China and Japan Continue to Face-Off in the East China Sea

October 10, 2018

The conflict between China and Japan in the East China Sea has been brewing for a long time and most if it is Japan’s fault. To understand why this is happening, one should know China’s history with Japan.

It started when “Massive changes were unleashed in Japan by the Meiji restoration – a period of radical modernization – in 1868, and out of these emerged the desire for wealth, power and prestige as a way of redressing the imposition of unequal treaties that had been placed upon Japan by western powers in the past.”

The Japanese also thought they were racially and spiritually superior to the Chinese. After Japan’s invasion of China in 1937, movie houses were among the first establishments to be reopened, and a favorite topic of Japanese film makers for over a decade depicted them as superior both racially and morally.

Japan’s warrior culture dates back to the twelfth century, but Japan was no match for China where gunpowder was invented in 904 AD. The first true rockets were also invented in China and used in combat in the 13th century, more than a hundred years before they were first used in European warfare.

With Japan’s culturally superior attitude, it is also arguable that the Japanese were envious and jealous of China during the 1,500 years China was the wealthiest and most technologically advanced country in the world up until the 15th century.

That decline didn’t happen overnight. It took about four hundred years for China to become vulnerable, and in 1840, Japan joined the British, French and Americans to gang up on China during the Opium Wars.

In 1870, Japan once again took advantage of China’s growing weakness and annexed the islands of the Ryukyu Kingdom that had also, like Korea and Tibet been one of China’s tributary states. A Ryukyuan envoy even begged England for help, but the British ruled that the islands should belong to Japan instead of China.

Like Tibet, Korea had been a tributary state of China for centuries, but Japan saw an opportunity and in 1884, Japanese and Chinese troops clashed in Korea, a conflict that ended in a lopsided stalemate in Japan’s favor.

A decade later, Japan tried against and fought their first war over Korea. China was defeated in 1895 losing Korea as a tributary and a large portion of Eastern Manchuria.

Then there’s World War II. On July 7, 1937, Japan invaded China and occupied most of that country for eight years. The Chinese estimate that that the Japanese military murdered more than 10,000,000 Chinese civilians during World War II. An additional 2.2 million deaths were Chinese troops. — Hawaii.edu

My own father-in-law lived in Shanghai and was 12 years old when he witnessed a Japanese officer behead his 12-year old cousin who had just reached the front yard on his way home from school. Thousands of Chinese of all ages and both sexes suffered the same fate when Japanese officers wanted to see how many heads they could chop off. Many more were gunned down for no other reason than they were Chinese.

Japan has never apologized for The Rape of Nanking and other atrocities that happened during World War II resulting in millions of Chinese deaths.

U.S. News & World Report says, The Chinese have resented the Japanese ever since Japan conquered and occupied China in the 1930s and 40s. The Japanese prime minister’s annual visits to a Tokyo shrine for Japanese war veterans always reminds the Chinese of Japan’s wartime brutality and continued lack of remorse.

After World War II, China asked for the islands in the East China Sea to be returned, but the United States rejected China’s request and gave the islands to Japan, the country that invaded China and bombed Pearl Harbor bringing China and the United States together as allies to fight Japan.  Why did the United States stab China in the back?

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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What’s happening in the South China Sea is all about Natural Resources

September 25, 2018

There is nothing new going on in the South China Sea except recent interference and meddling by the United States in what has been a regional issue for more than two thousand years.

China’s historical claim over the South China Sea and the Spratly Islands has a long history, which is documented in detail by Dee Woo.

  • 200BC around – China discovered the Spratly Islands
  • 220 – Nansha (Spratly) Island was settled by Chinese monks, building up a monastery on that island.
  • 789 – The Tang Dynasty, China included the Nansha Islands into its administrative map
  • 990 – Spratley Islands became a part of the Northern Song area in Hainan
  • 1121 – Kublai Khan controlled most of the islands during China’s Yuan Dynasty

Woo’s final piece of evidence is a link to a 64-page document titled, China’s Sovereignty over the South China Sea islands: A Historical Perspective, which is archived at the Oxford Journals.

