The Long History between China and Korea

February 23, 2011

Due to China’s long history with Korea, China has been asked many times recently by the US to put pressure on North Korea to get them to back down and not be so aggressive.

However, China’s response has been for the “relevant parties” to “calmly and properly handle the issue and avoid escalation of tension.” Source: Politics News

One reason for this response might be that China has a history with Korea going back to the Tang Dynasty in 688 AD, when there was an alliance with Silla, a Korean state.

Then it could be because Chinese culture, written language and political institutions have had an influence in Korea since the 4th century.

In the 14th century, Korea came under the influence  of Confucian thought influenced by Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism). 

A 1,700-year old relationship might have more weight than the one China has with America that isn’t even forty years old yet. However, measuring that weight may also depend on the trillion or more US dollars China has invested in America.

Discover Nixon in China


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.


Note: This post first appeared with a different title on iLook China on May 27, 2010 at 16:00 PST as post # 361. This edited and revised version reappears today as # 1080.

“Nixon in China” at the Met – Feb. 12

February 21, 2011

The headline of the Global edition of Xinhua on February 11, 2011 said, “Met celebrates Nixon in China.”

Xinhua said, “John Adams’ musical masterpiece has made its long-awaited debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and a prominent feature of it is the revolutionary ballet The Red Detachment of Women.”


A scene from Red Detachment of Women where the lead character has been rescued by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) from an evil landlord that raped her and ordered that she be killed. In fact, the PLA was support by China’s peasants due to harsh treatment from the ruling class. After the Communists won the Civil War, almost a million landowners were executed for crimes against the people.


Nixon arrived in Beijing on February 21, 1972.

On February 27, he left China with a pledge from both nations to normalize relations and that neither should seek hegemony in the Asia Pacific region while opposing the efforts of any other country that attempted such an action.

Thirty-nine years later, on February 12, I sat in an audience in California and watched the opera televised in a local, stuffy theater. The house was not packed but it was crowded.

During a break between acts, director Peter Sellars said the play had been restaged and rewritten since more is now known of what happened in China before and after the historic meeting between Nixon, Kissinger, Mao and Zhou Enlai.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams, said, “The meeting of Nixon and Mao is a mythological moment in world history, particularly American history.”

Nixon’s visit to China lasted less than a week but the opera covers years.

The demon in the opera is Mao’s wife. Soon after she appears on stage, it is clear she is responsible for the horrors of the Cultural Revolution. Several times, the Nixon character casts suspicious glances at her as if she is crazy.

At the time of Nixon’s visit, Mao’s wife was grooming herself to become China’s leader after Mao died and to continue the horrors of the Cultural Revolution.

Mao believed that to save China he had to erase China’s ancient culture and reinvent the country.

To reinforce this fact, there is a scene where Mao denounces Confucius.

Mao blamed Confucianism for making China weak and the victim of Western Imperialism and Japan between 1839 when the British and French started the Opium Wars until the end of World War II after Japan was defeated. During that time, almost a hundred million Chinese would die due to famines, rebellions, wars, and civil war.

Little did Mao’s wife know at the time of Nixon’s visit that a few years later fate had something else in store for her when Deng Xiaoping appears from the shadows and has her arrested for crimes against the people.

In fact, at her trial after Mao’s death, which wasn’t covered in the opera, she shouted, “I was Mao’s dog. When Mao told me to bite, I bit.”

Sellars or Adams should have mentioned the revelations that run through the play covering years of Chinese history revealing the role of each major Chinese character.

Near the end while Zhou Enlai is in pain and slowly dying from pancreatic cancer, it is obvious that the people loved him. There is a moment where it appears he has died and his bed is surrounded with flowers and a communist flag is carefully draped over him.

In fact, near the end of the Cultural Revolution, Zhou Enlai protested the horrors that were happening in China and protected many Chinese from Mao’s teenage Red Guard responsible for much of the crimes that took place during the last decade of Mao’s life.

For this risky act, the people of China honored and loved Zhou Enlai. Almost every other Chinese leader that spoke out against Mao died or went to prison. Few escaped Mao’s wrath. Even Deng Xiaoping had his son tossed off a three-story building to survive but be paralyzed from the neck down.

Meanwhile, in another bed, Mao is having a tryst with his wife soon after having his crotch fondled by one of the women that cares for him.

When Mao rests on a bed at the end, the Communist flag is dropped over him without much ceremony and there were no flowers.

Zhou Enlai would die eight months before Mao in 1976.

Discover more of Nixon’s Trip to China

The world premiere of Nixon in China took place at the Houston Grand Opera in 1987. I have embedded a seventeen-part series discovered on You Tube of the original. If interested, scroll down and enjoy.


Nixon in China -– Part 1/17

Nixon in China – Part 2/17

Nixon in China – Part 3/17


Nixon in China – Part 4/17

Nixon in China – Part 5/17

Nixon in China – Part 6/17

Nixon in China – Part 7/17

Nixon in China – Part 8/17

Nixon in China – Part 9/17

Nixon in China – Part 10/17

Nixon in China – Part 11/17

Nixon in China – Part 12/17


Nixon in China – Part 13/17

Nixon in China – Part 14/17

Nixon in China – Part 15/17

Nixon in China – Part 16/17

Nixon in China – Part 17/17


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.

Nixon in China – Part 3/3

February 6, 2011

While in China, President Nixon gave a speech in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

This was the first time a U.S. president had visited the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and China was considered one of America’s greatest enemies.

