Debating China with Timothy V.

“Again, as I stated in an earlier comment, the Chinese students at our local university paint a completely different picture of China than you do. So considering the fact that they were born and raised there and you weren’t, I’m taking their word over yours.” Source: Timothy V.

Timothy had more to say and so did I. This post is a shorter, edited and revised version. I didn’t edit Timothy’s quote—only my words appearing below. If you want to read the entire response, go to Left of the Right and scroll down until you find Timothy V’s latest with my response following his.


Often, when I read complaints about shoddy Chinese products in the American media, the language makes China guilty as if the government of China gave orders for that to happen. That’s not the way things work.

For example, the president of the United States and the Congress are not responsible for tainted American meats or fruits and vegetables that make people sick. Click on this link to the CDC to discover how bad it is. In the United States, food borne diseases have been estimated to cause 6 million to 81 million illnesses and up to 9,000 deaths each year.

Or what about the murder and mayhem on our roads and freeways? More people die every year in car crashes in the United States than died fighting in Vietnam for more than a decade.

Or how about unnecessary deaths in American hospitals due to greed and carelessness.  The annual number of deaths in American hospitals should shock anyone.

In fact, like America, crimes in China are often traced to one greedy person or a group of individuals and when caught they often get a death penalty or kill him or herself.

The individual in China found responsible for the tainted infant formula killed himself before the trial.

As for the few Chinese students you know at your local university—sure they grew up in “today’s” China and I didn’t, but I believe the Chinese I know, who all grew up in China, are better sources than the few you know.  Besides being married to a Chinese woman who was born in China and didn’t leave until she was in her twenties, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and talk to Chinese people of all ages in China and America. I’ve met Chinese from many occupations in both countries. I’ve even talked to a Tibetan refugee. In addition, I talked to a retired Communist official who fought in the revolution that Mao won.

Chiang Kai-shek

There was also the eighty-year old I met in his closet-sized room in Shanghai. With my wife interpreting, we talked for hours. Prior to 1949, he had been a Kuomintang police chief in a small town. He stayed behind when Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan with China’s treasury leaving the mainland broke. This former police chief was arrested in 1949 by Mao’s troops and spent half his life at hard labor in a prison camp close to Tibet. He knew about the gold from the treasury, because he was the one responsible to make sure it was loaded on the train.

He said about the prison camp, “Ten-thousand went in and five-hundred came out.” Today’s Communist government gives him a small pension—enough for rent and food. He was happy to be free again and didn’t hold grudges.

Discover more about this debate at Freedom’s Evolution


Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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7 Responses to Debating China with Timothy V.

  1. Terry K Chen says:

    Considering how many bases the US has outside China’s borders today, the move was great from a tactical perspective.

    It was also a great boost to national integrity.

  2. Terry K Chen says:

    I’m pretty sure the main reason for Mao sent troops into tibet was to reclaim it, as the Chinese considered the splitting up of their country a great humiliation.

    However, he must have also known that the US was attempting to make military bases there to stir up trouble for the Chinese.

    • Terry,

      No matter what Mao’s reason was, it was a great tactical move. After all, how many military bases does China have outside China and how many military bases does the US have outside the United States?

  3. Terry Chen says:

    Hello Mr. lofthouse,

    timothy V didn’t make any sense at all in his arguments and he was basically repeating the same things over and over again. If Chinese americans all hated their government as he says, how does he explain why Chinese people all over the world stood up for their government during the tibet riots, how does he explain the fact that Chinese people got so angry when jack cufferty labelled the CCP as ‘loons and hooligans’?

    On a side note, how was your experience of talking to a tibetan refugee?

    • Terry,

      When I talked to the Tibetan refugee, I didn’t tell him I wrote a Blog about China or that I have visited China often over the years. I also didn’t let him know that I knew anything about China. If I had, he might have clammed up.

      I have learned that if you want to discover something about someone else, it is best not to talk too much about yourself and to ask questions and then listen while coming up with more questions to keep the conversation going. Most people are always willing to blab on about themselves.

      That doesn’t mean I never talk about myself. If asked, I answer and sometimes reveal too much information, but I find that most people are never interested to find out about others.

      This Tibetan refugee runs a small business in a town near where we live, and he sells clothing and other items made by Tibetans and a few books written by the Dalai Lama that he features in his window display along with jewelry. I asked questions about his link to Tibet and that started a conversation. He admitted he didn’t know much about Tibet because his family fled when he was a young child and that was in the 1950s. Today, he must be nearing 70. There are only about 10,000 Tibetans living in the US and Canada and he is one of them. Most Tibetans outside Tibet live in or near the Dalai Lama in India and all of the Tibetans living outside Tibet only make up about 1% of all Tibetans, which means 99% still live in Tibet and inside China.

      While Chinese-Americans number in the millions and are the largest Asian ethnic group in the US, Tibetans are rare here. In fact, none lived outside Tibet until after 1950 and the one percent that fled were mostly the land owners and land lords that ruled over the slave like serfs that made up the other 99% of the population that at the time had a lifespan of about 35 years. Today, the Tibetans descended from the serfs/slaves that populated Tibet prior to 1950 have doubled that lifespan.

      If Mao had not sent in the PLA, would there have been any improvement in lifestyles and lifespan? I doubt it. But those Tibetans would have remained “free” to stay serfs and slaves for the one percent that fled Tibet. In addition, would the US now have military bases in Tibet, if the PLA hadn’t gone in? Maybe Mao saw this as a possibility and the move into Tibet was to protect China more than to reclaim Tibet.

      All the Timothy V’s of the world have to do is read (with an open mind, which I have discovered is rare among his type) that piece in the October 1912 issue of The National Geographic Magazine written by a Western trained Chinese doctor that was sent to Tibet on a medical mission in 1907 by the last Qing Emperor. The doctor stayed in Tibet for two years. His name was Shaoching H. Chuan, M.D., and there was no Communist Party in China in 1907 or 1912 for that matter.

      In fact, Mao was age 14 in 1907 and Sun Yat-sen’s democracy movement had not brought down the Qing Dynasty yet and the Communist Revolution that would sweep Russia wouldn’t happen until 1917.

  4. Tom says:

    I often find it is quite easy to quell any “China sucks” debate by simply comparing the person’s rants against China with a similar situation in America. In this way we find that America is equally if not even more guilty of the exact same socio-economic-political problems as China is. The examples you mention above are just the tip of the iceburg.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lloyd Lofthouse. Lloyd Lofthouse said: Debating China with Timothy V.: […]

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