|Pre-History||Xia-Shang||Zhou||Qin||Han||3 States||Jinn||16 Nations||South-North||Sui-Tang||5 Plus 10 States||Soong||Liao||Xi Xia||Jurchen||Yuan||Ming||Qing|
|Tragedy Of Chinese Revolution||Terrors||Wars||China: Caste Society||Anti-Rightists||Cultural Revolution||6-4 Massacre||Land Enclosure||FaLunGong|
Videos about China's Resistance War:
The Battle of Shanghai & Nanking;
Bombing of Chungking;
The Burma Road
Videos about China's Resistance War: China's Dunkirk Retreat (in English); 42 Video Series (in Chinese)
Video: The Japanese Bombing of Chungking
Video: The Burma Road & the Guerrila War
As this webmaster had elaborated on the context of the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in Resistance Wars section, the Sino-Japanese War resulted from the repeating G.R.U. operations across China, including assassination of the Japanese businessmen and soldiers in the Yangtze and South China, and military sabotage of the Japanese railways, weapon depots in Tientsin area of North China and Dairen of Manchuria. And, as this webmaster had elaborated on the battles and campaigns in the Civil Wars section, the Chinese Civil War of 1945-1950 [using the Korean War as a breakpoint rather than the PRC's proclaimed date of founding] is the "Last Duel of the Middle Earth" involving millions of fighting-to-death Yellow Men, whose outcome was determined on the battlefields by means of a) military tactics and strategies, b) political conspiracy and plots, c) economic manipulation and sabotage, c) societal disruption and coercion, and d) international alliance and betrayals, never ever the free choice of the Chinese people or the 'Mandate of Heaven' as John Fairbank and Owen Lattimore [and their student-sinologists in the American colleges and universities] wanted you to believe in. The Korean War and the Vietnamese War, invariably, were the extensions of the Chinese Civil War of 1945-1950.
This domain name, http://www.uglychinese.org/, was first registered in 1998 for a purpose. If not taken, someone else will come along and take it. (http://www.ugly-chinese.org was abandoned in preference for the name without the hyphen.) The word 'Chinese' used here is not derogatory, and most people will agree that Bai Yang, a Taiwan writer who wrote the book 'Ugly Chinese' ((Ugly Chinaman and the Crisis of Chinese Culture By: Po-Yang), was a true patriot. Note, Po Yang's surname should be pronounced as 'Bai', not 'Po' or 'Bo', and the English term 'chinaman' was wrongly chosen for sure. I will deem this website patriotic as well. There are a few people who disapproved the name and the content (such as the coverage of China's caste society). I would counter it via the old saying, namely, hiding the ugly aspects of an existing caste society in China would be equivalent to 'wearing the beautiful clothes outside but the dirty linings underneath'.
What will be China's caste society like then? I would say it is just a little better than the apartheid of old South Africa. In today's world, you could find the segregation, physical and economical, in such countries as China and North Korea. In China, the babies born in the Chinese countryside had to register with their mother's locality and that they had no right to move to town, study in town or work in town. Every American I talked to was shocked to find out about that. Worse than that would be the acquiesce of the city dwellers of China as well as the mockery at the miseries of the Chinese peasants. The city people's saying would be, "Hey. 'Ah Xiang' had bigger houses than us, the city folks." Should the 160-200 million unemployed peasants be content with their 'happy' life in the countryside, they would not be sleeping, in a daily number of 100,000, on the train station of Canton. To understand how strict China's registration system is, just note that in today's Beijing the capital, a separate ruling is in effect, requiring that whoever male Beijing resident must undergo a DNA test to determine the father-child relationship before their pre-marriage child could apply for the registration of household in the Beijing Municipality.
By exposing the nature of China's caste society, I hope the kind-hearted nature of mankind will come to reflect on themselves and consequently prevail in the fight against the evils. What I want here is the sympathy from the world public and the conscience of the ethnic Chinese when their colleagues or friends inquire with them about the CASTE of China where peasants, the majority group of Chinese, have been serving as coolies and slaves. They also served as "pao hui", i.e., "dust of cannon blasts [the cannon fodder]". (Judging by the number of 100,000 Chinese officers expatriated to the Manchurian-Ussuri border in 1958, you could extrapolate how many field soldiers of peasant origin had been deployed and had perished on the Korean Battlefield. Should not be an surprise to see a casualty number as high as 700k to 1 million.)
After being overseas for so long, I never have forgot my countryside cousins. Born in the countryside of China and having spent 17 years there, I watched my cousins enslaved, exploited and disparaged by the caste for so long. There are too many sad stories to tell. For example, one of my cousins worked as a coolie on a transport ship, his kidney failed as a result of hard labor, he is now blind, and his woman left him and their baby. He is of the same age as mine, but he did not have the privilege to finish the junior high school. He has a name, and it is Yueping. It is certainly my right to tell the story of the Chinese caste society to the world.
While some segments of discussion are political, they are not intended to be the propaganda of political nature. The political rhetoric will be minimal and it will be covered in the section on the caste society that was first written in 1997/1998 and still unfinished yet. I do feel guilty about my procrastination. I first read about the Chinese peasants' blood selling saga and their possibly contracting the AIDS as a result of unsterilized needles in year 1999. In China, there was and is only nominal blood 'donation'. The blood donation in China is a business, not some donation like the Red Cross. The government used a so-called rotating lottery to force the workers into blood donation in each and every enterprise or working unit. I also intended to propagate the striking reality of peasant women's suicides in China by means of usually pesticides called 'Di Di Wei' (namely, a sarcastic brand name of 'enemey enemy scared') and poisons for rats etc. Fortunately, the World Health Organization is paying more and more attention to the peasant women suicides in China. As we know, across the world, men are more prone to suicides, but in China, the peasant women took the abnormally high proportion as a direct result of their lowest status quo in the Chinese caste society. As long as China's discrimination against the peasants still exists, this site will be alive and kicking. Only when the Chinese re-possess compassion, kind heart, philanthropy and conscience will I take down this 'ugly' site.
I originally intend to call the attention to the cruel nature of the caste society prevailing in China today. I had apparently been overtaken by the pride of my being a Chinese. I had shifted more and more towards a re-discovery of my identity and the Chinese history. The culture and history presented in this website certainly contradicts the criticisms by Bai Yang in his book 'Ugly Chinaman and the Crisis of Chinese Culture'. I could understand why Bai Yang blamed China's failures and frustration on China's imperial past. Also, there are people who constantly claimed that our nation and our people had been over-burdened by history. Is that really so?
Some wise guys pointed out that the Chinese communists had simplied the language two times to the extent that no ordinary Chinese could read the "classical Chinese language" any more, which was an attempt to cut off the present from the past and the inspiration the past would bring along. The "cultural revolution" already swept away everything. Today's material pursuit inside China certainly is not restrained by any ethics. Not many Chinese possess the astute knowledge of the past, and they forget about the past, i.e., history. There is no such talk as too much history or too much historical burden. Simply not true. Comparative studies of the Chinese history versus the European history had shed new light on the fundamental cause as to the origin and sustaining nature of the Chinese civilization. China would not have been China should there be lacking the kind of morality, compassion and righteousness as expounded by Confucius and Mencius. Take a look at the world around, only China and Ottoman Empire had been able to withstand the firepower of the European powers. Australia, the American continents, or elsewhere, people simply fell in the wake of the European advances. Once we cool down, we would be surprised to find out that the idea of 'revolution' (a word cited by Confucius for the Cheng-Tang Revolution) was directly responsible for the later French Revolution in Europe. Professor Lock Hoe had commented that China's dynastic changes and revolution (as seen in the saying 'Every 50 Years, A Cycle In Cathay') had served as an illuminating guide for the Jesuits who visited China in the 16-17th centuries, and it was due to the Jesuits who propagated the egalitarian and revolutionary ideas that led to the conclusion that the French or British royal houses could be overthrown by a 'revolution'. Confucius first described the Shang Tang replacement of the first Chinese dynasty of Xia as a 'revolution'. Dr. Sun Ya-tsen cited the 'revolution' concept in calling for an overthrow of the Manchu rule in late 19th century.
