Skip to comments.China's foreign policy finally comes of age
Posted on 10/18/2001 10:02:07 PM PDT by super175
Most Chinese people - along with most of the international community - think the central Government's decision to side with the United States and its partners in the fight against international terrorism is Beijing's wisest decision in a decade.
President Jiang Zemin, who was among the first foreign leaders to telephone President George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, has handled the crisis well. He has condemned the September 11 assaults, expressed his shock and condolences to the American people, and reiterated his full support for the fight against terrorism.
In the past, Beijing has disappointed its people with poor foreign-policy decisions - for example, the central Government has been soft on Japan and stayed mute when Pakistan's military staged a coup two years ago.
The worst episode was in 1990, when Beijing abstained in the United Nations Security Council's vote endorsing the use of force to oust Iraqi troops from Kuwait. China has been victimised by Japanese and other foreign aggression, so most Chinese are baffled as to why their government is sympathetic towards Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
China's unconditional support of the US-led war against terrorism is refreshing for the world and the people of China. A week after the attacks, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan went to Washington on a trip that had been scheduled earlier to prepare for this weekend's summit between Mr Jiang and Mr Bush at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting in Shanghai. During Mr Tang's visit, the two countries agreed to share intelligence that might aid the Bush administration's war on terrorism. Soon after, Beijing sent a delegation of counter-terrorism experts to Washington to explore avenues of co-operation.
But for most Chinese, humiliations at the hands of America - for instance, the US-led Nato bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in May 1999, and the mid-air collision of a US spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet resulting in the loss of the fighter pilot in April this year - are still fresh in the mind.
Chinese people simply do not believe US claims that the embassy bombing was an accident because they think US intelligence systems are too sophisticated to allow such an error. As for the spy-plane incident, most Chinese are less concerned with the actual cause of the accident than with the fact that the US was spying on their country. Most insulting, in their view, is Washington's dismissal of its surveillance activities as "routine" and its resumption of such flights shortly after the accident.
Given this angry backdrop, many Chinese, although shocked, took some solace in the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon because they revealed America to be as vulnerable as China. These people believe that to some extent the US Government's unilateral policies are to blame. That does not mean they think Islamic extremists are blameless or that ordinary American people deserve to be hurt, just that the US has reaped what it has sown.
There are plenty of reasons for Beijing to co-operate with the US-led international coalition against terrorism. This will burnish China's international image, improve its relations with Washington and legitimise its fight against terrorism in Xinjiang province, where pro-independence Islamic extremists periodically stage violent attacks.
Initially, Beijing might have attempted to link its co-operation with US support for its fight against separatists in western China and Taiwan, but it later decided this was unwise during such a crisis. But Beijing might still be concerned that US retaliation against Afghan-supported terrorist organisations could result in a long-term US presence in Central Asia and an expansion of Japan's military role.
Sino-American relations are at a crossroads. The US should stop demonising China, which cannot be a "strategic competitor" for the foreseeable future, even though Beijing prefers a multi-polar world. And China should initiate political reforms and abandon its policy of making the fight against US hegemony its security priority. In fact, the Chinese people and the American people are friends - it is just their governments that do not get along. One lesson to be drawn from the September 11 attacks is that it is much safer to make friends than enemies.
When Beijing and Washington drop their Cold War mentalities, they will find they are more constructive partners than strategic competitors. They will find a new world in which all people can live peacefully and co-operatively.
All the nations of the world - especially such powers as China, Russia and the US - are re-evaluating their foreign policies after the terrorist attacks. Most noticeably, Washington is co-operating more with the UN and its member countries and is involved more in the Middle East peace negotiations (the US has even come out in support of a Palestinian state).
The US-led military strikes on Osama bin Laden, who is alleged to have masterminded the September 11 attacks, and the Taleban regime harbouring him in Afghanistan have so far been proper and limited, although some hawks in the Pentagon want to expand the war.
These are signs that a new world is coming and Beijing and Washington should seize this opportunity.
Zhang Tianguang (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior engineer who studied American Studies, as a civilian, at the PLA's Foreign Language University in Luoyang, Henan province.
BIG bump. The root causes of this policy is what I want to talk about.
China has been victimised by Japanese and other foreign aggression,
and America was not? What about those people in Pearl Harbor? Or the people in the Baatan Death March?
Did America not fight Japan?
Their resentment of America stems from several associated things. 1. Our support for the KMT during WWII. 2. At that time, their Communist ideologies dictated that US capitalism was evil and should be destroyed. They were an extension of the old USSR.
Recently I read some Mainlanders interpretation of the 1911 Revolution. His point was that that revolution had no particular aim, and was a revolution about nothing more than popular discontent. He even blatantly stated that the revolution of 1911 offered NO alternatives to Chinas problems.
