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Don Tow's Website http://www.dontow.com Sun, 27 Nov 2022 22:45:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.6 Perspective on U.S.-China Relationship – War or Peace http://www.dontow.com/2022/09/perspective-on-u-s-china-relationship-war-or-peace/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/09/perspective-on-u-s-china-relationship-war-or-peace/#comments Mon, 05 Sep 2022 04:30:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7840 Recent developments on the relationship between the U.S. and China have led to an extremely strained relationship between the two countries leading to a critical cross-road: war or peace. This is not just any war, but a large-scale war, perhaps a world war involving most countries and possibly the use of nuclear weapons.

For a while, I thought that relationship cannot keep on getting worse because it is not good for the U.S., not good for China, and also not good for the whole world. [1]  But that relationship has kept on getting worse. [2][3]  We need to understand the real conflict between the U.S. and China, and what can be done to address the problem.

This is the subject of this article. We will discuss the critical conflict between U.S. and China, why that conflict is leading to a path of war, and how that path can and must be altered.

We will also discuss the impact of this relationship on Chinese Americans. We will discuss, especially the views of second-generation/third-generation Chinese Americans, and more generally speaking on the view of the people of the world.

Analyzing and Understanding the Conflict Between U.S. and China:

There are many differences between U.S. and China, e.g., their histories, how the government operates, the way freedom and people’s wishes are expressed and reflected in the government, how government policies are formed and carried out, the country’s strategic alliances with other countries, the conduct of foreign policies and treatment of other governments and countries. These differences could easily lead to conflicts between the U.S. government and the Chinese government, especially when the differences lead to different political orientations. However, such differences should not lead to the two countries getting to diametrically opposite opposing corners. For example, China’s Bell and Road Initiative (BRI) could help a democratic government that is based on free elections and also an autocratic government whose family basically controls the whole country. It could help to improve the livelihood of the people of both countries, and therefore, it should not lead to their foreign policies on China that are diametrically opposite to each other.

Why is the relationship between U.S. and China keep on getting more antagonistic when a better relationship can benefit the American people, the Chinese people, as well as the other people of the world? Why is that relationship moving toward more confrontations and even war?

To understand the answer to that question, one needs to take an unbiased assessment of the history of the U.S. and especially what it has done in its foreign policy toward other countries in the last 75 years, since the end of WWII.

Earlier this year, we posted two articles in this website on the subject “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part 1” [4] and “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part 2” [5]. Instead of repeating what was written in those two articles, let me just write down the summary of the two articles:

“The U.S. government always presents itself as a government that is democratic, respects human rights, treats other countries with peaceful intention, and helps to solve world problems. That is the image that the U.S. government and the U.S. mass media depict itself. In reality, the U.S. government doesn’t act that way. It is not a democratic government working for the benefits of all its people; it treats its citizens differently depending on race, sex, place of origin, wealth, social and political status, etc.; it involves in many wars and instigates numerous regime changes in many countries. Furthermore, in many respects it behaves contrary to what a democratic government is supposed to behave.  Not only that it often doesn’t get involved in solving various world problems. It sometimes drops out of critical agreements (e.g., Paris Agreement on Climate Change) and criticizes or even sabotages other countries’ contributions.”

Now I will discuss the real conflict between the U.S. and China, and why that relationship is getting worse with more confrontations and possibly leading to war.

The Real Conflict Between U.S. and China:

In the last 40+ years, China has transformed itself from a very poor and backward country into the world’s second largest economy, lifted most of its huge population out of poverty, became basically the factory of the world, became the world’s third largest nuclear power, and has the world’s second strongest military, and can compete with the best of the world in science, engineering, bio-medicine, space explorations, and new patents, as well as gaining influences in world affairs. What is best for the world is for China and the U.S. to work cooperatively to address and solve the many difficult problems facing humanity. If the world’s two richest economies and the most powerful countries cannot work cooperatively, at least we hope that they don’t try to sabotage each other. Unfortunately, it seems that one country, the U.S., has been working hard to do just that. [2] [3]

Why? Instead of living together to try to improve the world, why would the U.S. try to create confrontations that can escalate into wars? If U.S. and China work together to address the world’s problems, then the U.S. would not be able to control the world and dictate their so-called rule-based order for the world to follow. Instead of creating a world with multi modality, the U.S. wants to create a single modality world with the U.S. in the center and in control of that modality.

This may be surprising to many people, but it is consistent with U.S. policy in how it has been treating the rest of the world in the past century. Unlike the image that the U.S. government has been presenting to the world that it is a democratic and benevolent country trying to do the best for all the people of the world, unfortunately, that image has been repeatedly shown to be false, as illustrated by the large number of regime change activities engaged by the U.S. [6] [7] [8]

Some of the activities of the U.S. government have been so evil that it is almost unimaginable. An example of that is what the U.S. did in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, using island natives as guinea pigs to see the effects of nuclear radiations. [9]

Unfortunately, we have to face reality because the U.S. is not willing to give up its power to dominate the world, the U.S. is willing to create conflicts with China, even leading to a war between the world’s two most powerful military powers, possibly leading to a world war with the use of nuclear weapons. This is the essence of the real conflict between the U.S. and China.

Multi-lateral World Versus A Unilateral World:

China wants a multi-lateral world, but U.S. wants a unilateral world following the U.S. rule-based order.

With China’s rise to almost equal to U.S.:  economically, politically, militarily, U.S. feels the competition from China, and wants to dominate the world, always criticizing China, independent of its justification. When it does not get its wish, the U.S. will not hesitate to instigate regime change or create color/umbrella revolutions. This creates instabilities and could lead to wars all over the world, including to world wars or nuclear wars.

Of course we all hope that this will not happen and the U.S. will also pursue a multi-lateral world to the benefits of all countries and all the people of the world.  Unfortunately, just wishing it is unlikely to make that become a reality.

However, when other countries in many other parts of the world also see the benefits of a multi-lateral world, and openly advocate and work toward that goal, then the U.S. will need to change its foreign policy toward a multi-lateral world.  Then the world may choose the path to peace in this fork in the road of war or peace.

People of the World Must Create a Massive Pro-Peace (or Anti-War) Movement:

Until that happens, the decision should be clear that the world must generate a massive peace movement, or anti-war movement.  Creating a war between the U.S. and China is legally, historically, ethically, and morally not justifiable.  It is not necessary, and not good for the U.S., China, or the world.  The consequence of the alternative is unimaginably terrifying.

The fact that this potential war is also not good for the U.S., this global peace movement should be able to generate mass support in the U.S. at both the grass root level and the government level, although it will not be easy.  Keep in mind that it was not easy to generate a massive antiwar movement in the 1960s and 1970s against the Vietnam War when all young men in the U.S. were required by the draft to join the military.  Now that requirement is no longer in place due to replacing the draft of young American men by a professional U.S. army, it may reduce the psychological impact of seeing body bags of dead American soldiers shown on TV every evening as we saw back then. 

There are already many organizations existing today working toward global peace; a partial list is given below.  Some of them are major organizations, and have been in existence for many years.

  • International Peace Bureau
  • Code Pink – Women for Peace
  • Peace Action
  • Massachusetts Peace Action
  • Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security
  • International Action Center
  • Veterans for Peace
  • Pivot to Peace
  • World Beyond War
  • Coalition Peace Initiative
  • Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia
  • Toronto ALPHA Education

Although there are differences in emphasis among the above world peace organizations, we should be able to join forces to mobilize against any potential war initiated by the U.S.’s hegemonic drive to dominate the world, thus making a coalition peace initiative possible.  We know that this is an extremely difficult task, but the other path, that of war, is just not acceptable.