The main threads of my discussion will be dynastic substitution as well as the racial and ethnical interaction. Origin of the Chinese is examined in the prehistoric section, the concept of the 'Mandate of Heaven' will be examined for the validity and power base of Chinese emperors and rulers. Ethnic interaction will be covered in the Huns, Turks and Mongols etc, and the rise and fall of dynastic powers will be detailed in the sections on the major dynasties. Whenever possible, I would relay the comments and insights of ancient saints (like Confucius and Sima Qian) as well as those of contemporary scholars. Example, Sima Qian commented that Qin Dynasty could defeat rivals and unite China because of its capabilities for reform and change, and this applies to today's China as well. China's imperial power will be examined, and the balance of power between the emperors and the ministers would be touched upon.
Historian Tang Degang pointed out that the ancient Chinese had utilized the "mandate of heaven" as a two-edge weapon, i.e., legalizing the inheritance of right to ruling from the Heaven's divine mandate as well as restraining the absolute power of emperors with the omens of heaven. For example, when some minister told Soong Emperor Shenzong that the natural disasters had no bearing to the omens or warnings from the Heaven as to emperor's deed, Prime Minister Fu Bi admonished the emperor by stating that "The only thing that emperors fear is Heaven. Should emperors fear no Heaven, then emperors could do anything they want." Furthermore, Tang Degang pointed out that Mao Tse-tung [Mao Zedong], i.e., an atheist, had taken the 1976 Tangshan Earthquake as a bad omen that he would soon die. Similarly, Kissenger mentioned that Mao Tse-tung at one time had shown his superstition. After analyzing the difference of divine rights between the Orient and the Occident, Tang Degang cited the 'Heaven' as constraints on the Chinese emperors. Though, Tang Degang complimented China's Soong Dynasty as a good example of the balance of power between the emperors and prime ministers.
The conclusion is clear: China's rule of law is what made her a civilization in the first place. There is no excuse in citing China's imperial past as an insurmountable hurdle for entering the phase of democracy, liberty and freedom. China's administrative brilliance, such as the civil examination system, should never be discounted. The ancient ideas and concepts could still serve as useful guides for managing a country like China today. Wise Chinese leaders should draw inspiration from the past and understand the true essence of the 'Mandate of Heaven'. By concentrating more on the historical aspects, I hope that the Chinese will reflect seriously on their past and present and realize who they are and where they are going.
The Political Dissertation: The Caste Society
Long after the Mongol Yuan Dynasty devised the discriminatory society in China, which divided people in China into four groups, in a caste-like system the Chinese government would successfully set up on the Chinese continent an even tighter and crueler caste system after their obtaining power in 1949. Unlike that of the Mongols which was ethnic in nature, the current system is political and power-driven, and it is more hidden and disguised, unknown to the outside as a result of collusion, conscious or subconscious, of the people in upper castes in China.
By "conscious or subconscious", I am pointing direct at the so-called city caste in China, without any distinction. This may sounds unfair and harsh. However, the truth is that should you encounter some Chinese in the streets of San Francisco, LA or New York, most likely those people come from the background of a city dweller in China. The Fujian illegals would probably work and sleep in the restaurants around the clock or work in the sweatshops stitching clothes.
When I was asked to explain in details the situation of peasants versus city dwellers, I thought it hard and then derived a good analogy. I told people that you could probably think of the Chinese peasants as the 'invisible men' as depicted by a Black author in US (Ralph Ellison), and the kind of relationship between the Chinese peasants and city-dwellers would be equivalent to the Blacks versus Whites in US in the 1960s. The so-called Chinese people do not include the INVISIBLE Chinese peasants. The peasants' image was rarely seen in the TV or heard on the radio. They certainly did not appear in TV screens when China had the carnival for winning the right to host the Olympics. I had recently realized why so few of my classmates had ever been enrolled in senior high school which are located in township capitals or cities. There had existed a quota all the time. It is not that my countryside classmates were not smart enough to excel in the open entrance exams, but that the admitting scores for the country boys and girls had always been higher than for the city boys and girls. Recently (in year 2000), someone had compared the admitting scores for college entrance that were required of students in Beijing versus Fujian Province; the result shows that those Beijing students, though with scores lower than Fujian counterparts by 150-200 points, could still enter Qinghua University or Beijing University. Stats show that among students of Peking U or Qinghua U, 30% come from the city of Peking, 30% from provincial cities of China, 20% from townships of provincial China, and less than 10% from the countryside of China. In year 2001, I had noticed a surge of complaints on the internet about the unfair admitting scores and the quotas. I really hope that the city people, once realizing the unfairness and inequality of the system in college entrance, will extrapolate this to make a case for the heavily exploited peasants who live in the bottom of the Chinese caste society.
Some wise guy pointed out that Chinese communists had deliberately weakened the Chinese race physically as well as mentally. The stringent caste society had led to an unscientific inter-marriage among the peasants (comprising of 70-80% of the total Chinese population), with statistics showing that 80% of peasants inter-marry within the same county, 50% within the same xiang (shire equivalent, previously in the form of communes), and 30% within the same village. I simply could not imagine how short-sighted the communists are in weakening the Chinese Race and am extremely worried about the future of the Chinese People and Chinese Nation !!!
In history, the Mongols had also adopted quota in the civil services exams, which was to make sure that at least half of the government posts would be occupied by people of the Mongol descent. By the Ming Dynasty, however, discrimination against different groups of people was revoked, and the imperial exams had been open to all walks of life. But the current system in China is discriminating against the peasants in all aspects, economically, socially, culturally and politically. This caste is no better than that in India. Even worse is that the people in the city caste never realize that they are consciously or subconsiously safeguarding this caste system.
Some reader questioned my statement in regards to caste, stating that: "There's no point in pointing fingers at other people, I believe the saying: if you are not part of the solution, you're part of the problem ... I don't disagree with a lot of things you said, but you seem to confuse politics with ethnicity/nationality. I'm not defending the communists, but you seem to suggest chinese=communist... As for exaggerations, to say the present Chinese society has a caste system is untrue. Prejudice, racism exist everywhere but a caste system? !comeon! a little strong don't you think?"
My reply: "Unfortunately, China's problems only got worsened now than before, contrary to maybe wishful thinking. China's communists know no shame. They only know how to hide their dirty linens underneath their beautiful clothes. Why is the matter getting worse? Because Shanghai, beginning from year 2002, adopted the same rascal policy as Shenzhen and Beijing. Shanghai now requires so-called temporary residency card. Police could stop any person on the street for checking this ID. Police could throw any migrant into the van and send it to detention center. Recent newspaper report stated that some businessman was caught in Minhang area, thrown into a police van, trucked to Zhuanqiao's detention center, rerouted to Shanghai's dispatchment center, and then packed into train with other migrants for their hometown province. --This only reminds me of the Nazi train that carried the Jewish victims for gas chambers, and I hope that this reader will someday realize the seriousness of the Chinese problem as well as the apathy of the privileged class."
I further replied: "Bo Yang wrote his version of 'Ugly Chinese' and lots of people felt indignant about it. What I had tried to do is to make Chinese beware of 'shame' first, a quality called "Whoever Knows Shame Is Courageous" per Confucius. This reader's sensitivty proves that she still had retained conscience, which is good. I never said chinese=communist; however, Chinese who grew up under the communist system had been part of the pyramid. In light of the plight of majority Chinese people and the apathy of the Chinese who had left China, what I had expounded is only constructive in caring to speak out about those majority Chinese under communist control."
