Korean War POWs compared to America’s Illegal Wars in Laos and Cambodia

August 5, 2015

Chinese history shows that since the time of Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor (221 – 207 B.C.), the standard practice in war was to execute POWs because they were a burden that might lead to defeat.  An army that doesn’t have to feed and guard POWs is more effective at fighting and winning.  Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan knew this fact too.

Some time ago I watched a documentary on the Korean War that mentioned that 87% of United Nations (U.N.) troops captured by the People’s Liberation Army or North Korean troops during the war died in captivity, but it doesn’t explain how they died.

In fact, while there was strong evidence that North Korean Troops executed U.N. POWs, the Chinese rarely executed prisoners like their North Korean counterparts did. Instead, mass starvation and diseases swept through the Chinese POW camps during the winter of 1950-51. “About 43 percent of all U.S. POWs died during this period.” The Chinese defended what happened because Chinese troops during this period also suffered mass starvation and diseases due to an incompetent logistics supply system. Even the civilian population behind the Communist lines didn’t have enough to eat. – wikipedia.org

Surviving U.N. POWs, however, have disagreed with this claim. Click on the previous link to see what the POWs had to say.

Even though the Wiki piece claims “both the Communists and United Nations forces were committed to the terms of the 1949 Geneva Conventions III, regarding the treatment of POWs,” China didn’t join the United Nations until October 25, 1971 — twenty years later, and North Korea wouldn’t become a member of the U.N. until September 1991.

The International Treaties on the Laws of War written in Geneva and the Hague in 1938 by the League of Nations was meant for the “Protection of Civilian Populations Against Bombing from the Air in Case of War,” but during World War II, the US Air Force killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Germany and Japan. Many of the bombs dropped were napalm (jellied gasoline) and the innocent along with enemy troops were roasted alive and that included the elderly, women and children.

In addition, the Geneva Convention for the treatment of Prisoners of War was written in 1949, the same year the Chinese Communists won the Civil War in China, but the U.S. had been an ally of the Nationalist Chinese since well before World War II and protected Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists in Taiwan after 1949 in spite of the fact that Chiang Kai-shek was a brutal dictator who ruled Taiwan with martial law and was responsible for the killing of more than thirty-thousand civilians in 1947 in the 2/28 Massacre in Taiwan.

While the behavior of Chinese and North Korean troops when it came to POW’s was unacceptable by Western humanitarian written standards, US forces are just as guilty when it comes to killing innocent civilians. It is estimated that the US killed between 1.5 and 3.6 million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (note that the US bombings in Laos and Cambodia were illegal and were not approved by the U.S. Congress), and left behind a horrible legacy due to the use of Agent Orange.

“Not only did Nixon and Kissinger not seek the necessary approval from Congress to bomb Cambodia, (and Laos 1962-1969) they tried to conceal the bombing not only from the American public but Congress as well.” – Third World Traveler

In conclusion, written agreements seldom are practiced in war, and it is obvious these agreements do not save innocent lives. To learn more about the illegal US bombing in Laos, read National Geographic Magazine’s recent Life After the Bombs. “The total weight of the bombs dropped was many times greater than the weight of the people living in Laos, which at the time had a population of perhaps two million. It worked out to as much as a ton of bombs per person. … The bombs didn’t distinguish between communists and anticommunists any more than they distinguished between soldiers and children.”

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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.

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

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The United States versus the People’s Republic of China — Who is more AGGRESSIVE?

September 3, 2012

Here’s an “AGGRESSION” comparison between People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States (USA). To keep score, I will only count casualties (those killed on both sides—the wounded and cost of the wars will not be counted).  The most aggressive nation will have the highest score.

First Tibet (1950): Technically Tibet was an independent country from 1911-12 to 1950—thirty-eight years.

Before that, Tibet was ruled over by China starting with the Yuan Dynasty (1277-1367) ), Ming Dynasty (1368-1643) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) —five-hundred-forty-three years.

To read about this from a reputable Western source (because few in the West trust PRC sources), I suggest the October 1912 issue of The National Geographic Magazine.  There’s a piece in the magazine written by a Western trained, Qing-Dynasty doctor that the Chinese emperor sent to Tibet in 1907 for two years. His name was Shaoching H. Chuan, M.D. ( I have an original copy of this almost 100-year-old magazine).

