Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Not Rule the World” – Part 2/12

First Question [Lofthouse]: Since 1949, Taiwan and mainland China have followed significantly different paths. While Taiwan held onto the old culture, the mainland went through a painful metamorphosis to rise from the ashes of the Civil War (1926 – 1949) as if it were a phoenix to be reborn.

One example of these differences may be found in the written language. While Taiwan held onto the old style of writing Mandarin, which goes back thousands of years, Mao simplified the language and instead of writing vertically from bottom right in columns toward the top left, the written language on the mainland was simplified with fewer strokes and is written from the top in horizontal lines from left to right ending in the lower right corner as Western writing does.

In addition, Mao saw Confucianism as a weakness that led to China’s decline in the 19th century as the world’s wealthiest and most technologically advanced nation on the earth — a position it held for about two thousand years. To rid Communist China of this weakness, Mao declared war on Confucius.

However, piety, which is a result of Confucian ethics and morals since the Han Dynasty, remains strong in both cultures. Since you lived in Taiwan and taught ESL for ten years and then traveled as a tourist through mainland China, how would you describe the differences you observed between how piety is practiced in mainland China and Taiwan?

Answer [Parfitt]:

First, as the term pertains to Taiwan, there is no such thing as mainland China. There is China, and there is Taiwan. The word ‘mainland’ denotes a connection, but there isn’t one and never really has been. The Dutch, not the Chinese, were the first to establish controls over Taiwan. When the Dutch arrived, there were a few thousand Fujianese farming families living on the Western plains (they had fled China despite a Qing ban on emigration) and aboriginals living in the mountains. The Dutch were eventually sent packing by the Ming loyalist, Koxinga, who in turn was toppled by the Qing. The Qing asked the Dutch if they wanted Taiwan back. They didn’t, so, mainly to prevent the island from falling into other foreign hands, it was annexed in 1885. The Qing, remember, were Manchus, considered foreign rulers by the Han Chinese.

Even today, the Chinese commemorate their demise. The Manchus admitted they held no jurisdiction over half of Taiwan. The other half they ruled badly.

In 1895, Taiwan was ceded to Japan, and though the Japanese exploited it, living standards exceeded any province in China.

In Cairo, in 1943, Chiang Kai-shek argued that Taiwan had been stolen by the Japanese and ought to be returned.

Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin agreed, hence the mainland myth, perpetuated to this day by the Communists and the Nationalists. Approximately 90 percent of Taiwanese want nothing to do with China, and why would they?

In addition to retaining some of the finer aspects of traditional Chinese culture, such as complex characters, Taiwan has liberalized through democratization and represents a major step forward for Chinese civilization.

As for the Confucian concept of piety, it is a core cultural component, virtually identical in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Macau. This is unfortunate because Confucianism is dogma. “The plague of heterodox theories can be eliminated by fierce attack,” says the Analects of Confucius. Until people realize the Analects represents only stone-age logic and dictums posing as wisdom, they will remain slaves to tyranny and history.

In China, I was no mere tourist.

Response [Lofthouse]:

The history of Taiwan is interesting.

However, if history decides who rules a territory, the US would not exist, and Hawaii’s native population would still rule an independent country instead of being the 50th state.

Taiwan’s fate was decided by Chiang Kai-shek (a Han Chinese) when he ordered KMT troops to slaughter Taiwanese natives. He ruled Taiwan as a dictator before and after he lost China’s Civil War.

As for democratization, America’s Founding Fathers despised democracy and saw it as a path to mob rule.

Regarding Confucianism, — under Mao, it was seen as a weakness and a brutal war was waged on the philosophy during the Cultural Revolution.

Indeed, Confucianism is but one element of China’s culture, which is a blend of Face, Guanxi, Confucianism, Legalism, Taoism , and Buddhism, etc.

In addition, the Mandate of Heaven plays an important role that often cancels out the negative aspects of Confucianism.

Final Word [Parfitt]:

Taiwan’s history has been irrevocably altered by Chiang Kai-shek, but its fate regarding China has not been decided.