How Was the Chinese Civilization Sustained
Paul Kennedy, in "The Rise & Fall Of The Great Powers", claimed that Europe's mountaineous geography had guarranteed the disunity and individuality of European nations, principalities and peoples. Then, is China lacking the mountains, gorges and deserts that should have precluded the "unification aspiration" of the Chinese people from a continuance? The geographical thesis marks Paul Kennedy's 600-page book invalid automatically. China, at least from the time of Confucius, repeatedly talked about the term "da [grand] yi [one] tong [unification]". What Confucius argued 2500 years ago was different from the unification agenda of kings or emperors: Confucius was talking about which month of the year should be treated as the first month on the "da [grand] tong [unification] li [calendar]" [i.e., a same term used by Ming Dynasty Emperors in distributing China's calendars to vassals including Japan & Ryukyu]. In Confucius' times, the Soong Principality was using Shang Dynasty's calendar [Dec]; Jinn was using Xia Dynasty's January as the first month; Zhou court used Nov as the first month of the year; and vassal Qin adopted October as the first month of the year. China had been a united country or possessed an inertia for unity because of the same origin of our people as well as the invention and adoption of pictographic form of written language. Further, Confucian school of thoughts upheld the ancient ancestor worship to the apex, leading to the blood affinity of clans and families, a phenomenon that continued till the 1960s when communist China destroyed all tombs, including that of my grandfather. Our civilization, born out of a mundane society, had survived the impacts and challenges as a result of the establishment of our ancestoral belief and morality systems and values. In past thousand years, our peoples and clans were used to saying that we, of same last name, were from the same family 500 years ago. From Soong Dynasty onward, Prime Minister Fan Zhongyan, as a philanthropic activity, had provided a model of purchasing lands for the same clan members. Each and every member of the clan, after success in career or wealth, would usually return to the hometown to rebuild the family ancestral pilgrimage. In early 20th century, the father of diplomat Gu Weijun [i.e., Wellington Koo] did the same in buying large patches of lands on behalf of the Gu clan. After Taiwan opened the visitation to mainland China in 1988, hundreds of thousands of compatriots had visited mainland to do the same. My word of advice for our Chinese brothers: Love your cousins. As Zhang Bingling said, the clan affinity was from foetus & placenta. You, as an individual Chinese, could make a change in today's China by spreading the message of love and care for your fellow brothers. As another ancient Chinese saying goes, it takes 10 years to plant a tree and 100 years to raise a person. "Raising a person [i.e., an ordinary Chinese person]" is a task that should be undertaken from ground up inside of China. Only after restoring the baseline of China's societal foundation and values [which had been destroyed by the communist regime] would there be possibility of a resurrected Chinese Nation.
(Paul Kennedy's other thesis in "The Rise & Fall Of The Great Powers", i.e., economic power determining the outcome of a war, was wrong as well even though it partially explained why Germany were twice defeated by Britain and US. Germany's defeats lied in its fatal bogging down in Russia the same way as Japan's entanglement in China during WWII. For both Japan and Germany, they attacked economically backward Russia and China but failed invariably. Similarly, Manchu China, though relatively wealthy after 300 years of silver inflow [including that from the gold mine of Mexico, nevertheless fell prey to the imperialists, spitting out the tonnage of silver China accumulated over thousands of years on top of the intake in last couple hundreds of years.)
Two books, "A History of Asia" by Woodbridge Bingham of UC Berkeley, and "China's Imperial Past" by Charles Hucker of Standford University, had been very helpful in shedding the light on the cause of the continuity of the Chinese civilization. The former touches on religion and culture, and it is from this book that my conviction is vindicated, i.e., the mundane powers determine the religion, not the other way around. As we know, Indian King Ashoka and Roman Emperor Constantine directly caused the later developments of the two religions. The latter book touches on government and philosophy in depth, and it proposed the so-called notion that 'ancient Chinese were Confucian superficially, Daoist innerside, and legalist in governance.' This is basically the same saying as Mr Lin Yutang proposed during early 20th century.
As to Chinese civilization, I would emphasize two points which I think play the fundamental role in upholding and sustaining the Chinese civilization. The first would be the fundamental Chinese belief in 'ancestor worshipping'. Real-sense chreishing and appreciation of a heritage would be for the descendants to actually remember who their ancestors were and what accomplishments their ancestors had achieved. Note that China's surname could be mapped to the same Y-chromosome. As a result of ancient Chinese ancestor worshipping, Chinese clans present a unique way of identification of surnames and Gene-tree Y-chromosome. Confucius had a saying 'king king, minister minister, father father, son son' and I would say this had shaped China's moral and legal bases in a mundane society where no religion like Chritianity, Buddhism and Islam had ever originated and developed. Confucius had simply developed the ancient Chinese philosophy of 'ancestor worshipping' as recorded on the Shang oracle bones. Confucius was very much trying to resurrect the so-called 'li' (rituals) of early Zhou Dynasty, and his ultimate motive was to exalt the virtues and system of early Zhou Dynasty as heralded by Archduke Zhou and those people in Soong State (Confucius' ancestral state where the direct descendants of earlier Shang Dynasty had been living since the Shang-Zhou transition year of 1066 BC). Lack of the moral and legal bases will not make a nation. This is best illustrated by the failure of the Huns although they had been living along the Chinese since inception of the Chinese history. The Hunnic kings historically took over their stepmothers and brothers' wives as concubines and they could never make a nation, even with many defector Chinese generals (like Li Ling, historian Sima Qian's friend and general Li Guang's grandson). For a mundane country like China, people would have no choice but to seek for their fundamental strength in 'ancestor worshipping' so as to safeguard their moral and legal formality and way of life. Today's China, void of this fundamental base, certainly had become a decadent society full of corruption and crimes. Wise guys had pointed out the urgent need for the Chinese to re-possess 'Ren Yi Li Zhi Xin', namely, compassion, being righteous, courtesy or rituals for 'Li', intelligence for 'Zhi', and keeping promise for 'Xin'. Alternative saying would be 'Li Yi Lian Chi' or courteous, righteousness, frugal or economical, and shame-awareness.
The continuity of Chinese civilization, however, lies in the so-called pillars and safeguards of the system, the elite class who obtained their officialdom posts via either the 'recommendation system' in Han times or the civil services exam (open to almost all classes of people, though not altogether) in Tang-Soong-Ming-Qing dynasties. While some Italian traveller wrote of the liberal and somewhat lascivious lifestyle of southern Chinese in Canton on the eve of Mongol attacks, not much different from the exotic social life as depicted in Arabian Nights, the Chinese civilization had survived for past thousands of years because of the pillars and safeguards of the system, simply called emperor's men. This is best illustrated by the familial motto guides such as Zhu Family Mottos by Zhu Xi the neo-Confucian of Soong Dynasty. This system of emperor's men had its heyday in Soong Dynasty when the first emperor of Soong forced all his generals into retirement and conferred even the military posts onto civil-service officials. Soong Dynasty produced such righteous ministers as Fan Zhongyan who was famous for a motto that "one should worry before the populace do so and seek happiness only after the populace become happy". Soong Dynasty produced numerous 'Si Yi' intellectuals, i.e., those Confucians who sacrificed their families and lives for the country. When chased by the Mongols, Prime Minister Lu Xiufu, with young emperor on his back, fled to southern coast. After driving his family into the sea, Lu jumped into the sea with emperor on his back. Wen Tianxiang, on the date of being executed, wrote a poem, stating that "Confucius proposed that one should die for compassion (Ren) and Mencius suggested that one should die for righteousness (Yi). Only when righteousness is fully exerted will the compassion be derived. What should I endeavour after educating myself with so many books of the ancient saints? However, I am sure that I feel no guilty about myself from this death moment on." (Confucius wording for 'Ren' should mean a broader sense of human perfection, similar to nirvana in Buddhism. 'Ren' also meant nucleus in Chinese, as used for the nucleus of various fruits like apple.)
Intellectuals, as said earlier, had always been China's conscience, and it was those intellectuals who had faced up with the emperors in the past 2000 years and maintained China's civilization. Today, under the oppression of the communist government, China's intellectuals had lost their traditional courage and it might take many more years for them to pick up this same courage again to face up with the new tyrants in Peking. In the 1950s, two intellectuals stood out as the 'conscience of China', namely, Liang Suming (the agriculturalist) and Ma Yinchu (the expert on demography). Both persons did not bend in face of the organized rascal attacks orchestrated by Mao the tyrant.