When the Chinese Communist Party won the Civil War against Chiang Kai-shek’s KMT Party, in 1950, Mao sent the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to take Tibet back. For a comparison, when the United States declared its independence from the British Empire, the revolution lasted from 1776 to 1783—seven years.

Casualties and losses comparing the America’s Revolution with the British Empire to Tibet’s Revolution with China

Total American causalities 25,000 dead
America’s allies: The French and Spanish lost about 8,000 in Europe and America

The British lost about 20,000.

In comparison to America’s Revolution that cost 53,000 lives over seven years, in 1950 after the PLA reoccupied Tibet, the war was over in a matter of days/weeks.

The Tibetan government in exile exaggerated the number killed in Tibet at 1.2 million and has accused China of genocide.

However, Michael Parenti wrote this in his book Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth: “The official 1953 census–six years before the Chinese crackdown–recorded the entire population residing in Tibet at 1,274,000. Other census counts put the population within Tibet at about two million.”

Source: http://thenewvoice.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/the-myth-of-tibet-genocide/

In addition, China puts the actual combat losses at 114 PLA soldiers and 180 Tibetan troops, while a Western source, Thomas Laird, claims 5,000 (for the comparison, I will use Laird’s number) Tibetan troops were killed.

“Tibetan prisoners of war were generally well treated. After confiscating their weapons, the PLA soldiers gave the prisoners lectures on socialism and a small amount of money, before allowing them to return to their homes. According to Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, the PLA did not attack civilians.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_Tibet_into_the_People’s_Republic_of_China#Behavior_of_the_PLA

Note: In 1949, the average life expectancy in years in Tibet was 35 years.  Today it is close to 70 years. The average life expectancy in a nation may indicate the quality of life.

Korean Conflict (June 1950 – July 1953) – this war never resolved. Technically, America and South Korea are still at war with North Korea.

America and its allies lost 776,360 troops (America’s share of those losses was about 40,000 dead)

China and its allies lost 1,545,822–1,648,582 (easily twice the other side)

America’s Vietnam War (1955 – 1975) – It has been proven that America’s President L. B. Johnson started this war with a lie—watch the video.

America and its allies lost 676,585 – 1,035,585 (America’s share 58,220 dead)

North Vietnam and its allies–the PRC and the USSR lost 588,462 – 1,672,462

Civilians = 486,000 – 1,200,000.

China’s Vietnam War (1979) Note: China occupied and ruled over Vietnam for 1,000 years

“The first major threat to Vietnam’s existence as a separate people and nation was the conquest of the Red River Delta by the Chinese, under the mighty Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), in the first century B.C. At that time, and in later centuries, the expanding Chinese empire assimilated a number of small bordering nations politically and culturally. Although Vietnam spent 1,000 years under Chinese rule, it succeeded in throwing off the yoke of its powerful neighbor in the tenth century.”

Source: http://countrystudies.us/vietnam/2.htm

China’s casualties = 6,954 – 26,000 (depending on who you believe)

Vietnam’s casualties = 10,000 to 30,000 (depending on who you believe)

China’s War with India (1962 for about two months)

Note: China has clearly been successful in resolving border disputes with most of its neighbours in a ‘win-win’ situation since the 1990s.

However, India has had border wars with three of its neighbors: China, Pakistan and Nepal. In comparison, China has negotiated border disputes peacefully with North Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma/Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam.

Source: http://www.eu-asiacentre.eu/pub_details.php?pub_id=46

India’s casualties = 1,383

China’s casualties = 722

America’s War in Iraq (March 2004 – December 2011)

America and its allies:

Iraq Security Forces = 16,623 dead

Coalition Forces (America and its allies) = 4,805

Contractors = 1,554

Awakening Councils = 1,002 or more

Documented civilian deaths from violence = 103,160 – 113,729.

America’s enemies:

Iraqi combatants during the gulf war = 7,600 – 11,000

Insurgents killed = 21,221 – 26,405

America’s War in Afghanistan (2001 – present)

America and its allies: 14,446+

No way to reliable estimate how many Taliban, Al-Qaeda, etc have lost.

