RED CHINA -The Expansionist
THE FUTURE OF RED CHINA’S EXPANSIONISM – BEIJING DOOMED
People’s Republic of China in 1949 embraced Communism as State Doctrine and lost no time to announce ambitious plan of Territorial, Maritime, Economic, and Political Expansionism. While others painfully reflect upon ‘The Future of the Tibetan Resistance Movement’, I express optimism by announcing Beijing’s Doom, sudden downfall, as consequence of her own evil actions. This predestined Disaster, Catastrophe, Cataclysm, Calamity, Apocalypse, Doom will bring Regime Change and The Evil Red Empire cannot ward it off by paying ransom.
TIBETAN PROTEST MOVEMENT – THE NEWS LENS INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Friday, May 26, 2017
PODCAST: Tibet, Protest and China; The Future of the Tibetan Protest Movement
Photo Credit: Reuters
These small acts have reverberations and impact way beyond what we can see through the media and numbers. – Tenzin Dorjee.
Earlier this month, Radio Free Asia reported that a Tibetan monk, Jamyang Losal, had died after setting himself on fire in China’s northwestern Qinghai province. Losal was the 150th Tibetan to self-immolate since 2009 when Tibetan monks started taking their own lives in protest of China’s rule. But it seems these desperate protests are having little impact on China as it continues to crack down on any signs of dissent in Tibet.
In this episode of The News Lens Radio, we are bringing you the views of three Tibetan leaders to discuss the efforts to keep the protest movement alive both inside and outside Tibet. They say not only is the Chinese government continuing to rule Tibet with an iron fist, it is also increasingly working beyond its own borders to shut down the movements calling for Tibetan autonomy or independence from China.
About today’s guests
Tenzing Jigme is the president of the Tibetan Youth Congress, an international organization with about 30,000 members advocating for Tibetan independence.
Pema Yoko is the interim executive director of the New York-headquartered Students for a Free Tibet.
Tenzin (Tendor) Dorjee is a U.S.-based author and program director with the Tibet Action Institute. He is also the former executive director of Students for a Free Tibet.
This podcast is available via SoundCloud, Stitcher and iTunes apps.
Editor: Olivia Yang
Cold Shoulder: Why Beijing Snubbed Singapore at the Belt and Road Summit
Angela Han is a Research Associate in the Polling Program. She holds a Masters in European and International Studies from the University of Trento and a Graduate Diploma in Transnational Governance from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. She has also spent six months abroad learning Mandarin at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. Prior to undertaking her Masters, Angela spent two years as a researcher of labor and economic policies in her home country of Singapore.
Beijing did not invite Singapore’s Prime Minister to attend the Belt and Road event in Beijing this week, signifying strain in Sino-Singapore relations.
Among the 29 Heads of State who converged on Beijing for the Belt and Road Summit earlier this week were leaders of seven of the ten ASEAN states. One leader was noticeably missing: Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Various observers have noted this absence, including Hugh White, who suggested it was no co-incidence that, like others – Japan, India, Australia and “most western countries” – who had not sent their national leaders to Beijing, Singapore was aligned with the U.S. and uneasy about China’s rise – “or perceived to be so.”
However, it has since emerged that Singapore was never given the choice. China had not invited Singapore’s prime minister in the first place.
This is surprising, especially as Singapore has been one of the biggest advocates of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). While many other states were initially hesitant in signing up to BRI, including some of its ASEAN neighbors, Singapore’s support has been unequivocal from the beginning. Many high-level cooperation talks between China and Singapore on the subject have taken place, with both sides warmly welcoming cooperation on BRI.
In light of this past co-operation, Beijing’s snub is significant. It is fair to conclude that, if China continues to freeze out Singapore, there could be significant implications on at least three levels.
What it might mean for Sino-Singapore relations
First, this marks a low point in Sino-Singapore relations. Since its independence 50 years ago, managing the U.S.-China dichotomy has been a key tenet of Singapore’s foreign policy. Despite close defense partnerships with the U.S., China has referred to Singapore as an “important partner and a special friend of China.” This long-standing relationship has been fostered not only by historical and cultural linkages, but also the deep bond that existed between former leaders, Lee Kuan Yew and Deng Xiaoping. When Lee Kuan Yew died in 2015 there were video tributes on Chinese state media, and he was described as “an old friend of the Chinese people” by President Xi Jinping.
