What is happening in Hong Kong is a collision of cultures and Christianity may be the catalyst

January 22, 2020

World Population on Review reports, “93.6% of Hong Kong’s population consists of ethnic Chinese. Most are Taishanese, Chiu Chow, other Cantonese people, and Hakka. Most Han people in Hong Kong are from the Taishan and Guangzhou regions. Of the non-ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong, many are South Asians — including Indians, Nepalese, and Pakistanis — as well as Vietnamese refugees. There are also many Canadians, Britons, Americans, Koreans, and Japanese working in the city.”

With almost 7.5 million people in Hong Kong, Christians account for 11-percent of the city’s population and most of them are Protestant. The primary language of Hong Kong is not Mandarin. It is Cantonese, a minority language in China. The city’s culture is broadly Cantonese and not Han. With 1.4 billion people in China, Cantonese is spoken by around 60-million (0.04 percent of China’s population).

World Population on Review continues: “When the British forces formally took over Hong Kong in 1841, the population was 7,541. A century later, the figure officially stood at 1,600,000. This figure fell to 500,000 in 1945, following the Battle of Hong Kong. However, ever since then, the population has steadily increased culminating in its current figure.”

What World Population on Review doesn’t reveal is how the British took over Hong Kong. The British along with the French and other colonial European Empires invaded China and started two Opium Wars to force the Chinese Emperor to allow the British to sell opium to the Chinese people. The British Empire needed money to survive and the sale of opium was an important revenue stream. The British also forced China’s Emperor to give them Hong Kong.

The British Empire ruled Hong Kong for 156 years (1841 – 1997) but not as a republic or democracy. See The History of Democracy in Hong Kong is so Short it Never Happened.

[youube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCCku0_tVD4]

As for Macau, only 7.2 percent of its population is Christian, and the Portuguese who ruled the city for 400 years made little effort to convert the Chinese population to their way of thinking and to adopt Christianity as their religion.

ABC.net.au, explains, “Why Macau hasn’t been swept up by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests? … As Hong Kong grapples with its 12th consecutive week of protests, we take a look at why Macau has often been seen as a success story for the ‘one country, two systems’ framework and what it means for the future of the world’s largest gambling hub. … Macau has generally been seen as the better-behaved special administrative region (SAR) under Chinese rule because of its largely conservative society, and as such, has remained at an arm’s length from the protests in Hong Kong.”

“Macau people,” also, “often turn to mainland China for identification, interpretations, and solutions to their own problems. And while Hong Kong in 2003 expressed strong opposition to a national security law known as Article 23 — which prohibited “treason, secession, sedition” against the Central Government — the same law was passed in Macau.”

NPR.org also reveals, “A Surprising Tie That Binds Hong Kong’s Protest Leaders: Faith … Many of the leaders are Christian, and some cite faith as an inspiration.”

“National surveys conducted in the early 21st century estimated that some 80% of the population of China, which is more than a billion people, practice some kind of Chinese folk religion; 10–16% are Buddhists; 10% are Taoist; 2.53% are Christians; and 0.4% are Muslims.”

China: 2.53-percent are Christians

Macau: 7.2-percent are Christians

Hong Kong: 11-percent are Christians (about 825,000)

Mark Juergensmeyer argues that “despite its central tenets of love and peace, Christianity—like most traditions—has always had a violent side. The bloody history of the tradition has provided disturbing images and violent conflict is vividly portrayed in the Bible. This history and these biblical images have provided the raw material for theologically justifying the violence of contemporary Christian groups.” ꟷ Christianity and violence

To help understand China’s culture, read Looking at China through a Single Lens

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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Looking at China through a Cultural Lens – Part 1 of 2

January 8, 2020

“Taoism (also known as Daoism) is a Chinese philosophy attributed to Lao Tzu (c. 500 BCE) that contributed to the folk religion of the people primarily in the rural areas of China and became the official religion of the country under the Tang Dynasty. Taoism is therefore both a philosophy and a religion.”  ꟷ Ancient History Encyclopedia

“Unlike Buddhism (that originated in India and reached China to become popular), Taoism arose from the observations and beliefs of the Chinese people. The principles of Taoism impacted Chinese culture greatly because it came from the people and was a natural expression of the way the Chinese (working class) understood the universe.”


