Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

What makes China behave like a dragon?

Posted by administrator 

What makes China behave like a dragon?
September 30, 2020 04:31PM
Modern China and Its Ancestors


The People’s Republic of China is the heir to one of the world’s great ancient
empires, dating back to the third century B.C. That empire existed for more than
two millennia, and its end has just faded off the edge of living memory. Its last
emperor was deposed in 1912; Xi Jinping’s father was born the following year.
Imperial Chinese dynasties came and went, and borders expanded and
contracted, but the empire always maintained its fundamental continuity as a
vast nation-state with a core ethnic majority of Han Chinese.



Han People


The Han Chinese trace a common ancestry to the Huaxia, a name for the initial confederation of agricultural tribes living along the Yellow River. The term Huaxia represents the collective Neolithic confederation of agricultural tribes Hua and Xia who settled along the Central Plains around the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River in Northern China. The tribes were the ancestors of the modern Han Chinese people that gave birth to Chinese civilization. In addition, the term Huaxia (literally "the civilized Xia people") was distinctively used to represent a 'civilized' ethnic group in contrast to what was perceived as 'barbaric' foreigners around them.

Han people constitute the world's largest ethnic group, making up about 18% of the global population and consisting of various subgroups speaking distinctive varieties of Chinese languages. The estimated 1.4 billion Han Chinese people world-wide are mostly concentrated in mainland China, where they make up about 92% of the total population



Han emperors, from the time of the seventh-century Tang Dynasty, governed through an elite
Confucian-educated bureaucracy that spread a single, national values system
throughout the empire.


Mandarin


The name or phrase Mandarin ultimately came from the Sanskrit mantri (Devanagari: मंत्री, meaning counselor or minister – etymologically linked to mantra)


From 605 to 1905, mandarins (civil servants) were selected by merit through the extremely rigorous imperial examination.


China has had civil servants since at least the Zhou dynasty. However, most high ranking positions were filled by relatives of the sovereign and the nobility. It was not until the Tang Dynasty when the final form of the mandarin was completed with the replacement of the nine-rank system. The mandarins were the founders and core of the Chinese gentry. A governmental office (for example, a central government department or a provincial civil governorate) headed by a mandarin is called a yamen. The mandarins were replaced with a modern civil service after the fall of the Qing dynasty.

The speech standard of the Ming and Qing empires was called "Mandarin language" by European missionaries, translating the Chinese name Guanhua ("the language of the officials") for this speech standard, which was current already in the Ming dynasty.


The successor Chinese states of the past 108 years have remade China
economically and ideologically, often at terrible cost. But Xi still reigns very
much in the cultural and geographic footprints of a proudly continuous Imperial
Chinese civilization. Like Vladimir Putin, he draws increasingly from the deep
well of nationalism in his country’s pre-Communist history. He “peppers his
speeches with references to classical Chinese literature and mythology,” and his
government is currently engaged in one of the traditional methods of
transmitting legitimacy from one imperial dynasty to the next: a massive effort
to commemorate the previous dynasty and shape the writing of its history. In
this case, that means the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China from 1644 to 1912.


The death of a dynasty every few hundred years was long accepted as a standard
part of the national life cycle in China. Confucian philosophy developed the idea
of the “Mandate of Heaven” to infuse with religious significance the practical
reality that a dynasty that no longer gave the people internal order and external
security from invasion had lost divine favor and the accompanying right to
obedience. Unlike in the West, the loss of imperial legitimacy in China did not
derive primarily from violations of the liberties of the people, although “foreign”
dynasties such as the Qing were sometimes charged by internal critics with
trampling on Chinese traditions. Only the loss of guarantees of social order
signaled the withdrawal of the Mandate of Heaven, making it, at times, a selffulfilling prophecy.
The ideological importance of the Mandate of Heaven was that it ensured that
the successor dynasty would be received as legitimate once it restored order. The
overriding imperative for every Chinese dynasty, and for every Chinese
government since, has been to demonstrate to the people that it was in sufficient
control to guarantee internal order and external security. The secondary goal
was to demonstrate its fidelity to traditional Chinese ways. Only by the
application of brute force on a colossal scale was Mao Zedong’s Cultural
Revolution able to temporarily repress the deep-rooted Chinese reverence for
those traditions.