Of late, however, the bilateral relationship has been less than smooth, particularly since remarks made by the Singaporean prime minister at a White House state dinner in August last year. At that event, Lee Hsien Loong praised the U.S. rebalance and endorsed the arbitral tribunal ruling on the South China Sea. In a separate incident, a Chinese tabloid accused Singapore of bringing up the tribunal ruling at the Non-Aligned Movement Summit, which led to a very public spat between the Global Times editor and Singapore’s Ambassador to China.
Singapore is not a claimant state but the fear that China might extend its reach in the South China Sea is nevertheless acute for the tiny island-state. Given its trade volumes are 3.5 times its GDP, any instability in the region would affect Singapore’s trade routes, and therefore its economy. When Singapore advocates for a rules-based order, it is not just values that it seeks to defend but its economic lifeblood.
Singapore’s stance on the South China Sea did not please China. In November nine of Singapore’s armored troop carriers were impounded in Hong Kong on their way back from Taiwan. At the time, many saw Beijing’s heavy hand at work behind the scenes and believed the incident reflected China’s displeasure with Singapore’s joint military exercises with Taiwan, even though these dates back decades.
In their usual quiet diplomatic style, Singapore diplomats worked hard behind the scenes to eventually secure the vehicles’ return after two months. This was then quickly followed up by a high-level bilateral cooperation forum, postponed the previous year due to strained ties. Yet, China still raises the South China Sea matter at bilateral forums.
Implications for other middle powers
China’s snub is yet another example of the narrowing diplomatic space that small states like Singapore have in which to maneuver. Relying on its hard-nosed pragmatism has, for half a decade, served Singapore well. But with most of its ASEAN neighbors increasingly willing to set aside the South China Sea disputes in return for a massive influx of Chinese investment, it is increasingly difficult for Singapore to both protect its national interest and maintain an independent foreign policy of not picking sides.
This has implications for other countries like Australia, which occupy a very similar position in the world. Like Singapore, Australia has strong historical, security and defense ties to the United States, while China is now far and away from its biggest trading partner. Perhaps one lesson from this incident is that it is becoming harder to compartmentalize politics and economics.
Implications for China’s role in the world
Finally, what does the incident say about the Belt and Road Initiative and more broadly, China’s role as architect of global initiatives? Although the BRI is as much about geoeconomics as geopolitics, it is undeniable that just on the basis of scale, access to and participation in Chinese initiatives have a tendency to draw lines in the sand; clearly distinguishing between who is a friend of China, and who is not.
The snub demonstrates Beijing now has another diplomatic tool in its arsenal. Such “sanctions with Chinese characteristics” are proving to be increasingly effective at asserting dominance and deterring actions counter to China’s interest. It is clear that China’s already considerable diplomatic and economic clout is increasing and its reach is becoming more pervasive. This too makes it more difficult for states that seek to steer a middle course.
This article originally appeared in the Lowy Interpreter. The News Lens has been authorized to republish this article.
TNL Editor: Edward White
NEWS WORTH KNOWING, VOICES WORTH SHARING
Copyright © 2016 The News Lens
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DOOMED AMERICAN CHINA FANTASY – ONE BELT, ONE ROAD TO OPPRESSION
America’s participation in Red China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative accomplishes continued Occupation, Oppression, and Suppression in Tibet undermining American core values of Freedom, Peace, Democracy, and Natural Justice.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
US U-turn on China puts India in a fix
In a step which could see India put under tremendous pressure, the United States of America has decided to take a U-Turn from its initial position and is set to participate in China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, being organised in Beijing.
The event, is to showcase and build momentum for its new 21st-century silk route, both land and maritime, and other similar initiatives which would lead to increasing connectivity with Asian and European countries and solidify its place in the world as a major trading partner.
In India, along with concerns over its sovereignty, it is also seen as a continuation of Chinese strategy of ‘strings of pearls’ which China uses to flex its muscle in India’s neighbourhood.
The step of the US has put India in a dilemma as the change in its stance is early signal that the Trump administration is reframing the US-China relationship, according to Jagannath Panda, from the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis, New Delhi.