China’s leaders argue that they and other nations in the region can work out their differences without intervention from the United States. They allege the U.S. is intruding and attempting to make this an international issue.

The South China Sea is bordered by ten nations and includes some of the world’s most important shipping lanes and fisheries. Another motivation to possess this territory is the critically important mineral resources found there, including oil (with reserves thought to be the fourth largest in the world).

In fact, Oil Price.com explains How Oil Drives the South China Sea Conflict. “While Western geologists seem to only recently appreciate the area’s oil and gas potential, the Chinese have known it for years. Perhaps, that’s why they even refer to the South China Sea as a Second Persian Gulf and will undoubtedly continue to not only build there but defend it with rhetoric and if push comes to shove, by force.”

Historically, the South China Sea dispute is no different from any the United States has been involved in since defeating the British Empire and becoming a nation. Another example is when the U.S. paid France for the Louisiana Purchase, while millions of North American natives still lived where their ancestress had lived for thousands of years.

How can anyone buy and sell something that they never occupied or owned? The answer is that it happens all the time.

The Atlantic reports, “Europeans arriving in the New World met people all the way from the frozen north to the frozen south. All had rich and mature cultures and established languages. … Sites in the Yukon that straddle the U.S.-Alaskan border with Canada give us clues, such as the Bluefish Caves, 33 miles southwest of the village of Old Crow.

“The latest radio-dating analysis of the remnants of lives in the Bluefish Caves indicates that people were there 24,000 years ago. These founding peoples spread over 12,000 years to every corner of the continents and formed the pool from which all Americans would be drawn until 1492.”

In 1941, Europeans invaded North and South America and waged war against the people already there, and the United States continued that brutal practice after 1776, against Native Americans because of the resources and wealth that came with the land.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  What China is doing in the South China Sea is no different than what the Europeans did in North and South America.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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China’s Xinjiang Challenge

September 12, 2018

Xinjiang is a province in the Northwest corner of China. It is also an Uyghur Autonomous Region. This area shares its border with Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.

In the next video, you will watch 3,000 years of Chinese history in a minute and discover that China first ruled over the Xingjian area during the Tang Dynasty more than 1300 years ago. When the Tang Dynasty collapsed a few centuries later, China lost control of this area and it wouldn’t be reoccupied and ruled by China again until the Qing Dynasty in the early 18th century (1720s). When the Chinese Communist Party came to power in China in 1949, China continued to rule over Xinjiang.

The BBC reports, “Most Uighurs are Muslim and Islam is an important part of their life and identity. Their language is related to Turkish, and they regard themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations. … But development has brought new residents. In the 2000 census, Han Chinese made up 40% of the population, as well as large numbers of troops stationed in the region and unknown numbers of unregistered migrants.” …

“The region has had intermittent autonomy and occasional independence, but what is now known as Xinjiang came under Chinese rule in the 18th Century.” …

“In the 1990s, open support for separatist groups increased after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of independent Muslim states in Central Asia.” …

“China has often blamed ETIM – the East Turkestan Islamic Movement – or people inspired by ETIM for violent incidents both in Xinjiang and beyond the region’s borders.

The ETIM has been linked to Al-Qaeda and is allied with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan along with the Pakistani Taliban (Tehreek i Taliban Pakistan).

The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Party Organization for Freeing Eastern Turkistan, and the Islamic Party of Turkistan were outlawed by Kyrgyzstan’s Lenin District Court and its Supreme Court in November 2003. Kazakhstan, Russia, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, China, the United States, and Pakistan outlawed the group.

Foreign Policy Magazine reported in 2017 that “the Islamic State pledges to attack China next. ISIS tries to curry favor with China’s repressed Muslim minority groups. The Islamic State is now setting its sights on China, releasing on Monday a half-hour video in which they pledged to ‘shed blood like rivers’ in attacks against Chinese targets. Experts say it’s the first threat the terrorist organization has leveled against China.