He then went on to say that the Revolution of 1949 was merely an extension of the 1911 Revolution, basically in order to finish the job. To him, the 1911 revolution was incomplete.
In reality though Dr. Sun envisioned a great alternative for China based on American Democracy. Dr. Sun went to school in Hawaii with Americans from a very young age. He lived there for many years starting from his early teens. He also went to the Ivy League for further education. To say he was not influenced by America is foolish.
He wanted to create a Republic in China. A Republic is a group of individual states voluntarily bound together to create a nation, hence his stance on one-China. His vision was based on the American federal system.
The Revolution of 1949 was not a continuation of the Revolution of 1911. It was a Revolution against the ideals of the then in charge KMT. They were capitalists. They were friends with America. The VERY thing Dr Sun set up to bring about his vision of a modern China, the CCP (led by the ruthless USSR) led a revolution against.
Not all revolutions are created equal. America itself was founded in Revolution.
There are two competing views of Dr. Sun. On the CCP side, their revolution was an extension of Dr. Suns revolution.
On the other hand (and in reality) Dr. Suns revolution took time to implement. It was a revolution with democratic ideals at its roots. The term republic and democracy were meant to be taken literally, with America as their backdrop or inspiration.
Now the CCP is claiming that Communist China no longer exists
Why is that and what does that mean for the future? Is China finally coming around to what Dr. Sun REALLY had in mind?
The fact is the CCP in its one party rule is nothing different than the feudal system all over againjust with a different name attached to it.
IMO to solve the Taiwan China problem
#1. China has to create a China that was envisioned by Dr. Sun. One party rule should be phased out and local controls in a republic should be phased in. However those individual units wish to obtain their leaders is up to them. That in and of itself preserves Taiwans identity and democracy.
#2. Taiwan has to realize reality. When I say that I do not mean (and never will) that Beijing or the CCP will be their rulers. I do mean though that they have to realize that there is (or should be) fundamental changes going on in China. Despite the fact that the KMT is not the ones bringing this change, that it IS happening.
So there you have it. Taiwans democracy and identity is preserved, and one-China is also preserved. The only casualty of the process will be one party rule on the mainland. Democracy is the strongest form of government for economic management and for the good of the people. Democracy can eliminate a great deal of the corruption existing in Chinas power structure.
Likewise a republic can and will solve and great number of Chinas internal problems.
The ball is in the court of those on the mainland. Reform and getting back to the original plan is the only way to solve the problems.
In fact, the Chinese people and the American people are friends - it is just their governments that do not get along.
PS...China's resentment of Japan stems from a racial perspective, not one of a political system, or from personal responsibility of those people who did those things.
It is the most propagandized word in CCP language...
PS...The original aims of Dr. Sun, and the Revolution of 1911 are still the very key to solving many of China's problems...90 years later...
The CCP was extremely brutal in how they came to power and how they have maintained power.
The CCP were the very authors of the sabotage behind the NanJing Massacre, to just name one. Tang Sheng Chih, who died with national honors from the CCP, was responsible for setting up the KMT and sabotaging them. The CCP and its spies, like Tang, were responsible for the deaths at NanJing. Why support such and action? If you are the CCP, and the KMT is in charge, and you want them to be unpopular, and you want their power, and you are trying to stir up the nation to anger in your behalf...why not? They did not care about any Chinese people. They only wanted power.
The CCP was on a mission to sabotage and bring down the KMT at any cost.
These things are some of the core issues at stake...
How much have you travelled around China?
There are more than 1,000 languages in China.
IMO "Han" is about like saying "white". Germans are white and so are the British, but they are not 100% the same.
In China there are traditionally many tribal/village cultures all unique from each other. Then you have the Tibet thing, and the XinJiang thing...
Chinese feudalism (and CCP one party control) is no different than colonization.
PS, I posted an article on here (somewhere) where the Dalai Lama himself said "true Chinese culture exists on Taiwan" and that he would accept local autonomy for Tibetans under a 'republic' style system.
I cannot say if he truly wants independence, as in total 100% independence or just the freedom to control their own destiny and practice their religion as they see fit.
To even entertain the idea of all Chinese people being the same is sheer ignorance.
The CCP knows people do not believe like they do, that is why they try to brainwash so many people, and silence dissenting voices.
There are how many different tribes? Cherokee, Blackfoot, Ute...there are hundreds and all are different.
In China some even had their own writing. There is a program that comes on TV every now and then about 'nu-shu' writing. It is a totally different form of Chinese writing.
It was barely preserved because the cultural revolution burned everything they could find written in that language.