The Mandate of Heaven survived dynasties imposed on China by external
invaders: the Mongols who established the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century
and the Manchus who established the Qing Dynasty in the 17th. Despite
lingering popular resentment of these dynasties as foreign in origin, they came
from China’s neighbors, and they ruled through the traditional mechanisms of
the Chinese state. The Yuan Dynasty held the Mandate of Heaven for roughly a
century, the Qing for almost three. To do so, their rulers made a show of
assimilating to the mores of those they ruled.


The dignity of the emperor was, moreover, never officially acknowledged to be
merely equal to that of other sovereigns. The emperor was, instead, considered
the superior of all other rulers and realms, and he expected their representatives
to pay him obeisance. An inflated self-image of national exceptionalism is hardly
unique to China, and official ideology did not prevent China from interacting
with other neighboring nations in practice. Neighboring monarchs consciously
styled themselves as emperors in order to place themselves on par with the
Chinese emperor. But the size and customary dominance of China over its
region from ancient times through the end of the 18th century gave substance to
the empire’s view of itself as the “Middle Kingdom.”


The Agony of the Qing


The 19th century changed all that. Explosive population growth over the
preceding four centuries — China had six times as many people by 1800 as it
had had in 1400 — strained the empire’s supply of arable farmland, increasing
the frequency of peasant revolts. In another era, that might have set the stage for
an ordinary change of dynasties. Instead, what followed was a traumatic
external shock: the defeat of China by Britain in the First Opium War of 1839–
42. China had long been open to European trade, and European commerce was
a regular presence for four centuries before 1839 — but always on China’s own
terms.


This was different. The Industrial Revolution, and in particular the ability of
steamboats to project naval firepower upriver, led to a massive and destabilizing
growth in Western military superiority by the late 1830s. A comparatively small
military force from an island halfway around the world proved more than equal
to defeating the vast Qing Empire and imposing on it both unequal trade terms
and territorial concessions, including the loss of Hong Kong. As Xi framed the
Chinese perspective on this defeat in a 2017 speech commemorating the 20th
anniversary of the return of Hong Kong from British rule:


In the early 1840s, the invasion of merely a 10,000-person British expedition
forced the Qing government, having 800,000 in troops, to cede territory and
pay indemnities, to cede Hong Kong island. . . . China was again and again
beaten by countries having far smaller territories and populations than
itself. . . . The history of China at that time was lled with the nation’s
humiliation and its people’s grief.


The unexpected outcome sent shock waves through the neighboring states of
Japan and Korea, stiffening their elites’ resolve to remain secluded from the
West. The treaty-port system established by the war forced China to accept,
among other things, both a booming import trade in Indian-grown opium and
an expanded presence of Christian missionaries. Both the drugs and the Bibles
were seen by Chinese elites as weakening the moral supports of traditional,
Confucian China.


The British trading presence led to further hostilities when Chinese authorities
attempted to punish suspected pirates running a British-flagged vessel in
Chinese waters. Emperor Xianfeng, thinking himself secure in his traditional
dignity, refused to meet with European representatives, who in turn would not
bow to him. In the Second Opium War, between 1856 and 1860, British and
French forces burned the emperor’s Summer Palace in Beijing and forced the
imperial court to flee the capital. The young emperor, himself addled by opium,
died in exile. Russia and the United States got in on the act as well, with
American Marines landing on Chinese soil and Russia squeezing out of China
the territory on which its Pacific port of Vladivostok was founded in 1861.
Worse was already afoot at home.