India, which is still undecided on whether to send its representatives to the event to be held this Sunday and Monday, maintains that China has not built an environment of trust to carry out the belt and road projects.
The country’s concerns on the Chinese project stem from what it perceives to be a lack of regard shown to issues raised by it that projects which are part of OBOR impinge its sovereignty.
For example, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is a part of the larger project, by which China is set to link the Xinjiang province with the Gwadar port in Pakistan and is to be built-in Balochistan, passes through Gilgit-Baltistan region which India claims as its own.
Concerns such as these have led to the serious thoughts whether to send representatives to the event or not and if yes, officials of what level are to attend. Reports have claimed that the country may be represented by junior embassy level officials.
The thinking is that even if it does not attend, it may not lead to any immediate material loss to it as OBOR is not a membership-based organisation, and may even get India praise in certain quarters for taking a principled stand.
Other than officials, academics from India may be present at the meet which is to see representation from over 50 countries including organisations such the World Bank.
The US has now decided to send senior representation to the event, with an inter-agency delegation led by Matthew Pottinger, a top adviser to the Trump administration and National Security Council senior director for East Asia to take part.
But many see it to be a trade-off between the country and China after the latter’s commitment to buy American beef as part of the Donald Trump’s 100-day plan’ agreement, and in return, the US will not only attend the event but also allow Chinese banks to expand their operation in the US.
The decision seems to be a direct result of the meeting between Trump and the Chinese President Xi Jinping when the Chinese leader visited the US last month. Chinese vice-finance minister Zhu Guangyao is reported to have said, ‘We welcome all countries to attend. And we welcome the United States’ attendance as the world’s largest economy.’
Out of the representatives of different countries, head of state’s of more than 29 countries are to be present for the programme. And now with the entry of the US into the fray, along with countries like Britain and Germany, China’s dominant position in the programme may be somewhat diluted.
Other countries that are taking part include Japan and South Korea, which have military differences with China, as well as other countries engaged in territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea issue, including Vietnam and Indonesia. Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka will also take part.
China may be put under pressure on the issue of transparency as other developed countries may ask for more details related to its plans, and whether it would follow internationally accepted standards on environment and labour in the projects which include six economic corridors but have not seen any reliable map made available.
According to reports, Tom Miller, author of a recent book, China’s Asian Dream, said, ‘What actually gets built will depend on what deals Chinese companies or the government make with other countries, abroad or on the deals that the Chinese government makes with other governments abroad, and no one knows exactly what those are going to be.’
THE EVIL RED EMPIRE – THE ROAD TO CONQUEST AND SUBJUGATION
Red China, often recognized as ‘The Evil Red Empire’ is reshaping the world as per its doctrine of Neocolonialism. In the historical past, Colonial Powers of Europe conquered countries using military power to establish Colonies with intent to dominate Land, People and their economic resources. Red China’s Neocolonialism involves use of Economic Power to gain acceptance of other countries to its plan of Expansionism. Red China achieved this military and economic power after her successful military conquest of Tibet in 1950s. Red China’s ‘One Belt-One Road’ (OBOR) simply reflects the reality of Military Conquest and Political Subjugation of Tibet.
XI’S $500 BILLION PUSH TO RESHAPE THE WORLD IN CHINA’S IMAGE
China is one of the few countries in the world today with money to spend, and Xi Jinping is ready to write some checks.
China’s president will host some 28 world leaders in Beijing on Sunday at the first Belt and Road Forum, the centerpiece of a soft-power push backed by hundreds of billions of dollars for infrastructure projects. More than 100 countries on five continents have signed up, showing the demand for global economic cooperation despite rising protectionism in the U.S. and Europe.
For Xi, the initiative is designed to solidify his image as one of the world’s leading advocates of globalization while U.S. President Donald Trump cuts overseas funds in the name of “America First.” The summit aims to ease concerns about China’s rise and boost Xi’s profile at home, where he’s become the most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping died in 1997.
The Belt and Road Initiative “will likely be Xi’s most lasting legacy,” said Trey McArver, the London-based director of China research for TS Lombard, an investment research company. “It has the potential to remake global — particularly Asian — trade and economic patterns.”
