Barbara Walters on North Korea and China

November 29, 2010

Recently, Barbara Walters talked to President Obama about North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island near the DMZ.

Obama said South Korea was one of America’s most important alliances (in Asia), which has to be true since South Korea has many Christians (about a third of the population). It also has a strong open market, capitalist economy and a democratic government.

However, although China is considered North Korea’s only friend and ally, the two countries are different today.

First, China left the autocratic Maoist revolutionary form of government behind soon after Mao’s death.

Second, China is a republic that appears to be moving toward democracy and has an open market economy similar to South Korea’s.

I said in a previous post, “China’s reluctance to put public pressure on Pyongyang to step off the warhorse might be because the Chinese feel it would be like pressuring a family member.” Source: China and North Korea

That may no longer be the case.

Austin Ramzy writing for TIME says, “The news, delivered at a rare Sunday press conference, was that China was calling for emergency consultations between itself, North and South Korea, the U.S., Japan and Russia… it was a welcome call for calm by the North’s key ally.”

Many in the world should be glad of China’s relationship with the Hermit Kingdom. If it weren’t for China, there would be no one North Korea would listen to.

Walters also was in China with President Richard Nixon in 1972, and she paints a picture of China about thirty-eight years ago that vividly offers a contrast to today’s China.

Then in April 2009, Walters asked Jiang Zemin (China’s third president after Mao died) what happened to the famous “tank man” of the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989.

Walters says, “Did you execute him? We heard he was arrested and executed.”

Zemin replied that he did not know what happened to the man. Then he said he thinks the man was never killed.

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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.

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Chasing Profits – Defeating Truth

November 26, 2010

Ted Koppel writes an interesting and revealing commentary for the Washington Post of how the US media reports opinions as if they were facts.

Koppel writes, “While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic.… But when our accountants, bankers and lawyers, our doctors and our politicians tell us only what we want to hear, despite hard evidence to the contrary, we are headed for disaster.”

For example, a Reuter’s piece on Yahoo had this lead paragraph in the morning, “China warning on Friday against military acts near its coastline…” as if China would retaliate if anything happened.

From comments I’ve read on the Internet, the US mob reacted as expected calling President Obama a loser for not retaliating in North Korea.

In the afternoon, the replacement lead paragraph said, “China said on Friday it was determined to prevent an escalation of this week’s violence on the Korean peninsula…” I’ve read what the Chinese minister said and this is closer to the truth.

It is obvious a hot-blooded reporter wrote the morning piece for the mob that wants war, since there are voices in South Korea and in the US screaming for blood regardless of the outcome.

Mobs seldom pay attention to history. It takes wiser heads in positions of power to prevail. In the US media and often in Washington DC, there is seldom this level of wisdom to be seen.

An example of a government reacting to what a nationalistic mob demanded led to World War I. By the time that war ended more than sixteen million had been killed, and this all took place because one man had been assassinated.

The same thing happened in Vietnam where more than three million died after the LBJ White House lied and the US media stirred the mob to action.

Over Iraq, opinions and White House lies repeated in the US media stirred the mob again and that led to a war where hundreds of thousands have already died and the violence in Iraq hasn’t ended.

This brings up another point raised from Koppel’s commentary.

Koppel aptly reveals that today’s “free” press has abandoned the truth, because there are millions of Americans that worship the opinions of people such as “Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly – individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable.”

The opposite often happens in China between the state-run media and nationalistic mob.

For example, in May 1999, Chinese nationalism and anger ran high after the US bombing of the PRC’s embassy in Belgrade. Instead of fanning the flames, the state-run media calmed the mob.

Then there was the April 2001 Hainan Island incident caused by the collision of a US spy plane with a PLA fighter jet killing the Chinese pilot.  The same thing happened.

Next, there was the recent Senkaku Island dispute between China and Japan. 

In all three incidents, the state-run media in China calmed nationalist pride and the people’s demand for blood.

It is ironic that in America, the opinionated, biased voices from the so-called “free” media often feeds the mob’s frenzy and the mob signals what it wants to hear, which may lead to another war unless wiser heads prevail.

Discover more at Media Slugfest Using Taiwan

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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 Following Tradition — Part 1/4

November 5, 2010

Three times George Washington acted in a way that would insure the newly born US Republic would survive.

His first act was in 1782, when Colonel Lewis Nicola wrote a letter to Washington suggesting that Washington should set up a constitutional monarchy because of the inefficiency of the Continental Congress.

Washington was offended at such a suggestion and wrote to Nicola telling him to banish such thoughts from his mind. Source: George Washington – Legends and Myths

His second act took place in 1783, when he stepped in and saved the republic by ending the Newburgh Conspiracy, a plot in the military to seize power and create a military dictatorship. Source: Early America

The third act was when Washington stepped down as President (1789 – 1797) and returned to his farm.

When King George III asked his American painter, Benjamin West, what Washington would do after wining independence, West replied, “They say he will return to his farm.”

“If he does that,” King George said, “he will be the greatest man in the world.” source: Cato Institute

A few days ago while at Costco, I paid for a copy of The Economist for October 23, 2010.  The cover ( in the tradition of Yellow Journalism ) promised great topics to write about.

The headline on the cover read, “The next emperor – Will Xi Jinping change China?”

As I read the feature article on page 13, I laughed when I saw, “Mr. Xi’s appointment was eerily similar to the recent anointment of Kim Jong-un in North Korea.”

The reason I saw humor in this absurd statement was that there is nothing similar. Kim Jong Un inherited his for-life position as Supreme Leader of North Korea. He is the son of Kim Jong-il, and the grandson of Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea.