Buddhist Parable on the True Nature of Human Existence

Buddha Weekly says, “The Daoist tradition was already present in China when Buddhism first entered the country over the border from neighboring India around the 3rd Century BCE. The two religions (Taoism and Buddhism) came to heavily influence each other in China, and this Daoist influence on Buddhism — after the two started to interact with one another — helped shape history and philosophical belief in the region for centuries.”

“Taoism has been one of the most influential philosophies and religions during the past 2,500 years in China, and it affects every aspect of Chinese life, including leisure.” ꟷ World Leisure Journal

The BBC reports, “Zen Buddhism is a mixture of Indian Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism. It began in China, spread to Korea and Japan, and became very popular in the West from the mid 20th century. The essence of Zen is attempting to understand the meaning of life directly, without being misled by logical thought or language. … If you’re a westerner you may find it hard to shake off the intellectual and dualist ways of thinking that dominate western culture: this can make it difficult for westerners to come to Zen.”

Part 2 will be posted on January 15, 2020

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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The Accident that led to Fireworks, Rockets, Cannons, Bullets, and Bombs

December 25, 2019

Do you know who is responsible for discovering what led to the fireworks we enjoy in the night sky on major holidays, like New Year’s Eve or the Lunar New Year?

Smithsonian says, “Around 200 BC, the Chinese unintentionally invented firecrackers by tossing bamboo into the fire, but it took another thousand years before true fireworks came alive. … Like many inventions, firecrackers fireworks were created by accident … and by the search for immortality.”

It would take more than a thousand years before this modern technology of war that was invented by accident ended up in the west.

Smithsonian also tells us in another piece, “The first known use of the military rocket occurred in 1232 when the Chinese used fei huo tsiang (flying fire lances) against Mongols besieging the city of Kai-fung-fu.”

If you Google ‘who invented the rocket,’ you will discover that Google gives credit to American Robert Hutchings Goddard, who did not invent the rocket. Goddard only improved on what the Chinese had already created almost seven hundred years earlier. The Chinese invented the first rocket that was powered with gunpowder. Goddard invented the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926, a different type of propellant that was easier to control.

After those ancient Chinese alchemists accidentally discovered gunpowder, “Centuries of trial and error refined the gunpowder formula, and alchemists likely stumbled upon the property of propulsion.”

When the fireworks soar into the sky around the world this New Year’s Eve, you will be witnessing “over 2000 years of danger, invention, and beauty wrapped into a simple package.”

When the sky lights up in splashes of color remember to give credit to “Emperor Wu Di of Ancient China’s Han Dynasty (156-87 B.C.).” Antiquitynow.org

Emperor Wu Di wanted to live and rule forever like many powerful men with a god complex, so he ordered his Taoist alchemists (the religious scientists of his empire) to research and discover a potion or elixir for eternal life. During that search for immortality, they discovered gunpowder.”

[yotube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkaxdGRgQgA]

A god complex is an unshakable belief characterized by consistently inflated feelings of personal ability, privilege, or infallibility.

Answer this question if you can: What modern-day world leader claims he is the “Chosen One”?

Often mentioned in science fiction and fantasy films and novels, the Chosen One is allegedly the sole person chosen by destiny to stop an impending disaster that threatens all life, save the world from a supervillain, and stop corruption.

If you have correctly answered the last question, you should know what the Bible says about God’s Chosen One: Timothy 2:5: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus …”

Modern-day mortal supervillains that have a god complex share characteristics of real-world dictators, gangsters, and terrorists, with aspirations of world domination or universal leadership.