How To Strengthen the Global Peace Movement:  Besides the people who are in various peace or anti-war organizations, there are many others who are in related movements who can be persuaded to join the peace movement.  For example, people who are in various civil rights or minority rights or women’s rights movements, such as:

  • NAACP
  • Black Lives Matter
  • National Organization for Women
  • American Indian Movement (AIM)
  • Latinos civil rights and advocacy organization UnidosUS
  • 80-20 Initiative
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  • Organization of Chinese Americans-Asian American Pacific Islanders (OCA-AAPI)
  • Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
  • Stop AAPI Hate

Although all the previously named organizations provide a good base to build on, this global peace movement will need a much larger base.  Thus, we have a formidable task in front of us.  We need to work earnestly, and intelligently, and we need to be determined and not give up when we encounter any obstacle.  We need to be constantly looking to enlarge the foundation of our global peace movement. 

There is also a very large group of people we may be able to appeal to, and that is Christians, but it will not be easy.  Christians often oppose some of the causes of many of the above organizations. On the other hand, Christians are also against discrimination, injustices, killings, wars, and want to help the down-trodden. Although Christians may have a legitimate concern on abortion, because that is killing a life, but it may also involve the saving of lives, like a mother, or not destroying the life of a young woman in the case of rapes.  Furthermore, Christians are very much pro peace.  That is why there was a large number of Christians who supported the peace movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Some Christians are also against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender).  However, LGBT people are also people created by God and therefore are all loved by God. That is why Christians can and should be appealed to in the peace/anti-war movement. It is time for Christians to realize the actions and real intention of the U.S. government.

Undo Years of Propaganda and Fabricated News about China:   The U.S. government is very good in the propaganda war against China as well as other countries who hold different political views.  Not only that organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Voice of America (VOA) are well funded and constantly spreading news and information that are at best half-truths and fanning color or umbrella revolutions all over the world, they also have numerous think tanks and non-profit organizations supported with research funds from the U.S. government that produce numerous documents and white papers that tend to support the political views advocated by the U.S. government.  In addition, there is a very large number of mass media sources (such as newspapers, magazines, televisions, radios, and websites) putting out numerous reports everyday repeating the political view of our government.  For example, just look at how the Western mass media have reported on the recent Russia-Ukraine invasion and compare that with the reports on the 2003 U.S.-Iraq invasion, and you can clearly notice the tremendous difference in the amount of coverage, the content of the coverage, the tone and message of the coverage, etc.

It is no wonder that the American public is strongly influenced by the mass media reports they hear, read, and see every day, and they buy into the political message of these reports.  Normally, you trust your government and believe what your government is telling you, unless you have other evidence to believe otherwise.  The U.S. is especially good in presenting an image that the U.S. government is a model government for the world to admire and mimic, even though it is often a false image.  Please see Refs. [6-9], as well as Refs. [2-5]. This is especially the case with what has been happening in the U.S. in the last few years when so many political leaders of the U.S. are engaged in so many obvious activities that contradict the basic principles of democracy, human rights, respect and love for your fellow human beings. How can the U.S. still advertise itself as a model government for the world to admire and mimic. Can we really afford to be silent?

Implications and Significance for 2nd-generation/3rd-generation Chinese Americans:

Chinese Americans, especially 2nd-generation and 3rd-generation Chinese Americans, have grown up in the above atmosphere, can easily believe what they hear and read every day, and buy into that rosy American image. Unless they have seriously studied the issues involved or have personal knowledge or experience around those issues, it often leads to arguments, sometimes divisive arguments between these 2nd or 3rd generation Chinese Americans and their 1st-generation parents or grandparents.  Furthermore, a lot of 1st-generation Chinese Americans may also buy into this rosy depiction of the U.S. It is an important open issue on how Chinese Americans should address and resolve this generational-understanding issue. It is an issue that falls in the domain of the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO). [10]

This constant depiction of the golden image of the U.S. affects not only Chinese Americans, but also affects other people of the world. So the discussion on Chinese Americans may also be applicable to other groups of people.

One may argue that there seems to be an American Dream in the minds of many Americans as well as other people of the world, isn’t that already an existence proof that the American system of government must have been doing things close to what has been advertised. This is a very important question, and we have actually discussed this issue earlier. [11] [12]. We will not repeat that discussion here, and will just refer you to those two articles.

Summary;

We are at this dangerous fork in the road:  War of Peace  Even though the road of peace is extremely difficult, the alternative path of war is just unimaginary horrifying.  Fortunately, many countries of the world also recognize this critical fork on the road, and they also see the benefits of the multi-lateral world approach to solving the world’s problems and improving the livelihood of the people of the world.  Therefore, there could be a path for peace.

_____________________________________________________________________

[1] There are many articles on “U.S.-China Relationship”. Here is just one such article: “Why U.S.-China Relations Are Locked in a Stalemate” published on February 21, 2022 as a Commentary from the “Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.” Most of these articles are written from a U.S. political perspective.

[2] For commentaries on recent US-China Relationship, see this reference: “Campaign to Promote Peace Between the U.S. and China”: https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/campaign-to-promote-peace-between-the-united-states-and-china/, as well as Ref. 3.

[3] “China Is Not the U.S.’ Enemy”: https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/china-is-not-united-states-enemy/.

[4] “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part 1”: https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-i/.

[5] “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part 2”: https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-ii/.

[6] Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer, Times Books, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, New York, 2006. This is a book by veteran New York Times writer who reported from over 50 countries and served as the paper’s bureau chief in Turkey, Germany and Nicaragua.

[7] United States involvement in regime change: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_regime_change#1991%E2%80%93present:_Post-Cold_War.

[8] “The U.S. tried to change other countries’ governments 72 times during the Cold War,” Lindsey L. O’Rourke, The Washington Post, December 23, 2016: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/12/23/the-cia-says-russia-hacked-the-u-s-election-here-are-6-things-to-learn-from-cold-war-attempts-to-change-regimes/. According to the author, of the 72 times, 60 were covert operations and 6 were overt operations. And among the 60 covert operations, only 20 successfully brought the U.S.-backed government to power, and 40 failed.

[9] The Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Australia is part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under the administrative control of the U.S. after WWII. It was here that the U.S. tested nuclear weapons 67 times between 1946 and 1958. There are several documentaries on Marshall Islands and the sufferings experienced by the Marshall Islands natives from the numerous nuclear bomb testings there. The best one is probably the one made in 2011 by Adam Jonas Horowitz:  “Nuclear Savage:  The Islands of Secret Project 4.1.”  You can see a 7-minute summary of this documentary for free at https://vimeo.com/30869044.

[10] This is an important issue for the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO), which will have its 30 year anniversary conference on Nov. 11-12, 2022 in San Francisco on the topic “Diasporic Futures: Sinophobia, Techno-Political Strife, and the Politics of Care.” I will be presenting at this conference a paper titled “Fork on the Road: War or Peace” whose content has a lot of resemblance to the current article.

[11] “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part II”: https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-ii/ has a section called “Revisiting the American Dream,” which elaborates on the earlier article of Ref. 12.

[12] “Can the American Dream Be Continued?”: https://www.dontow.com/2010/01/can-the-american-dream-be-continued/.

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10,000 Cries for Justice and Speaking for the Voiceless http://www.dontow.com/2022/09/10000-cries-for-justice-and-speaking-for-the-voiceless/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/09/10000-cries-for-justice-and-speaking-for-the-voiceless/#respond Mon, 05 Sep 2022 04:20:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7772 This year marks the 91st anniversary of the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War: 1931-1945, a war that resulted in approximately 25-30 million Chinese killed, millions of women and girls raped, and millions of innocent civilians slaughtered. Yet, many people in the world have no knowledge of what happened.  Furthermore, many people and their governments who were involved have been trying to deny what happened and trying to rewrite history.  We have almost passed the time when all the survivors of those atrocities are all gone from this world. Fortunately, there are people of different nationalities around the world who have not forgotten and are working hard to make sure that we learn the lessons from that part of history so that similar mistakes will not be repeated anywhere else in this world.

