Best China Info are very pleased indeed to be able to post this superb, thoughtful and very-well informed article about China from Zeis Siez·
China has traded with Malaysia for 2000 years. In those years, they had been the world’s biggest powers many times. Never once they sent troops to take our land. Admiral Zhenghe came to Malacca five times, in a gigantic fleet, and a flagship eight times the size of Christopher Columbus’ flagship, Santa Maria. He could have seized Malacca easily, but he did not. In 1511, the Portuguese came.
In 1642, the Dutch came. In the 18th century the British came. We were colonised by each, one after another. When China wanted spices from India, they traded with the Indians. When they wanted gems, they traded with the Persian. They didn’t take lands.
Then came the Century of Humiliation. Britain smuggled opium into China to dope the population, a strategy to turn the trade deficit around, after the British could not find enough silver to pay the Qing Dynasty in their tea and porcelain trades. In 1840, the Chinese burned down the opium warehouses and ports were closed to curb opium. The British started the Opium War I, which China lost. Hong Kong was forced to be surrendered to the British in a peace talk (Nanjing Treaty). At the time, the British owned 90% of the opium market in China. The remaining 10% was owned by American merchants from Boston. Many of Boston’s institutions were built with profit from opium.
After 12 years, the West got really really greedy. The British wanted the Qing government:
1.To open the borders of China to allow goods coming in and out freely, and tax free.
2.Make opium legal in China.
Ridiculous requests, Qing government said no. The British and French, with supports from the US and Russia from behind, started Opium War II with China.
The Anglo-French military raided the Summer Palace (Yuan Ming Yuan), an estimated 150,000 pieces of historic treasures from the first Qin dynasty 1900 years ago up to the Qing Dynasty were raided and some ended up in museums like the British Museum in London and the Louvre in Paris. After that, the Palace was burned for 3 days and 3 nights. Then they threatened to burn down the Imperial Palace, the Qing government was forced to pay with ports, free business zones, 300,000 kilograms of silver and Kowloon was taken. Since then, China’s resources flow out freely through these business zones and ports. In the subsequent amendment to the treaty, Chinese people were sold unwillingly to serve as labor overseas for making roads, mining and plantation. This was where the infamous “piggy labor sale” came from. The death rate on the boats to the US is 30-50%, and those working in mines have a death rate of 40-70%.
In 1900, China suffered attacks by the 8-National Alliance (Japan, Russia, Britain, France, USA, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary).
Innocent Chinese civilians in Peking (Beijing now) were murdered, buildings were destroyed & women were raped. The Imperial Palace was raided, and more treasures ended up in museums like the British Museum and the Louvre.
In late 1930s China was occupied by the Japanese in WWII. Millions of Chinese died during the occupancy. 300,000 Chinese died in Nanjing Massacre alone.
Mao brought China together again from the shambles. There were peace and unity for some time. But unfortunately Mao’s reign in later stage was marred by sufferings and millions of deaths from famine and power struggles.
Finally, came Deng Xiao Ping and his infamous “black-cat and white-cat” story. His preference in pragmatism than ideologies has transformed China. This thinking allowed China to evolve all the time to adapt to the actual needs in the country, instead of rigidly bounded to ideologies. It also signified Communism in China being relegated to just a symbolic status. The current Socialism+Meritocracy+Market Economy model fits the Chinese like gloves, and it propels the renaissance of China. Singapore has a similar model, and has been arguably more successful than Hong Kong, because Hong Kong being gateway to China, was riding on the economic boom in China, while Singapore had no one to gain from.
In just 30 years, the CPC have moved 800 millions of people out from poverty. The rate of growth is unprecedented in human history. In 1986, GDP per capita was USD262, in 2020, it’s USD10,000, that’s close to 40 times in 30+ years, mind boggling!!! India (no disrespect), the world’s second biggest uprising economy, has achieved only USD 2,200, four times less. They have built the biggest mobile network, by far the biggest high speed rail network in the world, and they have become a behemoth in infrastructure. They made a fishing village called Shenzhen into the world’s second largest technological centre after the Silicon Valley. They are growing into a technological power house. It has the most elaborate e-commerce and cashless payment system in the world. There are now more electric vehicles than any other countries, and in the past few years they have planted more trees than any other countries. The Chinese are living a decent life, have good social welfare and China has become one of the safest countries in the world. The level of patriotism in the country has reached an unprecedented height.
For all of the achievements, the West has nothing good to say about it. China suffers from intense anti-China propagandas from the West. Western Media used the keyword “Communist” to instil fear and hatred towards China.
Everything China does is negatively reported.
They claimed China used slave labor in making iPhones. The truth was, Apple was the most profitable company in the world, it took most of the profit, leave some to Foxconn (a Taiwanese company) and little to the labor. And nowadays, wages in China has gotten so high that, productions are outsourced to countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
They claimed China was inhuman with one-child policy. They accused China of polluting the earth with its huge population. Two contradictory accusations. The fact is the Chinese consume just 30% of energy per capita compared to the US. The world set up factories in China, take the profit, and leave pollution in China.
