Sun Tzu says, “It is essential to seek out enemy agents who have come to spy against you and bribe them to serve you.” In The Art of War, double agents are the most important spies.
That is what the Allies did in World War II before the Normandy Invasion of France. No one used double agents better than the British did.
Britain turned almost every spy Germany sent during the war. These double agents made the Germans believed the invasion would take place at Pas de Calais and not Normandy.
Sun Tzu says, “The way a wise general can achieve greatness beyond ordinary men is through foreknowledge.” The allies had foreknowledge because they broke the German code and knew what the Germans were thinking and planning.
Sun Tzu would have praised the allied preparation for the invasion and the use of deception but he would have condemned the actual assault.
Sun Tzu says, “When a falcon’s strike breaks the body of its prey, it is because of timing. When torrential water tosses boulders, it is because of momentum.”
Sun Tzu believes that the best attack can be ruined if momentum is lost, and he would have predicted the cost of lives during the Normandy invasion more than two-thousand years before it took place.
Before Western Imperialism attempted to change Asia during the 19th century, China was a regional super power for more than two-thousand years. Over time, the Chinese believed they were too civilized and powerful to be threatened by anyone on the planet. Then the British, French, Portuguese, Germans, Americans, Russians and Japanese arrived and waged war in China for a century starting with the First Opium War.
China learned a lesson from all of these wars. It only took a century to recover and start over.
The leaders of China are called Communists, but the men and women who rule China were born Chinese and the decisions they make are based on being Chinese—not being Communists. The Chinese culture is a collective culture and when an “individual” crosses the line and breaks the rules doing or saying something that is unacceptable to the collective culture, they are erased (given a death sentence) or reeducated (if possible). That’s how the Chinese collective culture on the mainland does things.
In time, interaction with other cultures may change that. In fact, China already has changed to some degree. Friendly, harmonious interaction is the key—not hate and accusations like those from Americans like Timothy V.
An example of how hard the Chinese work stands in the Great Wall of China and the Grand Canal. To understand the significance, we will look at the Suez and Panama Canals first as a comparison.
China’s Grand Canal
In the 19th century, the French built a canal 100 miles across the Isthmus of Suez. When it opened, the Suez Canal was only 25 feet deep, 72 feet wide at the bottom and 200 to 300 feet wide at the surface. About 20,000 ships use the canal each year. Source: History.com
The Panama Canal was started in 1881 by the French but ended a failure. The Americans finished the canal between 1904 – 1914. The canal was 51-miles long. Today, it handles over 12,000 ships a year. Source: The Panama Canal
When I was in grade school, we learned about the Panama Canal in glowing terms. I’m sure the French and British brag about the Suez Canal in their textbooks too.
Until my first trip to China in 1999, I had never heard of the Grand Canal, which is the oldest and longest man-made canal in the world at more than a thousand miles from Beijing to Hangzhou south of Shanghai.
China’s Grand Canal
The construction started almost five hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ and was completed centuries later. The canal is still in use today. To finish it, the Pound lock was invented in the 10th century during the Song Dynasty. There are 24 locks and about 60 bridges. Source: Wikipedia
Father to Son – There should be kindness in the father, and filial piety in the son.
Elder Brother to Younger Brother – There should be gentility (politeness) in the elder brother, and humility in the younger.
Husband to Wife – There should be righteous behavior in the husband and obedience in the wife.
Elder to Junior – There should be consideration among the elders and deference among the juniors.
Ruler to Subject – There should be benevolence among the rulers and loyalty among the subjects.
Look at the last rule. When a Chinese citizen publicly protests the way the Chinese government runs the country, that is seen as an act of disloyalty. You may not agree with what China does, but China has the right to do as it sees fit even if the act is considered inhuman by Western standards.
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.
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