Two persons, one a Chinese citizen and one a Japanese citizen, have done the most to lead this movement so that justice can be restored and history will not be forgotten. These two remarkable people are Tong Zeng (童增) of China and Tamaki Matsuoka (松岡環) of Japan.  This article “10,000 Cries for Justice and Speaking for the Voiceless” is about Tong Zeng. [1] The other article “A Conversation with Tamaki Matsuoka: ‘The Conscience of Japan’” is about Tamaki Matsuoka, and was posted in the June 2022 issue of this website. [2]

Most people in the world have heard about the murder of six million Jews at the hands of Hitler’s Nazis in Germany.  It was a most horrific atrocity that should be taught and remembered in our history books.  While the Jewish Holocaust was taking place in Europe during WWII, an atrocity of equal magnitude was also occurring in Asia at around the same time period. This was the atrocity inflicted by the Japanese military in China, Korea, and other parts of Asia during the period of 1931-1945 when Japan invaded and tried to conquer China and other parts of Asia.   The atrocities were massive and inhumane and consisted of four types:  the Nanking Massacre, sex slaves (euphemistically called comfort women), biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, and slave laborers.

Unfortunately, many people in the world are not aware of this atrocity.  In addition, there are people who deny this part of history and together with certain governments are trying to rewrite history and claiming that such atrocity never happened.  The victims feel that they are voiceless.

In 1990, Mr. Tong Zeng (童增), a young and concerned Chinese, raised the issue that the victims of Japanese atrocities have the right to seek compensation from Japan (from the Japanese government or in the case of slave laborers, also from the Japanese corporations who used the slave laborers). He pointed out that there is a distinction between the case of a government seeking compensation from another government who committed the atrocity and the case of a person seeking compensation from the government who committed that atrocity.  This means that in spite of the gesture of good will of the Chinese government waiving her right to seek compensation from Japan when the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1972, the Chinese government waived only the right of the Chinese government seeking compensation from Japan, it did not waive the right of Chinese citizens seeking compensation from Japan.

Seeking apology and compensation for the atrocities committed by the Japanese military was a long-overdue item for seeking justice and closure that has been buried in the hearts and souls of thousands and thousands of Chinese atrocity victims and their relatives.  Thousands of people wrote to Tong Zeng endorsing and thanking him for his work and wrote to him providing details of the atrocities that they or their family members had experienced.  Within a few years, he had received about 10,000 such letters, and that is why his campaign is called “10000 Cries for Justice.” [3]

The number of letters that Tong Zeng kept on receiving grew and grew.  When they occupied a large part of his office as shown in the photo

Large collection of atrocity victims’ letters in Tong Zeng’s office was a concern that these valuable historical archives could be lost due to fire or theft.

He became concerned that those priceless records of history could disappear as the result of a fire or theft.  So he thought about keeping a digital record of these historical archives. 

As the years passed by, not only that there was no progress from Japan to face up to this part of history, many Japanese government leaders have continued to make comments denying the existence of these atrocities.  Mr. Tong thought that publishing these personal accounts would provide powerful evidence to refute all the false claims made by the Japanese government.  Righting this injustice could be a catalyst to establish genuine friendship between the Japanese people and the Chinese people and true peace between Japan and China, as well as for other countries.  Therefore, having a website of these letters and making them easily available to the whole world became even more urgent.  In January 2014, he found two Chinese American friends in the U.S. to collaborate with him and his team.  They then formed the “10,000 Cries for Justice” team to develop a website that can store these letters digitally and make them searchable and easily available to the whole world.  After working nights and days for over a year and a half, the initial website was announced by this team on July 22, 2015 in a press conference in Beijing.  After working for another two more years, the website was able to contain the 4,000 Chinese letters. Furthermore, about 500 of these letters have been translated into English to make the “Cries for Justice” a bilingual website. [3]

Below we show a sample of such letters:

Nanking Massacre: “I was born here in 1936. When I was a little over one year old, the Japanese Imperialism savagely invaded China, and carried out barbarian Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing. My father Zhang Jilu was killed in this Massacre when he was only 27, and later my two uncles were also killed in bombing by Japanese aircrafts, leaving only my grandparents, my aunt, my mother and myself in the family. In the aftermath of this tragic incident, my grandfather Zhang Chuhai lost three sons, my young mother lost her husband, and I lost my father when I was only a little over one year old, which forced my family to lose livelihood.  Since I was young, my mother tasted untold hardship in begging while holding me on her back. Since I was still young, and my mother was a woman, we were humiliated everywhere. Even if we received one meal, we did not know where the next one would come.” 

Written by Zhang Mingde, Yinchuan City, Ningxia Autonomous Region, 6/2/1992.

Sex Slaves: “In March 1942, the Japanese soldiers came to Jiazhang Village, Xiyan Town and captured my father Hou Yinshai, deputy head of the village, and me. Then, they took off our upper clothes and beat us with sticks. We were bruised all over the body. Afterwards, they took us to Jingui Village and separated me from my father. I was dragged into a room which was then locked and I didn’t know where my father was. At over 11 p.m. that night, someone opened the door and took me to another room. After I entered the room, I saw a black-face officer and realized something bad was going to happen, so I cried out loud, which made the officer angry. He kicked me with leather shoes and dragged me on the bed. Then, he gagged me, stripped off all my clothes and raped me. I just turned 14 and was ruined by them. At dawn, I was taken back to the room where I was first kept. After that, every day from dawn to night, I would be raped by the Japanese for over 20 times.

For over 70 days, I was locked in that painful prison-like room, wasn’t given enough food or water and had to relieve myself in the room, living like an animal. I couldn’t see daylight until I was needed. After over 70 days, I got all swollen up. At last, my family ransomed my father and me with a flock of silver dollars (over 20), a donkey and over 250kg of wheat from my family and over 200 silver coins from my husband’s family. My uncle took a donkey with him to carry me home. We stayed one night at my uncle’s in Gaozhuang and he sent us home the next day. After I returned home, I was so ill that I couldn’t eat or drink. I was seriously ill for over a month. Since then, I have become afraid of dreaming, demented and would have a brain disorder and talk nonsense when I want to talk about important matters or talk too much. My whole life is ruined by the Japanese. Now, I couldn’t even support myself.”

An open letter written by Hou Qiaolian of Yangquan City, Shanxi Province written in Nov. 1992 on behalf of 35 former sex slaves.

Biological/Chemical Warfare: “In 1941 when the Japanese Army invaded Western Yunnan, after Baoshan was conquered, large crowds of residents living in Baoshan and other places in Western Yunnan swarmed to Kunming to avoid slaughter by the Japanese Army. Immediately afterwards cholera broke out in Kunming. At first people thought it was epidemic plague, but soon it spread to the whole city. Those contracted cholera first would have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, and soon they died in less than one day. On the streets one could see dead people each day. Back then at the biggest and most famous coffin shop (the boss was surnamed Zhao) on Wenmiao Street in Kunming, all the coffins were sold out.”

To keep the Japanese army from advancing from the Baoshan area of Western Yunnan to Kunming and other parts of China, the Chinese army destroyed the Gongguo Bridge, the only bridge on the Lancang River connecting the Baoshan area and the Kunming area, thus stopping the Japanese invasion of Kunming.

“Since the Japanese Army was unable to cross the Lancang River natural barrier, they burned, killed and looted in Baoshan and other places, persecuted common people.  Afterwards, they spread cholera bacteria in Western Yunnan, therefore the fleeing people of all social circles brought the cholera bacteria to Kunming and spread it around.  …  As mentioned above, the number of civilians suffering direct or indirect damage from the Japanese Army runs to thousands and millions. Newspapers published at that time all carried the story.”

Written by Tang Qingyu, 53 Jingzing Street, Kunming, Yunnan Province, 11/20/1992.