“Ethnic Uighurs have carried out terrorist attacks already, including a May 2014 attack in the Xin­jiang region’s capital of Urumqi that killed 43 and wounded 90. But for the most part, Uighur extremists carry out attacks on a much smaller and less coordinated scale. That likely won’t change, despite newfound ISIS-backing, Gladney said.”


Xinjiang is rich in coal, natural gas, and oil.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Who should be doing the brainwashing: Them or Us?

August 29, 2018

Recently in the Western media, China has been accused of throwing hundreds of thousands of Islamic Uyghurs in prison camps and reprograming them, but the media is leaving out most of the story?

In Xinjiang, the conflict between Islamic terrorists and China has been going on since 1960, for 58 years. The Islamic terrorists China’s fighting claim the area where they live was invaded by China and they want to be free but history tells another story.

The area known as Xinjiang was a protectorate of China as early as 60 BC (during the Han dynasty, when it was part of the Protectorate of the Western Regions) and during the Tang dynasty (when it was part of the Protectorate General to Pacify the West), although there were a number of periods of independence from China.

During the 18th century, the Qing Dynasty created the province of Xinjiang. In 1955, the Chinese Communist Party made Xinjiang an autonomous region.

However, bloody incidents in 1966 and 1967 occurred as Chinese and Soviet forces clashed along the border. The Soviets trained anti-Chinese guerillas and urged the Uyghurs to revolt, praising their national liberation struggle. On 30 January 1967, guerilla attacks were reportedly made in Xinjiang by a Soviet-based Turkestan refugee army. In 1969, Chinese and Soviet forces clashed along the Xinjiang-Soviet border.

The Soviets and Chinese stopped fighting but the Uyghurs never stopped.

Now, CNN claims, “thousands of Uyghur Muslims are currently being detained in Chinese ‘political education’ camps.

“One recent news report put the number of Uyghurs confined at 120,000 in ‘overcrowded and squalid’ conditions in just one prefecture in southern Xinjiang.”

Not to be outdone, I also found a self-proclaimed internet news site called supchina.com that claimed, “China’s Re-education Camps for a Million Muslims: What Everyone Needs to Know.”

It’s amazing how fast numbers can grow without any valid evidence.

Even with a Google search, I couldn’t find out who supchina.com is or who funds it.  The only information that appeared from the Google search came from that site. This alleged news site wasn’t listed on Wiki.  That’s why I think supchina.com is an internet propaganda site probably funded by the Uyghurs China has been fighting for almost 60 years.

Then there was this from Foreign Policy.com and Magazine, “Islamic Leaders Have Nothing to Say About China’s Internment Camps for Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of Uighur have been detained without trial in China’s western region of Xinjiang.

“As the Chinese authorities continue a brutal crackdown in Xinjiang, the northwest region of China that’s home to the Uighur, Islam has been one of the main targets.”

What about across the border from Xinjiang in Afghanistan?

That’s right; America’s war in Afghanistan is next door where the United States and some of its allies have been fighting Islamic terrorist groups in Afghanistan since 2001.

Maybe the U.S. is fighting some of the same people the Chinese are fighting.

Seventeen years after 2001, the BBC reports, “Afghanistan conflict: Civilian deaths hit record high, says UN.”  And the Military Times reported recently, “The U.S. is bolstering its military presence in Afghanistan, more than 16 years after the war started. Is anyone paying attention?”

In addition, “Yet today, on Afghan soil, the United States is maintaining a system of arrests and detention as part of its ongoing military and intelligence operations that violates international human rights law and international humanitarian law (the laws of war).”

But when China does the same thing, on the other side of the border, the U.S. media calls it brutal.

What about ISIS behind bars in Europe?