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, the Enemy of your Enemy is NOT always your Friend

December 18, 2019

According to Global Research, “The ancient idea that ‘The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend’ originated in the 4th century B.C. in India.  Kautilya –  the ‘Indian Machiavelli’ – wrote about the idea in the Sanskrit military book, the ‘Arthashastra’.”

I have experienced and witnessed how “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” works.

Have you ever played or seen a game of four-way chess? When I was a faculty co-sponsor for a high school student chess club for several years, I often played four-way chess with three students, who thought I was the better player, formed an alliance to clear as many of my chess pieces off the board as possible until I was no longer a threat. Once that was achieved, two of the other three players would then form an alliance to take out the strongest remaining player. The smartest/sneakiest player was the one that used “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” to his/her best advantage and almost always won in the end.

I think Putin is that type of player, the sneakiest one that will manipulate the other players to help him win the game. To win, Putin will even turn countries against each other.

China must not forget that its history with Russia has not always been friendly.

Before 1600, China and Russia were on opposite ends of Siberia, which was populated by independent nomadic tribes.

But by 1640, Russian settlers reached the Amur River basin and settled in territory that belonged to China.

From 1652 to 1689, China’s armies drove the Russian settlers out, and after 1689 China and Russia made peace and established trade agreements. By the mid-1800s China’s economy and military power were no longer a match for Russia and Europe’s colonial powers. Taking advantage of the situation, Russia annexed the Amur basin and Vladivostok and stole that area from China.

During Russia’s 1917 Communist Revolution, there were two factions, the Reds vs the Whites. The Reds won. China-backed the Whites, and to punish China, in 1923, the USSR supported the Kuomintang (the Chinese Nationalists) and its leader Chiang Kai-shek instead of the Chinese Communist Party. It should be noted that Chiang Kai-shek also had the support of the United States.

China and Russia fought two border wars in the next ten years, and Joseph Stalin the leader of the USSR continued to give support to Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government. Stalin also told Mao Zedong to cooperate with Chiang Kai-shek. Instead, Mao attacked the Chiang’s Nationalist government.

After World War II, the Soviets no longer needed to be friends with the United States and switched sides and backed the Chinese Communist Party under Mao. With this help, Mao won the Civil War in 1949. The U.S. was still supporting Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist Party, the Kuomintang.

Political tension between China and Russia emerged after Stalin’s death in 1953. In 1961, the unstable alliance ended when Mao accused the Soviets of revisionism. Then the two countries started to compete for control over foreign communist states and political movements around the world.

In 1969, there was a brief border war between the two countries, and President Nixon’s intervention saved China from a Soviet nuclear attack.

In 1979 China invaded Vietnam, which was an ally of the USSR. China also sent aid to the anti-Soviet Mujahedeen in the USSR’s war in Afghanistan.

In two-way or four-way chess, the players cannot trust each other even when they are allies. Every player must keep their eyes on the board because some players cheat.

Russia’s leaders have a long history of Anti-Americanism, dating back to the early days of the Cold War. In some of the latest Russian population polls, the United States and its allies consistently top the list of Russia’s greatest enemies.

Because President Donald Trump started a trade war with China, he destroyed the goodwill that President Nixon created by stopping Russia from destroying China with nuclear weapons. Trump’s trade war turned China into an enemy of the U.S., and Russia’s Putin is using that to his advantage until the United States is no longer a global threat.

Can China trust Putin after Donald Trump is gone and hopefully in prison?

Did Trump start his trade war with China because Putin told him to do it?

The Moscow Project reveals “12 Ways Trump has Supported Putin’s Foreign Policy Agenda”.

The Washington Post reports, “Amid trade war, Trump drops the pretense of friendship with China’s Xi Jinping, calls him an ‘enemy’”

When the next U.S. president ends the Trump (Putin) trade war with China, what will Putin do next?

Will Putin turn against China?

