Bullying China over North Korea is a Mistake

I keep reading in the Western media and on the Internet that China is the bad boy for not taming North Korea even as WikiLeaks shows that China doesn’t have that much influence over the Hermit Kingdom.

One example comes from Jack Kim, a reporter in Seoul working for Reuters, who writes, “China, pushed again by Washington to bring North Korea to heel after last week’s artillery attack on the South, told Pyongyang their relationship had withstood international ‘tempests’.”

If everything we hear about the Hermit Kingdom is true, I must admit this is one country I wouldn’t want to visit.

However, why is China being bullied by the West to tame a beast it cannot control?

The answer is “Humanitarianism”, a concept born among the West’s democracies.

Remaking the World by Michael Barnett says, “Religious beliefs and organizations, most notably those influenced by Christian theology and ethics, helped to create modern humanitarianism in the early nineteenth century and have shaped its expanding scale, scope, and significance ever since.”

At Helium.com, I learned that “Humanitarianism” is the belief that the person was the most important aspect of society, and that it was important to value the individual over the group.

However, in Asia, especially China and North Korea, the group is valued above the individual. After all, China and North Korea along with other Asian nations are collective cultures.

This means that the West’s concept of “Humanitarianism” may not work in most of Asia.

Here’s what a definition for “Humanitarianism” in Asia might say—The belief that the group is the most important aspect of society and that it is important to value the group over the individual.

It this definition is correct, it would explain the death sentence rate in China and harsh punishments for individuals that threaten “Collective Humanitarianism”.

In fact, the real risk to the survival of humanity may be when Westerners take their beliefs to the extreme resulting in “Armed Humanitarianism”.

Top Feed News says, “Armed Humanitarians (by Nathan Hodge) traces how the concepts of nation-building came into vogue, and how, evangelized through think tanks, government seminars, and the press, this new doctrine took root inside the Pentagon and the State Department. Following this extraordinary experiment in armed social work as it plays out from Afghanistan and Iraq to Africa and Haiti…”

The Huffington Post says, “Nathan Hodge is no neophyte on security issues. He has reported from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, and a number of other countries in the Middle East and former Soviet Union. For years he blogged on Wired magazine’s well known Danger Room blog and now reports on the defense industry for the Wall Street Journal.”

What happens if the West influences China to leave Confucian collectivism behind and to embrace the West’s humanitarian beliefs as flawed as they may have become?

Maybe an individualist, humanitarian China would become America’s partner in “Armed Humanitarianism” and divide the globe into a pie chart eventually leading to a third world war between China and the US to see who eats the whole pie.

Then hundreds of millions will die and the earth’s environment would be devastated to protect the rights of the individual.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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