posted on Nov, 30 2002 @ 08:37 PM
A fascinating topic: there is a very real sense in which China is the "last empire" - but the incredible sense of unity felt by Chinese (including
still the 80m -last count -overseas Chinese) suggests that the "Chinese" parts will endure come what may.
The division in China is already very great: the increasing wealth of the urban east and the grinding poverty of the rural population; but while
this may give rise to social conflict: 2,500 years of history, shared culture, and Confucianism give a coherence to the nation that makes political
disintegration almost unthinkable.
The vast Western provinces: Tibet, Turkmenistan, Sinjiang are very un-Chinese and poor and empty, likewise Inner Mongolia - without China they'd
jsut starve. Tibet, incidentally has been so vigourously "re-populated" by Han Chinese that it is effectively Chinese.
To be sure, these "new Tibetans" are very poor and very disillusioned but that would not make them secede.
"Communism" as a theoretical/philosophical construct is largely irrelevant now -the strong centarlised government and military are still vital: but
the point to make is that change will occur within the same borders, as it were: muuch as it has done repeatedly, with enormous bloodshed, over the
This unity goes as deep as the very language: you cannot be "Chinese" and a "foreigner": a Chinese abroad stays Chinese -the phrase for
foreigner can only mean " not Chinese".
It is often said -with some justification -that regardless of his/her passport and birthplace,a Chinese is always a Chinese.