The strategy also carries risks. The initiative is so far little more than a marketing slogan that encompasses all sorts of projects that China had initiated overseas for years, and major world leaders like Trump, Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abe are staying away. How Xi answers a range of outstanding questions will go a long way in determining its success.
Key to reducing uncertainty will be addressing the concerns of strategic rivals like India, Russia and the U.S., particularly as China’s growing military prowess lets it be more assertive over disputed territory. Chinese moves to spend more than $50 billion on an economic corridor in Pakistan, build a port in Djibouti and construct oil pipelines in central Asia are all creating infrastructure that could be used to challenge traditional powers.
“China needs to recognize that the way it perceives the Belt and Road Initiative is not necessarily the same way others will,” said Paul Haenle, a former China director on the U.S. National Security Council who now heads the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center in Beijing. For countries like the U.S., he said, “it’s impossible not to view the BRI through a geopolitical lens — a Chinese effort to build a sphere of influence.”
© Bloomberg News Chinese president Xi Jinping
In September 2013, when Xi first pitched the plan at an obscure Kazakhstan university, he focused on the Eurasia landmass. Since then, it has repeatedly changed names and expanded to include the entire world, with the main goal of rebuilding the ancient trading routes from China to Europe overland and by sea.
One key driver was economic: China wants to spur growth in underdeveloped hinterlands and find more markets for excess industrial capacity. With more than $3 trillion in international reserves — more than a quarter of the world’s total — China has more resources than developed economies struggling to hit budget targets.
The plan gained steam last year when populist movements spurred a backlash against trade and immigration in the U.S. and Europe. Brexit raised questions about the European Union’s viability, while Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership gutted the biggest U.S. push to shape global economic rules.
“It was very disappointing, and it makes us feel that there is a big vacuum that Belt and Road can help to fill,” Cheah Cheng Hye, chairman and co-chief investment officer at the Hong Kong-based Value Partners Group. “So all of sudden, we begin to appreciate this Chinese initiative.”
Xi wasted no time filling the void. With exporting nations looking for a free-trade champion, he told the global elite in Davos, Switzerland, to resist protectionism and join China in boosting global commerce.
The U.S. and Europe “almost unwittingly” created space for Xi to push China’s interests, according to Peter Cai, research fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.
“China is offering an alternative to the U.S. version of globalization,” Cai said. “In the Chinese case, it’s globalization paved by concrete: railways, highways, pipelines, ports.”
Related gallery: 33 giant Chinese infrastructure projects that are reshaping the world (provided by Business Insider)
33 giant Chinese infrastructure projects that are reshaping the world
This year, five European countries — Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, France and Italy — openly voiced support for the initiative. On trips to China in February, Italian President Sergio Mattarella proposed plans for the ports of Genoa and Trieste, while French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve attended the arrival ceremony of a freight train from Lyon.
The summit will feature the likes of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Greece’s Alexis Tsipras and the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte. The U.S. and most Western countries are expected to send lower-level representatives.
A draft communique circulated before the event combined a commitment to open markets with endorsements of China’s diplomatic goals, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the document. It also generated some controversy among Beijing-based diplomats who said they didn’t have enough time to vet the document, underscoring the initiative’s potential to cause conflict.
China has invested more than $50 billion in Belt and Road countries since 2013, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Credit Suisse Group AG said this month that China could pour more than $500 billion into 62 countries over five years.
China’s state-run companies like China National Petroleum Corp. and China Mobile Ltd. — the world’s largest wireless carrier — are positioned to reap the rewards. Executives from six of China’s largest state-run firms sought to reassure the public this week that the risks were manageable.
China’s three development banks, its Silk Road Fund and China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank were involved in $143 billion of lending outside of the country last year, up more than 140 percent from 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Read More: Chinese Largesse Lures Countries to Its Belt and Road Initiative
Still, financial hurdles are starting to appear. China’s slowing economic growth has left fewer resources to spend overseas. Its international reserves have fallen about 6 percent over the past year, and China needs a healthy amount to defend the yuan.
Some previous Chinese ventures abroad have turned sour. While China’s no-strings-attached approach to investment is generally welcomed by developing countries, they often have poor credit ratings and questionable governance. China has struggled to recoup loans in Venezuela and Africa, and several projects in Central Asia have spurred protests. Announcements with big dollar signs often fail to materialize.