In Part Two, I will explain the difference between China’s Republic, a dictatorship and a monarchy.

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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’s Long History with Burma/Myanmar – Part 1/4

September 24, 2010

The Economist (September 9, 2010) published a critical piece about China’s relationship with Myanmar – Welcome, Neighbor – China hosts another tinpot dictator from next door

“Tinpot dictator” are the two key words in the title of this opinion piece, as if the United States has never hosted “tinpot” dictators.

A well-written criticism of the U.S. government from Sri Lanka sets the record straight.

“I wish the spokesman of the (U.S.) State Department … would explain how Washington’s concern for democracy in Sri Lanka squares with US support for repressive regimes such as the one in Uzbekistan or the autocratic rule in Saudi Arabia, both countries in which the U.S. has military facilities.

“In post-World War II period, Washington has militarily propped up such dictators including several in South Korea, Ferdinand Marcos who was ousted by the Filipino people, Indonesia’s Suharto also thrown out by the people, Vietnam’s Dinh Diem, various military governments in Thailand, Singapore’s autocrat Lee Kwan Yew, the military dictators in Pakistan from Ayub Khan to Pervez Musharraf, all of them from our part of the world…” Source: The Ugly Americans Once More (Lankaweb, Sri Lanaka’s first Social Media website)

The Economist only mentions a half century of history between China and Burma/Myanmar.

Yet China’s history with Burma/Myanmar goes back about two thousand years.

The opinion piece also does not mention that China, since 1982, has not been into nation building as the U.S. has since 9/11, when President G.W. Bush launched wars against Iraq and Afghanistan with threats toward Iran and North Korea. 

See In the National Interest

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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.


Defector / Traitor (4/4)

August 5, 2010

We have a friend who came from China to the US to study in the 1980s. She thought about defecting but didn’t. She loved her family and friends too much to hurt them, so she went back to China. Years later, she returned to the US legally and become an American citizen without defecting, and no village in China suffered for her act.

In China, every defection is considered a loss of face by the government.  In a collective society like China, the individual is not the only one to carry the burden of guilt.  The family, friends and comrades left behind also carry that burden.


Defecting is a two-way street Joe Dresnok – U.S. Army Defector one nation’s defector/hero is another nation’s deserter/traitor

When defectors from China arrive in the US, they are often treated as heroes and the media splashes the defector’s story on TV, newspapers and magazines. Many defectors are rewarded and they prosper in their new country. In fact, until 1988, Taiwan paid defectors a handsome sum in gold.

However, whatever the reason for defecting, in the ideological war between the “isms” (Communism versus Capitalism), those left behind often become collateral damage. See Media Slugfest Using Taiwan

Merriam-Webster’s Online dictionary defines “traitor” as one who betrays another’s trust or is false to an obligation or duty

Return to Defector/Traitor – Part 3 or start with Part 1

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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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The Dangers of the Korean Incident

July 30, 2010

Sunny Lee writing for the The Korea Times reports that the majority of Chinese policymakers and academics feel that the Cheonan incident, where a North Korean torpedo allegedly sank a South Korean navy ship, “may” not be true. However, that doubt is not the only factor playing a crucial role in Chinese decision-making.

The Chinese also feel that the US and South Korea are politically motivated and overreacting. China sees the incident as part of the 60-year-long hostility between the two Koreas. In fact, China wants the US, South Korea and North Korea to pull back from the incident.

China’s opinion may be the best advice. 

If you do not agree, consider World War I, the “Great War” if a war may be called great. World War I was not caused by dictators hungry for power as in the case of Mussolini and Hitler and the military oligarchy that ruled Japan during World War II.

World War I was caused by a strong sense of nationalism and emotions that were allowed to rule the day. Strong feelings of nationalism fed hatred in pre-war Europe. It turned Frenchman against German and Russian against Austrian.  Source: Causes of World War I

Regarding the Cheonan incident, China is the cool head while the hotheads are the US, South Korea and North Korea. If these hot heads prevail, how much suffering and death would add to the 45 deaths already caused by the sinking of the Cheonan?

The match that lit World War I was the assassination of one man, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28, 1914.  By the end of the war in late 1918, fifteen-million people had been killed, making the war one of the deadliest in history. 

Does the world want that in Asia?  America’s Military Industrial Media Empire might, but China clearly doesn’t—evidence that war is the last thing China wants.

Discover more about China and North Korea

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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. 

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A Matter of Distance and Perspective

July 7, 2010

President Obama demonstrates that he does not understand the Chinese thought process in his response to President Hu Jintao of China over how to handle North Korea’s recent sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean naval ship.

The New York Times Asia Pacific section reports that President Obama has accused Beijing of “willful blindness” toward what North Korea has done.  Some American officials say this was an act of war. Obama indicated the way China is handling this would not solve the problem.

There are two voices to pay attention to. Leon E. Panetta and China’s spokesman, Qin Gang. Mr. Qin said, “China is a neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, and on this issue our feelings differ from a country that lies 8.000 kilometers distant. We feel even more direct and serious concerns.”

Leon E. Panetta, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said he believed that the sinking of the Cheonan was part of a succession struggle in North Korea.”

America tends to handle crises of this kind like a bull in a China shop, and what gets broken doesn’t hurt the US homeland. China, on the other hand, will handle this issue like delicate surgery.  One wrong move could end in disaster.  After all, who is closer to that nuclear bullring and how can Obama understand when China’s shoes won’t fit his feet?

See China and North Korea

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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. 

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