Recently in August, Lung Ying-tai, former culture minister of Taiwan (2012-2014), an essayist and cultural critic, gave a speech in Hong Kong University titled, “One Song, One Era”, which came to internet in December became viral and elicited many comments from China. During the speech she asked audience for their “Enlightenment Song”, and a vice president of Methodist University replied “My Homeland”, She understood it to be a red song, yet was not even aware of its existence; caught in embarrassed smile, she asked him to sing its lyrics. He started to sing and the audience joint in, and the resulting video became viral. She wrote an article in Dec 18 defending her speech against critics. She praised the vice president for his courage to be politically incorrect, giving the climate of young students in Hong Kong at present, acknowledging she didn’t know the song, but criticizing her critics for politicizing culture, asking whether they are tired of being political, for militarize it, and saying sometimes a river is just a river, and a rice flower is just a rice flower.
Giving the fact she was a minister of culture, and a cultural critic, the fact she was unaware of the most famous red song other than the Chinese national anthem is laughable. The theme of her speech was songs and their ramification, and trying to say a river is just a river is insulting the intelligence of her audience. After all, the song she quoted, John Lennon’s “Imagine”, is very much an attack on capitalism and religion. It’s certainly not just idle imagination.
The singing of red songs recently also triggered debates in China as it also triggered reflections on Cultural Revolution and Mao. With Mao’s birthday less than a week away it’s useful to reflect on our heritage.
With his Twitter comments Trump has exploded the illusions of those who believed his election is good for China and U.S.. As for being good for U.S. I just need to list his appointments for his cabinets of fellow billionaires, anti-labor, anti-minimal wage increases, non-believers of climate changes, anti-choice etc. While the slogan ” Make America Great Again” is catchy and his campaign against foreign involvements are superficially appealing, to me it was always based on false premises. For how can you increase military spending, more personnel, more warships, more fighters, while retrench foreign involvements? Empire does not voluntarily retrench. To make American great again, you need to put down any upstart challengers, and the number one on the target is of course China.
Trump is to me like a mafia godfather sitting in his lair, Trump Tower receiving obeisance and tributes from former competitors and underlings. He demands more protection money from Japan and Europe, provoking China and Iran while embracing Russia with childish delight, and dispensing favors like Carrier jobs and throwing thunderbolts like criticizing F35 and Air Force-1 costs. His inauguration is more than 1 month away, but China better be prepared for his ascension.
Many in Chinese media consider Trump to be a businessman, and doing business was no problem for China, but that was obviously a mistake. For a godfather, Don Drumpf will be my way or highway, China has to be firm. Trade obviously will be the first casualty, expect some tariffs and retaliations. Taiwan obvious will be the redline, core interest for China, but China should play a waiting game. There is no point in confronting U.S. militarily at present. Continue the one road, one belt strategy, move more aggressively in space technology. Embrace other powers in Europe, Germany, Iran, Cuba etc. Wait out the Trump bubble to burst in U.S..
Sorry, don’t have a good link yet for this documentary but this is the best one…. If anybody finds a better one, let me know.
In any case, I have made comments that under Obama is the biggest threat to world peace and why Trump presidency is a good thing. Yes, I believe that Trump is a corporate con artist but its appointments of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and China’s Ambassador Terry Branstad seems that there might be better relations between US and Russia and China. We will never know what happen to US/China relations until he becomes president next year. But the recent departure of park geun-hye and the Philippines’ Duterte who don’t want confrontations in the SCS, perhaps there will be some peace in the future.