Nonetheless, Chinese scholars see the sum of Xi’s plan as bigger than any individual project. It represents a “profound change” in how China interacts with the world, according to Wang Yiwei, director of at Renmin University’s Institute of International Affairs in Beijing, who has written three books on the initiative.
“China has moved from a participant of globalization to a main leader,” he said. “It’s Globalization 2.0.”
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Ting Shi in Hong Kong at email@example.com, Miao Han in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at email@example.com, Brendan Scott
TROUBLE IN TIBET – REGIME CHANGE THROUGH MEDITATION
The problem of military occupation in Tibet needs resolution which may demand ‘Regime Change’. If occupation poses problem, it exists outside mind of person experiencing the problem. Meditation may bring about some change in electrical activity of brain and that change in activity can be sustained by the person who practices meditation. However, there is no reason to suggest or expect any change in electrical activity of brain of any person who imposes the burden called occupation.
Meditation may help to bring ‘Regime Change’ if physical activity follows mental activity taking advantage of change in electrical activity of brain induced by practice of meditation.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
Neuroscientist Richie Davidson Says Dalai Lama Gave Him ‘a Total Wake-Up Call’ that Changed His Research Forever
- By Lauren Effron
Jul 27, 2016, 2:00 PM ET
Dr. Richie Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been meditating for more than 40 years, but it was the Dalai Lama himself who convinced him to dedicate his life to researching the effects of meditation on the brain.
“He challenged me, saying, ‘You’ve been using the tools of modern neuroscience to mostly study anxiety, depression and fear, all these negative feelings. Why can’t you use these same tools to study qualities like kindness and compassion and equanimity?’ And I didn’t have a very good answer for him,” Davidson said. “It was a total wake-up call for me and really was a pivotal catalyst.”
Davidson, who founded the Center for Healthy Minds, met the Dalai Lama in 1992 and has since gone on to conduct multiple studies on mindfulness, compassion and cognitive therapy training. He talked about his research and personal meditation practice with ABC News’ Dan Harris for his “10% Happier” live stream/podcast show.
Early in his career, Davidson said he “became a closet meditator and didn’t talk to any of my colleagues about my interest in meditation … [the Dalai Lama] played a major role in me coming out of the closet and encouraging serious scientific research in this area.”
His relationship with His Holiness led to Davidson and his colleagues to conduct a study a few years ago looking at the brain scans of Buddhist monks as they meditated. The Dalai Lama had granted permission for his monks to have their brains studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, home to one of the most renowned brain labs in the world.
Davidson’s team flew in monks from Tibet and Nepal for the study and asked them to meditate while undergoing EEG, MRI and FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scans. When they first looked at the scans, Davidson said the results were so shocking, he thought the equipment was malfunctioning.
“What we saw in these individuals, not a burst of gamma, but a long duration [of activity] for minutes while they were meditating, which is crazy,” Davidson said. “This had never been seen in a human brain before.” Typically in an “untrained mind,” Davidson said, a burst of activity would last for about one second, but the monks could sustain it.
“And [they] can turn it on pretty much at will,” he said. “Any of us can have it and we may not be able to sustain it, that’s the difference … a thought will come into our mind and we’ll get lost in it for a few minutes, and so the ability to sustain it I think really requires much more practice.”
As a scientist, Davidson has been criticized in the past for his close relationship with the Dalai Lama, a religious figure. Davidson also has been questioned about whether he is biased toward a certain outcome in his research because he has been practicing meditation for decades. But Davidson argued that his personal practice and the Dalai Lama’s support are beneficial to his work.
“I understand the concern and really my push back is simply that we are trying to do the science at the highest possible level with the most integrity,” Davidson said. “And I actually believe that if you’re going to study meditation scientifically then you’ve got to meditate yourself…. It would be like telling a cardiologist that they can’t do any physical exercise for the rest of their active career because they’re biased.”
Every morning, Davidson said he will do a period of meditation and then take two to three minutes to scan his calendar for meetings. Then for a few seconds, Davidson said he pauses to reflect on how he can bring “the right stuff” to each meeting in order to “be present and be most helpful.”
“I can go through a day where I have 10 straight hours of meetings and at the end of that period feel totally nourished and refreshed,” he said.