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 Makes China Different

December 4, 2019

One major difference is that most Chinese have NOT been seriously influenced by the politics and religious beliefs of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The major influences of Chinese Culture come from Confucian and Taoist thought.

In fact, the former prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew thought that Western-style democracy is incompatible with Confucianism and that the latter constitutes a much more coherent ideological basis for a well-ordered Asian society than Western notions of individual liberty.

Confucianism and Taoism appeared in China almost nine hundred years before Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. It would take another three centuries before Christianity and Islam reached China, more than twelve hundred years after the 5th century BC when Confucian and Taoist thought was introduced to China.

The Jews arrived much later. Most scholars agree that a Jewish community existed in Kaifeng, China since the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127 AD), though some date their arrival to the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD), or earlier.

Buddhism arrived during the Han Dynasty, but by then China was already deeply Confucian and Taoist. Both have philosophies that focus on harmony and social order in society. Although Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism all mention harmony, too, the violence and wars caused by these religions have painted a wide bloody scar through history that continues today. You might be shocked to discover that Buddhists can be violent, too. If you are interested, I suggest you read A Short History of Violent Buddhism to learn more.

Confucius and many of his contemporaries were concerned about the state of turmoil, competition, and warfare between the feudal states. They sought philosophical and practical solutions to the problems of government — solutions that, they hoped, would lead to a restoration of unity and stability. – Columbia.edu

Taoism (also known as Daoism) is a Chinese philosophy attributed to Lao Tzu (c. 500 BCE) which contributed to the folk religion of the people primarily in the rural areas of China. Taoism focuses on the present – heaven and hell exist in how you connect to the present moment. On the other hand, Christianity teaches that heaven or hell happens after death.

Classroom.com says, “Taoism and Islam are very different in many ways. Religious Taoism is polytheistic, worshiping no single, omnipotent god, and instead venerating a pantheon of gods, many of whom have functional titles and roles. The Taoist classic text is the ‘Tao Te Ching.’ ‘Tao’ means, roughly, ‘the Way,’ and refers to both the ordering principle of the universe and to the gentle seeking of accommodation with it. … Islam says there is only one God, Allah.”

China like Singapore legally allows five religions, but only 200 million Chinese (14 percent of China’s population of 1.4 billion) practice Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism.

According to Religion in China – By the Numbers, there are 44 million Christians and 20 million Muslims in China today. Combined, Islam and Christianity represent less than five percent of China’s population compared to the United States with the largest Christian population in the world, about 75 percent of its 320 million people.

The most widespread religion in China is a combination of Buddhism, Chinese folklore, Taoism and Confucianism. It is estimated that 800,000,000 Chinese follow this tradition that retains traces of its ancestral Neolithic belief system including the veneration of the Sun, Moon, Earth, Heaven and various stars, as well as communication with animals. Folk religion in China has been practiced alongside Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism by Chinese people for thousands of years.

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 Unleashed, Again

November 27, 2019

While the United States is struggling to survive the arrogant, corruption, lies, ignorance and incompetence of President Donald Trump, Wharton warns us, “China and the U.S. are battling to be the leader in 5G technology, a fight it seems that Chinese tech companies are winning.”

While Donald Trump’s followers obsess about abortion while keeping a quarter of America’s children in crushing poverty, Kara Swisher warns us in the next video that, “Next tech innovation will come from China, not the U.S.”

While Trump’s Republicans are spreading the fear of socialism, American farmers are going bankrupt thanks to Trump’s infamous trade war with China and the world, in the next video, Richard Aguilar warns us, “China (a socialist-capitalist country) is innovating advanced technology in farming.”

“China has been continuously advancing in the field of technology and … you will see how China is transforming agricultural production in their country with the use and help of their technological advancement.”