Civilians killed : 12,500 – 14,700

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Final Score: (Note: In most cases, the low estimate was used—the only exception being Tibet versus China)

The United States = 2.7 million deaths (the low estimate) and forty-eight years of war

The People’s Republic of China = 1.6 million and about three years of war. (about 1.5 million of those killed were in Korea)

Some more facts to help measure AGGRESSION – nuclear warheads

The USA = 8,500
The PRC = 240

Private industry weapon sales to the world:

USA = 30% of all global weapons sales—isn’t capitalism great?
PRC = about 5% of the global weapons sales

Note: The world’s biggest weapons suppliers are the USA, the UK, Russia, Germany and France.  China doesn’t even make the top-five.

Source: http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/world-top-ten-countries-by-nuclear-warheads-map.html

Who won the AGGRESSION contest between the USA and PRC? — YOU DECIDE

Discover The Tiananmen Square Hoax

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 3/4

September 2, 2011

The War in Korea (1950 – 1953), Vietnam (1955 – 1975), McCarthyism (1947 – 1957) and the Cold War with the USSR (1945 – 1991) set the stage for what may have contributed to mass deaths by starvation in China during the Great Leap Forward.

During the McCarthy era (1947 – 1957), thousands of Americans were accused of being Communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies.

In 1950, since China fought alongside North Korea against allied UN forces under the leadership of the US, the United States implemented a “complete embargo” that forbade all financial transaction with Communist China.

The US also convinced many of its allies to join this “complete embargo” to cut China off from the world.

After the Korean war, the United States did not lift this embargo for the next twenty years (1949-1969), with a goal to disrupt, destabilize, and weaken China’s communist government by causing the people to suffer and this “complete embargo” was one of the tools to achieve this.


The US embargo on China was a “complete embargo”, whch certainly must have contributed to the death toll of the Great Famine, a factor never mentioned before.

High American government sources have admitted that the objective of the economic warfare was aimed at causing a breakdown of Communist China. The idea was that problems in the Chinese economy would lead to loss of support from the people causing the collapse of the Communist Republic. Source: China for all.info and Asia for Educators – Columbia.edu

This embargo was lifted in 1969, when Richard Nixon was President. Source: Washington Post.com

However, while people were starving in China and US officials were waiting for Communist China to collapse, Washington D.C. had no idea how much suffering the Chinese people were capable of enduring and that even with the drought and famine, most Chinese were better off than they had been in centuries.

The evidence that the quality of life was improving was the fact that in 1949 when Mao came to power, life expectancy in China was 35, and by 1960 life expectancy had improved to age 60 or almost double what it had been in 1949, while the population of China increased by 19.5% with child mortality rates improving dramatically.

Field-studies in the 1930s revealed that in all parts of China, large numbers of landless laborers lived in tremendous poverty, and their situation had not changed since the sixteenth century. Source: China for all.info

If you want more evidence, I refer you to Pearl S. Buck’s “The Good Earth”.

We may never know how much of an impact America’s “economic warfare” against China crippled its ability to import food to feed its starving people in a time of drought and famine. In fact, this may have also influenced Mao’s decisions since he wanted the world to see China as strong and capable of feeding itself.

If anyone pulled a trigger on China’s people, it was not Mao. It was Washington D.C. fueled by fear of everything Communist caused by the Korean War, Vietnam, McCarthyism’s Red Scare and the Cold War with Communist Russia.

Continued on September 3, 2011 in China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 4 or return to Part 2

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Recommended reading on this topic for those who seek the unblemished truth: From the Monthly Review, Did Mao Really Kill Millions in the Great Leap Forward? by Joseph Ball

From Griffith University, Australia, Poverty, by David C. Schak, Associate Professor

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 2/4

September 1, 2011

The other factors that may have contributed to China’s so-called Great Famine will be listed in order of influence with the most damaging factor listed first and the least damaging last.

The first factors that may have contributed to the famine were droughts, floods and general bad weather.

In 1959 and 1960, the weather was less favorable, and the situation grew considerably worse, with many of China’s provinces experiencing severe famine.

Droughts, floods, and bad weather caught China completely by surprise, and in July 1959, the Yellow River flooded in East China and directly killed,either through starvation from crop failure or drowning, an estimated 2 million people.

In 1960, at least some degree of drought and other bad weather affected 55 percent of cultivated land, while an estimated 60 percent of northern agricultural land received no rain at all. Source: Great Leap Forward – Climate Conditions and famine in China (Wiki)

In fact, droughts and famine are common in China. Between 108 BC and 1911 AD, there were no fewer than 1,828 major famines in China or one nearly every year in one or another province.

