A Concise History of China by Zeis Siez Lee

Reproduced with kind permission from:
How safe is China? By Zeis Siez Lee:
Former Senior Manager at Nokia (company) (1998–2016)
Originally AnsweredIs China dangerous?

(If you’re reading this, You’ll almost certainly want to read this: bestchinainfo.com/china-view-from-an-egyptian-observer

I am from Malaysia, a Muslim country, I have worked and travelled to China extensively in the past 22 years. In recent years, I have come across lots of false reports on China, so I decided to write this article to give a clearer picture about China.

— Zeis Siez Lee

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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. During the Ming Dynasty, Admiral Zhenghe came to Malacca five times, in a gigantic fleet, and a flagship eight times the size of Christopher Columbus’ flagship, Santa Maria.

Zheng He's flagship

He could have seized Malacca easily, but he did not. In 1511, the Portuguese came. In 1642, the Dutch came. In the 1786 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 around the trade deficit, after the British could not find enough silver to pay the Qing Dynasty in their tea and porcelain trades.

In 1840, Qing officer Lin Zhexu led a campaign to fight the opium plague. Opium was destroyed in salt water and ports were closed to curb smuggling of opium.

The British were angered and 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, sourced from India. The remaining 10% was owned by American merchants from Boston, sourced from Turkey. Many of Boston’s institutions were built with profit from opium.

After 12 years, the West got really really greedy. The British demanded 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 rejected. 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 some 1900 years ago up to the Qing Dynasty were raided and ended up with private collectors and 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 the British and French army threatened to burn down the Imperial Palace, the Qing government was forced to pay with free trade ports, 300,000 kilograms of silver and the Kowloon district north of Hong Kong was taken. Since then, China’s resources flow out freely through these ports. In the subsequent amendment to the treaty, Chinese people were sold unwillingly to serve as labor all over the world for making roads, mining and plantation. This was where the famous phrase “mai zhu zai” (labor piglet sale) came from. The death rate on the boats to the US was 30-50%, and those working in mines had 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 locked within the hu-tongs (residential quarters in Beijing) and were raped. The Imperial Palace was raided, and wagons of invaluable treasures were taken.

In late 1930s China was occupied by the Japanese in WWII. Over 20 million Chinese died during the occupancy. 300,000 Chinese died in Nanjing Massacre alone.

Mao brought China together into one again from the shambles. Unfortunately Mao’s reign in later stage was marred by mistakes and suffering.

Finally, came Deng Xiao Ping and his famous “black-cat and white-cat” quote which read:”It doesn’t matter black cat or white cat , as long as it catches rats, then it’s a good cat”. His preference in pragmatism than ideologies has transformed China. This thinking allowed China to make policies which suit 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 uprise of China. Singapore has a similar model (never mind the election), and has been arguably more successful than Hong Kong, because Hong Kong being the major gateway to China, was riding on the economic boom in China, while Singapore had no one to gain from.

In just 40 years, the CPC have moved close to 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 USD2,200, four times less. The Chinese 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 decent 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. But instead, China was blamed. Ironically, Chinese brands like Huawei & ZTE which used no “slave” to make phones, were banned in the US.

They claimed China was inhuman with one-child policy, and at the same time China was accused of polluting the earth with its huge population. Two contradictory accusations. The fact is the Chinese consume just 35% of energy per capita compared to the US. That’s because the average household floor size per capita for China is 20 sq m and 77 sq m for the US. The average motor vehicle ownership per 1000 person in China is 196 vs 838 in the US. The world set up factories in China, leave pollution in China, take the profit and blame China for polluting the earth.

The West 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 tyrannical government. When every citizen in China can work for the government and be part of the government, every citizen has an open and equal chance to become an entrepreneur or become super rich like Jack Ma. How tyranny comes about?

China is a civilisation state deep rooted in Confucianism, in which the people regard their government as a father-like figure. Since 2000 years ago, China had been the most prosperous country in the world many times, but it had never been democratic. Let’s compare a democratic country equal in population, India. In 2019, India’s poverty rate=68.8% and China’s poverty rate=0.3%. Isn’t that obvious? When people have not enough to eat, the most important thing is food, not democracy. When China was crazy about ideologies (pre-Deng era), it was poorer than India (GDP per capita USD155 vs USD205, 1978), and poorer than Bangladesh (USD176). So, if their system worked for them, just let them be. If we oppose their system, that could only mean => we don’t want them to do well. Simple logic. Has China exported its ideologies to others? No, because pragmatism cannot be exported. China has been exporting products, not ideologies.

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.

There are 10 Muslim ethnic minorities in China, Hui being the most populous (12 million), followed by Uighur (10 million). Why only the Uighur in Xinjiang was problematic? It’s because Xinjiang is bordered with Afghanistan, and Xinjiang became a breeding ground for terrorists.

Since 2008, terrorist attacks started to happen in Xinjiang. Terrorism reached its peak in 2014, when a total of five major attacks happened in Xinjiang and one in Kunming train station, that the Central Government decided to step up the fight against terrorism.

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 to a halt in Xinjiang since 2017.

How does the US solve terrorism? Launch missiles from battleships, drop bombs from the sky. More hatred, more terrorism, more bombs dropped, more deaths, the problem never ends. The war on terrorism has killed over 800,000, including 335,000 civilians in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, most being Muslims. And the killing continues.

Most people outside of China do not know that China has done well in protecting the cultural, religious and territorial rights of all 55 of the ethnic minorities. There are 5 self-autonomy provinces, 77 self-autonomy states, and 705 self-autonomy counties in China. In each of these administrative regions, the chief officer has to be one from the local ethnic minorities. Street signs have to be written in both Mandarin and the local languages.