Face is a puerile concept, a license to behave however one pleases.

Guanxi is important in all societies. It only seems more prevalent in China because people discuss it.

Confucianism, Legalism, and Taoism are enlightened philosophies to those who’ve never read them. The essence of Confucianism is obedience. Legalism is Machiavellian. “A weak people means a strong state…” says The Book of Lord Shang. The Tao Te Ching urges rulers to eradicate knowledge and desire. The strains of despotism in these native ideologies speak to communism’s appeal.

Nowhere in Jonathan Spence’s Mao does it say Mao’s Cultural Revolution had to do with waging war on Confucianism. Spence notes Mao “never wrote a single comprehensive analysis of what he intended to achieve by the Cultural Revolution, or… how he expected it to proceed.”

Continued on November 29, 2011 in Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Never Rule the World – Travels in the Two Chinas” – Part 3 or return to Part 1.

See Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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40 Responses to Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Not Rule the World” – Part 2/12

  1. Terry Chen says:

    Aussie in China,

    thank you for telling me that

  2. Aussie in China says:

    ilookchina is not banned in China

  3. Terry Chen says:

    Mr.Lofthouse,

    I find Mr.Parfitt to be very random. We’re arguing about taiwan here, yet he suddenly decides to mention that ilookchina is banned within China.

    Mr.Parfitt seems to be mentioning every single possible difference between taiwanese and mainland Chinese. I would like to point out that the differences are much more minute than compared to the differences between african Americans and white americans. Besides, China is not a monolithic entity and has never been one. It has 56 ethnicities that all have its different cultures and languages(aside from hui Chinese). Even within the individual ethnicities there are many divides. For example, han Chinese from the north and the south are notably different and the han Chinese from each county have their own unique features.

    Finally, isn’t that the same case in the United states? The people from each state have their own distinctions from other Americans. For example, I daresay there are many differences between texans and new yorkers, but does that mean they aren’t both Amercan?

    • Terry,

      You are right. America has its regional differences too. My older sister’s husband once drove long-hall eighteen wheelers across the country from coast to coast, and he said more than once that the east and west coasts were different from middle America, which is often called the Bible Belt.

      My brother-in-law said that everytime he left either coast and reached the midwest, he felt as if he were in another country. And then the US has native North American indian reservations, which are sort of like other nations within the country since they are allowed to sort of govern themselves while the Federal government keeps a close eye on them.

  4. Troy Parfitt says:

    A proxy server. Right. Thanks Lloyd. I’ll pass that on to the person who mentioned it. Cheers. Troy

    • Tom Carter knows all about proxy servers, and I suspect Merlin (a frequent commenter to this site) does too. He often left comments while living in China.

      I’m sure China’s censors are aware but haven’t figured out a way to block the proxy servers. Maybe the censors don’t care and the censorship is more for show than anything–sort of like the dog that’s all bark and no bite. In fact, if China dropped the censors, critics in the West would crow victory and claim their pressure caused it, and the Party wouldn’t want to give them that. 😮

      After all, it would be the same as a neighbor telling you what church to attend, what to believe, how to dress, what car to drive and how to live your life and raise your own children.

  5. Mr. Parfitt says, “In 1895, Taiwan was ceded to Japan, and though the Japanese exploited it, living standards exceeded any province in China.”

    However, possibly due to the word limit we had agreed on, he didn’t have enough words left to explain why Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895.

    The First Sino-Japanese War (1 August 1894 – 17 April 1895) was fought between Qing Dynasty, China and Imperil Japan, primarily over control of Korea. After more than six months of continuous successes by Japanese army and naval forces and the loss of the Chinese port of Weihaiwei, the Qing Dynasty sued for peace in February 1895.

    Direct results of the war showed that the military strength and sovereignty of the Qing Dynasty had been severely weakened during the nineteenth century (the two Opium Wars in addition to rebellions such as the Taiping Rebellion are causes for this weakness); and it demonstrated that forced reform had modernized Japan significantly since 1867 turning Japan into an industrial power while China remained a feudal power.