Between 1851 and 1864, the entire Yangtze River region was convulsed by the Taiping Rebellion, a civil war that claimed
tens of millions of lives — by some estimates, more than the entire global death
toll of the First World War. The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, like other
charismatic Christian movements of the era in the United States, New Zealand,
and the Yucatán, was led by a prophet who claimed direct revelations from God,
Hong Xiuquan. Hong, an ethnic-minority Hakka who began having visions after
failing the Confucian civil-service examinations, declared himself the brother of
Jesus after reading Christian texts that had their origins in Western missionary
activity. He studied with a Baptist minister from Tennessee. And he went on to
proclaim his “Heavenly Kingdom” while denouncing the Qing as foreign devils
who imposed un-Chinese ways on the country. Hong’s Western-influenced
cousin, as the Heavenly Kingdom’s chief minister, proposed an ambitious
program to bring railroads and other modern industry to China.


It was only by a pincer movement of provincial Chinese armies in the west (led
by the methodical Confucian loyalist Zeng Guofan, the Ulysses S. Grant of
China) and a coalition in the east assisted by American, British, and French
mercenaries and advisers (including the devoutly Christian British military hero
Charles “Chinese” Gordon) that the Qing barely survived the rebellion. When it
was over, the Taiping were eradicated virtually to the last man, and efforts were
made to expunge all memory of their idiosyncratic Christian movement.


The Taiping were not the only Chinese religious minority of the 19th century to
take a rebellion against the Qing as far as setting up a separate state. As the
century progressed, the southwestern province of Yunnan, situated between
Tibet and Burma, faced mounting tensions between Han immigrants and the
native Hui population, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group. Han-led
massacres killed thousands of Hui in 1839 and 1845, and Hui appeals to Beijing
were ignored. A third such massacre in 1856, openly backed by provincial Qing
authorities proclaiming “kill them one and all,” led the Hui to raise the banner
of separation in what became known in the West as the Panthay Rebellion.
Du Wenxiu, an educated Hui who had passed the Confucian examinations, led a
separate Pingnan state covering western Yunnan for 18 years from 1856–73. The
Pingnan government, while not exclusively Muslim, adopted Arabic as its
official language and built mosques and madrassas. Yet, it also, like the Taiping,
denounced the Qing for departing from the traditions of the Han-led Ming
Dynasty. Du opened relations with the British, who had recently conquered
neighboring Burma. After nearly two decades of war that claimed over a million
lives, the Pingnan state was eventually undone with the help of the betrayal of a
key Pingnan general. At least 10,000 holdouts — including women, children,
and the elderly — were massacred by Qing troops, who sent 24 baskets of their
severed ears to Beijing along with Du’s head as trophies for the emperor.
A third rebellion, the predominantly Muslim Dungan Revolt in northwestern
Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, lasted from 1862 to 1877, again costing millions
of lives and sending hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing to Russia. A
fourth saw the northwestern border province of Xinjiang, the homeland of
today’s Uighur population, break off between 1865 and 1877 under Yaqub Beg, a
Central Asian Muslim adventurer. Russia and Britain, then heavily engaged in
“the Great Game” for control of Central Asia, supported both the northwestern
rebellions.


To put these conflicts in American geographic terms, picture the Taiping holding
the states of the American Confederacy, with the Pingnan state in Arizona, the
Dungan state in the northern Great Plains, and Beg’s state in the Pacific
Northwest. The collective bloodletting was likely fifty times that of the American
Civil War. And amazingly, those four don’t even constitute an exhaustive list of
major rebellions ongoing in Qing China between 1851 and 1877.


The Qing Dynasty survived the crucible of this era, but despite a vigorous
program of internal reforms — including brutally suppressing the domestic
demand for opium — it never truly recovered. In fact, Western assistance in
defeating the Taiping may have prevented the Mandate of Heaven from moving
on to a new dynasty more capable of standing on its own. The Western powers
had to send in a joint military force to suppress the Boxer Rebellion in 1900.
Further humiliations and breathtaking suffering were inflicted in wars with
Japan from 1894-95 and 1937-45, including the loss of Taiwan to Japan. The
Soviet Union intervened militarily in Xinjiang in 1934.