Mao was too much a tyrant for the intellectuals, and damages were done. Mao personally said that Qin's First Emperor Shi Huangdi was nobody because Mao himself had routed hundreds of thousands of the 'rightists' while Qin only buried a few hundreds of Confucians. The Communist life philosophy is class struggle and human struggle against each other. When I first read Salisbury's 'New Long March' in 1983, I realized that the so-called 'AB League', namely, the Anti-Bolshevik League, was a conspiracy by Mao's Hunan communists to purge those Jiangxi communists on the Jinggangshan mountains. In the early 80s, there was a movie 'From Slave To General' showing that the AB agents were shot to death once they were caught. A reading of the the English version 'Red Star Over China' also shed light on many things skipped in the Chinese translation. Recently, I read about the Yan'an Rectification Movement of the 40s, and I was surprised to find out that Wang Shiwei, a writer who was classified as a reactionary (Trotsky follower) in 1944(?), was not executed (via decapitation) till 1947 till the communists evacuated from Yan'an, with a random draw to state that the 100 most serious offenders be executed [by decapitation, of course, to save the bullets], the 100 mid-level serious offenders ordered on a macrh to Manchuria, and the 100 light offenders re-assigned the jobs. The executioner for Wang Shiwei was later assigned the post as some kind of party secretary of Sichuan Province. What a sad story here. Mao's purge of his comrades would be too long a topic for me to touch on here. It's no less than Stalin's Purge, and it was something that triggered Mao's launching the cultural revolution partially since Mao was phobic about his comrades (Liu, Deng & Zhou et als.) possibly learning from Kruschkev's negating Stalin in 1956. Partial is my word here because Mao and his unofficial wife (Jiang Qing), both, had utilized every possible chance to avenge on their comrades for any mischieves they felt in the 30s and 40s.
Liang Suming, the Last Confucian Of China
Liang Suming was called the last Confucian of China because he was the first scholar to stand up against Mao Tse-tung's agricultural polices and the so-called 'land reform' in the early 1950s. He thought he was doing his job just like numerous intellectuals or Confucians in the prior dynasties. Mao personally cursed or bashed agriculturalist Liang Suming for more than one hour during the Sept 1953 National Agriculture Meeting. What distinguishes Liang Suming and Ma Yinchu from the other intellectuals would be the fact that they refused to write self-criticism and succumb to tyranny.
Liang did not know what kind of tyrant Mao really was. In the past 2000 years, China's emperors cared about what history would write about them, and they would usually ask historians to give them favor for their usurpation and killing. In the Spring & Autumn time period, there were three brothers who worked as the royal chronicler for the Qi Principality. For the 548 B.C. murder of Qi Lord Zhuanggong, the three Qi chronicle officials kept on writing the entries about the murder, with the two elder brothers killed by Cui Zhu. The elder brother wrote that prime minister, Cui Zhu, killed the king and hence got killed by the usurper, the second brother continued his brother's version and got killed, and the third brother did it again, which made Cui Zhu frustrated at it and hence left the record unchanged. Nan-shi-shi, another chronicle official, was ready to die as well and recorded the killing on a bamboo slip. (Confucius' private annals, The Spring & Autumn, enjoyed a high remark which goes like this: After Confucius edited the Spring & Autumn, the usurpers & tyrants had become wary of their conducts.)
Liang Suming (1893-1988) was a talented scholar as we mentioned in the section on the Mongols. Liang, from Guiling, today’s Guangxi Province, claimed the Mongol heritage. His father, Liang Li, sacrificed his life to protest against China's weakness. He wrote an article "An Exploration Into Yuan Dynasty" in 1918 and hence was appointed the post as lecturer of philosophy in Peking University at the age of 25. He would later advocate a new school of Buddhism based on the humanitarianism, loving-kindness and compassion. He was labelled a conservative for his criticism of facile westernization and modernization. In the 1930s, he launched an experiment with agriculture in Shandong Province by setting up the village schools and Confucian academies. Together with James Yen, his activities would be called "The Rural Reconstruction Movement". At about the same time, Zhang Yinwu, a retired military general who previously served under Yan Xishan, launched the Sicun (four preservation of Confucius and Mencius' virtues) Middle School in Hebei Province. Thousands of graduates from both Liang Sumin and Liang Sumin's schools later became the pillars of the resistance wars against the Japanese occupation army, and waged relentless guerrilla wars behind the enemy's line, till the Chinese Communists were to wipe them out completely, by the means of live burial and decapitation by hundreds and thousands. Later in the 1940s, Liang Sumin visited Mao in Yan'an and debated the agriculture and the peasants' issues with Mao for days. Liang and Mao agreed to disagree on the matter of agriculture and the peasants. While Liang was a proponent of the agricultural reform, Mao was conducting the bloody and radical "land revolution" by killing the landlords and distributing land to the peasants, with the radical elimination movement nominally mitigated a bit during the resistance war time period. Liang was a prominent member in the Democratic League and stayed on in Peking to meet Mao during the communist takeover in 1949, and he was appointed a post as an agricultural expert in the so-called Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference or Committee (CPPCC). Ma Yinchu, like Liang Suming, stayed on to greet Mao as well in 1949.
Philosopher-turned Scholar Shan Shaojie, in Mao In Power 1949-1976 (Mirror Books, 2000, Carle Place, NY, ISBN 962-8744-31-3), had a good account of Mao's bashing of Liang:
"On Sept 9th, 1953, Zhou Enlai invited Liang Suming for making a speech at the expanded meeting for the CPPCC standing committee. On Sept 11th, Liang Suming pointed out the mistakes and blunders committed by the CCP on the agricultural issues. The second day, 60-year-old Mao Tse-tung made a speech in response to Liang Suming's criticism by claiming that "What a joke it is that some body dared to show off the carpenter's hatchet in front of a master". On Sept 13th, 60-year-old Liang Suming had a short encounter with Mao and defended himself by stating that he had no ill intent in his criticism, but Mao claimed that Liang was unconsciously against the general policies of the CCP. From Sept 16th to 18th, Liang Suming defended his innocence during the 27th session of the commissar meeting of the central people's government and requested that Mao made a self-criticism. Mao Tse-tung interrupted Liang's talk several times, claiming that Liang Suming was someone murdering the people with pens the same way as Chiang Kai-shek murdering people with the gun barrels. Mao further said that Liang, a reactionary in disguise, had utterly no contribution to the common people during his whole life, that Liang refused to acknowledge his reactionary perspectives while painting himself more appealing than such ancient Chinese beauties as Lady Xi-shi, Lady Wang Zhaojun and Lady Yang Guifei, that Liang Suming, not someone to be trusted, should not be allowed to attend even the small-scale meetings hosted by the democratic parties and organizations, that Liang Suming should repent over his thoughts and tell people how he had turned into a reactionary representing the landlords, that Liang Suming knew no shame in thinking he was smarter than the communists on the matter of agriculture/peasants or smarter than people's volunteer soldiers flying warplanes over Korea or the PLA soldiers digging trenches during the civil wars, and that Liang Suming was a hypocrite with wild ambition." Zhou Enlai slammed Liang Suming by lodging an accusation as to Liang's sabotaging the peace-talks between the KMT and the CCP in 1946-7. (See Zhou Enlai's tears. What Zhou Enlai was referring to was a last ditch efforts by the democratic parties to draft a resolution for the KMT and CCP so as to avert an outright civil war; however, Zhou Enlai and the communists, no longer interested in the peace talks, had no intent to work on a draft resolution, and hence broke off the efforts by the democratic parties, saying in tears that he was to break the dozens of years of friendship with the democratic party members for the democratic parties' efforts at maintaining peace. After that, the Youth Party and the other democratic parties, which were less infiltrated by the communists, exited the league of democratic parties and announced to participate in the National Assembly in the absence of participation by the pro-communist democratic parties and the communist party.)