    For the first time in over 2,000 years, regional dominance in East Asia shifted from China to Japan; and the Qing Dynasty, along with the classical tradition in China, suffered a major blow.

    This humiliating loss of the Qing Dynasty sparked an unprecedented public outcry and also served as an impetus of a series of revolutions and political changes led by revolutionist Sun Yat-sen that would lead to the revolution in 1911, which removed the Qing from power. That national humiliation is still felt in China today and the Party feels it has an obligation to reclaim Taiwan as part of China due to that national shame.

    China was forced by Japan to give up Taiwan.

    In fact, several Qing officials in Taiwan resolved to resist the cession of Taiwan to Japan under the Treaty of Shimonosei, and on May 23rd declared the island to be the independent Republic of Formosa. However, on May 29, Japanese forces landed in northern Taiwan, and in a five-month campaign defeated the Republican forces and occupied the island’s main towns.

    The Japanese success during the war was the result of the modernization and industrialization embarked upon two decades earlier, which explains why Taiwan would have benefited economically during Japanese occupation.

    After China’s defeat, Japan also required the Qing government to pay 13,600 tons of silver to Japan for both the reparations of war and war trophies, which added to the economic crippling of China that started with the cost of the Opium Wars and rebellions in China a half century earlier.

    Taiwan was not lost to Japan due to any legal wrangling in a court of law but because it lost a war to Japan.

  6. Alessandro says:

    Well, here’s my reply to Mr. Parfitt, “Jonathan Spence is not the only author writing about Mao or China.”

    But maybe it’s the only one he read 🙂

  7. Alessandro says:

    Parfitt knows too well that his are balooney. No poll EVER showed a 90% of taiwanese that doesn’t want to have anything to do with mainland, and ALSO, it is just in his fantasy the fact that for taiwanese there exists China and Taiwan. I know few taiwanese myself…for them exist both mainland China and taiwan (not necessarily one against the other) and China (including Taiwan and mainland..cause they simply acknowledge the fact they are chinese). 3rd the dutch were the first to establish control over Taiwan…and what were those Fujianese people doing there? The french and the english are at the base of the creation of many modern african states…does it mean that they are more entitled to those lands than the people that were already there when they arrived to colonize and exploit them??

  8. Troy Parfitt says:

    Mr. Parfitt would like to state that he doesn’t know why he intimated Mao’s Cultural Revolution had nothing to do with waging war on Confucianism. He knows full well it did, or it did in theory. Confucian temples and shrines were ransacked and defaced during that decade, and the bodies of the Sage’s ancestors were exhumed and put on display. Confucius’ adherents, or people labeled as such, were struggled against, along with capitalist roaders, Nationalist spies, reactionaries, and any other “enemies of the people.”

    What Mr. Parfitt meant to say was that eliminating Confucianism, to advance Chinese society, was not Mao’s main goal – during the Cultural Revolution, or any other time. Jonathan Spence notes that besides a few disparate statements (to learn from the masses, to eradicate old elements) Mao “never wrote a single comprehensive analysis of what he intended to achieve by the Cultural Revolution, or… how he expected it to proceed.”

    When Mao was a young Communist Party organizer, he was clear minded and capable, but by the mid-sixties, he was gaga. Mao borrowed his anti-Confucian outlook from his role model, Qin Shi Huang, the despotic First Emperor. During the Cultural Revolution, the chairman hoped to punish the Chinese for their blind obedience – by using their Confucian values against them. “Rebel!” he decreed, and the masses complied.

    Many Chinese have criticized or crusaded against Confucianism, but the question to ask is, ‘Why?’ Writers Lu Xun and Bo Yang did it to make Chinese people realize that Confucian tenets were shackles; that Confucius’s ideals had been manipulated to keep people in a state of subservience, ignorance, and fear. Mao did it, in part, because he didn’t want any competition. Citizens weren’t to worship Confucius; they were to worship him. People used to begin their day by bowing to a portrait of Mao.

