern-day Uighers.

  116. Rhan
    February 26th, 2012 at 17:00 | #116

    rv, thanks for the clarification. I just finished reading the book ‘历史人物’by 郭沫若. On the chapter ‘屈原研究’he mentioned that 庶民 share the same definition and characteristic of slave we understand today, he even opined that Western Zhou was actually based on slavery system (奴隸制), however he acknowledged the fact that many disagree with him.

  117. raventhorn
    February 26th, 2012 at 18:18 | #117

    @Rhan

    I would definitely disagree with him on 庶民 as “slaves”.

    There was in fact another class of people, “serfs”, between 庶民 and “slaves”.

    Serfs are defined as people who are “attached” to the land. They are bonded to the land, and are not allowed to move away.

    They are not technically sold like “slaves”, but they are forced to work on the land for the land owners, and have little to none private rights to own property of any kind.

    *Granted, back in the ancient days, “slaves”, serfs, and 庶民 were all treated pretty badly. But in terms of legal status, these terms are definitely distinct.

  118. February 26th, 2012 at 23:31 | #118

    @Rhan
    I tend to agree more with raventhorn here. Coincidentally, I just wrote an article on this subject. However, you are right (or rather 郭沫若) in that China was a serf/slave heavy society before Qin dynasty.

    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2012/02/human-rights-in-ancient-china/

  119. raventhorn
    February 27th, 2012 at 16:59 | #119

    @Ray

    Some Western historians recently commented that China is not a Nation-state, but a “Civilization-state”, because the Chinese shared identity is based upon the foundational concept of “Chinese civilization” which began around the time when Qin unified China, which transcended beyond race, ethnicity, religion, etc., and became the foundation of Chinese law and culture for over 2000 years.

    No matter how many times “revolution” or dynasties come and go, that core was always there, bringing China back into one again and again.

  120. February 27th, 2012 at 20:30 | #120

    @raventhorn
    This is what I have problem with some historians. They keep wanting to classify something in an artificial mould. All countries are in many ways unique.

    China is just one complicated example, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, even Myanmar are very difficult to classify as well.

  121. jxie
    February 28th, 2012 at 18:20 | #121

    @Rhan
    @Ray

    A lot of Guo’s works have been discredited nowadays. After 1949, he had tried to fit the Chinese history into the mold of the Marxism theory of history (primitive communism -> slave society -> feudalism -> capitalism -> socialism -> communism (again)). Not long after his death, a historian named Huang (黄现璠) who was labeled “rightest” practically by Guo, published a piece disputing there was slave society in China. (中国历史没有奴隶社会)

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