In the West, most if not all of what we hear about Mao is that he was a brutal monster responsible for the deaths of about 30 million people during the Great Leap Forward as if he pulled the trigger and ordered others to deliberately kill people by the millions as Hitler and Stalin did.

However, the facts do not support this claim.

The first time I heard that droughts and extremely bad weather also played a role in the so-called Great Famine was early July 2011 while I was researching another topic for this Blog and stumbled on that mostly unknown fact by accident.

Then I discovered another more insidious factor when I started working on this post, which may have contributed significantly to the early deaths of millions in China and no one in China was responsible for this one.

This factor was influenced by both American and Chinese paranoia generated by the Korean War (1950 – 1953), America’s involvement in Vietnam (1955 – 1975), McCarthyism‘s Red Scare (1947 – 1957) and the Cold War with Communist Russia (1945 – 1991).

Continued on September 2, 2011 in China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 3 or return to Part 1

View as Single Page

Recommended reading on this topic for those who seek the unblemished truth: From the Monthly Review, Did Mao Really Kill Millions in the Great Leap Forward? by Joseph Ball

From Griffith University, Australia, Poverty, by David C. Schak, Associate Professor

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


China Protecting its Teeth in 1950 Korea – Part 9/9

March 2, 2011

Harry Truman (the 33rd president of the United States) lived in the White House for seven years from 1945 to 1953.

As the Korean Conflict entered its third year, Americans were afraid the war would never end. The majority of people wanted a leader that would end it soon.

While campaigning for the White House in October 1952, Eisenhower said, “I shall go to Korea. Only in that way could I learn how best to serve the American people in the cause of peace.”

After his victory, President-elect Eisenhower dressed in army fatigues and went to Korea to meet with UN troops near the front lines.  He ate rations with privates and listened to their thoughts on ending the war.

Rumors spread in the media that Eisenhower was considering using nuclear weapons as Truman did to end World War II. He even hinted that this was a possibility.

The Chinese Communists under Mao’s leadership took the warning of a nuclear strike seriously. Three months after President Eisenhower moved into the White House, the Chinese sent a letter declaring their desire to end the war.

After the letter arrived, it took four months to reach an agreement. The Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953 more than three years after the war began. It divided the Korean peninsula along the front lines giving the UN a small victory since the line was not the same as the one that divided Korea when the war started.

Counting civilians and troops, there were more than three million casualties (wounded, killed or missing) during the war.

The Korean war was never resolved. Neither the UN nor China won.

The front line along the 38th Parallel also acts as a border where a war that started in 1950 never really ended.

Countries that sent troops to serve with North Korea were China and the Soviet Union. Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungry, Bulgaria and Romania provided medical support.

Countries that sent troops to serve with the United Nations were the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Italy and India provided medical support.

Return to China Protecting its Teeth in 1950 Korea – Part 8 or start at the beginning with Part 1

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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.


China Protecting its Teeth in 1950 Korea – Part 8/9

March 1, 2011

When you read what happened to the UN POW’s, keep in mind that from 1949 to 1976, Revolutionary Maoist doctrine ruled China with an iron fist.

Most of the powerful Communist generals and politicians that fought with Mao to win the Civil War from 1925 to 1949 spoke out against his harsh actions as the leader of China.

Those men, with few exceptions, were killed or went to prison. A few survived by learning to stay out of sight and shutting up. Deng Xiaoping was one of the few that protested and survived.

After Mao’s death, Deng Xiaoping reappeared, gained the leadership and embarked on a campaign to convert China to an open-market economy mixing socialism with capitalism creating a hybrid form of government never seen before.

The reeducation camps that existed for much of Mao’s rule and the labor camps that appeared during the Cultural Revolution do not exist in China today.  In fact, I know of a cousin of my father-in-law that spent decades in these camps but today, in his 80s, he is free and lives with his son and daughter-in-law in Shanghai.

When the current central government of China came to power after the 1982 Constitution was written, many of the political prisoners that survived were released and received a small pension. This cousin was one of them.

Do we blame today’s Americans for slavery in the US in the 18th and 19th century until the end of the Civil War?

Do we blame them for discrimination that ended with the Civil Right era of the 1960s?

Do we blame them for all the American natives that were killed during the Indian Wars of the 19th century?

Do we blame them for the concentrations camps that locked up Japanese-Americans during World War II?

