Hong Kong Returns to China: Part 1 of 2

August 7, 2018

On July 1, 1997, The British returned Hong Kong to Mainland China. How many people around the world know Hong Kong’s history?

To understand, it helps to learn that negotiations to return Hong Kong to China started in 1979, but what happened in 1839 is also important.

Imagine if Russia had invaded the United States in the 19th century and after crushing America’s military, they occupied the area where New York City is located and kept it for 156 years while using it as a trading hub to export cocaine and heroin without restrictions into the United States until every American family has one or more members that were addicted to these horrible drugs. That is what happened to China.


The video is included to learn what happened to Hong Kong and not as an indictment of China.

History dot com reports, “In 1839, Britain invaded China to crush opposition to its interference in the country’s economic and political affairs. One of Britain’s first acts of the war was to occupy Hong Kong, a sparsely inhabited island off the coast of southeast China. In 1841, China (forced) ceded the island to the British, and in 1842 the Treaty of Nanking was signed, formally ending the First Opium War.”

Hong Kong’s territory was acquired from three separate treaties: the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, the Convention of Peking in 1860, and The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory in 1898, which gave the UK control of Hong Kong IslandKowloon (area south of Boundary Street), and the New Territories (area north of Boundary Street and south of the Sham Chun River, and outlying islands), respectively.

Although Hong Kong Island and Kowloon had been ceded to the United Kingdom in perpetuity, the control on the New Territories was a 99-year lease. The finite nature of the 99-year lease did not hinder Hong Kong’s development as the New Territories were added to Hong Kong.

What about the allegations that the people of Hong Kong lost their freedom when the British returned the city and its territories to China in 1997? We’ll deal with that in Part 2 on August 8, 2018.

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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Jesus Christ’s Younger Chinese Brother

June 13, 2018

After China lost both of the Opium Wars started by the British and French, Christian missionaries flooded China along with a tsunami of opium.

Hong Xiuquan (1814 – 1865), a failed student of Confucian doctrine, converted to Christianity and woke up one morning claiming he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ. From there, he built a following and started the Taiping Rebellion (1850 – 1864) that lasted for more than a decade.

History of War says, “Conservative estimates of the dead in the 14-year Taiping Rebellion in southern China start at between 20 and 30 million. In contrast, around 17 million soldiers and civilians were killed fifty years later during the First World War. The devastating death toll between 1850 to 1864 certainly makes the uprising one of the bloodiest events in history, with more than 100,000 people killed in three days during the Third Battle of Nanking in 1864.”

Hong’s goals were to replace the Qing Dynasty and rid China of Opium. After achieving that goal, he was going to turn China into a Christian nation. He planned to be China’s first Christian emperor.

Since the English, United States, and French did not want the opium trade to end, these Christian nations helped the Ch’ing Dynasty defeat the Taipings even though the rebellion was a Christian uprising.

If the British and their western allies had sided with Hong Xiuquan, China would probably be a Christian nation today, but think of all the lost profits.

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 Last Imperial Dynasty was not ruled by the Han Chinese: Part 3 of 3

June 8, 2018

During the 19th century, the two Opium Wars started by Britain and France weakened the Qing Dynasty.

Besides the Opium Wars, there was also the Taiping Rebellion, which lasted more than a decade.

In 1900, the so-called Boxer Rebellion (known as “I-ho Chuan” or the “Righteous and Harmonious Fists”) was originally started to bring down the Manchu Qing Dynasty but the Qing government managed to redirect the rebellion against the foreigner invaders that had defeated China during the Opium Wars.

This ended in a worse defeat after the foreign powers formed an alliance and marched on Beijing slaughtering the rebels.

Back to the Qing Dynasty

How does a country innovate and prosper when it is fighting endless rebellions and wars. For a brief example, Business Insider estimates 25-million died during the Qing conquest of the Ming dynasty, a period of extreme political turmoil in China that lasted for sixty-five years. It is estimated that during the Taiping Rebellion 1850-1864, another 20-million died (some estimates allege the number was closer to 100-million). During the Dungan Revolt 1862-1877, another 10-million were killed.  If you click this link, you will discover a list of thirty wars and revolts that the Qing Dynasty was involved in. Do you see any comparison to the United States since the end of World War II?

The driving force behind the revolution of 1911 that ended the Qing Dynasty was Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who had been educated in Hawaii when it was an American territory. This exposure to the U.S. Republic motivated Sun Yat-sen to build a Republic to China but one that would fit the Chinese culture.

Return to Part 2 or start with Part 1

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 Last Imperial Dynasty was not ruled by the Han Chinese: Part 2 of 3

June 7, 2018

The next Qing Emperor Yongzheng ruled from 1722 to 1735, and he was frugal like his father.

Yongzheng created an effective government and used military force to preserve the dynasty’s position as his father had. Under his leadership, he continued the era of peace and prosperity by cracking down on corruption and waste while reforming the financial administration of the empire.

The next one was the Qianlong Emperor, also known as the warrior emperor, and he ruled China for much of the 18th century (1735 – 1796). During his leadership, he subdued several rebellions known as the “ten successful campaigns”, which drained the Qing Dynasty’s treasury. These rebellions went on for forty-five years from 1747 to 1792.