His advice for those who want to start meditating was to commit to a daily practice for at least 30 days, but set a reasonable amount of time.
“There are published studies which show as little as eight minutes of meditation can actually produce a measurable objective change, but again it says nothing about how long these changes will last,” Davidson said. “It doesn’t matter how small that number is, but do it every day.”
TROUBLE IN TIBET – LEGACY OF THE BIGGEST MASS MURDERER OF THE WORLD
Trouble in Tibet stands for Legacy of the Biggest Mass Murderer of the world. It is not a past historical event. His Legacy is alive today for the Monster that he created lives in pursuit of the Doctrine of Expansionism.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
Remembering the biggest mass murder in the history of the world
BY ILYA SOMIN AUGUST 03
Chinese peasants suffering from the effects of the Great Leap Forward.
Who was the biggest mass murderer in the history of the world? Most people probably assume that the answer is Adolf Hitler, architect of the Holocaust. Others might guess Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who may indeed have managed to kill even more innocent people than Hitler did, many of them as part of a terror famine that likely took more lives than the Holocaust. But both Hitler and Stalin were outdone by Mao Zedong. From 1958 to 1962, his Great Leap Forward policy led to the deaths of up to 45 million people – easily making it the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded.
Historian Frank Dikötter, author of the important book Mao’s Great Famine recently published an article in History Today, summarizing what happened:
Mao thought that he could catapult his country past its competitors by herding villagers across the country into giant people’s communes. In pursuit of a Utopian paradise, everything was collectivised. People had their work, homes, land, belongings and livelihoods taken from them. In collective canteens, food, distributed by the spoonful according to merit, became a weapon used to force people to follow the party’s every dictate. As incentives to work were removed, coercion and violence were used instead to compel famished farmers to perform labour on poorly planned irrigation projects while fields were neglected.
A catastrophe of gargantuan proportions ensued. Extrapolating from published population statistics, historians have speculated that tens of millions of people died of starvation. But the true dimensions of what happened are only now coming to light thanks to the meticulous reports the party itself compiled during the famine….
What comes out of this massive and detailed dossier is a tale of horror in which Mao emerges as one of the greatest mass murderers in history, responsible for the deaths of at least 45 million people between 1958 and 1962. It is not merely the extent of the catastrophe that dwarfs earlier estimates, but also the manner in which many people died: between two and three million victims were tortured to death or summarily killed, often for the slightest infraction. When a boy stole a handful of grain in a Hunan village, local boss Xiong Dechang forced his father to bury him alive. The father died of grief a few days later. The case of Wang Ziyou was reported to the central leadership: one of his ears was chopped off, his legs were tied with iron wire, a ten kilogram stone was dropped on his back and then he was branded with a sizzling tool – punishment for digging up a potato.
The basic facts of the Great Leap Forward have long been known to scholars. Dikötter’s work is noteworthy for demonstrating that the number of victims may have been even greater than previously thought, and that the mass murder was more clearly intentional on Mao’s part, and included large numbers of victims who were executed or tortured, as opposed to “merely” starved to death. Even the previously standard estimates of 30 million or more,would still make this the greatest mass murder in history.
While the horrors of the Great Leap Forward are well known to experts on communism and Chinese history, they are rarely remembered by ordinary people outside China, and has had only a modest cultural impact. When Westerners think of the great evils of world history, they rarely think of this one. In contrast to the numerous books, movies, museums, and and remembrance days dedicated to the Holocaust, we make little effort to recall the Great Leap Forward, or to make sure that society has learned its lessons. When we vow “never again,” we don’t often recall that it should apply to this type of atrocity, as well as those motivated by racism or antisemitism.
The fact that Mao’s atrocities resulted in many more deaths than those of Hitler does not necessarily mean he was the more evil of the two. The greater death toll is partly the result of the fact that Mao ruled over a much larger population for a much longer time. I lost several relatives in the Holocaust myself, and have no wish to diminish its significance. But the vast scale of Chinese communist atrocities puts them in the same general ballpark. At the very least, they deserve far more recognition than they currently receive.