While in China, Nixon would meet with Zhou Enlai, who was the first Premier of the PRC. Zhou Enlai (along with Deng Xiaoping) played an important role in the future development of the Chinese economy and restructuring Chinese society leading to the China of today. 

In fact, Zhou Enlai not only avoided the purges of high-level Chinese Communist Party officials during the Cultural Revolution, but he also attempted to contain the damage caused by the teenage Red Guard and to protect others from them. This made him very popular with the people near the end of the Cultural Revolution.

Zhou Enlai supported peaceful coexistence with the West.  He would die eight months before Mao.

It is ironic that one of the main reasons Richard Nixon became the vice-president of President Eisenhower was due to his strong anti-communist stance.

If you listen to Nixon’s speech in Beijing carefully, you will hear how he managed to slip in a veiled criticism of the fact that the media was free to report what they wanted in the US.

Nixon says of his visit to the Great Wall, “As I walked along the Wall, I saw the sacrifices that went into building it. I saw what is showed about the determination of the Chinese people to retain their independence throughout their long history. I thought about the fact that the Wall tells us that China has a great history and that the people who built this wonder of the world also have a great future.”

I wonder if Nixon realized how true his statement was.

The embedded video then shows Nixon and Zhou Enlai in Hangchow, China, which is southwest of Shanghai.

Could it be possible that Nixon’s trip to China provided Deng Xiaoping the support needed to reject revolutionary Maoism and launch China’s capitalist revolution a few years later?

Return to Nixon in China – Part 2


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.

Nixon in China – Part 2/3

February 5, 2011

When President Nixon went to China, he met with Chairman Mao.  At the time, Mao was already suffering from illnesses. In four years, he would be dead and Nixon would be the only president in US history to resign while in office due to the Watergate Scandal.

After Nixon resigned as the US president, the Chinese offered him a home in China where he would be allowed to live in peace away from his political enemies.

Two months before his meeting with Mao in Beijing, Nixon had approved a bombing operation in North Vietnam.

Many called it the Christmas bombings since it took place over the holidays. It was the first continuous bombing in Vietnam since President Lyndon Johnson had halted bombing in 1968.

Over 20 thousand tons of bombs were dropped during the campaign. That’s forty million pounds of explosives.

Ironically, Nixon ran for election as the “Peace Candidate” in 1968. Can you think of other US politicians that have used similar lies to win elections?

Because of Nixon’s record of being anticommunist, no one would have thought that he would have unexpectedly gone to China to meet with Mao and the Party’s other leaders.

A recent report from AOL News revealed, “Newly released audiotapes and secret documents from the Richard Nixon Presidential Library show a president obsessed with controlling the media and his public persona during the latter stages of his doomed administration.” 

I find it ironic that this comes from a former president of a country that often criticizes China’s control of its media. Is it possible that US politicians are jealous?

Return to Nixon in China – Part 1


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.

Nixon in China – Part 1/3

February 4, 2011

In 1969, the Soviet Union was planning a nuclear attack on China. The USSR only backed down when President Nixon’s administration warned Moscow that such a move would start World War Three since the US would bomb Russia in retaliation.

The United States, under President Nixon (1969-1974), clearly indicated that China’s interests were closely related to America’s. Source: Free Republic

At the time, I’m sure President Nixon had no idea how close those relations would become.

Thirty-nine years ago this month, in February 1972, President Richard Nixon went to China and changed the course of history a second time. His motives may not have been meant to encourage China to become the economic powerhouse it is today.

However, if it weren’t for Nixon, the odds say the Soviet Union would have bombed China with nuclear weapons and China would have retaliated.

While flying to China, President Nixon made notes. Here are a few.

What they (China) want? Build up their world credentials, Taiwan, and get the U.S. out of Asia (In 1968, Nixon ran for President promising to get the U.S. out of Vietnam).

What we (the US and China) both want? Restraint on USSR

The BBC reporter in the embedded video says that Nixon’s trip to Beijing wasn’t to see if China would help get the US out of Vietnam. Instead, the trip was designed to put pressure on the USSR with a goal to make them agree to strategic arms limitations.

Soon after Nixon’s China trip, the Soviets were forced to negotiate and within three months signed two arms control agreements.

What I find interesting is how often US Presidents (and politicians) have been wrong about China.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy said if China had nuclear bombs, it would swallow Southeast Asia. That never happened and today China has more than three hundred nuclear bombs with the missiles to deliver them to targets thousands of miles distant.

In 1965, China successfully tested its first nuclear bomb. President Lyndon Johnson said it was “the blackest and most tragic day for the free world”.

How was that day the “blackest and most tragic day for the free world”?

After all, China has never used a nuclear weapon on another country as the US did on Japan to end World War II by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing about a quarter million people.

In fact, about 25 American POWs were also killed in the first blast. Most of the Japanese dead were noncombatants—the elderly, women and children.

Di reports that the US firebombed (with napalm) 67 Japanese cities in World War II.  More than half of Tokyo (one of the 67 cities) was destroyed. Estimates of the number killed in Tokyo range between 80,000 and 200,000.

Robert S. McNamara was reported to have said, “If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.”

Question — In modern times, has Communist China inflicted that many casualties on another nation’s civilian population? Don’t forget that Japan killed about 30 million Chinese during World War II.

Discover what it took to survive Mao’s Long March.


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.