The Lips Protecting China’s Teeth – Part 3/3

After reading parts one and two, I want you to wear China’s shoes for a moment.

If you were one of China’s leaders, ask yourself what you would think and do when one or more of the nations that challenged the sphere of influence China once dominated for two thousand years was hanging about as if it were a threat.

This foreign nation, the United States, which is more than six thousand miles from China, has troops based in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa and protects an enemy of yours in Taiwan, the Nationalist Chinese (KMT).

In 1949, under Mao, the KMT was defeated ending the Chinese Civil war of 1925 – 1949.

Before 1925, the founder of your republic, Sun Yat-sen, asked the United States for help to end the anarchy and chaos that was sweeping across China after the Qing Dynasty collapsed, but America refused as did the other major democracies. Then Sun Yat-sen turned to the Soviet Union, who said yes.

The Communist Party you belong to didn’t start the 1925 Civil War. It was started by the KMT’s leader Chiang Kai-shek, who then retreated to Taiwan taking China’s treasury and treasures with him leaving China broke.

Chiang Kai-shek was a brutal dictator that ruled Taiwan under martial law. He was protected by a country that took part in the Second Opium War against China and again in the 1900 invasion that brought an end to what the West calls the Boxer Rebellion.

Would you be suspicious? Would you want to have a strong, modern military to deter other nations from attacking China as China was attacked in the 16th, 19th and 20th centuries?

You may take China’s shoes off now.

The Chinese do not lack courage. Any “fool” that thinks the Chinese are unwilling to fight to preserve their culture and/or protect their country from foreign invaders need only study China’s history to see otherwise.

Wise men learn from history and do not repeat the same mistakes.

Return to The Lips Protecting China’s Teeth – Part 2

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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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2 Responses to The Lips Protecting China’s Teeth – Part 3/3

  1. Y Chan says:

    I am sorry again, but your history is completely WRONG.

    The countries that took part in the Second Opium War (1856 – 1860) were the UK and France. Both Russia and the US were asked by the British to join but they did not.

    It was in this war that the Old Summer Place (Yuan Ming Palace) was burnt to the ground by British and French forces.

    In the First Opium War, Hong Kong was supposed to be ceded to the British permanently. In the Second Opium War, Kowloon and New Territories was leased to the British for 99 years, ending in 1997.

    Some 40 years later, around 1900, an uprising against Western colonialism occurred in China (so called the Boxer Rebellion). In response, the eight-nations army (UK, France, Japan, USA, Russia, Italy, Germany, Austria) invaded China and burned down the New Summer Palace (Yihe Palace).

    Navy Captain Von Trapp (portraited by Christopher Plummer in “the Sound of Music”) actually served in this eight-nations army, although he did not come ashore.

    In 1911 Dr. Sun Yet Sen overthrew the Qing Dynasty, sending China into a chaos of warlords, one of them was Yuan Shikai.

    In 1928, Chiang Kai-Shek started a series of Northern Expedition campaigns against the war lords. Yes, it was a civil war, but not with Mao Zedong —- Mao was a nobody then.

    Unfortunately, in the middle of this expedition, Japan invaded Manchuria to create the 9-18 Mukden Incident. It was during the next couple of years that the Communist Party tried to grip power, eg, through the Xian Incidence.

    Meanwhile, the West turned their attention away from China to Europe, where Hitler began to invade and annex neighbouring countries. The USA was in a great depression and did not want to get involved.

    But, history is history. It was Chiang Kai-shek’s army who beared the brunt of the Japanese attack in WWII. Mao Zedong simply played lip service to “fighting the Japanese” invaders, reserving military power for a real showdown with KMT after the war in 1949.

    The USA is only an evil empire after WWII because they think that the world owed them something for crushing Hitler. Before that, it was the British Empire whose sun had now set.

    • I disagree.

      Several sources I researched say America did take part during the Second Opium War and had troops in China with the British and French then pulled out before the end due to Washington DC deciding it was a dirty war because of the drugs.

      US involvement is more of a footnote than anything but they were there.

      You may read of US involvement here: http://www.koreanhistoryproject.org/Ket/C19/E1905.htm

      Here’s a quote from the source I have provided a link to: “The impressive fleet of Allied gunboats sailed north from Shanghai on April 10, 1858, crossed the Yellow Sea, rounded the promontory of the Shandong Peninsula and entered the Gulf of Bo Hai. The plan was to sail up the Hai River towards Beijing and intimidate the Chinese into accepting British, French and American treaty terms.”

      The reason the US is not mentioned in many history texts is that the US troops weren’t there when the Second Opium War ended and the treaty was signed.

      However, the US also benefited from the First Opium War as the US had a concession in Shanghai further from the old city than the French and British.

      The treaty also required China to pay reparations to all the nations that took part in the Opium Wars (the cost of fighting the war by the foreign powers) and the US got some of that money only to return it to China.

      I’ve read that China took that money and built a university as a way to show respect because America gave it back. The US government saw it as dirty money due to the opium trade and didn’t want to keep it.

      Russia may not have been directly involved in the First Opium War but they did fight with the Qing Dynasty over borders and Robert Hart writes of this in his journals, which Harvard University Press published. Hart has a meeting with Prince Kung where the prince tells him of concessions to Russia and Germany.

      The British and French made up the largest force. Since the Germans had occupied a portion of one of the cities that by treaty was opened to foreign trade after the First Opium War in northeast China much as Shanghai was occupied with foreign concessions, the Germans were there but not in force as the British and French were.

      You are right about Mao’s forces not playing a big role in the war with Japan. And Mao started out almost a nobody but during the Long March with the Communist Army as it was retreating under constant attack by Chiang Kai-shek’s troops across thousands of miles of rough terrain, (there was more than one Long March by more than one Communist Army–all under attack by the Nationalists), he gained status and power and by the end of the Chinese Civil War was leader of the Communist Party in China. Mao was even quoted as saying if it hadn’t been for the Japanese invasion of China, the Communists would have list the Civil War.

      Since the Communist Army Mao was with during the Long March started out with 86 thousand men and finished the march with 6,000, the Civil War was very bloody. However, the Civil War was sort of put on hold after the Japanese entered China from Manchuria. At the time, the Communist armies were in no shape to fight Japan since they had taken such a horrible beating by the Nationalists and they used that time to rebuild strength for what was to come after 1945 to 1949.

      I agree with your conclusion. Sad! It’s almost as if the US inherited the status of a world empire from the British as they pulled back to their little, foggy island.

      Most of the facts you mention in your comment appear in one or more of the more than thousand posts in this Blog.

      Do more homework about the 2nd Opium War and you will discover some German military (one was a general who was in charge–even the Chinese documentary I’ve seen once while touring the ruins of the Summer Palace mentioned the German general—I recall that he was a baron or a count) were involved in the military invasion that looted and destroyed the Summer Palace.

      Many of the Asian studies textbooks used in Western and Chinese universities do not have all of the information and much of the claims are wrong. To find the real facts, one must look beyond the flawed textbooks and read books written by scholars such as Sterling Seagrave the author of “Dragon Lady” or Jonathan D. Spense who wrote “God’s Chinese Son”.

      It also helps to read primary evidence such as Robert Hart’s letters and journals—the originals are kept at the Queens College of Belfast, and Harvard University Press published them in several volumes.

      In fact, Seagrave, while researching “Dragon Lady” in China (he wrote of this in “Dragon Lady”), discovered that much of what is considered bedrock historical fact of 19th century China is based on lies written by British journalists and this lies are still in university textbooks.

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