While Donald Trump’s arrogant, ignorant, and corrupt Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is doing all she can to destroy the U.S. public education system, the same schools that helped make America the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world after World War II, Rebecca Fanning, the author of Tech Titans of China, says, “U.S. awareness of China’s tech industry as a whole is limited, and this oversight could ultimately prove costly to the U.S., if it persists.”

Fanning’s new book reveals “How China’s tech sector is challenging the world by innovating faster, working harder, and going global.”

If you don’t believe China is capable of racing past the United States because it is not a democracy like the United States, learn from Joseph Needham by reading The Man Who Loved China.

For more than fifteen-hundred years starting with the Han Dynasty in 206 BC, China was the most innovative and wealthiest country in the world up to 1644 AD’s Qing Dynasty. For instance, during those centuries, the Chinese invented paper, the stirrup, the crossbow, silk, tea, gunpowder, the printing press, the development of canal locks (that make the Suez and Panama canals work), and hundreds of other innovations.

I think the reason the United States is falling behind China is because the U.S. is no longer a Constitutional Republic and democracy with a clear separation of church and state. Instead, the United States is fast becoming a theocratic kleptocracy thanks to Citizens United and corrupt, manipulating liars like Donald Trump, the kleptocrat, and Betsy DeVos, the theocrat.

Meanwhile, China throws thieves and liars like Donald Trump in prison, and does not allow religions to have political power.

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 Four Most Popular River Cruises

November 6, 2019

First: The Yangtze River Cruise

Cruise Critic.com says, “A China river cruise on the Yangtze tops the bucket list for most sophisticated travelers. … Once you’re on the Yangtze, expect to see mysterious temples and pagodas, small towns and rural life and the dramatic scenery of Three Gorges.”

At 3,900 miles, the Yangtze is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. The Yangtze has played a major role in the history, culture, and economy of China. For thousands of years, the river has been used for water, irrigation, sanitation, transportation, industry, boundary-marking, and war.

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world. The Telegraph reports, “The dam, now the world’s biggest electricity-generating facility, supplies 15 per cent of China’s hydroelectricity power.”

To cruise beyond the Three Georges Dam, there is a vertical-hoisting elevator (the largest in the world) that lifts cruise ships weighing up to 3,000 tons up-or-down 370 feet. There is also a lock for larger ships.

Second: Li River Cruise

Since I have already written about this one-day, four to five hour cruise, Here is the link to that post, but I added a newer video with this post. Much shorter than the Yangtze River, the Li River flows 102 miles and is located in southeast China near the city of Guilin.

Third: the Huangpu River Cruise

I have taken this cruise, too, and this link will take you to that post. The Huangpu River is 71 miles long making it shorter than the Li River. The Huangpu flows through Shanghai and was excavated and created when Lord Chunshen (died in 238 BC) ruled one of the Four Warring States of that era. This river is the last significant tributary flowing into the Yangtze before it reaches the East China Sea.

The Huangpu River, one of the earliest rivers in China to be dredged by man, originates at Dianshan Lake, in the Qingpu District of Shanghai.

Fourth: the Grand Canal Cruise

The Grand Canal is the oldest and longest man-made waterway in the world. The canal starts in Beijing in the north and ends at Hangzhou in the south with a length of 1,104 miles. You may read my post about the Grand Canal by clicking this link. The Canal is ten times the length of the Suez Canal and twenty-two times that of the Panama Canal. It also connects the two major rivers of China: the Yellow River and the Yangtze River.

Travel China Guide says, “The most popular section to cruise on the Grand Canal passes through Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces.”

This cruise does not travel the length of the Grand Canal from Beijing to Hangzhou and lasts less than two hours. The Grand Canal was built during the Sui Dynasty (581 – 618 AD), and about 2.5 million slaves and criminals died during its construction. The brutality and suffering angered many Chinese that rebelled and left the country in ruins. Emperor Yang was assassinated in 618 ending the Sui Dynasty, and the rebels took control. This was the beginning of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), one of the most-successful dynasties in China’s history.

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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