Slave Laborers: “In January 1942, many people including my uncle were captured by the invading Japanese army during a raid in northern Daqinghe, Hebei and sent to Tanggu Camp. Later they were sent to the railway station of Tsukino, Tone, Gunma, Japan. They were forced to labor for 4 years in a ravine 3 km southern of the railway station. They dug a cave every day, which was over 15 km long from east to west and used for hydraulic power generation. They did heavy work every day but ate pig feed and they were always starved. Instead of being provided with warm clothes in winter and thin clothes in summer, they were only given a crotch cloth in a year to work naked. The Japanese foremen often beat the Chinese laborers with sticks and whips and called them morons. My uncle saw with his eyes that many Chinese laborers were beaten to death by the Japanese foremen. The life was inhuman and intolerable. Some laborers committed suicide and some escaped and were caught back, bitten to death by foreign dogs. My uncle was strong before he was captured, but he got weak due to the heavy work. To avoid being beaten by the foremen, he worked hard day and night. There was one time he was too hungry and exhausted in the cave that he blacked out. When he came to himself, he felt great pain in his chest and spit blood. He struggled to get up, thinking about talking to the foremen to take a rest. But unexpectedly, when the wolf-like foremen saw my uncle not working, they started beating my uncle in his head with sticks despite his begging. They didn’t stop until my uncle bled in the head. My uncle was injured, but the foremen didn’t give him treatment or medicine, or food if he didn’t work. So my uncle didn’t have a choice but keep working. The Japanese foremen said, ‘You Chinese people cannot run away. You are just food of Japanese dogs.’  Many Chinese laborers died there of torturing. Also, many laborers were disabled due to the beating and the torturous work and some got blinded. They suffered in Japan until the end of 1945 after Japan surrendered. My uncle Wang Jinsheng and other survivors returned to the Red Cross of Qingdao, China in March 1946 with the help of the American army. Finally, my uncle reunited with the family.”

Written by Wang Genyou, nephew of Wang Jinsheng (deceased), Langfang City, Hebei Province, 7/6/1994.

Settlement Agreement Between Mitsubishi and Chinese Slave Laborers:  As part of the campaign to seek justice for the Chinese victims of Japanese atrocity during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Tong Zeng and others also worked with the atrocity victims to pursue legal actions.  A milestone was reached when Mitsubishi (one of the major Japanese corporations who was involved in the slave labor business) and many Chinese who were former slave laborers for Mitsubishi reached an agreement on June 1, 2016 on the issue of compensation for former slave laborers or their descendants. [5]

The settlement agreement states:

  • Mitsubishi admits the historical truth that the human rights of the thousands of Chinese forced laborers were violated and that over 700 such Chinese forced laborers had died during that period
  • Mitsubishi offers its sincere apology to all these forced laborers and its deep mourning to those forced laborers who had perished
  • Mitsubishi accepts its responsibility of the above historical truth, and as an expression of apology, offers compensation of 100,000 RMB to each Chinese forced laborer or his beneficiary
  • In order to keep this kind of mistake from recurring in the future and to help educate future generations, Mitsubishi will contribute 100 million Japanese yen for the erection of a memorial
  • Mitsubishi will also contribute 200 million Japanese yen to investigate and to locate other Chinese forced laborers and their beneficiaries who are currently unaccounted for
  • Mitsubishi will pay 250,000 Japanese yen for each Chinese forced laborer or his beneficiary for travel and living expenses to attend a memorial service in Japan

As of June 2022, 1,154 former slave laborers of Mitsubishi or their beneficiaries have accepted this settlement agreement, including a handful who witnessed this milestone while they were still alive.  Currently, the oldest survivor is 103 years old.  It was especially gratifying for them to hear that Mitsubishi has accepted its responsibility and has offered their sincere apology.  The Mitsubishi-Chinese slave laborers settlement agreement helps to close the wounds inflicted on many of the slave laborers. [6]

Summary:  Tong Zeng’s more than 30 years of effort and the resulting “10,000 Cries for Justice” website have allowed the voiceless to speak.  In the future, when more resources can be allocated, Tong Zeng and his team plan to translate all the other Chinese letters into English. [7]

References

[1] More information on Tong Zeng and “10,000 Cries for Justice” can be found in an earlier article “10,000 Cries for Justice”: https://www.dontow.com/2015/06/10000-cries-for-justice/.

[2] “A Conversation with Tamaki Matsuoka: ‘The Conscience of Japan'”: https://www.dontow.com/2022/06/a-conversation-with-tamaki-matsuoka-the-conscience-of-japan/.

[3] “10,000 Cries for Justice” website: https://2018.10000cfj.org/?lang=en.

[4] In the early 1990s when the majority of these letters were sent to Tong Zeng, many relatives and Chinese media personnel borrowed many of these letters.  Because at the time copying machines were not readily available to Tong Zeng and other people in China, many of these letters were borrowed and unfortunately, most of them were never returned.  That is why a lot of the letters were lost and Tong Zeng now has only about 4,000 such letters.

[5] “Mitsubishi Materials Apologizes to Chinese World War II Laborers,” by Austin Ramzy, New York times, June 1, 2016.

[6] More information on the Mitsubishi-slave laborers court settlement can also be found at https://2018.10000cfj.org/related-news-en/?lang=en. Note: Covid-19 has also slowed the implementation of this settlement.

[7] The Liaoning Education Press from Liaoning Province has selected 100 such letters and published them in a 3-volume bilingual book Letters to Tong Zeng, Chief Editor-Tong Zeng, Liaoning Education Press, 2020.

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Mindfulness and Taiji http://www.dontow.com/2022/09/mindfulness-and-taiji/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/09/mindfulness-and-taiji/#respond Mon, 05 Sep 2022 04:10:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7855 Mindfulness and Taiji

September 2022 No Comments Edit

This article describes a clinical trial study that shows how Taiji can improve mindfulness, sleep quality, and overall well being of young adults in colleges. Mindfulness means that the mind is focused on the present task at hand, being aware of the environment but at least for that moment not overly anxious or worry by what is going on around us. Mindfulness can help a person concentrate on the current work, and not get distracted or overwhelmed by other events and the greater environment in which we live.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was introduced more than 40 years ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and has become widely recognized and used since then, especially in the last 20 years to help reduce stress and improve overall health. Mindfulness is often associated with meditation and Taiji.

This paper reports on a clinical trial study using Taiji as the method to mindfulness. It compares an experimental group who practices Taiji (Chen-stype Taijiquan) twice a week and a Special Recreation control group who are involved in classes of a similar duration via lectures, discussion, and service learning. Both groups involve ccollege age male and female adults.

Methods: Students in both groups completed in class a survey instrument of five questionnaires at the beginning (baseline), midpoint, and end of the semester. The five questionnaires are

  • Mindfulness: The Five Facet Mindfulness questionnaire of 39 items The five factors representing elements of mindfulness are (1) observing or attending to sensations, perceptions, thoughts, and feelings, (2) describing or labeling these internal experiences with words, (3) acting with awareness rather than on “automatic pilot,” (4) nonjudging of inner experiences, and (5) nonreactivity to inner experience.
  • Mood: The Four Dimensional Mood Scale is based on a circumplex model of dispositional mood measuring Positive Energy, Tiredness, Negative Arousal, and Relaxation.
  • Stress: The Perceived Stress Scale-4 is a 4-item LIKERT format scale designed to measure the degree to which situations in one’s life appraised as stressful.
  • Self-efficacy: The Self-Regulatory Self-Efficacy Scale is a 4-item LIKERT format instrument designed to measure self-regulatory self-efficacy (i.e., motivating oneself to keep trying difficult tasks).
  • Sleep quality: The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) consists of 19 self-rated questions related to normal sleep habits.

Results: The results of this study can be summarized in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. 

Fig. 1 shows the  Change in Total Mindfulness, Sleep Disturbance, and Perceived Stress over time for the Taijiaquan Group (dotted line) and the Special Recreation Group (solid line).

Fig. 2 shows the Change in the four mood facets over time for the Taijiquan Group (solid line) and the Special Recreation Group (solid line).