    After Mao’s death, Confucianism was officially dusted off, the rubric deemed useful by the Party. By rehabilitating the Sage, the Party is sending the message that obedience and loyalty, in a world of “socialism with Chinese characteritics,” is still important – to one’s family, to one’s government…. The Party also worries about an expanding moral vacuum that might give way to less desirable elements, such as Christianity.

    But the CCP seems perplexed about whether it wants to fully rehabilitate Confucius. This year, a large statue of the thinker was unveiled in Tiananmen Square. Four months later, it was removed. Maoists were ecstatic; Confucius’ adherents devastated. And here we see the new China: it’s the old China, only there’s state-capitalism and much more stability.

    Mr. Parfitt doesn’t have an explanation for his mental lapse, and hopes he doesn’t have to write too many more comments explaining himself, because he is very busy, and because he believes the debate should stand on its own and not be endlessly amended. He feels this would create an imbalance. Mr. Parfitt is admitting he was wrong regarding Confucianism and the Cultural Revolution in this debate.

    PS: Mr, Parfitt has been informed by acquaintances in China that iLook China cannot be accessed in that country. Mr. Parfitt thinks this is interesting.

    Thank you,

    Mr. Parfitt

    • “Mr, Parfitt has been informed by acquaintances in China that iLook China cannot be accessed in that country. Mr. Parfitt thinks this is interesting”

      Since all WordPress Blogs are censored in China, that is not surprising. However, all one in China need do is spend a few minutes accessing a proxy server to slip the censor and according to WordPress, there are subscribers from mainland China to iLookChina.net. In fact, an elderly cousin of my wife’s said he had no problem logging onto iLookChina.net and reading it and he lives in Western China. Lofthouse also knows a few Westerners that live in China that use proxy servers to access iLookChina all the time.

    • “Mao borrowed his anti-Confucian outlook from his role model, Qin Shi Huang, the despotic First Emperor.”

      I do not find it surprising that China’s first emperor (259 BC – 210 BC) was anti-Confucian since Confucius taught that the rulers had to answer to the people and obdience from the people had to be earned. It makes perfect sense that the autocratic god-like first emperor persecuted Confucian scholars and burnt Confucian classics because they probably were among the first to protest his dictatorial actions. Confucianism is also antiwar and the first emperor did not conquor and unify China without bloodshed.

      However, by the time of Emperor Wu Ti (140-87 BCE) of the Han dynasty (206 BCE-24 CE), Confucianism had recovered from this blow and the destruction that civil war inflicted on its classics and learning.

  9. Parfitt’s own opinion of “face” and his belief that “the essence of Confucianism is obedience” demonstrates a deep lack of understanding of Chinese culture.

    With the high regard for personal relationships and the importance attached to “face” in China, Parfitt should know that it is “not a license to behave however one pleases”.

    It is mind boggling how an individual can live and work in East Asia (South Korea and Taiwan) for more than a decade and remain blind to the complexity of the culture. However, Mr. Parfitt is not unique when it comes to opinions that simplify or stereotype the Chinese.

    In fact, Pew Global.org discovered about half of all Americans believe their culture is superior to all others, and an individual’s education level tends to play a role in this belief. Pew reports, “Those who did not graduate from college are more likely than those who did to agree that their culture is superior…”

    On page 175 of the September 1938 edition of “My Country and My People”, Lin Yutang wrote, “For the family system is the root of Chinese society, from which all Chinese social characteristic derive. The family system and the village system, which is the family raised to a higher exponent, account for all there is to explain in the Chinese social life. Face, favor, privilege, gratitude, courtesy, official corruption, public institutions, the school, the guild, philanthropy, hospitality, justice and finally the whole government of China—all spring from the family and village system…”

    Yutang could have added “Guanxi” to his list since it also springs from the family as if the family were a spider web linking trusted relationships in business and on the personal level. In the west, trust of this nature is earned and/or given on an individual basis and is usually not family based, which explains one difference between a collective culture and one that is individualistic such as the US or Canada.