However, when the Qianlong Emperor died, China was unified, at peace, and still strong. He was a brilliant military leader and expanded the empire further into Mongolia and Tibet.

During Qianlong’s rule, Manchu and Chinese armies spread Qing sovereignty over Burma and Nepal.

In addition, Chinese settlers in Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, and Taiwan dealt with rebellions of the aboriginal tribes that could only be subdued by military force. Muslim people also resisted the Qing regime in Gansu and Xinjiang.

Part 3 will be posted on June 8, 2018 or return to Part 1

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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China’s Last Imperial Dynasty was not ruled by the Han Chinese: Part 1 of 3

June 6, 2018

The Qing Dynasty can be traced back to the 1580s when a Manchurian chieftain Nurhachi (1558–1626) unified the Jurchen tribes in an area north of the Great Wall of China. In time, Nurachi controlled most of Manchuria. In 1616, Nurhachi declared himself khan, and founded the Later Jin Dynasty, that his successors renamed in 1636, the Qing Dynasty.

He launched his war against China in 1618. In February 1626, he was defeated for the first time by the Chinese and died of his wounds by the end of September.

In 1644, his son Dorgon conquered China. However, the Chinese fought hard to drive the Manchurians from China and continued resistance in Southern China until crushed.

The second emperor of the Qing Dynasty was Kangxi (1654 – 1722) who ruled for sixty-two years and is considered by many historians one of the ablest emperors to govern the vast Chinese empire. He laid the foundation of a long period of political stability and economic prosperity for China.

The rebellions Kangxi put down was called the Rebellion of the Three Feudatories, which lasted from 1673 to 1681.

Then there was the pirate-merchant Zheng Chenggong, who set up an independent kingdom on the island of Taiwan. Eventually, that kingdom was defeated and brought back into the Qing empire.

The Kangxi emperor also fought wars with Russia from 1685 until 1689 when the Treaty of Nerchinsk was signed.

Next were the campaigns against the Mongols until they were defeated. In 1720, the Qing Dynasty occupied Tibet adding that region to the empire.

However, even in times of war, the Kangxi emperor provided tax relief for the people, and he was known as a frugal and wise leader. When he died, he left China strong and in good financial shape

It is also well known that the Qing Dynasty did not trust the Han Chinese and went out of its way to hire foreigners to fill government positions held by Han Chinese for centuries.

Part 2 will be posted on June 7, 2018

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 repeating Chinese crossbow led to the modern machine gun

April 11, 2018

Vendian.org reports, “The crossbow was invented in Ancient China during the Zhou dynasty, around the year 700 BC. … They had a range of up to 650 feet. The crossbow had a firing mechanism, which was so complicated that it would have been nearly impossible for an enemy to understand how it worked, thus reducing the chance that the crossbow could be copied by hostile civilizations. …  And, in the eleventh century, rapid-firing crossbows were developed that could fire 20 arrows in only 15 seconds.”

The mechanism that made this Chinese eleventh-century repeating crossbow work was the forerunner to the modern machine gun.

The Chinese also invented the stirrup around the fourth century A.D. Before that invention, all of the people on earth rode horses without stirrups and staying on horseback while fighting was a challenge. Scientific American says the “Invention of the stirrup may rival that of the longbow and gunpowder.”

Thanks to stirrups, the horse became a more stable platform for war. Prior to the stirrup, it was common for a man to ride about seven miles a day. After the stirrup, that distance was extended to as much as seventy miles a day.

The invention of the stirrup along with the repeating crossbow created powerful weapons. The Chinese could also manufacture items in mass, quickly and efficiently. The Chinese used pottery molds to accomplish this—even to build the advanced trigger mechanism for the crossbow. When it came to cast iron, the Chinese were a thousand years ahead of the world.

However, by the time of the Sung Dynasty, the world was catching up because China’s enemies were stealing their technology.  It’s ironic that today, many in the West accuse the Chinese of stealing innovations. If so, China is only doing what was done to them centuries ago.

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 Taoist search for Immortality led to millions of early Deaths instead

April 3, 2018

Gunpowder was discovered by accident in China a thousand years ago and it was called fire medicine. While mixing ingredients to find an elixir for immortality, Chinese scientists stumbled on the formula. Fireworks and rockets came first to scare away evil spirits.

In fact, several ingredients for gunpowder were in wide use for medicinal purposes during the Spring and Autumn Period of China’s history (722 – 481 BC).

Sulfur is the main ingredient of gunpowder, and gunpowder was first developed during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD). During the Northern Sung Dynasty, in 1044 AD, the book “Essentials of Military Art” published several formulas for gunpowder production.

Asian Education reports, “During the Song dynasty, gunpowder technology was further refined for military purposes and many kinds of firearms were invented. In the year 1000, Tang Fu designed and manufactured a gunpowder arrow, gunpowder ball, and barbed gunpowder packages and donated them to the Song emperor. In 1132, the fire lance was introduced with gunpowder in a long bamboo tube. When fired, flames were projected on the enemy. In 1259, a fire-spitting lance was enhanced with bullets. When fired, bullets were ejected with the flames.”

One theory says that the knowledge of gunpowder went to Europe along the Silk Road around the start of the 13th century, hundreds of years after being discovered in China. It is also ironic, that Britain and France used advanced gunpowder weapons to defeat China during the 19th century in the two Opium Wars.

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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