The Washington Post reports, “Hundreds of Europeans who joined the ‘caliphate’ are now back home and incarcerated. The new challenge: Keeping prisons from becoming recruitment centers for future terrorists. … A few months before his killing rampage, convicted robber and prison inmate Benjamin Herman had a jailhouse conversion of a sort. A white suburban teen and a nominal Catholic when he was first incarcerated, he emerged in late May as an avowed Islamist who would murder three people within hours of gaining freedom on a work-release program.

“Never have so many people been arrested on charges related to terrorism, and never have we seen so many of these guys in prison together,” said Thomas Renard, a Belgian terrorism expert and researcher at the Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels. “In bringing them together, we are facilitating their ability to recruit. And that is something that will stay with us for a long time.”

After reading that last paragraph, it seems to me, the Chinese are smarter and wiser because they are the ones doing the brainwashing/reprograming instead of the other way around.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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China Joined the WTO in 2001

August 22, 2018

The BBC reported, “After 15 years of diplomatic struggle, China finally has become a fully-fledged member of the international trading system.”

China became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on December 11, 2001. The admission of China to the WTO was preceded by a lengthy process of negotiations and required significant changes in China.

Many elements in China’s WTO accession agreement required improving the rule of law. When China joined the WTO, China agreed to ensure that its legal measures would be consistent with its WTO obligations and that led to China’s Rule of Law Reform.

China also made a substantial number of other WTO commitments related to the rule of law in areas of transparency, judicial review, uniform enforcement of laws, and nondiscriminatory treatment.

China reformed its judicial processes to ensure that they were compatible with its WTO commitments.

This transition from Chinese to western legalism hasn’t been as smooth as some critics wanted it to be, but it is happening, and it’s clear that in the last few decades China has made an effort to fit into the community of nations while retaining its own identity.

That might be explained by the differences between Chinese legalism and Western legalism primarily related to morality. Western legalism defends the rule-of-law but argues against the morality of law. In contrast, Chinese legalism, especially in the early Pre-Qin era, did not separate morality from law.

Chinese legalism was interpreted as the fidelity (loyalty) to the monarch in moral terms often as defined by Confucianism. In other words, morality in the United States and Europe is mostly based on the teachings of Christianity and many western philosophers while the morality of China is mostly based on Confucianism.

Understanding China’s history and the morality that’s part of its legal system is often ignored, especially by many ignorant Americans that judge China based on Western values and laws.

For instance, a conservative, born-again Christian, a former friend, once said to me that China needed a proper legal system. Since China already had a legal system, what did he mean?

I knew this individual for about sixty years, and I’m sure he meant that China should have a legal system like the U.S. or the U.K. After all, he claimed scripture guided his life and the Christian Bible has been around for centuries proving, to him, that it came from God. For this former friend’s approval, China had to bend its laws to fit Christian scripture.

However, the Chinese learned from Confucius while in the West we learned from the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, the Old and New Testaments, and many other voices that influenced western thought. I wonder if too many voices often lead to confusion, and that might explain why the Chinese civilization has been more stable over the millennia than the west has.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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China’s endless Crusade against Corrupt Government Officials

August 21, 2018

In 2000, a former deputy chairman of the National people’s Congress was executed for taking bribes. At the time, this was the highest communist official to be put to death since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.

ABC News reported, Cheng Kejie (67), the former vice chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, was convicted of taking $5 million in bribes, and executed after the Supreme People’s Court approved his death sentence on Sept. 7, 2000. Cheng’s lover, Li Ping (in her 40s), was sentenced to life in prison. Li escaped the death penalty by cooperating with investigators, giving them details of Cheng’s crimes and helping to recover the booty.

Since economic reforms began in 1978, political corruption in China has grown significantly. The types of offenses vary, though usually, they involve trading bribes for political favors, such as local businesses trying to secure large government contracts or subordinates seeking promotions for higher office.

The South China Morning Post reports, “President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign was launched in 2012 targeting party, government, military, and state-owned company officials suspected of corruption.  The campaign has led to the investigation and prosecution of hundreds of officials across the country.”

