News & opinion on Greater China and the even Greater Beyond: by Biff Cappuccino.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

China's Communists used to find it useful to vilify Russia in their history texts. These days, for reasons of China's aspirations to lead Asia, Japan makes a more convenient villain. Next year might be America's turn. The reasons may be complex, but none of them has much to do with facing history squarely. (Washington Post)


Derek Mitchell, Center for Strategic & International Studies, Senior Fellow, on the Chinese Military (video link) (Biff: as is often the case with Cspan, the zany questions from the national audience are often as interesting as the people interviewed. (A favorite that Richard and I enjoyed a couple of years back was an elderly lady caller asking why muslims didn't read the Bible more closely, followed by a painful explanation by the resident expert that muslims read the Koran.) Interestingly, D. Mitchell says the PRC wants Taiwan back for two reasons: strategic location and to avenge the imperialist humiliations of the past century. The tears are still flowing eh? But if Taiwan is occupied by fellow Chinese, as the PRC argument goes, how is conquering and plundering a Chinese island vengeance for the alleged humiliations of foreigners in the 19th and 20th centuries? Methinks a better rationale is that Taiwan is Free China and an embarrassing exemplar of Chinese democracy in action. Once Taiwan's democracy is smashed, then Hong Kong's democracy can be crushed.)

Mass protests are rarely tolerated by the Chinese authorities. The lenience on Saturday provoked wry comments from many ordinary Chinese. "They say it is fine to denounce Japan, but the government must know that people have even more serious grievances against the state of affairs in our country," said a man named Zhang, who declined to provide his full name. (New York Times)

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