Do we blame them for the discriminatory Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882—the only act of its kind in US history?

In Korea, the UN POWs that survived shared horror stories of the torture, brainwashing and severe hunger they suffered. They told of terrifying campaigns to reeducate them and turn them against the cause of democracy.

The POWs reported that they were forced at gunpoint to speak out against America on the radio.

Many of the POWs went crazy and starved to death.

The UN POW camps in South Korea had problems too. The Chinese POWs split into two factions. One was anticommunist and the other procommunist.

Like rival street gangs in US prisons, the Chinese POWs turned against each other and there was violence.

The peace negotiations were tense and difficult and dragged on.

The fighting continued. The last two years of the war were a series of skirmishes. However, there were also hours without combat when the troops waited to see what happened next.

The armies fought repeatedly for the same hills. The most famous was called Old Baldy.  After nine months of fierce battles as the hill changed hands often, Old Baldy finally stayed in UN hands.

To force a compromise at the peace negotiations, the UN turned to air power. The one area where the UN held an advantage over China was air power and UN air forces ruled the skies over Korea. In 1952, the US air force had about 1500 planes flying missions and more from the Navy, Marines and other UN nations.

Korea was the hot button issue of the 1952 American presidential election. Legendary five-star General Dwight Eisenhower promised he would end the war, while his opponent, Adlai Stephenson said he would not withdraw from Korea.

Return to China Protecting its Teeth in 1950 Korea – Part 7

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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.


POW Deaths During the Korean War

February 28, 2011

I planned another post for this spot but decided to write about UN POW deaths during the Korean War since that topic came up at the end of Part 7 of this documentary summarizing the Korean War.

It mentions how 87% of POW’s captured by the People’s Liberation Army and/or North Korean troops during the war died in captivity.  It doesn’t explain how.

The lack of context may provide Sinophobes with ammunition to criticize China for the behavior of its troops during the Korean War.

In fact, while there was strong evidence that North Korean Troops executed UN POWs, “the Chinese rarely executed prisoners like their Korean counterparts (since) mass starvation and diseases swept through the Chinese POW camps during the winter of 1950-51. About 43 percent of all US POWs died during this period. The Chinese defended their actions by stating that all Chinese soldiers during this period were also suffering mass starvation and diseases due to the lack of competent logistics system.” Source: Wikipedia

Surviving UN POWs, however, dispute this claim. Click on the link to see what the POWs had to say but know that Mao ruled China from 1949 to 1976. Revolutionary Maoism died with him.

In 1951, the Western rules of war did not apply to China or North Korea. China wouldn’t join the United Nations until October 25, 1971 — twenty years later.  North Korea would become a member of the UN September 1991.

If you were to study the International Treaties on the Laws of War, you would discover that most were written in Geneva and the Hague. Source: Wikipedia

What I found interesting in this list was the 1938 League of Nations declaration for the “Protection of Civilian Populations Against Bombing from the Air in Case of War.”

During World War II, the US air forces killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Germany and Japan. Many of the bombs dropped were napalm (jellied gasoline) and the innocent were roasted including the elderly, women and children.

The Geneva Convention for the treatment of Prisoners of War was written in 1949, the year the Chinese Communists won the Civil War in China.

There is an old saying — the friend of my enemy is my enemy.

The United States has been an ally of the Nationalist Chinese since well before World War II and protected Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists in Taiwan after 1949.

However, Chiang Kai-shek was a brutal dictator that ruled Taiwan with martial law and is responsible for the deaths of more than thirty thousand civilians there. Learn of the 2/28 Massacre in Taiwan.

Chinese history shows that since the time of Qin Shi Huangdi, China’s first emperor (221 – 207 B.C.), the standard practice in war was to execute POWs because they were a burden that might lead to defeat.  An army that doesn’t’ have to feed and/or guard POWs is more effective at fighting and winning.  Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan knew this too.

While the behavior of PLA and North Korean troops when it came to POW’s was unacceptable by Western humanitarian standards, US forces are just as guilty when it came to killing innocent civilians. There are estimates that the US killed about two million civilians in Vietnam and left behind a horrible legacy due to the use of Agent Orange.

When it comes to war, both combatants are usually guilty of atrocities against POWs and/or civilians. However, the victor decides who is guilty of those crimes and the punishment.

The rules of war to use are Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

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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.