Shan Shaojie claimed that the red guards of the 1965 cultural revolution must have learnt Mao's rascal approach from right here and that Mao had contrasted sharply with Liang Suming as far as Confucius's old saying goes, namely, that a wise man should possess the listening flat ears by the age of 60. Liang Suming hence shutting up his mouth, Mao Tse-tung, however, did not forget to launch a mass movement to further criticise Liang Suming in May of 1955.
Mao's ascension to total dictatorship came in stages. Mao Tse-tung, directly responsible for the rascal movement in Hunan Prov in 1927, would be the red-handed culprits in the Purge of Anti-Bolshevik League during 1930-1931, the Purge of Trotskyists during 1937-1941, and the Rectification Movement during 1942-1945. Purge of Trotskyists (1937-1941) and Yan'an Rectification (1942-1945) had purged most of the senior political enemies such as Wang Ming, Zhang Wentian and Zhang Guotao. The next stage would come in 1953, after Mao finished another political enemy, Gao Gang. To win the Civil War against the Nationalists during 1945-1949, Mao had adopted a mild and deceptive policy of attracting the intellectuals with slogans of 'freedom' and 'democracy'. Around the 1940s, intellectuals flocked to Yan'an and extolled the communists against the 'corruption' of the Nationalist government (KMT). (Today's China, with power and business interwined, is certainly more than 10,000 times more corrupt than the so-called 'corruption' of KMT.) One noteworthy intellectual would be a historian called Fan Wenlan, a person responsible for editing the Chinese history from the communist ideological perspective (i.e., historical materialism). Foreigners flocked to Yan'an as well, including Edgar Snow whom Mao had privately suspected to be a CIA agent. In the aftermath of the WWII, intellectuals were in continuous employment by the communists. In KMT areas, students and intellectuals staged incessant demonstrations. My university campus was littered with a monument in remembrance of two communist student martyrs who were killed by the KMT government for subversion.
A so-called consultative conference was convened in Peking in the name of rebuilding China. As pointed out by Bao Tong, in his article, "Revealing the CCP", 1949 saw Mao upholding the so-called "Common Guiding Principles" which was submitted to CPPCC and conferred constitutional status. This document stated that "the state protects the private property of workers, peasants, small and domestic bourgeoisies", that "freedom of thought and freedom of migration" of the people was protected, and that "the members of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at all levels shall be elected by a direct election process." But in 1953, Mao suddenly initiated "the transformation towards socialism," and dealt a death penalty to the Common Guiding Principles according to Bao Tong. (Shan Shaojie pointed out that the underlining logic for practicing 'socialism' rather than the transitionary 'neo-democracy-ism' would be Mao Tse-tung's efforts at the property deprivation of individual proprietors or petty-bourgeoise to the extent that individual proprietors or petty-bourgeoise would forfeit their economic basis after losing their quasi voting rights in the Chinese People's Consultative Committee. See section on 'Jiti Enterprises' [i.e., 'Collective Registers' enterprises] for details.) To solidify his rule, Mao purged 552,2887 "bourgeoisie rightists" nationwide in 1957, and after 1959 Lushan Meeting, went on the Anti-Rightist Trend to rout another 3,800,000 people. The failure of the Great Leap Forward and People’s Commune (1958-1961) and 40 million peasant death from starvation had compelled Mao into relinquishing some of his power, but Mao fought back against Liu Shaoqi with the launch of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) during which one hundred million fell into victims nationwide.
The Mandate Of Heaven
The concept of 'Heaven' as an ancient 'Di' or overlord had been with Chinese since the era of Eight Ancient Lords. Shang Dynasty's founder, Shang-Tang, claimed that Lord Highness (Heaven) instructed him to campaign against Xia Dynasty' Lord Jie because of Jie's corruption and cruelty. Later, Confucius would term it 'Shang Tang Revolution', a word that would be used by Dr. Sun yat-sen in his efforts at overthrowing Manchu rule.
The first citation of the 'Mandate of Heaven' could be seen in Zhou King Wuwang's campaign against the Shang Dynasty in the 11th century BC. Zhou was a small tribal state in today's Shaanxi Provice, southwest of the Mountain Qishan, in a place called 'Zhouyuan'. Wuwang, named Ji (last name) Fa, on basis of 50 years of management by his father Ji Chang who was conferred the title of Xibo (Count West) by last Shang King and with the help of counsel Jiang Taigong (Duke Jiang, i.e., Lu3 Wang4), launched an attack in the 11th century B.C.E. at Shang Dynasty which controlled central China at the time. When he called upon various tribes to rebel against Shang, he stated that he was carrying out the order from the Heaven to penalize Shang king who had disrupted his kingdom by killing his elder son (Bigan) and imprisoning the uncle (Ji-zi) under the influence of the witch-like Shang queen. He assembled 300 chariots, 3000 brave soldiers, and an army of 45000 and crossed the Yellow River. In the outskirts of Shang capital Chaoge, a place called Muye, he met his alliance who had joined him with 4000 more chariots, and they confronted the Shang army of 700 thousand and defeated them. Ji Fa hence proclaimed the founding of Zhou Dynasty under the 'Mandate of Heaven'.
The last Shang ruler, Zhouwang, would be a despotic ruler. He killed one Marquis (Jiu Hou) and his daughter because the Marquis's daughter was not lewd. Another Marquis (Er Hou) was killed because he tried to protect Jiu Hou. Count Xibo, i.e., Ji Chang, sighed about the killings, and hence was imprisoned by Zhouwang. Zhouwang would kill Count Xibo's elder son, Boyikao, and made a dish out of Boyikao's flesh for Xibo to eat. Zhouwang laughed when Xibo ate it without knowing that it was his son's flesh. Count Xibo was set free only after Xibo's minister bribed Zhouwang by presenting a beauty. Prince Bigan, son of Zhouwang, would be deposed for trying to pursuade Zhouwang into correcting his deeds. When Count Xibo invaded a Shang vassal called the Jiguo Statelet, Zu Yi, a Shang minister, expressed the worry that the 'Mandate Of Heaven' might be changed. Zhouwang rebutted Zu Yi, saying that the 'Mandate Of Heaven' was with him the minute he was born. After Xibo passed away, the later Zhou King Wuwang would rally eight hundred Shang vassals on the bank of the Yellow River, Mengjin. The vassals said to Wenwang, "Zhouwang could be campaigned against by now." Wuwang said, "You guys did not know the 'Mandate Of Heaven' yet." Zhouwang's brother, Wei-zi, would flee the capital. Zhouwang's son, Prince Bigan, seeing the departure of Wei-zi, would try to pursuade Zhouwang again, but was ordered killed by Zhouwang to see whether Bigan's heart had 9 compartments as the saints were said to possess. Zhouwang's uncle, Prince Ji-zi, would pretend to have gone mentally ill, but he was still imprisoned by Zhouwang. When Shang's chief music ministers, Tai Shi and Shao Shi, fled to Zhou with Shang's ritual instruments, Zhou King Wuwang now orderd a campaign against Shang. After losing the Battle of Muye, Zhouwang would commit suicide by setting his palace on fire and jumping into fire when King Wuwang of Zhou invaded Shang capital, Chaoge.
The 'Mandate of Heaven' hence become a norm for the substitution of Chinese dynasties. To enforce the concept, some legends would be fabricated to support the claim of the will of the Heaven. For Han Dynasty founder Liu Bang, there was the legend that his mother had dreamt about some dragon flying into the house when she gave birth to his son. Even nomadic rulers, like the Hunnic king Liu Yuan of Hunnic Zhao Dynasty (AD 304-329), would proclaim himself emperor in AD 308 and declared his dynasty as 'Han' on basis of one sound logic that Hunnic kings had historically acknowledged that they were the nephews of Han Chinese emperors. By designating his dynasty as 'Han', he intended to play the card of asserting the so-called 'Mandate of Heaven'.
