ChinaBounder comments:‘Fault Lines On The Face Of China: 50 Reasons Why China May Never Be Great’ - Excerpt 37
In China, the ‘kowtow’ has long been the traditional form of obeisance on meeting the emperor. The ceremony involves crouching on one’s hands and knees and knocking the head against the floor, and a full performance of the ritual requires the giver to fall to his knees three times, each time knocking his head to the ground thrice.
Kowtowing to your immediate superior and those above theoretically ended when the Qing Dynasty fell in 1911. Occasionally you will see staff members at various hotels genuflect with less formality and depth, indicating a sense of the past still lives in China.
The idea that China is still the center of the world has reappeared in subtle ways, although perhaps subtlety is not the correct term to use when considering China’s approach to Taiwan – which is unification by any means, with force if necessary.
Today China has reached back into its traditions to create the ‘Taiwan kowtow,’ a kowtow with politics added to it, easily the one overriding political idea that consumes Chinese political cadres, as well as the public.
It appears that every single country’s leaders, freely elected or not, must mouth the golden words of the new Taiwan kowtow.
Poor old Taiwan.
Taiwan is an example of what China could be. Taiwan, in its 36,000 square kilometers, has a hundred times more greatness in it than China does in its near ten million square kilometers.
In just 50 years Taiwan achieved what China, in 2000 years, never managed. Democracy. Freedom. A voice for the people!
Taiwan is to be honored. Taiwan, proud, strong independent. It is a great nation.
And it is most emphatically not part of China.
Now I’ve asked this question a thousand times and I’ve not yet met the Chinese citizen who is able to give me a coherent, logical answer.
The people of Taiwan choose their own leaders. Their own law. They have their own currency. Their own passport. In every yardstick by which a nation can be defined, Taiwan is a nation.
China, for all its childish huffing and puffing, has precisely zero control over Taiwan – save, of course, the only thing that Chinese politicians really understand – the threat of force. That’s all China’s got. That’s China’s one claim to Taiwan – be part of us or we will obliterate you to the last man woman and child.
And so by what measure, I ask my Chinese readers, can you claim Taiwan is part of China?
Now first of all, you can fuck off with your historical bullshit claims. History means precisely shit, and I have hashed this over so many times with indoctrinated Chinese people that I now am simply abrupt about it. Fuck history. It does not matter. Even if the ludicrous claims that Taiwan has ‘always’ been part of China were true, even if it could be proved Taiwan’s been part of China since the Han Dynasty it would matter precisely nothing. (And in any case, the truth is that China paid no attention at all to Taiwan for much of its history. There was a brief incursion in the early Qing, but even by the late Qing the government of China stated ‘Taiwan is beyond our dominions.’)
Because today is what matters. Right now is what matters. Right now China has zero control over Taiwan. And right now Taiwan has zero interest in coming back to China.
Indeed I guarantee – I guarantee – that there is not one single young Taiwanese citizen who wants the nation to be part of China. Not one.
And that’s the equation. It’s what the Taiwanese want today that matters.
I ask my Chinese readers: Why should the Taiwanese people be bound by ‘history’? Even if your preposterous version of history were true, why should the destiny of today’s Taiwanese people be decided by the actions of generations long dead? Why do they not have the right to choose their own path?
The only people who use ‘history’ as an argument are those who have no other argument to make.
It’s just the same with Tibet, guys. What matters is now. What matters is what the people who live in Taiwan and Tibet (and Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, those other nations China holds by force) want now.
And by fuck they don’t want to be part of China.
Of course one gets used to lies and bluster from China. That’s the way of it, and there are a dozen examples everywhere you look – as, for example, John Ray found out the other day. He’s a BBC journalist. He was in China, doing his job, reporting on activists from a group called ‘Students for a Free Tibet.’ The Chinese police, who were beating seven bells of shit out of these guys, as is fully to be expected, also had a crack at Mr. Ray, dragging him away, bundling him into a van, and forcibly restraining him there.
China, when it won the right to hold the Olympic games, said it would respect media freedom. That was, of course, a lie. When will the world realize it can expect little but lies from China’s leaders?
And so the lies and shit over Taiwan that spew from China are no real surprise, and nor is the ignorance of young Chinese people regarding Taiwan.
The real injustice here (for one cannot expect justice from China) is how the rest of the world treats Taiwan. Taiwan’s achievement in reaching democracy should be honored. It is magnificent. It is a triumph of the human spirit, and the people of Taiwan deserve the highest respect and praise for sticking to their democracy in the face of their thuggish and belligerent neighbor China.
Do they get that respect? Do they fuck. Most of the rest of the world has proven happy to turn its back on Taiwan, to pay lip-service to the objectionable twaddle of ‘One China,’ to fleer and jest at what Taiwan has achieved. The order of the day is ‘Fuck Taiwan’s democracy, keep the criminals in Beijing happy, for that’s where the money is.’ Yeah, when it comes to money, where are the West’s fine morals?
And yet despite all that, Taiwan remains proud. Taiwan remains strong. Taiwan remains a nation.
Good for the nation of Taiwan!
‘Fault Lines On The Face Of China: 50 Reasons Why China May Never Be Great’ - Excerpt 38In April 2007, Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong met Germany’s Defense Minister, Franz Josef Jung, in Beijing. Jung said Germany would adhere to the one-China policy.
Perhaps Defense Minister Jung forgot that Germany’s reunification was accomplished by democracy, something at this point that only Taiwan has accomplished.
Again that month, Chinese Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu met the Dutch Foreign Minister, Maxime Verhagen, in The Hague. During the meeting, Verhagen reiterated the Dutch government’s continued adherence to the one-China policy.
In May 2007 Wu Bangguo, one of China’s most senior leaders, was in Warsaw, Poland, to discuss relations between the two countries and to collect the prerequisite Taiwan kowtow, meeting the speaker of the Polish parliament’s lower house, Ludwik Dorn
Dorn said that Poland’s position on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet will never change and that the Polish government and its people firmly oppose any secessionist activities in any forms.
A remarkable statement from a leader in a nation that suffered so much at the hands of so many totalitarian occupiers throughout its history. Poland only found its freedom through the democratic Solidarity movement which allowed it to break away from a communist regime and form a free nation – similar to some of Taiwan’s democratic intentions.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was again busy in this month, visiting his Canadian counterpart Peter Mackay. Foreign Minister Mackay said that the Canadian government would stick to the one-China policy and would not develop official ties with Taiwan.
While mouthing the required Party line kept his guests happy, perhaps Foreign Minister Mackay’s political party also gained votes from the vast number of Chinese who have made Canada their new home – unless of course some of their reasons for moving to Canada were to escape Chinese communism.
Soon after his election, French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy spoke with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Sarkozy said that Taiwan is an indispensable part of China, and France would firmly adhere to the one-China policy.
France’s famous national motto is ‘Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité – ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.’
But not for Taiwan.
Taiwan has fought for and found its freedom. But Tibet and Xinjiang are still fighting. Don’t forget the fight. Whenever you get the chance to be on camera in China, make a ‘T’ sign for Tibet and an ‘X’ sign for Xinjiang. One day those nations will be as free from China as Taiwan already is.