They claimed China a totalitarian regime. In JUL 2020, a paper published by Harvard University showed satisfaction towards the Central Government has increased from 86% to 93% between 2003 and 2016. That’s 93%!!! When a government has done so well to its people, why we, the outsiders, have concerns about THEIR domestic political system? Everyone says China has a tyranny government. When every citizen in China can work for the government and be part of the government, every citizen has an open chance to become an entrepreneur or become super rich like Jack Ma. How tyranny comes about?
They claimed the Chinese have no freedom. Let’s go through:
- Freedom to work, to go to school and to live a normal life, just like us. CHECK.
- Freedom to own houses, cars or other properties (except land). CHECK.
- Freedom to have believes and religions of choice. CHECK.
- Freedom to travel abroad. CHECK.
- Freedom to work for the government and involve in the running of the government. CHECK.
- Crazy game shows on TV. CHECK.
The Chinese already have the basic freedom that we enjoy in our country. On top of that, they have some freedom that we can only envy:
- Freedom to express oneself’s problem or dissatisfaction to the government. Call hotline “12345”, a government officer will approach you and listen to you, and most of the time, your problems get solved. If not, it’s already uploaded to the central database for analysis. So the government knows about the specific issues in the society. No protests required. Some other government will probably let people protest but do nothing really practical. How do we express ourselves in our own countries? By voting in election. So the government only know “You like them” or “You like someone else”, that’s all.
- Freedom from chaos caused by protests, social instability and racism.
- Freedom from gun threat (a freedom the US don’t have)
- Freedom from political bullshits (a freedom democratic countries don’t have). The Chinese culture is deep rooted in Confucianism. The relationship between the government and the people are akin to father and children. He might be strict, he might not give sweet talks, but he needs to do the right things for the family. Western democracy is like a bad couple. They constantly check on each other (check and balance), they don’t trust one another, they fight with each other so much so that they have little time to take care of the children. When the time comes (election), they give candies to the children to please them. In addition, in its 5000 year history, China was the strongest when unified. When there’s more than one power, like Chu vs Han, The Three Kingdom, CPC vs GuoMingDang, it’s in chaos. Multiparty will not work for China. It took a long time, but the CPC has earned the trust of the people in China. After the outbreak in Wuhan, I was absolutely floored by the togetherness of the people and the government in fighting for a common goal. This is in stark contrast to America, where people are so divided, misled and distrustful.
- Freedom from cult religion like Fa Lun Gong which claims any sickness can be cured by the master without taking medicine. (The founder of Fa Lun Gong have moved to the US and have been funding anti-China propaganda like the Epoch Times and China Uncensored).
- Freedom from illegal underground power like Mafia.
- Freedom to disagree with anyone without being beaten (a freedom Hong Kongers didn’t have (until China enforced basic rule of law).
- Freedom to walk in the park at 3am without being robbed.
- Freedom from incompetent government as the Chinese government is based on meritocracy. So no Trumpish person can be the president of China.
There. I have never come across anyone who have actually been to China that says the Chinese have no freedom. If anyone thinks the Chinese have no freedom, go visit China and find out.
Why China ban large scale protests? Look at the streets of Paris by the yellow-vests. Look at the chaos in Hong Kong in 2019 which stalled the economy. China has 1.4 billion mouths to feed, stability is paramount for its engine to run. China has proven that we don’t need protests to express ourselves, if there’s a good system in place.
When I arrived China 22 years ago, there were beggars, thieves and prostitutes everywhere. Once in ChongQing, I was asked by a fruit hawker outside the hotel I stayed: Do you want a lady? Now, you struggle to find beggars and homeless people anywhere in China. Miraculous, imagine a country of 4x the population of the US. Now when the Chinese tourists travel in Europe, they have to put their bags in front, and when they return, it’s safe to put them at the side or behind. And, ever since Xi became president, the hanky panky spas are gone, Dong Guan’s sex industry died.
There are still issues that need to be addressed: lack of low cost housing, hospitals are still packed, admission to good school is expensive, the economy is increasingly dominated by big companies. China is far from perfect, but overall, the government has made tremendous progress in improving the lives of its people. Let’s hope the trend continues.
The West claimed China underwent ethnic cleansing in Xinjiang. The fact is China has a policy which priorities ethnic minorities. For a long time, the ethnic minorities were allowed to have two children and the majority Han only allowed one. The minorities are allowed a lower score for university intakes. There are 39,000 mosque in China, and 2100 in the US. China has about 3 times more mosque per muslim than the US.
When terrorist attacks happened in Xinjiang, China had two choices:
1.Re-educate the Uighur extremists before they turned terrorists.
2.Let them be, after they launch attacks and killed innocent people, bomb their homes.
China chose solution 1 to solve problem from the root and avoid killings. This approach, together with stopping Afghan Jihadists crossing the Xinjiang-Afghanistan border, have succeeded in bringing terrorism under control in Xinjiang.
How does the US solve terrorism? Launch missiles from battleships, drop bombs from the sky. More hatred, more terrorism, more bombs dropped.