In those sections on dynasties, we would point out where the dynasty names came from. For example. the name of 'Han' was the title of King Han conferred to Liu Bang by General Xiang Yu at the end of the war which overthrew the Qin Empire. This title designates the land of conferral, namely, the domain of Hanzhong in between today's Sichuan and Shaanxi Provinces. Similarly, Liu Yu of Soong State, Liu Soong (AD 420-479), during the period of South Dynasties (AD 420-589), had adopted the dynasty name of Soong because he was conferred the title of Duke Soong by Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD 317-420). Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618) founder, Yang Jian, derived the name from the title of Duke Sui which was conferred by Northern Zhou Dynasty (AD 557-581), while Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) founder, Li Yuan, derived his name from the title of Duke Tang conferred by Sui emperor. Certainly, the 'Mandate of Heaven' is hard to apply to the aliens as well as numerous usurpers. It is a pretext at most. The Mongols, after encircling the city of Xiangyang for 4 years, had finally made the city surrender, and then crossed the Yangtze River to have the whole China conquered for the first time by an alien tribal group in AD 1279. The Manchus easily achieved their objective of ruling China after two rebel leaders, Li Zicheng and Zhang Xianzhong, ravaged and destroyed northern China and forced the last Ming Dynasty emperor to hang himself inside the Forbidden City in AD 1644. Similarly, the Japanese invasion of China from 1931 to 1945 which had severely destroyed the Nationalist Part ruling base in China, coupled with Russian wholesale aid to the Chinese communists and American sellout of Republic of China at Yalta, made the communists the natural inheritor of the so-called 'Mandate of Heaven'.
The Tragedy Of China's Revolution
Xin Hao-nian, in his book, Which Is The New China? (copyright 1999, Blue Sky Publishing House), expounded the Nationalist Revolution of early 20th century, with extrordinary insights into Dr. Sun Yat-sen's 'Three People-ism', 'Five Branches Of Government', and three stages for China to evolve to democracy, namely, 'Jun Zheng' (military government), 'Xun Zheng' (KMT supervised government), and 'Xian Zheng' (constitutional government). Dr Sun Yat-sen proposed the three stages after reflecting on the incompleteness of Xin Hai Revolution, i.e., the 1911 Revolution that overthrew the Manchu rule.
Dr. Sun Yat-sen, however, had his shortcomings and deficiencies. He, like generations of people in the 20th century, had naive and utopian fondness for the Russian October Revolution of 1911. He misunderstood Lenin's lip-service in nullifying the unequal treaties imposed on China by Czar Russia, and hence entered into an alliance with Soviet Union and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Sun Yat-sen, in order to win support from USSR, had contacted Lenin two times in 1918 and expressed much softer stance on Mongolia independence and China Eastern Railroad in 1922 correspondence with Joffe.
From 1920 to 1923, Lenin continuously sent his representatives to China for talks with northern/southern warlords as well as with Dr. Sun Yat-sen and communist activists. While USSR was dealing with Sun Yat-sen's southern movements and Peking's northern warlord lineage government, Comintern's claws entered China with the assistance of a Chinese-turned Russian Bolshevik called Yang Mingzai (aka Yang Haode). In April 1920, Voitinsky and Yang Mingzai met Li Dazhao several times and was then referred to Chen Duxiu in Shanghai by Li Dazhao for talks about establishing the CCP. In May of 1920, Yang Mingzai attended the founding of 'Marxism Research Society' of Shanghai; in Aug, Yang Mingzai, together with Chen Duxiu, Li Hanjun, Shen Xuanlu, Chen Wangdao, Yu Xiusong and Shi Cuntong, established 'Communist Party Launch Panel of Shanghai'; and thereafter, Yang Mingzai and Yu Xiusong founded the 'Socialist Youth League of Shanghai'. Comintern Rep Maring was dispatched to Shanghai for organizing Chinese Communist Party (CCP). From 1921 to 1923, Maring paid three visits to China in total. Maring's notes in Dutch archives mentioned that Chen Duxiu was the leader of CCP in Shanghai, with his New Youth magazine enrolling a total of 50-60 people in 7-8 centers across the nation. When various provincial representatives convened in Shanghai for founding the CCP in July 1921, Maring, as one of two Russians present, congratulated the official founding of CCP. Twenty days later, Maring requested with Chen Duxiu for abandoning his education official career in Canton and pursuaded CCP into an alliance with KMT. Maring thereafter left for Canton's KMT government and met Sun Yat-sen in Guangxi for talks about KMT's alliance with USSR and CCP.
Representative of Lenin came to Shanghai where Sun Yat-sen was seeking safe haven after Chen Jiongming betrayed Sun. In a joint declaration on Jan 26th, 1923, Joffe promised to Dr. Sun that they would help China to reunite under Dr. Sun's Three People-ism without implanting communism in China. Mikhail Borodin's military supplies and a package of 2 million Mexican dollars in annual aid made Dr. Sun declare a new policy of 'allying with USSR and allowing CP members to join KMT individually'. (Xin Hao-nian mentioned that Dr. Sun might have mis-judged CP's destabilizing capabilities because CP possessed only 432 members by the end of 1923.) Dr. Sun Yat-sen, after Jan 26th 1923 Sun-Joffe Joint Statement, had fallen into a de facto Soviet agent, sowing the seeds of struggles and conflicts between KMT and CCP as well as the disasters of the Chinese people in 20th century.
Dr. Sun's decision for alliance with USSR/CCP was due to two factors: i) disappointment over the betrayal of warlord or militarist like Chen Jiongming; ii) agony over Western imperialist powers' antagonism to Chinese revolution. This could be best represented by what he complained to reporters of New York Times in July, 1923. As pointed out by Xin Hao-Nian, Dr. Sun's decision to withhold surplus from the Canton Customs was opposed by various imperialistic powers.
After Sun yat-sen reorganized military government in Canton in Dec 1920, foreign diplomatic corps stopped the funding of 13% of the customs surplus that was due to the southern government on the pretext that Canton government did not represent the whole area of Southwest China as stipulated by the prior funding agreement. Wu Tingfang protested against the foreign corps's canton legation and threatened to take over custody of the customs office as a revenge. In December, 1923, to counter the threat of Canton government, foreign powers sailed their warships and gunboats to Bai'ertan area of Canton as a show of force. Britain, US, France, Japan, Italy and Portugal etc sent their warships and gunboats to Canton to exert pressure on Dr. Sun and protest against customs tax withholding.
At http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2004/3123morgan_v_dr_sun.html, Mike Billington wrote for "Executive Intelligence Review" an article entitled "How London, Wall Street Backed Japan's War Against China and Sun Yat Sen", pointing out the behind-the-scene manipulation as to "SYNARCHISM AND WORLD WAR". As stated by Mike Billington, "... British synarchist banking interests, centered around Bank of England head Montagu Norman, Hongkong and Shanghai Bank director Sir Charles Addis, and J.P. Morgan chief executive Thomas Lamont, deployed militarily and politically to destroy Sun Yat Sen and his influence. ... when their subversion and looting failed to crush Sun's republican movement, the British threw their weight behind the synarchist/fascist forces in Japan, financing the Japanese military occupation of the Chinese mainland... By 1931, J.P. Morgan had floated $263 million in loans for Japanese borrowers, including direct loans to the government in 1930", with quite some of the funds going direct to the Southern Manchurian Railway under disguise to avert the world opinions. Note that President Wilson rejected Reinsch's 1917 financing arrangement for building an alternative rail route to the South Manchurian Railroad, "even assured Japan that the United States would honor their special position in Manchuria", and in Oct 1918 agreed to the formation of a new bankers' Consortium which was orchestrated by Anglo-American bankers for sake of depriving China of any chance of obtaining an international loan.