What do these results tell us?  Fig. 1 shows significant improvements for the experimental Taiji group as compared to the Special Recreation control group in mindfulness, sleep disturbance and perceived stress. The improvements are significant and improved with time. Similarly, Fig. 2 shows significant improvements for the Taiji group in the four mood facets over time for Positive mood, Negative Energy, Relaxation, and Tiredness. In addition, the significant baseline differences in negative energy and tiredness were reversed by the end of the semester. The study also discussed possible differences between the two groups at baseline but concluded that they do not change the conclusions of the study.

Summary: The main findings of this study support the hypothesis that Taiji classes are associated with increases in mindfulness, well-being and sleep quality among college students. Unlike many Taiji studies which involve mostly senior citizens, an important result of this study is that it investigates young adults. For more recent related studies on mindfulness and Taiji, see Ref. 11 and the articles mentioned in that review.

Acknowledgement: I want to thank Dr. Karen Calwell for permission to reprint Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 of her 2010 article (Ref. 1].


[1] K. Caldwell, l. Emery, M. Harrison, and J. Greeson “Changes in Mindfulness, Well-Being, and Sleep Quality in College Students Through Taijiquan Courses: A Cohort Control Study”: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 920210 17:931-938 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3199537/, If you are not a subscriber of this journal, you can access a free copy of this article at the above link.

[2] See, e.g., J. Kabat-Zinn “An out-patient program in Behavioral Medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: Theoretical considerations and preliminary results.” General Hospital Psychiatry, 1982: 4, 33-47.

[3] J. Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living (Revised Edition): Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, 2013 , Bantam.

[4] In the last two decades, there have been many scientific papers on mindfulness and its relationship to health. See, e.g., M. A. Henning, C. U. Krageloh and C. Webster, “Mindfulness and Taijiquan,” Annals of Cognitive Science 2017m 1(1):1-6. For more references, see also M. Henning, et. al., “Integrating Mindfulness and Physical Excercises for Medical Students: A Systematic Review.”

[5] For a more recent article on Mindfulness and Taiji, see D. M. Tow, “Mindfulness, Children’s Social and Emotional Health, and School Initiative”: Https://www.dontow.com/2020/09/mindfulness-childrens-social-and emotional-health-an-school-initiative.

[6] Baer RA, Smith GT, Hopkins J, et. al. Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment 2006l13L27-45.

[7] Huelsman TJ, Nemanick RC, Munz DC. Scales to measure four dimensions of dispositional mood: Positive energy, tiredness, negative activation, and relaxation. Educ Psychol Meas 1998;58:804-819.

[8] Cohen S, Kamarck T, Mermelstein R. A global meaaure of perceived stress. J. Health Soc Behav 1983;24:385-396.

[9] Harrison MB, McGuire FA. An investigation of the influence of vicarious experience on perceived self efficacy. Am J Recreation Ther 2008;7:10-16.

[10] Buysse DJ, Reynolds CF, Monk TH, et. al. The Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index: A new instrument for psychiatric practice and research. Psychiatry Res 1989; 28:193-213.

[11] M. A. Henning, el. al., “Mindfulness in Tai Chi Chuan as Practised amongst Higher Education Students with Implications for Health and Learning: A Narrative Review”, OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine, 2021, V.6, Issue 4.

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U.S. Foreign Policy: Not Acknowledging History and Tempting Starting a Nuclear War http://www.dontow.com/2022/06/u-s-foreign-policy-not-acknowledging-history-and-tempting-starting-a-nuclear-war/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/06/u-s-foreign-policy-not-acknowledging-history-and-tempting-starting-a-nuclear-war/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2022 04:12:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7659 In its drive to be the supreme power in the world, the U.S. government has been trying to get rid of any country who can be a competitor or potential competitor in the world in terms of economic, political, military, intellectual, or social influence in the minds and hearts of the people of the world. With the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 and the rapid rise of China during the past 40+ years, the U.S. government sees that China as the main obstacle to keeping the U.S. to become the supreme hegemonic power in the world, basically dictating how the world should be run, instead of working collaboratively in a win-win situation with the rest of the world.

In this article we focus on the issue of Taiwan which is going to be the most important issue in determining the outcome of the U.S.-China relationship. In a sense, this issue is really trivial if you follow the history of China and the U.S.-relationship with respect to Taiwan, but in reality, because the U.S. is not acknowledging history and wants to rewrite history, this issue could trigger the next world war and another nuclear war.

What Is Happening in the Past Decade?

The U.S. has been mobilizing its vast media apparatus to distort the truth and demonize China at whatever opportunity that may arise, e.g., in situations involving Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet, Taiwan, East China Sea Islands like the Diaoyudao Islands (also called Senkaku Islands in Japan), the South China Sea Islands, hate crimes against Chinese Americans and more generally speaking against Asian Americans, and false espionage charges against Chinese American academics (all accusations have been proven to be false and wrongfully accused in the U.S. courts).

At the same time, the U.S. government is always projecting itself as the model government for the world to admire and mimic; it is a gold standard in terms of governance of the country with respect to democracy and human rights, and in terms of world peace and addressing the world’s critical problems. However, in reality, the U.S. government has been paying lip service to democracy and human rights and has long been involved and documented in destabilizing and overthrowing foreign governments when the leaders in power are not favorable to the U.S. government. [1][2] Therefore, it has repeatedly happened that the U.S. government does not always acknowledged history and will rewrite history whenever it is to the advantage of the U.S. government.

Brief Reminders of Certain Historical Facts Involving Taiwan:

Historically, Taiwan has been a part of China for many centuries and universally so recognized by the world. The island of Taiwan was ceded to Japan after Japan won the first Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 [3]. After WWII ended, Japan was supposed to relinquish all territories in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World War in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and The Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. This agreement was clearly stated in several major international declarations.

The 1943 Cairo Declaration [4]:

In particular, it was so stated in the November 26, 1943 Cairo Declaration by President Franklin Roosevelt of the U.S., Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China. The declaration developed ideas from the 1941 Atlantic Charter, which was issued by the Allies of WWII to set goals for the post-war order.

The 1945 Potsdam Declaration [5]:

On July 26, 1945, the Allied Powers represented by President Franklin Roosevelt of the U.S., Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China issued the Potsdam Declaration that offered an unconditional surrender of Japan to WWII and reiterated the 1943 Cairo Declaration that all territories that Japan seized or occupied from the Chinese, including the island of Taiwan, should be returned to China.

The 1945 Japanese Instrument of Surrender [6]:

On September 2, 1945, representatives from the Japanese government and Allied forces aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, which ended World War II and also reiterated the Potsdam Declaration that the island of Taiwan should be returned to China.

The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty [7]:

The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty [8] was supposed to officially end WWII and to allocate compensation to the Allied powers.  China (either the People’s Republic of China or the Republic of China), the country who suffered the most at the hands of the Japanese military during WWII, was not even invited to the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, although over 50 other countries were invited.  Unlike the 1943 Cairo Declaration, the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, and the 1945 Japanese Instrument of Surrender which all stated that the island of Taiwan should be returned to China, the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, which was orchestrated and controlled by the U.S. only stated that these territories should be given up by Japan, but purposely did not state that they should be returned to China (to either the Republic of China or the People’s Republic of China). The People’s Republic of China immediately protested that mistake.  But the Republic of China signed the Treaty of Taipei with Japan on April 28, 1952 (almost immediately after the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty took effect) that basically copied the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, i.e., without stating that the island of Taiwan should be returned to the Chinese. In 1951, U.S. was in control of not only the San Francisco Peace Treaty, but also of the Republic of China government in Taiwan, and it once again used its power to dictate the fate of others to the advantage of the U.S. while ignoring history and justice.

It is important to point out that In 1980, while adjudicating a case concerning nationality, the Tokyo High Court wrote in its opinion that the 1952 Treaty of Taipei should lose its significance and should end as a result of the Japan-China Joint Communique signed on September 29, 1972 between Japan and the People’s Republic of China. [8]

Summary:

History clearly tells us that the island of Taiwan should be returned to the Chinese, and should now belong to the People’s Republic of China. If the U.S. would just acknowledge history, this is a non-issue. But if the U.S. wants to rewrite history, then it crosses the openly stated red line of the People’s Republic of China, and could easily trigger another world war, or even a devastating nuclear war.