In fact, “Xi Jinping’s anti-graft drive has caught so many officials that Beijing’s elite prison is running out of cells. Overcrowding has prompted Qincheng prison – where former high-ranking officials are jailed – to pull the plug on Lunar New Year visits, source says.”

And XinhuaNet.com says, “Besides the crackdown on “tigers” and “flies,” the anti-graft watchdog has been busy hunting corrupt officials hiding out abroad.

“By the end of December, 3,866 fugitives had found themselves hunted down and captured from more than 90 countries, with more than 9.6 billion yuan (1.48 billion U.S. dollars) recovered by police, according to the CCDI.”

Brookings Institution China scholar Cheng Li, in an article entitled “Debunking Misconceptions about Xi Jinping’s Anti-corruption Campaign”, asserted that attributing ulterior motives to the campaign was not only wholly misleading but also unproductive. Li believes that not only has Xi’s campaign had the effect of truly curbing corrupt practices at all levels of government, it has also restored public confidence in the Communist Party’s mandate to rule, and has also returned massive ill-gotten gains back into state coffers which could be re-directed towards economic development.”

But corruption in China’s government is nothing new.  Stratfor.com tells us, “Too often, the dynastic cycle began with the central power’s vigorous gains over the vast country’s far-flung regions under the Mandate of Heaven (the belief in an emperor’s divine right to rule), which led to decades or centuries of unity and prosperity. Then, bureaucratic corruption began eroding the imperial court, manifesting in the slow and steady accumulation of power in the regions. … An unwillingness or inability to reform, the massiveness and uncontrollability of the country and various other factors — both internal and external — led to dynastic decline.”

It is obvious that Xi Jinping does not want history to repeat and end up with another government decline and collapse, at least while he is alive and in charge.

I think Donald Trump, if he is convicted of treason and corruption in the United States, should be relieved he is in a country where his replacement will probably pardon him and he won’t spend a day in prison or face execution.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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What happened to Macao Four-Hundred-and-Forty-Two years later

August 15, 2018

In 1535, Portuguese traders obtained the rights to anchor ships in Macau’s harbors and to carry out trade.  Then in 1557, they established a permanent settlement there.  In 1999, 442 years later, the same year China banned the Falun Gong religious cult, Macao was back.

Since Macau was returned to China in 1999, it has overtaken Las Vegas to become the world’s biggest gambling mecca. Since 1999, Macau, along with Hong Kong, is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China, and it is situated on the western side of the Pearl River Delta across from Hong-Kong.

The next building trend expanded Macao into a global entertainment and high-end shopping hub along with leisure activities, but that has not matched the success of gambling that remains Macau’s main money maker. In fact, almost every business depends on the gambling to survive.

However, the days of Chinese Triads having shooting wars on Macau’s streets are histroy. The Chinese Communist Party will not tolerate the violence and the People’s Liberation Army is much larger than any triad gang. If the CCP will ban the Falun Gong for illegally protesting in China, imagine what it would do to the triads.

Macao is not China even though it is technically part of the People’s Republic. The World History Blog provides a short history of the former Portuguese colony, which is a Special Administrative Region in China today but has more in common with the Principality of Monaco or Las Vegas.

Macao’s location was first settled by members of the South Sung Dynasty escaping invading Mongols in 1277. Centuries later, Portuguese traders built a staging port there, the oldest European settlement in the Far East.

The Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1643) did not recognize that Macao belonged to Portugal and collected rent until 1849 when the Portuguese, taking advantage of China’s defeat during the first opium war with England and France, declared Macau’s independence from China.

Britannica reports the 1999 transfer agreement allowed Macao to govern itself with a one-house legislature and a legal system based on Portuguese law, not China’s legal system.

David Campion writes, “As in Havana and Las Vegas, the gambling economy in Macau was first built up and its rules enforced by clever and well-organized gangsters, here called Triads. Once a date was set for the departure of the Portuguese, the Triads fought amongst each other viciously for greater control over the territory before the PRC was due to come in and rain on their parade (which it didn’t, as it turned out).”

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

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