I. Why We so Rarely Look Back on the Great Leap Forward
What accounts for this neglect? One possible answer is that the most of the victims were Chinese peasants – people who are culturally and socially distant from the Western intellectuals and media figures who have the greatest influence over our historical consciousness and popular culture. As a general rule, it is easier to empathize with victims who seem similar to ourselves.
But an even bigger factor in our relative neglect of the Great Leap Forward is that it is part of the general tendency to downplay crimes committed by communist regimes, as opposed to right-wing authoritarians. Unlike in the days of Mao, today very few western intellectuals actually sympathize with communism. But many are reluctant to fully accept what a great evil it was, fearful – perhaps – that other left-wing causes might be tainted by association.
The social-political movement launched in May 1966 by Mao Zedong followed a botched industrialization campaign where millions starved. It’s a sensitive period in modern China’s history. That’s why this museum filled with relics from China’s “Red Era”, is one of a kind. From busts to badges, plates to posters – Chairman Mao and his vision are everywhere. (Reuters)
In China, the regime has in recent years admitted that Mao made “mistakes” and allowed some degree of open discussion about this history. But the government is unwilling to admit that the mass murder was intentional and continues to occasionally suppress and persecute dissidents who point out the truth.
This reluctance is an obvious result of the fact that the Communist Party still rules China. Although they have repudiated many of Mao’s specific policies, the regime still derives much of its legitimacy from his legacy. I experienced China’s official ambivalence on this subject first-hand, when I gave a talk about the issue while teaching a course as a visiting professor at a Chinese University in 2014.
II. Why it Matters.
For both Chinese and westerners, failure to acknowledge the true nature of the Great Leap Forward carries serious costs. Some survivors of the Great Leap Forward are still alive today. They deserve far greater recognition of the horrible injustice they suffered. They also deserve compensation for their losses, and the infliction of appropriate punishment on the remaining perpetrators.
In addition, our continuing historical blind spot about the crimes of Mao and other communist rulers, leads us to underestimate the horrors of such policies, and makes it more likely that they might be revived in the future. The horrendous history of China, the USSR, and their imitators, should have permanently discredited socialism as completely as fascism was discredited by the Nazis. But it has not – so far – fully done so.
Just recently, the socialist government of Venezuela imposed forced labor on much of its population. Yet most of the media coverage of this injustice fails to note the connection to socialism, or that the policy has parallels in the history of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and other similar regimes. One analysis even claims that the real problem is not so much “socialism qua socialism,” but rather Venezuela’s “particular brand of socialism, which fuses bad economic ideas with a distinctive brand of strongman bullying,” and is prone to authoritarianism and “mismanagement.” The author simply ignores the fact that “strongman bullying” and “mismanagement” are typical of socialist states around the world. The Scandinavian nations – sometimes cited as examples of successful socialism- are not actually socialist at all, because they do not feature government ownership of the means of production, and in many ways have freer markets than most other western nations.
Venezuela’s tragic situation would not surprise anyone familiar with the history of the Great Leap Forward. We would do well to finally give history’s largest episode of mass murder the attention it deserves.
Ilya Somin is Professor of Law at George Mason University. His research focuses on constitutional law, property law, and popular political participation. He is the author of “The Grasping Hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the Limits of Eminent Domain” and “Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter.”
TROUBLE IN TIBET – PROBLEM OF TRANSPARENCY IN COMMUNIST GOVERNANCE
Communist China showcases her technological advancement by erecting structures such as Glass Walkway in Tianmen Mountain. Such use of technology is not resolving the problem of transparency in Communist Governance. Glaring evidence for lack of transparency is Trouble in Tibet.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
Glass walkway opens in Tianmen mountain, China
This terrifying construction is part of the latest addition to China’s glass bridge craze.
The Coiling Dragon path is in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan province, and a new section opened to tourists on Monday.
The 100-m walkway has 99 turns around the side of the sheer cliff face of Tianmen Mountain. For those immune to the terror of a vertical drop, it’s a perfect photo opp.
Reassuringly some tourists, in their protective shoes, appeared more keen to cling to the walls and just get it over with.
Braver tourists can enjoy spectacular views across the Hunan countryside. No, we’re not sure how this picture was taken either.
The Zhangjiajie park already offers tourists this – at 430 m (1,410 ft) and suspended over a 300 m-deep valley it is billed as the world’s longest glass bridge.
