China Preserving its History

January 6, 2015

A few years ago, David Frum wrote on his blog (I think he deleted that post or closed his Blog since then) about China’s Early Empires referring to Belknap’s six-volume history of Imperial China. Frum said, “There is no Chinese equivalent of the Parthenon or the Roman Forum, no Pantheon or Coliseum. For all its overpowering continuity, China does not preserve physical remains of the past… He offhandedly mentioned at one point that there remained not a single surviving house or palace from Han China. There are not even ruins.”

David Frum—who was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush—was wrong.

I wrote a three-part series about the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.) tombs discovered in Xuzhou, which was the location of the capital of the Han Dynasty. The tombs, which have not been destroyed or looted, are now tourist attractions. A museum was built to house artifacts that were discovered. One tomb has a living room and a bedroom before the coffin chamber.  Since the tomb was built inside a hollowed-out rock mountain, it survived more than two millennia with evidence of how the Han Dynasty lived more than 2,000 years ago.

And I’ve toured the Ming tombs, and seen the graves of heroes from the Song Dynasty near the West Lake in Hangzhou, south of Shanghai.  Also, let’s not forget that the Grand Canal, which was started five centuries before the birth of Christ, is still in use today.

Then, if you visit Tibet, there’s the Potala Palace, which was first built in 637 AD and is still lived in. Although much of ancient China has vanished, there are still vestiges that equal or surpass what the Roman and Greek civilizations left behind.

Last but not least, there’s the Great Wall and China’s Terra-Cotta Warriors from the first emperor (260-210 BC). I wrote about Qin Shi Huangdi in this post:

Though the beginning of the Great Wall of China can be traced to the third century B.C., many of the fortifications included in the wall date from hundreds of years earlier, when China was divided into a number of individual kingdoms during the so-called Warring States Period (Beginning between 481 – 403 BC) .


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Hollywood Book Festival

Finalist in Fiction & Literature – Historical Fiction
The National “Best Books 2010” Awards


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Beware of Hidden Political Agendas

November 2, 2010

The Frum Forum had a guest post by Kapil Komireddi.

Komireddi is an Indian freelance writer that writes principally about foreign affairs, particularly Indian foreign policy, and his work has appeared in American, Indian and British publications. He blogs at

China defeated India in a 1962 border war that hasn’t been settled yet. In fact, India has had border disputes with Nepal and Pakistan too. Due to India’s defeat by China, there have been hard feelings in India for almost fifty years.

Komireddi says the Chinese cannot reproduce without restriction, that they cannot search the internet, assemble, or travel.

His opinions are far from the truth.

During China’s national holidays, several hundred million travel inside China. I know. We were in China during the holiday in 2008 and were stuck in that migration. It was as if everyone in America were on the move at once.

Rural Chinese may have more than one child and the fifty-six minorities in China number more than 100 million and have no restrictions on how many children they have.

There’s also Baidu, a search engine, and Google is available even if certain topics are censored, and the US has more restrictions on Chinese traveling to American than the Chinese do.

Yet, between 2008 and last year, 600,000 visited the US and spent 2.56 billion dollars. Source: New America Media

In addition, Business Week says, “With barriers to European travel lowered, mainlanders (from China) are arriving in droves.” In 2004, almost a million visited Europe.

I imagine Komireddi must have felt he was getting some pay back for India’s loss to China in 1962.

The Frum Forum is a site edited by David Frum, who is dedicated to the modernization of the American Republican Party and the conservative movement.

David J. Frum is a Canadian American journalist and former economic speechwriter for President George W. Bush, which reveals another motive.

It is obvious that the goal was to make China look bad to the uneducated while bashing President Barack Obama for having the Dalai Lama exit the White House through the back doors.

Since most of the Dalai Lama’s Hollywood supporters are probably registered Democrats, a biased post with a political agenda like Komireddi’s might get some liberals not to vote.

Propaganda is a two-way street and China’s Tibetan, Islamic, Indian and Sinophobic enemies know how to use it to influence and mislead.

Learn about India and China at War


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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Invisible White Elephants

May 18, 2010

In the debate about China with Timothy V, one of his quotes stuck in my mind. Timothy V wrote, “Concerning the Chinese students, I’ve met students from all over China. From Fujian to Beijing. From the rural areas to the big cities. I have one close friend who was born in northeast China and grew up in Beijing. None of them have very much good to say about their home country. One common thread that they have is that they say they have more freedom to move around here in the U.S. than in China…”

I find it interesting that so many Chinese students and one close friend would all bad mouth China to a foreigner like Timothy V. The hundreds of Chinese I’ve met would never talk about their country like that to a foreigner even if that was how they felt. In a collective society like China, it isn’t proper to talk about the “White Elephant” in the room.

That is, unless those students were Tibetan separatists, Islamic Uyghurs or one of the dissidents who fled China after the Tiananmen Square incident and was bitterly stranded in the United States. In China, the police and state security closely watch any person considered a subversive, which would explain the fear and distrust these students have for the police in China.

Even in the US, the FBI, CIA and Secret Service watch suspected terrorists closely. If they didn’t, there would have been another 9/11 by now or worse.

Chinese supporting China in front of a Sears

Consider that during the 2008 Beijing Olympic protests, Chinese nationalism, even from Chinese Americans, was at an all time high. The Chinese government had never seen so much support from Chinese all over the world.

In an April 2010 post on the “FrumForum” about Chinese Nationalism, it said, “If they ever did have a free election here, the Chinese Communist Party would win 70% of the vote.” and “…young nationalists hesitate to criticize their own government because (1) they share the widespread feeling that on balance, their government has done a good job improving their lives (China is on track to 12% growth in 2010!) – and (2) over-emphatic criticism would cost them their audience by pushing them far out of the mainstream of Chinese opinion.”

David Frum even shared a meal in China with a highly educated woman in the arts. American-educated, English-speaking, progressive-minded. Frum said they talked about the burden of censorship in the arts – and she bristled. ‘If you offend the authorities, you are just stupid. Everybody knows where the lines are, why cross them? Our idea of freedom is different from yours, why can’t you accept that?”

Could it be that Timothy V casts doubt on what I write about China because of whom he knows and that limits his perspective leading to flawed opinions?


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. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.