First of all, I want to thank muzzleflash for the great post. I am very grateful that you've put this up today, talked about it fairly and
objectively, and most of all, my greatest appreciation is how you said the people have the right to know, so they understand what had happened. One
must first know the mistake before one can correct for a better future. I fully stand by you and agree on it.
Second, I will like to share my thoughts here because I feel it is very important, and can help everyone who followed this thread, to understand what
seemed to be a small event in history, had actually been one of the most influencing events in Chinese history and the entire Chinese civilization.
Why I say that is because I am from HK and then raised in Canada, so yes, I am a Han Chinese. (citizenship-wise, I am Canadian and HK citizen. I don't
have PRC citizenship, and I won't forfeit my dual citizenship for it) I also studied history, Chinese history, minoring in IR in a Canadian institute,
and I have been following on international affairs all these years. Coupled with that, my cultural background and heritage is Chinese, so I understand
the Chinese people's mentality minus the CCTV and Communist propaganda. My education was from either HK, textbooks, or Canada. I need to state these
clearly first-hand before I have to go through endless responses to accusations of me being pro-Communist or something. Another thing before I start,
what must be brought to attention is, when I say Chinese, I am referring to the general public and the people, no matter which government. Also at no
point will I be referring to CCP unless I mention explicitly.
First of all, the Opium War, the series of unequal treaties, and the wars fought against the imperialist powers at the time were shameful enough for
China, but nothing struck us harder than the 8-nations alliance. It was our worst moment in history (equivalent of America's 9/11, but worse, because
while US was struck by terrorism, we were invaded by multiple nations). The anger and hatred had never been greater before, because the humiliation
came at the time when we were weakest, and we witnessed FIRST-HAND of what others would do to us if we were weak. This served as a wake-up call for
our people, and ever since then, we NEVER(not even a single-bit), trusted the West. The mentality lingered to this day, and it was further fueled by
racism towards overseas Asians, stereotypical media portrayal of Asians(think of all the kungfu Triads, heavy-accented bucktooth slit eyes, and exotic
Asian women..those were all insulting and extremely degrading), Asian fetish, bias media depiction of China, and political maneuvers against China.
To demonstrate how much this mentality carried on, when I was in HK, our history textbooks talked about the origins of HK and the 8-nations alliance.
Since HK doesn't have any true political affiliation, so what we learned were completely based on the purpose of our history, and even when it was
taught in HK, it was a reminder of how other foreign powers had treated us. This issue carries very heavy sentiment, to the point if anyone visits
Yuan Ming Yuan in Beijing today, the ruins of the Garden still remained the way it was from the last time pillage. It was left in its state to serve
as a reminder for the people of what had happened.
Another demonstration of contemporary fuels to this mentality was the Beijing Olympics. To us Chinese, it was a proud moment because we considered it
a glory to hold the flame, but what the West went out of their way to put out the flame. To us the images of protestors attempting to wrestle the
flame from us brought us all the old sentiments, and FUELED this mentality further. Unless those protestors were trying to tell the Chinese people
they hate us, they aren't delivering the message of "Tibetan Independence" if that's their primary objective. Not only did they not, they just
provoked the ill-feelings even further by doing so. To add fuel to the fire, in 2009 and 2009's riots, many Han Chinese were killed; entire families
were beheaded. The CCP(Chinese Communist Party, China's government) permitted foreign press to enter to get live coverage. One must understand it was
CCP's attempt to open up further, but what the foreign press had done only proved nothing but negative. What ended up happening was, instead of
reporting the true story from a neutral standpoint, they downplayed the slaughters done to the Han Chinese(the group being attacked). Not only that,
they even misinterpreted images of a Han hospital victim as a minority. All of these were brought to light in China, which led us to be furthermore
disgusted by the West. The West can't share our happiness, but will step on our sorrow.
Lastly, 8-nations alliance was this event which led to the Chinese pursuit of a strong military in the recent decade. What we had learned was what
happened if we were weak, which was proven with the Sino-Japanese Wars, the MacArthur's intentions to nuke China during the Korean War, and the
constant assertive political measures US had taken towards China in the recent decades. If one pays attention to Chinese history, PRC went into an era
of peacetime following the last conflict and focused on modernization and enhancing its military. The recent years of pace had picked up further, and
all these demonstrative resolve to prevent 8-nations alliance from ever happening again.
Another major effect that the 8-nation alliance had led to was Chinese people's awareness of home soil. Because the foreign powers carved the entire
country up for spheres of influences, secession of Chinese lands had become a symbolic humiliation and sign of weakness. This was why the Chinese will
be completely unyielding when it comes to Taiwan Independence. Although Xinjiang and Tibet were part of Qing territories at that time, I won't get
into it because I don't want to start talking about that. (I'm really tired already)
Today's Chinese military, PLA, is completely bent on 1. Protecting China's sovereignity, particularly the homeland. 2. Protecting its people 3. Bent
on peaceful rise 4. No First-Use of Nuclear weapons 5. Ensure national integrity, being explicitly referring to Taiwan and all other separatist
movements ( there are no debates in regards to Taiwan, but once again, I don't want to talk about Tibet and Xinjiang because it's another topic and
I'm getting really tired) Rest assured, China, like its historic past, will not use utilize its military for conducting aggressions against another
state. (NK in Korean War was on the speculations that US-led troops may attempt to enter China after capturing Pyongyang), (if you exclude the
Xinjiang and Tibet, the other times PLA was deployed were concerning border disputes with India, Vietnam and the Spraty Islands. For Sino-India war
and Sino-Vietnam war, the PLA successfully won and pushed into their borders, but then voluntarily and quickly withdrawn all its own troops back to
their side. The latter 2 wars are up to dispute, because there weren't any real confirmations that can come to universal agreement.
Conclusion: The Chinese civilization is one of the greatest in the history. Throughout its lifetime, most of the turmoil involves internal struggles
between parties or against the Mongolians. When it's not and the civilization was in its glory ages, it had never made any imperialistic conquests.
The intrusion by foreign powers in late-Qing and the last century had not only waken up the dragon, but also forever changed the games and ways of how
the Chinese sees the world. Not only did we learned from our toughest time in history, we've also learned to be strong, but also never to ever trust
the West. The memoirs of shame and humiliation continues to this day, and thus while China struggles to rise and not get bullied again, anything the
West had done in attempts to undermine us, will only add fuel to the fire of a lingering memory that perhaps will not be forgotten for a long time.
One must understand that whichever governments it is, whether CCP or others, the people are still the same, and so will the mentality. Many in the
West mistakenly thought it was Communist propaganda which drove Chinese patriotism, but no propaganda can give the same message with the same depth of
searing pain, as history had. What we saw happened during the Beijing Olympics and what the West had done to contain China in the recent years, all
served to us to be further reminders of the 8-nations alliance, a proof of what the foreigners are doing, and further justifications of our mentality.
I hope what I've written today, and what you people have learned about the 8-nations alliance, can give some understanding of understanding Chinese.
One thing I'm glad that muzzleflash had brought up was, that this post was an excellent demonstration that we didn't make things up when we say it; we
had true backing of reasons before going forth on something. And most importantly, when one denotes China, we Chinese people rarely take it that
you're referring to the government; we take it in as you people directing the attack to us.
edit on 4-8-2011 by hagat because: fixing the
edit on 4-8-2011 by hagat because: (no reason given)