To assuage fears about safety, in June the park authorities deliberately cracked the glass then drove a car full of people over it. It was fine.
And for good measure, they hit it with a sledgehammer.
TROUBLE IN TIBET – ‘ONE BELT, ONE ROAD’ – IMPERIALISM AND NEOCOLONIALISM
Red China’s Chengdu-Lhasa Railway Project serves just one purpose; Security of Tibet’s military Occupation. Red China’s Policy of “ONE BELT – ONE ROAD” or ‘OBOR’ Initiative, Solidarity Strategy stands for her Imperialism and Neocolonialism.
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Image Credit: Tibet Railroad image via Shutter Stock
China’s Chengdu-Lhasa Railway: Tibet and ‘One Belt, One Road’
A newly planned railway linking Tibet with central China will serve to provide stability for the Belt and Road.
By Justin Cheung for The Diplomat
May 27, 2016
It is no secret that Tibetan independence movements have long drawn the ire of Chinese authorities. Alongside heightened rhetoric in recent years over Tibetan unrest and the growing publicity of riots and self-immolations, China has sought to augment its capacity for crackdown in the restive province.
The swiftness of Chinese response to previous swells of separatist sentiment is best illustrated in the 2008 Tibetan unrest. During that time, the BBC reported that within days of the start of anti-government riots, over 400 troop carriers of the People’s Armed Police were mobilized. Ultimately, the speed with which the Chinese government was able to ferry troops into sites of unrest was a crucial factor in quelling the upheaval.
In more recent times, China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) policy – Xi Jinping’s plan to expand the reach of Chinese trade routes to Europe through a land route in Central Asia and a sea route through the Indian Ocean and around the horn of Africa – has taken center stage as a cornerstone of modern Chinese foreign policy. Access to Pakistan and Central Asia are crucial to ensure the success of these trade routes, which incidentally must start or pass through Tibet or Xinjiang, historically separatist provinces. This has put particularly urgent pressure on the Chinese government to bring stability to its westernmost regions.
Furthermore, the implementation of the OBOR policy comes at a critical time for China. Recent downturns in economic growth and output have put leaders such as Xi Jinping in a bind, spending a great deal of political capital to restrict and cripple any seeds of social dissent. On a geopolitical level, ensuring robust strategic control over Tibet has never been more essential, for both propaganda and economic reasons.
With that said, China’s newly planned Chengdu-Lhasa railway – over 2,000 km of tracks – would serve as a crucially efficient connection between Sichuan province in central China with the heart of Tibet. The construction of the railway was recently announced; such an infrastructural feat would facilitate rapid travel between the two locations, bringing a multi-day trip down to just fifteen hours. A recent report by The Economist cited a Chinese expert as saying the railroad could be feasibly completed by 2030.
The implications of this railway’s construction are particularly diverse, but they all center on a particular purpose: expedited control. In an age where social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can cause riots to explode into revolutions overnight (see: the Arab Spring), China must ensure that its ability to quickly muster a physical military presence can match the speed of modern rebellions. The Chengdu-Lhasa railway provides a means of quickly mobilizing armed forces and also facilitates the movement and migration of Han Chinese from more central regions of China into Tibet, a policy that China has long pushed in order to smother ethnic dissent.
This is not the first time that China has used “railway power projection” to assert its power in Tibet or Xinjiang. However, it is the most recent and the most ambitious project thus far. Most importantly, the timing of this undertaking highlights the effort and investment that Chinese leaders are willing to make to ensure that the crossroads of its budding OBOR policy remain firmly under Chinese control. Tibet is an important starting point for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and an equally important entryway to the Central Asian states where trade through the Caspian, Caucasus, and to Europe must begin.
As such, the construction of the Chengdu-Lhasa railway is separate from previous Chinese attempts to quell separatist movements. This time, there is much more at stake. The railway plays an important duality in optimizing China’s foreign and domestic geo-policy today: the necessity of political stability within its borders to ensure economic success from the outside.
Justin Cheung is a student in Stony Brook University’s 8 Year BE/MD Engineering Scholars for Medicine Program. He has been published in the Center for International Relation’s International Affairs Forum as well as in Soft Matter and ACS Macro Letters.
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