Unfortunately during the past year, the U.S. government has repeatedly denied history, as in the most recent example that the US State Department has recently changed the wording on the “fact sheet” on its relations with Taiwan when it no longer included a declaration of its long-time position that the U.S. does not support Taiwan independence. The most recent example is when President Biden made the remark on May 23, 2022 that the U.S. will defend Taiwan. It is clear that the U.S. has now been moving clearly into a position that denies history, and could easily trigger a war with China, a war that is not good for Americans, for Chinese, and for the people of the whole world. All the peace-loving people of the world must take actions to keep the U.S. from rewriting history.

———-

[1] See, e.g., Overthrow, by Stephen Kinzer, Times Books, 2006, ISBN 978-0-8050-7861-9.

[2] See, also, “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part I”: https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-i/.

[3] See, e.g., “First Sino-Japanese War”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Sino-Japanese_War.

[4] See, e.g., “The 1943 Cairo Declaration”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1943_Cairo_Declaration.

[5} See, e.g., “Potsdam Declaration”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potsdam_Declaration.

[6] See. e.g., September 2, 1945 Japanese Instrument of Surrender”: https://www.google.com/search?q=9%2F2%2F1945+Japanese+Instrument+of+Surrender&client=firefox-b-1-d&sxsrf=ALiCzsbFH6wgMOxad-1h-T2PRv9Pmo1E2A%3A1651865624297&ei=GHh1YqPPEbK5gge01ryADA&ved=0ahUKEwiju4L-zsv3AhWynOAKHTQrD8AQ4dUDCA0&uact=5&oq=9%2F2%2F1945+Japanese+Instrument+of+Surrender&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAMyBwgjELADECcyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsANKBAhBGABKBAhGGABQAFgAYI4JaAFwAXgAgAEAiAEAkgEAmAEAyAEJwAEB&sclient=gws-wiz.

[7] See, e.g., “Treaty of San Francisco”: https://www.google.com/search?q=9%2F2%2F1945+Japanese+Instrument+of+Surrender&client=firefox-b-1-d&sxsrf=ALiCzsbFH6wgMOxad-1h-T2PRv9Pmo1E2A%3A1651865624297&ei=GHh1YqPPEbK5gge01ryADA&ved=0ahUKEwiju4L-zsv3AhWynOAKHTQrD8AQ4dUDCA0&uact=5&oq=9%2F2%2F1945+Japanese+Instrument+of+Surrender&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAMyBwgjELADECcyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsAMyBwgAEEcQsANKBAhBGABKBAhGGABQAFgAYI4JaAFwAXgAgAEAiAEAkgEAmAEAyAEJwAEB&sclient=gws-wiz.

[8] See, e.g., “Treaty of Taipei,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Taipei.

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Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Taiji and Qigong http://www.dontow.com/2022/06/evidence-based-health-benefits-of-taiji-and-qigong/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/06/evidence-based-health-benefits-of-taiji-and-qigong/#respond Wed, 01 Jun 2022 04:10:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7686 During the last decade or more, there has been a series of Scientific investigations conducting evidence-based scientific investigations of the health benefits of Taiji and Qigong. The objective is to do experiments that can be duplicated with results that are quantitative and explanations that may be understood to a scientific audience. Although the research findings may need to be repeated in more laboratories and with larger sample sizes, we think the evidence is pretty impressive and moving us in the direction that hopefully in another 20 years or so of more research, we will have a significantly better scientific explanation of the health benefits of Taiji and Gigong.

One of the scientists who has been involved in that research Is Dr. Shin Lin of the University of California at Irvine. He is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Biomedical Initiatives and Professor of Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Biomedical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry at UCLA and postdoctoral training in Biochemistry & Biophysics at the School of Medicine of University of California, San Francisco. He is also a graduate of the Acupuncture for Physical Medicine program at Hong Kong Polytechnic University (香港理工大學) and was a Visiting Professor at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (上海中醫藥大學客座教授) for over a decade. For many years, he served as Chairman of Biophysics at Johns Hopkins University, where he co-founded the Kreiger Mind/Brain Institute and the Cardiovascular Mechanics Research Center. He is also an expert Taiji/Qigong practitioner and a long-time (17 years) disciple of the well-known Chen Style Taiji Grandmaster Chen Zhanglei.

In several presentations given by Dr. Shin Lin, he has summarized many recent scientific findings by various research groups around the world, including his own research group at the University of California at Irvine. Reference 1 is one of his longer presentations given in January 2019. Reference 2 is a more recent and shorter presentation given in January 2021. This paper makes use of many of the research findings that Dr. Lin presented in these two references.

Summary of Recent Scientific Research Explaining the Health Benefits of Taiji and Qigong

Stretching to Reduce Inflammation:

An experiment to inject a chemical Carrageenan that causes inflammation in the lower back of mice. It has been found in the laboratory that by holding the tail of a mouse, it can keep the mouse from running away but in the process stretches the back of the mouse. When this is done repeatedly, the stretching can reduce the inflammation and pain caused by the chemical Carrageenan. For humans, such inflammation and associated pain in the lower back may be caused by lack of activities and too much sitting especially during Covid-19 when we spend a lot of time at home watching videos and participating in Zoom meetings and do not exercise sufficiently. Then doing stretching exercises, such as warm-up exercises which accompany Taiji/Qigong exercises, as well as the actual Taiji and Qigong exercises, will help to get rid of lower back and other pains due to lack of exercises.

Repetitive Motions Can Improve Bodily and Mental Functions by Increase of Serotonin:

It has been found in the laboratory that repetitive motions can increase serotonin neural activity. It has been observed in the laboratory that cats like to go through motions that appear to be grooming exercises, although the cats are doing this not looking at themselves in front of a mirror. Apparently such motion can increase the release of Serotonin, a chemical messenger that can act as a mood stabilizer. It can help to produce healthy sleeping patterns as well as boost the mood. In Taiji and Qigong there are many repetitive motions such as waving hands like clouds, brushing knee and stepping forward, or just breathing in and breathing out. Thus many such basic motions in Taiji and Qigong that are repetitive can help to increase serotonin release and thus help to regulate the mind and mood.

Deep Breathing Can Increase Serotonin Cell Activity:

In another experiment involving cats sleeping in the laboratory in a room where the CO2 concentration can be adjusted and where the serotonin level of a cat sleeping soundly can also be measured. When the CO2 level is increased from normal to 4%, the cat can stay sound asleep by increasing its breathing rate because the heavier breathing stimulates serotonin activity allowing the cat to sleep peacefully, and when the CO2 level is increased again, now to 8%, the cat can still stay sound asleep by increasing its breathing rate even higher. Thus deep breathing in some Taiji and Qigong exercises can help to reduce stress.

Taiji Increases Immunity Toward Shingles:

In one of the earlier studies of this kind in a research study led by Dr. Michael Irwin of UCLA [3], the study shows that the practice of Taiji can increase the human body’s immunity toward the Shingles virus. Furthermore, even for people who have taken the modern varicella Shingles vaccine, these people’s level of immunity to Shingles can also be boosted by practicing Taiji.

As stated by Andrew Monjan, Ph.D., chief of the NIA’s Neurobiology of Aging Branch: “Dr. Irwin’s research team has demonstrated that a centuries-old behavioral intervention, Tai Chi, resulted in a level of immune response similar to that of a modern biological intervention, the varicella vaccine, and that Tai Chi boosted the positive effects of the vaccine.” Dr. Irwin’s research has shown that the probability of the people who did not receive the Shingles vaccine but practice Taiji is higher than the people who received the Shingles vaccine but did not practice Taiji. Furthermore, these people (with average age of 70) who practice Taiji after they received the Shingles vaccine have immunity that is even higher than those who have received the Shingles vaccine but are 30 years younger and did not practice Taiji. Many more research findings in the last 15 years or so have found scientific evidence of the health benefits of Taiji in many other areas of health. [3]

Taiji Can Enhance Bone Health and Increase Bone Density:

Because some Taiji exercises are weight-bearing exercises that can put stress on the body and creates vibration of the bone structure. Recent research studies at the lab have shown that such activities can increase the bone density and increase the health of the bones. That is why certain Taiji exercises, especially those associated with Chen-style Taiji, or certain warm-up exercises such as Qigong paida exercises when one self pats certain parts of the body can increase the bone density and the overall health of the bones.