Everyone is free to practice their religions, and they are encouraged to preserve their ethnic identities. In schools, the ethnical languages are taught along with Mandarin and English. Those who have traveled to Xinjiang and Tibet will notice these: The local people dress in their traditional costumes, pray in mosques and temples, and many don’t even speak Mandarin, their own National language!!! It shows the leniency of the Central Government towards the ethnic minorities.

Now, where are the lands of the Pueblos, Navajo, Hopi, and Mojave tribes in North America? And who rule the states of the aborigines in Australia?

The West claimed China a threat to world peace. China has not engaged in a war for more than 30 years. 58 years ago, the “battle of millennium” 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 (casualties=2,105). 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 26,171 bombs in 7 Muslim countries in 2016 alone.

Let’s look at the record: US Has Killed More Than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” Since World War II – Global Research

Laos holds a world record: the most bombed country in the world. There are still 80 million bomblets that never went off remain live, buried over 35% of land area of Laos, by more than 580,000 air missions by the US on Laos between 1964 and 1973. At current effort, it will take another 200 years before these bombs could be cleared.

The US has a war-economy, because the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and its Arm Corp affiliates (Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Boeing), need wars to run. The US alone has a military spending of USD732 Billion (in 2019), more than the combined military spending of 8 other countries in the Top 10. China has only 2 aircraft carriers, one more than Thailand. If the world is not afraid of the US, why are they afraid of China? The US summons the world to go against China

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 Anglo-Saxon politicians is all too common to happen against China.

During the pandemic,

  • When China took extreme measures to lockdown cities, they were accused of being inhuman.
  • When China recovered swiftly because of the extreme measures, they were accused of lying about the actual numbers.
  • When China’s cases became so low that they could provide medical support to other countries, they were accused of 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 led to 6000% more Covid19 deaths than the Chinese. Talk is cheap, beyond the Western Media smoke screen, the degree of humanity of both government to their citizens is clear.

Just like any country, from time to time there are irresponsible individuals from China which do bad and dirty things, but the China government, while not error free, 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 this logic => They hate Chinese. So the only rationale for them making the statement is they want the Chinese to bring their own 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 are offered BNOs (British National Oversea) 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.

The CIA and it’s camouflage, the NGOs, (such as the NED CERD CHRD Atlantic Council, HRW, and many and various US funded ‘Tibet and Uyghur’ etc have been carrying out insurrectionist activities, propaganda, sedition,) and regime changes, and creating unrest in the world since WW II. Check this conversation, from the man Mr Lee Kuan Yew himself, the founder of Singapore, who exposed the CIA trying to buy him up:

The US resorts to dirty tricks like (illegally, with criminal assistance from Canada) detaining Huawei’s CFO, and banning Huawei & DJI. They raised a trade war with China. Trade deficit always exist between a developing and a developed country. USA is like a luxury car seller who accuses a farmer: why am I always buying your vegetables and you haven’t bought any of my cars?

It’s Opium war all over again, to turn around the trade deficit. But this time, the US government dope their own citizens with fear and hatred, by portraying China an evil monster that is about to take over the world, so that Americans stop buying from China. The anti-China sentiment sky-rocketed after the trade war started. The other four puppets of the Five Eyes echoed every accusations of the US against China.

It’s absolutely right that every citizen should support products from their own country, but by means of demonising the competitors with made-up stories, is downright immoral.

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. Some of the first world countries want China to continue in making socks. Instead of stepping up (their own game) they want to pull China down.

(Edited by Barrie) The recent movement by the US against China has a very important background. When Iraq and Libya, tried to ditch the US dollar in oil trades, both Iraq and Libya were virtually destroyed and Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi murdered. Iran now is being sanctioned by the US, and now it’s China’s turn too.

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. The US has an agreement with Saudi that oil must be traded in US dollar ONLY. Since the 2008 financial crisis in the US, right until the current pandemic, the Federal Reserve had been pumping US dollars printed in trillions into the economy through Quantitative Easing, which results in an annual inflation export up to 18% to the far end of economic chain throughout the world, particularly in developing countries.

So nobody outside of the US wants to hold US dollars if they have a choice. But with the petro-dollar status in place, the US could continue to loot the world, with non-Americans paying the heavy price. Therefore anyone trying to harm the petrol-dollar will be eliminated by the US.

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, by launching anti-China propaganda (about Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan), and by escalating border disputes with India and in the South China Sea.

During the pandemic, the US didn’t not even want to lift the sanction upon Iran. Guess which country offered help to Iran? Cuba, a “Communist” country, which itself is under embargo by the US.

China’s achievement has been by hard work. Simply put, China walks the walk when the others talk the talk. China build roads and bridges, while others build military forces, battleships, fund regime changes, engage in domestic political fights. After 200 years of suffering, all the Chinese want is to have a peaceful and better life for themselves and their families.
A share in the sunlight.

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.

— Zeis Siez

Good luck, China.

– Zeis Siez

Best China Info thank Zeis Siez for allowing us
to reproduce this excellent ‘potted history’ of China!

(Article Edited by Barrie)

N.B. Best China Info do not necessarily agree with, condone, or otherwise concur with every word of every article or item reproduced from other writers, authors and sources; but we do feel that those things we reproduce on this website are worthwhile reading and offer wider perspective. .

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2 thoughts on “A Concise History of China by Zeis Siez Lee

  1. It’s always interesting to me how Chinese history was never taught in detail during my time in school (I’m from southeast Asia) because of how the atrocities against the Chinese were never mentioned and how American History was kind of glorified because of how their actions were never criticized/condemned or how it wasn’t even mentioned, some even glorified American colonialism in my country. I have to find out about myself how China really is, and what made it become the country that it is today. I think that this kind of content should be a lot more common in order for all of us to know history as it is and not the sugar-coated or cherry-picked ones.

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