    In 1999, I married into a Chinese family, live in a house with three generations of that family, and see the family system working daily. In addition, through my wife’s Chinese friends, I’ve also discovered that each Chinese family is unique as if it were cut from the same embroidered cultural cloth but while one family may be an apple tree on that embroidery, another is a flower, a sweet potato, a bird, fish, or water-color painting, etc. And within each family are individuals as different as apples and oranges but still cut from the same cultural and family embroidered cloth.

    In the West, due to the way children are raised, each individual is cut from a different cloth and children may grow up to be totally unlike their parents and family with opposite values.

    In effect, individuality in China is mostly guided by the collective family system but does not control the individual as if he were a puppet or automation.

    In Hyobom Pak’s 1997 book, “China and the West: myths and realities in history”, the author writes, “The prevailing misconception and ignorance of the realistic meaning of Chinese philosophy, especially Confucianism, in our times is as widespread as the reasoning Europe of Voltaire…”

    Mr. Parfitt’s opinions offer us examples of the west’s continued misconception and ignorance of the Chinese.

    Pak says Voltaire (1694 – 1778) regarded China as “a most tolerant and receptive nation”… Voltaire also asserted that “the organization of their [Chinese] empire is in truth the best that the world has ever seen” and that “when we [Europeans] did not know how to read, they knew everything essentially useful of which we boast today.”

    In 1696, Father Louis Lecomte’s “Memoires sur la Chine” asserted that the Chinese system of morality was “on a par with the Christian revelation as a supreme product of the moral aspirations of Man.” Source: Hyobom Pak’s book.

    Then in 1721, Pak points out that Christian Wolff delivered a speech at the University of Halle. His address eulogized that Confucian philosophy was “the teaching of the ethical and moral power of natural reason,” and that “in the Art of Governing, this Nation (China) has even surpassed all others without exception.” For this public opinion, he was stigmatized as an atheist and was immediately ordered to leave his University position within twenty-four hours.

    To learn how many people in the West fall into this category of ignorance, according to a Pew Global Attitudes Project, in the United States 36% of the people hold unfavorable views of China, while 51% had favorable views. If “36%” is accurate that means more than a hundred million Americans harbor negative opinions of China based mostly on misconceptions and ignorance, so Mr. Parfitt is not alone.

    However, the Pew Global Attitudes Project also revealed that “in 16 of 22 nations, majorities or pluralities have a very or somewhat positive opinion of China. In only four countries do majorities express negative views of this emerging Asian power. ”

    Then Parfitt says, “Nowhere in Jonathan Spence’s Mao does it say Mao’s Cultural Revolution had to do with waging war on Confucianism.”

    Well, here’s my reply to Mr. Parfitt, “Jonathan Spence is not the only author writing about Mao or China.”

    For example, Henry Kissinger did mention Mao’s war on Confucianism in his work, “On China”.

    Kissinger said, “He (Mao) was passionately and publicly anti-Confucian… The Red Guard turned their fury on any target that might conceivable augur a return to the old ‘feudal’ order in China… Revolutionary students and teachers from Beijing descended on Confucius’s home village, vowing to put an end to the old sage’s influence on Chinese society once and for all…”

    In a conversation Kissinger had with Zhou Enlai, he wrote, “Zhou exploded, the only time I saw him lose his temper. Confucianism, he (Zhou) said, was a doctrine of class oppression while Communism represented a philosophy of liberation.”

    Some people, such as Mr. Parfitt, may balk when they read what Zhou Enlai said about Communism representing a philosophy of liberation (in China). In truth, when compared to the democracies of the West and the United States with its five First Amendment freedoms, it’s easy to see why anyone in the West would disagree and possibly laugh at such a statement.

    However, when we compare the China of today with China’s long history, we soon disciver that today the Chinese have more personal freedom than at any time in their history even if it does not compare to the five freedoms of America’s First Amendment.

    China does have a Constitution. It was written in 1982. It just isn’t the same as America’s and does not offer as many freedoms.

    For thousands of years, China had no Constitution and the philosophy that guided the family and the country was Confucian in nature.