Taiji Provides Better Connectivity Between Short-Term Memory and Long-Term Memory:

Short-Term Memory (STM) is controlled by the Pre-Frontal Cortex (PFC) part of the brain and Long-Term Memory (LTM) is controlled by the Hippocampus part of the brain. These two parts of the brain are analogous to the computer’s Random Access Memory (RAM) and the computer’s Hard Drive (HD). Having better connectivity between these two different parts of the brain means that one will be able to think faster (or the computer will be able to do faster processing and computing by having better connectivity between the RAM and the HD. Recent research findings using electrode measurements on different parts of the brain show that there is better connectivity for the Taiji practitioners between the PFC and the Hippocampus parts of the brain, thus speeding up the transfer of information between STM and LTM. Thus, such research has shown that Taiji can help our memory by better connecting our STM and LTM.

Gaining Physical Strength by Doing Exercises Via the Mind:

There is a surprise research finding of comparing one group of people doing lifting exercises with another group of people going through the mental process of doing such lifting exercises. It is found that the first group of people observes an increase of about 30% in the weights that they can lift. But to people’s surprise, there is also an increase of about 20% in the second group of people in the weights that they can lift. However, the strength of the arm of the 2nd group of people doing the imaginary lifting has not increased, but there is significantly more brain activities in this second group of people that apparently gave rise to their ability to lift more weights. So the involvement of the mind’s activities could be mysteriously tied to our physical exercises. This is very intriguing and needs to be repeated with more analysis.

Observation of Brain Wave Patterns While Performing Taiji:

By connecting electrodes to skeletal muscles, we can generate diagrams called electromyograms that show us our Theta waves (4-8 HZ), Alpha waves (8-13 HZ), and Beta waves (13–30 HZ), which respectively are indications of brain waves shown while we are in deep relaxation, in periods of calmness, or in periods of awake but alert. When one is on alert (or aroused and actively engaged in the mind on a problem, the person’s brainwave is Beta. When one is non-aroused and is taking time out to reflect or meditate, the person’s brainwave is Alpha. When one is in deep relaxation or daydreaming, the person’s brainwave is Theta. Finally, when a person is in a deep dreamless sleep, the person’s brainwave is Delta (1-3 HZ). Taiji practitioners when connected to electromyograms display all three 3 types of Theta, Alpha, and Beta brain waves. This means that the Taiji practitioner is partially in a deep relaxation mode, in a calm mode, and at the same time in an alert mode. That means that he/she can be deeply relaxed, calm, but also alert, which is almost an ideal state for someone to be in while engaging in physical exercise, but with the body and mind still relaxed and calm, and is aware of possible emergencies.

Conclusion:

In the last 20 years or so, many research findings from laboratories in the U.S. and around the world have provided much new evidence why ancient practices like Taiji and Qigong are still being practiced all over the world by so many people. These findings are helping us to understand and establish a scientific basis for these ancient practices. With these new research findings, we can understand better both the old and the new, and adjust the understanding of each as appropriate. These more recent research findings summarized by Professor Shin Lin have provided us a better physiological understanding of the benefits of Taiji and Qigong besides showing there is a correlation between doing Taiji/Qigong and health benefits. These findings give us more motivation to do exercises like Taiji and Qigong.

Later when I find the technical journals that published these research findings, I will update this article with references to those technical journals.


[1] Dr. Shin Lin, presentation on “Tai Chi & Qigong: Science, Medicine, and Health 2019”, January 18, 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaglNxKz40s.

[2] Dr. Shin Lin, presentation during the “International Congress for Qigong/Tai Chi/TCM,” January 1-8, 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iKK-ZjC69c.

[3] “Tai Chi Boosts Immunity to Shingles Virus in Older Adults, NIH-Sponsored Study Reports,” National Institutes of Health News Releases, April 6, 2007: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/tai-chi-boosts-immunity-shingles-virus-older-adults-nih-sponsored-study-reports.

[4] For a recent summary of such work up to 2019, see, e.g., Don M. Tow, “Health Benefits of Taiji,” Qi:  The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness, Volume 29, No. 3, Autumn 2019, pp. 20-28.

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A Conversation with Tamaki Matsuoka: “The Conscience of Japan” http://www.dontow.com/2022/06/a-conversation-with-tamaki-matsuoka-the-conscience-of-japan/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/06/a-conversation-with-tamaki-matsuoka-the-conscience-of-japan/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2022 04:05:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7674 Before I show the conversation with Tamaki Matsuoka, I want to provide a little background on the woman who has spent more than 30 years of her adult life finding out what happened in Nanking during the Nanking Massacre of 1937/1938. Among other things, she interviewed over 250 former Japanese soldiers who were stationed in Nanking during that period and over 300 Chinese survivors of the Nanking Massacre. By correlating their stories, she established irrevocably that the Nanking Massacre was one of the most horrific atrocities ever occurred in the history of the human race. During an approximately six-week period beginning on December 13, 1937 just in the city of Nanking, the then capital of China, the Japanese Imperial Army slaughtered approximately 300,000 Chinese (most were civilians, including women and children) and raped approximately 20,000 women and girls (including great grandmothers and young girls less than 10 years old).

She started on this project on her own when she was an elementary school teacher in Osaka, Japan. At first working alone on this project on weekends, holidays, summer breaks with funds initially from her own savings. Eventually, she wrote several books, including the 2002 book The Battle of Nanking – Searching for Forbidden Memories, which was awarded the “Japan Congress of Journalists Prize” that is given to distinguished journalists, and the 2016 book Torn Memories of Nanking that summarized her lifelong work. She also produced numerous documentaries, including the award winning documentary with a title “Torn Memories of Nanjing,” similar to the title of her later 2016 book.

Below is a conversation capturing hours of discussion that I had with Tamaki since we became friends 12 years ago. My questions are in regular font, and Tamaki’s answers are in slightly bigger font in Italics.

“Tamaki, why did you start on this project?”

“I was born in 1947 in Osaka, Japan. I studied history and became an elementary school teacher in 1982. In 1988 after reading several books written by journalists and professors investigating the history of the Nanking Massacre and also a large number of books and popular magazines trivializing or denying the massacre, I realized that there were drastically contradictory assertions about what actually happened in Nanking in 1937-1938. It was then that I decided that I will start my own investigation of that part of history.”

“Did you know that this project would consume you full time for the next 34 years?”

“I certainly did not anticipate that. But once I started, I just can’t put it down, although many times I was overwhelmed with the complexity and difficulty of the task. But I kept working on it, because this part of history is just too important to have left it without a clear-cut conclusion.”

“How did you manage it when you were working full-time as a school teacher and bringing up two young boys?”

“I will be lying to you if I say it wasn’t difficult. Fortunately, I have a very supportive husband, and he helped me out a great deal.”

“The Japanese government has always denied what happened during the Nanking Massacre, and there is a strong right-wing element of the society that looks upon activities like yours as treasonous. Did you feel threatened?”

“Yes, definitely. People in Japan who were trying to revise history started to slander me with condemning labels such as ‘traitor,’ ‘spy for Chinese Communist Party,’ ‘psychopath,’ or ‘a liar who receives bribes.’ Although I can ignore their accusations. But it was devastating to see how my two boys have to hear such accusations about their mother. Moreover, right-wingers have barged into the elementary school where I worked and into our meetings. They constantly attack me on the Internet. We just have to be brave and endure it, knowing in our hearts that we were just speaking the truth.”