Zheng Langping, in "An Everlasting Glory", blamed Chinese casualties during First Burma Campaign on Stilwell's multiple blunders. In Zheng Langping's opinion, the "Burma Counter-attack" would become an Anglo-American scheme to bog down China & Japan in a balanced way so that China would not emerge a victor to pose a threat to the Anglo-American interests in the Far East. The infamous Ledo Highway, i.e., Stilwell Highway, could be a trap to exhaust the bulk of US wartime aid to China while giving China much less benefit than what the Hump Course had delivered. Anglo-American hostility towards and subversion against China continued well into the 1940s, at which time General Wedemeyer, right after succeesion of Stilwell's post in 1944, reported to Washington DC in a cable, stating that "...British Ambassador personally suggested to me that a strong unified China would be dangerous to the world and certainly would jeopardize the white man's position immediately in Far East and ultimately throughout the world". Other than the notorious Yalta Betrayal, another equally dirty deal that deeply hurt China would be the Betrayal during the "San Francisco Peace Treaty". United States government, while still maintaining diplomatic relations with the KMT government in Taiwan, had no reason to ward off Chinese from the "San Francisco Peace Treaty" other than the ulterior motive in hurting the cause of the Chinese and China in the same cloak of pre-war colonialists. (More available at Century-long American hypocrisy towards China, Anglo-American & Jewish romance with Japanese, What Foreign Powers Did To The Flowery Republic Prior To, During And After The 1911 Revolution, and American manipulation of Chinese politics [e.g., Stilwell's instigating General Bai Chongxi, Stuart's instigating Li Zongren, and McArthur's instigating General Sun Liren]. Certainly, we did not have to remind the world that Russians, in 1937-1938, at the same time of sending "volunteer pilots" to the Chinese akies against Japanese, had rounded up ethnic Chinese in the Far East via an exile to the Siberia gulags. To see Stalin's ulterior motives, note that Stalin after signing a neutrality pact with Japan on April 13th 1941 [by betraying the 1937 non-aggression treaty between China and USSR], had sealed off China's continental exit to the north and northwest. Russian could have possibly eaten their words as to an agreed-upon declaration of war against Japan within half a year of the outbreak of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.)
Anglo-American supremacists, today, should have no worry about China anymore since the so-called "elites" of China, relatives and families of Chinese government officials, and the "street and market people of the cities", men and women included, had already capitulated to the West. What remained "unconquered" would be the humblest people of this earth, i.e., peasant Chinese, whom the communist government had ensalved and bondaged on behalf of the West. Chinese communist rulers, who were pre-occupied with "pleasure-seeking and literature-decoration" like Manchu rulers, would most likely lose badly during the next confrontation which could be very well against the old feud [i.e., Japan, now a lethal force under American umbrella, but having no memory of either the pardon from the Republic of China or the humiliation of being declined a decent surrender by Russians].
Videos about China's Resistance War: China's Dunkirk Retreat (in English); 42 Video Series (in Chinese)
It is no strange that the imperialist powers would oppose Dr. Sun's revolution since China's revolution was induced by the invasion of the foreign powers in the first place. From the outset of Xin Hai Revolution of 1911, imperialist powers had opposed China's democracy process, and this is best exemplified by US ambassordor's pressuring Manchu government into recalling Yuan Shi-Kai for sake of cracking down on Xin Hai Revolution. That is what I will call here as the tragedy of Chinese revolution. This has nothing to do with Harold Isaacs' claim in his 1938 book "Tragedy of The Chinese Revolution", i.e., Chinese revolution failed as a result of the ideological difference between Lenin/Stalin, Bukharin and Trotsky on the matter whether China's revolution was at the stage of Russian 1905 Revolution or Russian 1917 Revolution.
China's Status Quo
The so-called "China's current status quo" has been employed by the communist government either as an excuse for refusing democracy and liberty to Chinese people or in promoting a so-called 'socialism with China's special characteristics'. What's China's actual status quo? Is China an autocratic country with dictator-like rulers all the time? And being so, is that why China has no choice but to inherit the so-called autocratic way of ruling which the government euphimistically likened to that in Singapore, i.e., the neo-authoritarianism? It's a fallacy at best.
China's rule of law is what made her a civilization in the first place. The government ministers, like Fan Zhongyan of Soong Dynasty, are the fundamental cause that China's civilization had sustained in past two thousand years. The book Imperial China discussed in details the unique way of bueaucracy for past thousands of years and demonstrated the enlightenment in China's imperial past. China's tripartite governancy certainly offered a good balance of power between various departments; China's emperors believed in the 'Mandate Of Heaven' and they cared about populace support and opinions; China's examination system was utlized to draw talents to the service of the country as well as alleviate hereditary and nepotism power; and China's legal system was designed to punish perpetrators no matter how high the rankings were. Remember both books were written before our information age, former in mid-1960s and latter in 1975. Not all emperors wielded absolute power. In Chinese history, there were numerous strong emperors as well as weak emperors. In case of weak emperors, ministers would make decision on behalf of the emperors. Eunuchs or emperor's in-law families would sometime take over the power as well. Western Han Dynasty was usurped by Wang Mang, an in-law family, and Eastern Han fell into chaos as a result of the eunuch, in-law families and warlords fighting each other. Though imperial power becoming stronger and stronger, the ministers still wielded enormous influence over their emperors.
China's tripartite governancy is worthy of special attention. The balance of power was best shown in Qin Statelet's organization chart. Qin had used Bali Xi and Jian Shu as the rightside prime minister and leftside prime minister. After Shang Yang reform, three branches of governance were utilized, namely, chief counselor (chengxiang), grand marshal (taiwei), and censor-in-chief or inspector-in-chief (yushi dafu). Han Dynasty continued the Qin layout. Tang Dynasty devised Secretariat and Chancellery under the Grand Council, in addition to General Staff and Censorate. The function of a censor or inspector played an important role in governing a country like China. In addition to the censorship or inspector system, Imperial China adopted the examination system for sake of attracting talents and breaking hereditary rights and nepotism. In history, Soong Dynasty produced the majority of so-called commoner officials, like prime minister Fan Zhongyan. That's the true essence of China's 2000-year autocracy.
Egalitarianism is another feature Chinese enjoyed in the past dynasties. Ming Dynasty had abolished major unequal and unfair rulings and systems. The usual disparagement against the 'actors and actresses' or the 'circus' people was prohibited. Ming China allowed almost anyone access to taking the civil service exams. In one word, the Ming society had abolished any characteristic of caste society that China might have ever possessed. In Qing society, the castes were usually profession-oriented, like the tradesmen for salt and/or shipping on the Canal etc. Those tradesmen enjoyed special Manchurian-santioned privileges. Even under the severe alien ruling of the Manchurians, Chinese could have their voice heard by going to Peking the capital and appealed their cases to the emperors by hitting the drum outside of the judicial ministry, after of course their body rolling over the wooden plate with iron nails, a method designed for discouraging 'frivilous lawsuits'.
China, A Nation Divided By & Buried In Caste System
Only in today's China was erected a brand new discriminating caste society that is implemented for political control in human flows as well as economic exploitation. Economic exploitation was via so-called agri-industrial price scissor differential, namely, the peasants would surrender their grains to the government at pre-fixed price. This caste society is crueler than Indian caste or South Africa's apartheid in that babies, at birth, are pre-destined to be in same caste of the mother, and no marriage outside of the caste (i.e., peasants) could break the loop. Since peasants don't have means of changing their status quo, they are destined to live in the caste for their life. The possible chances of 'emancipation' would be: 1) joining PLA the army, 2) enrolling in colleges (but sarcastically they mostly don't finish junior high schools). When they left their hometown villages, they would either wind up in the mines where they die in cavein or deliberate setup (by which the mine owners cheat the insurance money out of the deaths), or in the sweatshops where they work for 12-16 hours per day for menial pay, in southern and coastal areas or on Saipan islands. Forever slaves and coolies, they would be termed 'mang liu', i.e., aimless drifters, and the police could round them up at random and expell them from the cities and towns whenever a clean street is needed for celebration of the national day and the like. (Nowadays, police treated the roundup of migrant workers, sometimes including visitors, as a form of business operations by extracting 'custody release fee' or forcing the captives into enslavement for earning their train ticket's cost.)