    During this period with no protected freedoms, China developed silk, porcelain, gunpowder, the first cannons and rifles, flame throwers, the compass, paper, the printing press, the multi-stage rocket, the stirrup, the crossbow, built universities during the Han Dynasty, developed a merit based exam system that rewarded the most knowledgeable scholars, built the Great Wall and the Grand Canal, published a detailed scientific medical encyclopedia centuries before modern medicine in the West, discovered a cure for scurvy centuries before the West, and much more.

    For innovation to happen, all that is needed is a merit system that offers rewards and this works better than the right to speak freely without government interference, a free press, freedom of religious choice, the right to petition and the right to gather in public to protest and or demonstrate—none of these freedoms has anything to do with a merit based system that leads to innovation.

    It’s nice to live in a country that has these five freedoms, but they are not necessary for innovation to take place.

  10. Terry Chen says:

    Parfitt conveniently ignores the fact that over 90% of taiwanese people are of han descent, choosing to focus on the concept of self-determination and emphasizing that taiwanese in general think of China as a different entity. Well, according to independent polls over 40% of taiwanese consider themselves Chinese. Even if the CCP did absolutely nothing, it would not be easy for them to gain independence.

    • Terry,

      As the debate continues, you will notice that Parfitt conveniently ignores many facts. Instead, he picks and chooses which facts he uses to support his opinions and some of the facts he does use are incomplete.

      For example, in this post, he didn’t mention that there are about 23 million people in Taiwan but only 2% of the total population are made up of the original inhabitants of the island (the aborigines are made up of fourteen recognizes tribes).

      Parfitt also doesn’t mention that the other 98% of Taiwanese are linked to the mainland and that about 93% of the population practices a mixture of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, while a minority 4.5% are Christians. Taiwan’s connections to mainland China are strong and go back for more than four hundred years.

      In fact, ninety-eight percent of Taiwanese are descendants of Han Chinese immigrants with DNA traced mostly to Fugian (Hokkien) and Guangdong (Canton) province

      The largest influx of immigrants from the mainland took place during the Taiping Rebellion (late 19th century) and the Chinese Civil War (1945–1949), and almost everyone in Taiwan born after the early 1950s can speak Mandarin, which has been the official language and the medium of instruction in the schools for more than four decades.

      • Russell Shepherd says:

        Lloyd,

        Thank you very much for the thoughtful discussion on this issue. I am concerned that many of these posts read as if some people have never discussed the question of identity with Taiwanese people. That very discussion is part of my everyday life, so I’d like to contribute what I’ve learned:

        It is (obviously) true that there is a genetic link, but that link does not seem to translate into a shared cultural or political identity. Those whose families have been established in Taiwan for generations often still have a neutral or negative stance towards China and the political status quo governing cross-strait relations. What I’m trying to get across is that many Taiwanese people do consider themselves different than Chinese, despite the shared ancestry. I’d like to emphasize that I am not disputting any of the historical facts cited above, as they are all accurate, I’m simply letting you know shared genetics and labels such as “Han” are not the only, or even most important, determinant of identity. I would caution against decontextualizing these facts to bolster your case.

        One commenter quoted an independent poll as saying 40% of Taiwanese consider themselves Chinese. When interpreting the results of these polls it is important to remember many people educated in the 1950s and after were taught that were Chinese people (中國人) and not Taiwanese people. This point was driven home by a series of anti-Taiwanese policies, including linguistic discrimination. These policies are no longer needed today, as mostly all young people speak Mandarin primarily (at work, school and public events). Even so, the number of Taiwanese identifying primarily as Taiwanese as opposed to Chinese is growing (See, for example http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2006/03/12/2003296948). This seemingly drastic change is actually quite easily explained by the democratization process. Unlike during the White Terror, it is no longer a political crime to express a strictly Taiwanese identity.