They claimed China a threat to world peace. China has not engaged in a war for more than 30 years. 58 years ago, the battle with India at the border, two countries with a combined 40% of world’s population and a shared history of 4000 years, was so minor that there’s nothing to write home about. While the US has been in wars 93% of the time, in 226 years of its 242 years history. There are 800+ US military bases outside their territory, while China has only 4. Even the Noble Peace Prize winning President of the US, Barack Obama, had dropped 26,000 bombs in 7 countries in 2016 alone. The US has a war-economy, because the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) needs wars to run. If the world is not afraid of the US, why are they afraid of China?
They claimed The Belt and Road Initiative a debt trap. When the infrastructure deals were made, no one point a gun in another’s head to happen. Businesses were done in mutual agreement. If these projects could be built before China came, they are already built! China is able to make difficult infrastructures at a lower cost than most others. In my opinion, The First World are sour with the BRI and feels being embarrassed as they (except Japan) have not helped the poor countries.
During the coronavirus pandemic:
When China took extreme measures to ‘lockdown’ the people, they were accused of being inhuman.
When China recovered swiftly because of the extreme measures, they were accused of lying about the numbers.
When China’s cases became so low that they could provide medical support to other countries, they were accused of being politically motivated.
Western Media always have reasons to bash China.
China shut down the economy to save every single life. America played down the danger of Covid19 to avoid damage to the economy, which leads to 6000% more Covid19 deaths than the Chinese. Which government is more humane?
Recently Australia demanded an apology from China, after Chinese officials posted an art work by a Chinese CGI artist which took a dig at Australian Army’s killing of 39 civilians in Afghanistan. Instead of apologizing to the Afghan, Australia condemned China for speaking out. This double standard by the West is all too common to happen against China.
Just like any country, from time to time there are irresponsible individuals from China which do bad and dirty things, but the China government, has done very well overall. But I hear this comment over and over by people from the West: “I don’t hate Chinese people, but I hate the Chinese government and the people who support them”. Now, 93% of the Chinese support their government, so by their logic, => They hate Chinese. And they want the Chinese to bring their government down.
For the Chinese, fortunately China is not a multi-party democratic country, otherwise the opposition party in China will be supported by notorious NGOs (Non-Government Organisation) of the USA, like the NED (National Endowment for Democracy), to topple the ruling party. The US and the British couldn’t crack Mainland China, so they work on Hong Kong. Of all the ex-British colonial countries, only the Hong Kongers were offered BNOs by the British. Because the UK would like the Hong Kongers to think they are British citizens, not Chinese. A divide-and-conquer strategy, which they often used in Colour Revolutions around the world.
They resort to dirty tricks like detaining Huawei’s CFO & banning Huawei. They banned TikTok, which Facebook immediately copied and released. They raised a silly trade war which benefits no one. Trade deficit always exist between a developing and a developed country. USA is like a luxury car seller who ask a farmer: why am I always buying your vegetables and you haven’t bought any of my cars?
When the Chinese were making socks for the world 30 years ago, the world let it be. But when Chinese started to make high technology products, like Huawei and DJI, it caused red-alert. Because when Western and Japanese products are equal to Chinese in technology, they could never match the Chinese in price. First world countries want China to continue in making socks. Instead of stepping up themselves, they want to pull China down.
Malaysia used to have a strong electronic manufacturing sector, when we were known as one of the four Small Tigers of East Asia, but since the opening up of China in the 90’s, the sector has shrunk to next to nothing, because factories have moved to China. It’s market economy, fair and square. We accepted the fact, and focused the economy in agricultural and oil & gas, and we moved on. We maintain a strong trade relationship with China. The same can’t be said of the US. The US has a history of bringing down its biggest competitors by all means.
The recent movement by the US against China has a very important background. When Libya, Iran, and China decided to ditch the US dollar in oil trades, Gaddafi’s was killed by the US, Iran was being sanctioned by the US, and now it’s China’s turn. The US has been printing money out of nothing. The only reason why the US Dollar is still widely accepted, is because it’s the only currency which oil is allowed to be traded with. (But perhaps, not for much longer Chinabazzar)
The US has an agreement with Saudi that oil must be traded in US dollar ONLY. Without the petrol-dollar status, the US dollars will sink, and America will fall. Therefore anyone trying to disobey this order will be eliminated. China will soon use a gold-backed crypto-currency, the alarms in the White House go off like mad. The US and it’s allies are on full assault on China.
China’s achievement has been by hard work.
Simply put, China walk the walk when the others talk the talk.
Vive la Renaissance!
I have deep sympathy for China for all the suffering, but now I feel happy for them. China is not rising, they are going back to where they belong. Good luck, China.— Zeis Siez·Sun
Superb article! I’d like to reproduce this on Best China Info | Understanding China! if that’s ok with you?
Reply Zeis Siez·Sun: Please share as you wish
Reply Mao Bai· : Thank you so much! I’ll keep you posted on this!
is a former Senior Manager (1998–2016)
Former Senior Manager 1998–2016
Master of Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering & Telecommunications, Queen’s University Belfast Graduated 1996 Lives in Bukit Jalil,
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