Mao Tse-tung read history thoughout and he knew exactly how the land-deprived peasants rose in late Ming dynasty and forced the last emperor to hang himself inside the forbidden city. The rebels were all homeless and jobless peasants from Shenxi, Shanxi and Henan areas. During every dynastic upheavals, you had a repeat of the peasants and marauders snowballing to millions to pose threat to the regime, with the last most significant event being the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom which saw the rebels blanketing all population along the way to Nanking from Southwest China. Mao wanted to make sure that the peasants would be pinned to the ground and never get a chance to leave the land again. Besides, Mao wanted to make sure that his government would never shoulder the financial responsibility, like covering the wages, medicare, education and retirement of the peasants. China's communist government pay salaries and subsidies to the city dwellers, only. It is estimated that China's city dwellers, though numbering 20% or less, had taken the stats of 80%+ in the national consumption. China's unemployment rate never counted the peasants. Among the census data of about 1.3-1.5 billion Chinese, 70-80 percent of China's population are peasants. Note that 20% of the Chinese peasants were unemployed, and that's equivalent to 160-200 million peasants. Southern China is said to be in need of 10 million labor at the present. Right after the Spring Festival of every year, 5.3 million peasant coolies would stream out of Canton train station, and about 100 thousand of them slept on the train station every night. And, this is still China's status quo today even though Mao had been dead for 25 years (counting from 1976 to 2001).
"The Confucian Party of China: The Communist Party of China appears to have taken a considered political decision to restore Confucius to his traditional place of pride at the centre of Chinese worldview. As it copes with growing economic inequalities and social tensions, the CPC believes Confucius might offer the right social and political medicine."
China, A Nation Void Of Belief, Morality & Values
There is an ongoing defection of the Chinese compatriots to the West as a result of loss of national and ethnic pride and dignity, with the pursuit of economic betterment certainly the main factor. All walks of people had chosen to flee or leave the country. In early 1990s, a flurry of freight ships, with illegal Chinese immigrants, sailed towards the American coasts. 'Golden Venture' stranded on the beach of Long Island, causing numerous drowned deaths when those illegal immigrants attempted to swim to the shore, and another boat stealthily sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge to dock at Fishermen's Wharf, causing a manhunt across the city of San Francisco and ending in surrender of several refugees by the 'safe haven' of a church. To understand how desperate Chinese peasants are, just note that seven coolies, who smuggled out of China, stranded into Iraq during the Easter weekend of year 2004, only to be caught by Iraqi as "Japanese hostages". Poverty-stricken families were quoted to have encouraged their children in "going far and away", "no coming home without a fortune", and "marrying an oceanic [Western] man for goodness sake". It was widely noted that China's women had been smuggled across the Straits to Taiwan and Southeast Asia and transported as far as Arabia, Europe and America for prostitution, with Asian women massage advertizings appearing on newspapers across the continental United States metropolitan cities. Quite a proportion of them should be considered "voluntarily engaged in this business". Dignity and pride gone notwithstanding, China and Chinese people are suffering unprecedented crisis in belief, morality and values. The go-rich-fast atmosphere of post-Mao commodity society had led to the complete collapse of morality and belief among the Chinese men and women, both inside and outside of China. What a humiliation the Chinese nation and people are imposing on themselves !
The main market for smuggled babies probably consists of childless city dwellers, said Yu, the sociologist. In surveys, urban Chinese families, who are more likely to have pensions and other means of support, tend to show a slight preference for girls, believing that they take better care of aging parents. But some are sold to rural families who already have a son but want a daughter to help with the housework; others are sold for stranger purposes. Last August, the police in neighboring Guizhou Province arrested four traffickers with seven baby girls who were being sold to be reared as child brides for farmers in remote mountainous regions. Yu added that she had "seen documents to suggest that at least some were destined for adoption abroad."
In today's China, a land void of morality and values, everything could be for sale, not restricted to women and baby girls. The World Health Organization, in its dealings with communist China on the matter of pregnancy prevention and women's health, had obtained the communist government's shameless acknowledgement that China was in possession of 6 million women engaged in prostitution ! (Actual numbers could be much much worse, and those could be ONLINE now. As much as 10% of China's gross national product could be related to prostitution. And, China's prostitution, no matter for money or for going overseas or for both or for a racial change, had first revived in early 1980s around guesthouse and hotels where foreigners stayed.)
Today's Chinese and China is a tragedy in sharp contrast with the Chinese 100 years ago. While there are many similarities between the time periods of late Manchu Dynasty and the degenerating Communist China, one important distinction would be the patriotism and devotion of the Chinese revolutionaries in the early 20th century and the loss of national and ethnic pride and dignity among the Chinese of the 21st century. One century ago, especially after Manchu Qing's 1905 abolition of the imperial civil services exam, innumerable talented revolutionaries pursued the overseas studies in Japan and the West, but they had mostly returned for services under Manchu Qing's government and the New Army, served as a generation of revolutionaries with progressive thinkings and ideals, and played a pivotal role in the 1911 soldier uprising at Wuchang, Hubei Prov which overthrew the Manchu rule. Concluding this section here, I have no other words to say other than citing Qu Yuan's poem: Unrestrained and lengthy being the road ahead, I would search and beseach my way back and forth.
On Jan 17th, 2005, reformer Zhao Ziyang, after 15 years of house arrest, passed away. Before his passaway, Zhao Ziyang was said to have commented that there was "no cure " for China. People who had hoped for a change at this juncture might be disappointed should no significant mourning-related activity or political loosening happen in China. It is understandably so. Note that in history, China's dynastic substitution was mostly the results of mutiny or foreign invasion, except for the Yellow Turpans of Eastern Han Dynasty and the Red Turbans of Yuan Dynasty: mutiny applied to Li Zicheng & Zhang Xianzhong rebellion in late Ming Dynasty, and the Xin Hai Revolution in late Qing Dynasty, as well as applies to the scenario of the 1927 Communist Revolution against the Nationalist Government; hence, one would have to pessimistically expect that the Chinese communists would commit suicide by themselves one way or the other [e.g., attacking Taiwan] in order to see a revolution similar to the Xin Hai Revolution that had overthrown the Manchu rule in 1911.
After we have closely examined the historical context of China's reforms from 1979 to 1989, we would understand that in today's China, i.e., year 2005, there will be void of any chance of change. This is because the "Enlightened Intelligentsia" had been routed since the June 4th, 1989 Masssacre, while no significant regenerating force had ever emerged. The damage to China's fortune was many times worse than the abortion of late Manchu-era "Hundred Day Reformation" at which time incessant foreign invasion had sustained the fighting spirits and martialness of the Chinese people, as seen in Assassination & Uprisings. China's fate, i.e., a continuous down-sloping in the context of past 500 years, continues unabated in the same line. Any Chinese technological advancement, no matter the space rockets or atomic bombs, would look pale in comparison with Big-Bang-like accelerating speed of industrialized countries, not to mention the lost spirits among today's Chinese people. There is reason to believe that China is on a very wrong path, and China will have no time for any catch-up work should the current course stay.
A word of caution deserves here against the prevalent anticipation of a fast collapse of the Chinese communist regime. Extra vigil must be paid to China's ferocious & predatory neighbors, far away or near by, for sake of guarding against the likely re-emergence of hundred-year intervals of historical turmoil because China of the 21st century is no longer living in a shielded environment juxtaposed against the predictable nomadic Hunnic, Turkic & Mongol invaders any more. Should China disintegrate into one dozen countries now, the same way as Iraq is to divest into three states, China would never have a chance to reunite as a single entity ever. Any structural or system change for China, internally or externally induced, has to be implemented in a rational and balanced way. China's future is not a matter to be determined in 10 years or less, but could be up to 100 years, beyond which the uncertainty of its fate and fortune could set in. The essential endeavours should be exerted to the upbringing of a new generation of Chinese patriots with ideals and devotion for the nation. As the ancient Chinese saying goes, it takes 10 years to plant a tree and 100 years to raise a person. "Raising a person [i.e., an ordinary Chinese person]" is a task that should be undertaken from ground up inside of China. Only after restoring the baseline of China's societal foundation and values [which had been destroyed by the communist regime] would there be possibility of a resurrected Chinese Nation.
Written by Ah Xiang
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