Also don't forget, those 'jian-ti' characters were created by the Communists.
The CCP went on a tirade to destroy all minority cultures. To them there was going to be 'one-China' and that meant everything. During the Cultural Revolution they destroyed so much of the various Chinese heritages.
For many years "Chinese/China" were used as synonyms for "Communism". If you did not believe in Communism then you were not "Chinese".
At the very best, all it is doing is satisfying demands of the ignorant on the inside of the Mainland...
1. We will, no questions asked remove our military threat from Taiwan.
2. At the same time, declare publicly a 10 or 20 year plan to create a Republic and institute democratic reforms, to which they hope Taiwan will participate. (both in the reforms, as well as the Republic)
Those things should become the Party line.
Taiwan would not mind (I don't think) being in an "alliance" with the Mainland. It is the idea that they will be 'ruled by the CCP' that has everyone upset.
An alliance, as far as Taiwan is concerned, would mean that they get to send a regular representative to the Mainland for an official position. Everything else stays the same. Taiwan still has elections, a President, self determination, their own identity, everything.
The reality is Taiwan is not part of China. Everyone knows it.
Taiwan knows about the fundamental changes in China better than anyone. And they exploit them better as well.
Many if not most people of Taiwan are not against being part of China because it is drummed in to their head from an early age. With the death of Chinag Ching-kuo and collapse of old school KMT that brainwashing is ending.
The only solution is de jure recognition of Taiwan.
Later they can unify or not.
Really when you say, "I do not mean (and never will) that Beijing or the CCP will be their rulers," it is difficult to know exactly what you are saying.
It's nice to think of a free China with Taiwan a part of it, but the Taiwan part is really superfluous.
Taiwan never really has been part of China and whether it is part of a free China or not is not very important.
A free China is a bigger issue.
Taiwan was not part of China when the Qing dynasty defeated the Ming (in fact Chinese people didn't even have any presence as a society there and never had).
When the Qing fell in 1911 and Dr Sun became the first President and the Republic was formed, Taiwan was not part of China.
The whole issue is nonsense and artificially imposed on Taiwan by despotic regimes, the Qing and Japanese first and the CCP and KMT later.
Mao and Chiang are dead more than a qarter century. Why does the US act as Mao's surrogate?
Why is our policy determined by long dead despots? It makes no sense.
I guess it all depends on how you define the word "China" or "Chinese".
If I said "Taiwan is part of Asia" or "Taiwan is in Asia" would everyone freak out?
The stigma about "China" comes from 1. Feudalism. 2. Communism (including the CCP and the stuff they did)
If we come up with a completely new, brand new defintion of "China", then what?
I would never advocate Taiwan being under a feudal dictatorship. Historically "China" has been defined by dynasties. Whoever happens to be in charge, happens to be the definition of "China"...
How do you define it?
As far as the world is concerned, China means People's Republic of China.
Taiwan is not part of that.
China is a political term, not geographic.
You ask me how I define "China"? I define it in much larger and broader terms than just the PRC.
"China" has been around for 5,000 years. The PRC has been around for 50 years. You can do the math...
As far as it not being a geographic term, who knows...
Right now, the political definition of "China" is still up in the air. What about the ROC? Or the PRC? Couldn't there conceivably be a new way to define that word?
If you ask me to be specific in what I believe (other than what I said above), I cannot do it without a lot of thought.
"China" is an English term, not a Chinese one.
The "middle kingdom" refered to the kingdom of the monarch, however big or small that kingdom might have been...
Translate that the English and what do you get?
Geographically "China" has changed sizes more times than I can count. There have historically been many "China's".
What is the character for "zhong" of "zhong guo"?
Can that be that Mr. Putin was the FIRST foreign leader to express outrage and condemnation for the 9/11 attack? Can that be, that, in light of the outstanding cooperation, between US and Russian military strategist and the willingness of former soviet states to allow unconditioned access to their land and military facilities, to strike Afganistan?
Me thinks the china mens are just realising that their so called strategic alliance with ol'Russia if falling by the way side, because the good ol'USofA has way more to offer to mother Russia than China. Mr.Putin is an old fox, and he knows very well who is who and the chinese have no chance of beating USofA in any aspect economically or politically when it comes to Russia's benefit.
Well, it's saving face one more time for the chinese leaders, by ever so grudgendly acknowledging our actions in the Afganistan theather are right to root out the terrorism. They did not endorse it, nor did they condemmed it, it was just your garden variety of chinese wishi/washi as usual. It looks like having strong principals and standing for something you believe in is a strange custom to the chinese. No wonder one of their biggest display in any of their important events is...a SNAKE!
Do I have to say more!!!!!
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