        Thirdly, let’s consider the identity of the KMT, the ROC and Taiwan today. While the KMT was viewed as a foreign government for many years, that may no longer be the case today. After martial law was lifted and reforms instituted, the government actually came to represent the interests of the Taiwanese people. The KMT has responded accordingly and integrated with Taiwan. The lines between outsiders and Taiwanese have been blurred to the point where the current generation does not consider it a useful distinction. However, this is not because Taiwanese have become Chinese, but rather the KMT has become more Taiwanese. For example, President Ma has chosen to address the public using Taiwanese several times, which he had to study for the occasion.

        Lastly, the conflict surrounding the political identity of Taiwan has, by and large, not included the Aboriginal population of Taiwan. Like many First Peoples around the world, Taiwanese Aboriginals have been marginalized and discriminated against by every government that has claimed the island. Today, there are some attempts to reintegrate Aboriginals into the political process and overall narrative — but with conflated motives and often flimsy results. Yet I am astounded to see their cause co-opted by those claiming Taiwan is part of China. The existence of the Aboriginal identity does not preclude the existence of Taiwanese national identity for people of Han decent. My reasoning is a bit complex, but I can explain via analogy with European migrants to America. The existence and marginalization of Native Americans does not preclude the existence of an American identity for people of European descent that is completely separate from the European identity. No one would argue that because the Native American population is a small proportion of the US population, then white Americans are really just British (I’m simplifying for effect).

        I’d love to hear your thoughts, thanks.

        Russell

      • Russell Shepherd,

        The China-Taiwan issue is sensitive and complex. No matter what anyone’s opinion might be, Taiwan’s aboriginals are pretty much out of the picture politically as aboriginals are in Australia or Native Hawaiians in Hawaii or native Alaskans in Alaska. Most of the original inhabitants around the world that have been and are still dominated by other races have been marginalized and we probably will not see any changes in their status anytime soon. Maybe after the next ice age if any humans remain on the earth.

        It wouldn’t take much imagination to guess what would happen in Hawaii if the native Hawaiians rose up in rebellion and fought to be free of the United States. Action by the US military would be quick and decisive and that Civil War would end soon.

        I understand that the younger Taiwanese mostly born long after 1949 would like to become an independent nation similar to Singapore. However, the older Chinese that fled to Taiwan at the end of the Civil War in 1949 held a seat on the UN for decades and claimed that the mainland belonged to them to rule and that Mao and the CCP were nothing but bandits.

        I’ve been told that no one in Taiwan’s government has repudiated these claims even though we don’t hear them anymore, which may be considered by China to be similar to Japan not apologizing for what the Japanese did in China during World War II making this another, similar sensitive hot-button issue.

        Maybe it would help it Taiwan made it public that they relinquish all claims on mainland China and want to become an independent nation called the Republic of Taiwan and that Taiwan’s government officially recognized China as the sovereign government of China but not of Taiwan.

        However, I do not think that would go over big with the CCP and if Taiwan attempted to declare itself an independent nation with a status similar to Singapore, the CCP may very well invade and dare the US to intervene possibly setting off World War III between two nuclear powers. Recently, there have been reports that China may have thousands of nuclear warheads instead of hundreds and these warheads are hidden in several thousand miles of tunnels deep under China’s western mountains and China had plenty of mountains.

        Would it be worth it for the US to start a war with China over Taiwan that might kill hundreds of millions around the world and devastate several nations to allow 20 million Taiwanese to decide their future?

        Possibly, someone like Mr. Parfitt, who has such a low opinion of the CCP, would be willing to risk that. Maybe he holds the belief that the only good Chinese is a dead one even if it means that most of North America would perish too.

        Another option would be the CCP offering to allow everyone over the age of eighteen in Taiwan and China to vote to see which Party would rule China and that vote would decide the future of both Taiwan and China. That would be interesting. I wonder how many of the 1.3 billion living in China would vote for a Taiwanese political party.

        Personally, for the sake of peace, I would like to see China allow Taiwan’s people to decide their future, but I am not counting on that. Maybe if this situation were on hold for another sixty years, then the CCP leaders of that future China that haven’t been born yet would allow Taiwan to become an independent republic similar to Singapore, but I doubt that China will wait that long before they act.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

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