The Chinese Elephant

An Italian uttered the first warning: “Let China sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” – N. Buonaparte.

She has now awakened because the ideologue Mao Tse-Tung died and the country adopted a fascist-like economic system – a fusion of government and capitalist ownership. If you fear Russia’s global power more than Red China’s you’ve had too much Stolichnaya vodka!  The global Han Chinese are 19% of the world’s population, over one billion and among the richest.

Roman coins have been found in China and Japan bearing witness to trade with our ancestors.  After Rome, Italians continued that contact.  Everyone knows of Marco Polo, whose stories inspired Columbus, but Jesuits like Matteo Ricci (who died in Beijing in 1610) not only opened our eyes to Han culture but spent 27 years teaching the Chinese Western technology (famously with a clock), global geography, science, and the humanities. In the process he introduced Christianity – today, there are tens of million adherents.

Our educational system gives credit to the Chinese for paper, gunpowder, and printing; but the wonders that Matteo Ricci gave to them is absent from most textbooks. Like most of the world, the Chinese believe they have been the victims of Euro-Caucasians not the beneficiaries of our civilization.  And, like our American elitists, they believe in their own superiority and destiny.  They have always been the “Middle Kingdom” (the center of the world) analogous to Rome’s Caput Mundi.

In these days of tension, it would be appropriate to remind Red China that it was the United States that ultimately defeated their worst enemy Japan in 1945, liberating half that country from brutal occupation. Yet, the Chinese have no guilt in stealing our patents and copyrights.

I am in awe of the Chinese people themselves – their industriousness, their humanity, their unbroken chain of history, and a cuisine with recipes for every creature that walks, crawls, or swims (without using potatoes, butter, or cheese!)

True, they have suffered from British exploitation (two Opium Wars cost them Hong Kong), but also from their Asian neighbors – the Mongols, the Manchurians, the Japanese. In America, their immigrants suffered lynching, degradation, and stereotyping – “The Yellow Peril.”  But so did ours.

I’d swap Charlie Chan for Chico Marx any day.  He was smarter than your average gumshoe.  Chan-haters didn’t like his accent, his quoting of Confucius, and his role going to White actors.

Chinese Americans were often cast as houseboys, laundrymen, and Kung Fu fighters – rarely as criminals, dummies, or wife-beaters. Media bad guys like Dr. Fu Manchu never had the staying power of Mafia goombahs.  In real life, Chinese Americans waged murderous Tong Wars between 1880 and 1930 over prostitution, opium smuggling, gambling, and protection money in major U.S. cities. They were the original crime families (“tong” = family association). Yet, today, their worst nightmare is to be labeled  “a model minority.”

Something that I have noticed over the years is that most Chinese Americans have fallen in line with Red China, perhaps because millions of new immigrants brought their patriotism with them. They show little embarrassment compared to that which we suffered for taking pride in Fascist Italy during the 1930s.

Our media has been seduced by Red China, making it a “free market” wonder.  The general public knows more of the skullduggery in Russia than in Red China.  Even the reporting of our current trade battle makes Trump the evil character over President Xi (“she”). How little Americans know of the on-going Han colonization of Tibet, or the suppression of Islam and Christianity within China;  how the Chinese are using their U.S. profits to project their power into Africa, Latin America, and even Europe; how their coal consumption is driving climate change; how their lust for exotic animal parts is annihilating African wildlife.

CBS’s 60 Minutes examined Chinese espionage in its December 23rd program, during which an intelligence official reported that uncovering three simultaneous traitors working for Red China was “unprecedented.”  When asked how Chinese espionage compared to Russian, he said it was “not even close.”

Red China is the real elephant in the room. -JLM

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Chinese Elephant”

  1. As a piano instructor for 45 years here on Long Island and with contact with teachers from around the country I have a good perspective on the demographics of my profession. It is not hyperbole to state that the Chinese are carrying the torch for 3 of the most amazing instruments invented in Italy, the piano, violin, and cello. Indeed some value obtaining original Italian versions. I am fortunate that I have some connection to a Chinese community that values my services just to keep food on the table. When I first began teaching I had a high percentage of Jews, Italians, and some Chinese (who were mostly Taiwanese with excellent English skills). Today the demographics and reasons for music study are totally different. John has actually expressed an interest to interview me about all of this as the Institute might find it interesting. It is mostly my Chinese students who apply themselves with support from the parents. Today’s Chinese have close contact with China and my biggest career failure was not learning Mandarin as they usually employ Chinese for their services. Even though many young people have decoding problems with music notation today the Asian parents insist on discipline to overcome. My Euro-Caucasian enrollment is way down as issues of ADD and the general lax culture of today is not conducive to this 19th Century endeavor. This is the tip of the iceberg and I am available to explore further.

    1. Virtually the same trend is very apparent in engineering and science – where an increasing proportion of students and faculty at U.S. universities are of asian origin.

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