After the 1949 Communist Revolution, Mao rebuilt China’s military, ejected foreign influence,
reclaimed its sovereign pride, and reasserted control over Tibet. But he also
killed more of his own subjects than any ruler in world history and left China
miserably poor. In the four and a half decades since his death, China has
reengaged with the world economy and rebuilt its own. But the scars of history
remain.


Living History


On the other hand, China’s “century of humiliation” before Mao’s revolution is a key, longstanding
element of the Chinese Communist Party’s narrative of Chinese restoration. It
formed a centerpiece of Xi’s commemoration in October of the 70th anniversary
of the revolution. It is also an all-purpose scapegoat. Xi’s regime reaches for the
specter of foreign imperialism to explain internal dissension (e.g. its response to
unrest in Hong Kong) and deflect external criticism.


Consider the aforementioned Wall Street Journal controversy: The regime claims offense at a
column on its handling of the coronavirus titled “China Is the Real Sick Man of
Asia,” on the theory that it is an insensitive reference to 19th century Western
rhetoric about Chinese weakness. The original “sick man” phrase was coined by
Tsar Nicholas I of Russia in the 1840s to refer to the Ottoman Empire, but the
same mindset animated Western views of China as a playground for Western
rivalries with no say of its own in the matter. However absurd it may seem,
wielding the specter of Western imperialism is partly a way of weaponizing
Western guilt and partly a way of justifying unequal present-day power
relationships that favor the PRC.


The outgoing head of MI6 has said the West “got it wrong” on China.

Sir Alex Younger warned that a major mistake was the assumption, held for the past two decades, that the Chinese Communist Party would become more like the West as it “matured”.

He said: “The idea that as they matured and became richer they were going to become more like us is for the birds.

“I think you’re seeing a steady but definite ideological divergence taking place. There will be at least two dominant value systems on one planet into the medium term and that’s just a fact and it’s where we are going.”

Sir Alex warned that while it was important to pick up China over malicious cyber attacks, it was important to be able to live alongside each other peacefully, rather than in a state of cold war.


Leader of Asia not the leader of the world- Beginning and end of Xi's dream



Contradictory to western notion that China's ambition is world domination, Xi's dream for CCP is only about (at least in his life time) crown and throne of Asia which he claims rightfully belongs to China's Han people.



China and its land grab


Thirty one per cent of China is forcefully occupied. That is when we go with the official Chinese record. China forcefully occupied Xinjiang in 1949 and Tibet in 1950. As per the official Chinese record, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has an area of 1.66 million square kilometers, that is 17.68% of total land area of China, i.e., 93,88,210 square kilometers, as per the World Bank Databank.


The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has an area of 1.22 million square kilometre, i.e., 13% of the total land area of China — that makes 31% of the total land area of China. And 44.31% if we take into account the claims made by Tibetan Government in Exile in India or Central Tibetan Administration.



The Central Tibetan Administration claims historical Greater Tibet has a land area of 2.5 million square kilometers and the bulk of historical Tibet lies outside the Tibet Autonomous Region. China had already merged more than half of the Greater Tibet in other Chinese provinces before it announced the formation of TAR in 1965.



China also occupies two pieces of Indian territories. It includes Aksai Chin, a 38,000 square kilometre border area in Ladakh that China occupied in 1962 India-China war while Pakistan ceded to China 5,180 square kilometre of occupied Indian territory in 1963 under Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement.


Xi's dream of becoming the emperor of Asia and conquering land from India, Russia and USA (through conquering Taiwan) could turn out to be the tipping point and could lead to the decline of Modern China.


As communist party member Jack Ma once said, the present chains on China can only be lifted through a world war



Edited 9 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2020 10:59AM by administrator.

Sorry, you do not have permission to post/reply in this forum.