“A key part of your accomplishment was that you were able to interview over 250 former Japanese soldiers who were stationed in Nanking during the Nanking Massacre period, and their testimonies correlated with the testimonies of over 300 Nanking Massacre survivors that you also interviewed. How did you accomplish that?”

“In October 1997 we set up the “Nanking Information Hotline” for three days in six Japanese cities (Tokyo, Kanazawa, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, and Kumanoto). Thanks to the coverage in newspapers and TV about our grass-root initiative, we received a total of 130 calls, 13 of which were from ex-soldiers. Based on the information collected, we started to track down more and more ex-soldiers. When we first visited each of them, in the beginning they all stayed silent regarding the Nanking Massacre. So we put Nanking aside and chatted about the hardships during the war.”

We had to overcome significant cultural and political reluctance to talk about this sensitive subject. It took months or even years of building friendship with these veterans and gaining their trusts in the importance of the project that the veterans were willing to open up and discuss these long-held memories which they had not discussed for over half a century with anyone else (including their immediate family members). Gradually, almost half of them started to talk about Nanking. Over the years, we interviewed more than 250 ex-soldiers.”

“I supposed that with the Nanking Massacre survivors, they were also reluctant to discuss such personal experiences with you?”

“Yes, these were long suppressed terrifying dark memories of the past, including cultural reluctance to discuss being raped and political reluctance to discuss atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers when at times the Chinese government was trying to establish friendlier relationship with the Japanese government. Many times, I can clearly see from their expressions that it was an extremely painful experience for them to relive it. It took weeks, months, or even years to gain their trusts so that gradually more and more of them were willing to talk about it.”

“Can you recall some quotes from your interviews with former Japanese soldiers or Chinese Nanking Massacre survivors?”

“Yes, there are many quotes that I will never forget. Here are some quotes, first from Japanese soldiers, and then from Chinese Nanking Massacre survivors. [1]:

  • Tanaka Jiro (29 year-old Japanese soldier): “We dragged all of them (Chinese prisoners) out of the freight train hangar and made them sit down facing the shore. They sat down in knee-deep mud. When the command was given, they were sprayed with bullets at point blank range from machine guns that had been hidden in nearby trenches. They fell down, one by one, like dominoes. Blood-soaked, smoking pieces of flesh and clothing flew up into the air. Light machine guns that had been set up on the wharf took care of the several dozen or so of them who had jumped into the river. The muddy waters were soaked red with blood. What a miserable scene! Will such a wretched scene ever be seen again in this world?”

  • Deguchi Gonjiro (23 year-old Japanese soldier): “The day that Nanjing fell, there were mountains of dead bodies piled up outside the walls of the city. I felt something soft beneath my feet. Lighting a match to see what I was stepping on, I realized that the entire surface under my feet was like a carpet of dead bodies. There were dead bodies everywhere. I don’t know which unit was responsible, but they had all been killed by bayonets. There were women and children, but no soldiers.”

  • Deguchi Gonjiro (23 year-old Japanese soldier): “What the newspapers often refer to as the ‘Nanjing Massacre’ is an indisputable fact, and people who deny this are lying.”

  • Teramoto Juhei (24 year-old Japanese soldier): “The Nanking Massacre happened. I saw it with my own eyes.”

  • Itsuki Makio (22 year-old Japanese soldier): “At that time, the Japanese thought of themselves as superior and did not treat the Chinese as human beings.” … “I heard that our company commander had issued an order saying, ‘Once you’re in Nanjing, robbery, rape, and murder are allowed.'”

  • Mitani Sho (18 year-old Japanese soldier): “Until now, I had no opportunity to tell my story. After sixty years, I can finally give my testimony. I am extremely grateful. As a Japanese, I often reflect deeply on this episode. Today, however, many Japanese deny that the Nanjing Massacre or military sexual slavery took place. What kind of people are they?

Here are some quotes from Chinese Nanking Massacre survivors:

  • Yang Mingzhen (7 year-old Chinese female survivor): “Japanese soldiers came back again that afternoon while my mother and I were lying on the kitchen floor. My father was so weak that he was just lying there. A Japanese soldier came up to my father, opened his eyes with his fingers and thrust a knife into his mouth. Then he came up to my mother and pulled her trousers down. As he wiped the soot from my mother’s face, she bit his hand. Livid, the Japanese soldier hit my mother’s face again and again and then raped her. After that, he started taunting her, twisting the barrel of his gun around inside her vagina. The other Japanese soldier pulled my trousers down and started taunting me, prizing open my still-firm vagina with his fingers. At any rate, they were prepubescent genitals, the genitals of a six or seven-year-old. I screamed out in pain. The Japanese soldier forcibly raped me. He was a beast. The two of them took turns raping my mother and I. Blood flowed in torrents, and it was so painful that I couldn’t even walk afterwards. My genitals became swollen and continued to bleed. Urine would dribble out uncontrollably and flow into my wounds, causing unbearable pain. I still suffer incontinence to this day and am unable to urinate normally. Even now, I still have to use diapers. My parents were killed.”

  • Zhang Xiuying (23 year-old Chinese female survivor): “I saw those things with my own eyes. On no account am I telling lies. I hear that there are people and politicians in Japan who say that the Nanking Massacre is a fabrication, but I honestly suffered these kinds of horrendous experiences, even having my daughter burnt to death. I am still enduring hardship in my daily life. I have a crooked finger as a result of the stabbing and I still can’t raise my arm, even sixty or more years later, after that beating with the rifle butt. How can Japanese people still say that the Nanjing Massacre is a fabrication?”

  • Zhang Xiuhong (11 year-old Chinese female survivor): “We are all brothers, whether Japanese or Chinese. Please don’t do bad things like the Japanese Army did before. Japan and China want to cooperate in a spirit of friendship. I want young people [in each country] to come together, to study, to work, and to build peaceful nations. Please don’t do anything bad.”

“Besides cultural and political problems encountered, did you run into language problems also?”

“Yes, I did initially. After I learned Chinese, then the Chinese survivors and I felt much closer.”

“Your Chinese is pretty good. And you worked very hard at it since you took over 100 trips to China and spent many weeks and months taking Chinese language lessons. What other problems did you encounter?”

“We encountered another major problem. It was a race against time. Because both the former Japanese soldiers and the Chinese Nanking Massacre survivors were very elderly people who are centenarians. Sooner or later, they will be all gone, and we want to make sure that we have their testimonies before that happens. We were always racing against this time bomb that can explode any moment. Similar situation occurred with the comfort women or sexual slavery issue. Fortunately, we were able to race successfully against this time bomb. We really want to thank them for entrusting their stories to us and into the history books.”

For many years until her retirement as a school teacher, Tamaki had a full-time teaching job and did this in the evenings and weekends. She used her own savings to finance her project. She has been able to recruit and mobilize a group of dedicated volunteers on this mission. In the face of frequent and vicious personal attacks, she has displayed great courage, dedication, and commitment to continue on her mission that has consumed 32 years of her adult life. That led to her earning the namesake “The Conscience of Japan.” It also led to Tamaki Matsuoka’s priceless gift to mankind:  Historical Truth.

It is especially meaningful to mention a quote from Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito of February 23, 2015 “It is important today, when memories of the war are fading, to look back humbly on the past and correctly pass on the tragic experiences and history Japan pursued from the generation which experienced the war to those without direct knowledge.”  We want to emphasize that this should be passed on to all the people of the world.

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[1] All quotes are from the book Torn Memories of Nanking, by Tamaki Matsuoka, ALPHA Education, 2016, ISBN 978-0-9920550-I-1 (paperback). Parts of this English book, plus other material, have previously been published in several other books in Japanese and Chinese by Tamaki Matsuoka.

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Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part I http://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-i/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-i/#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2022 05:15:13 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7515 The central image of the U.S. government of itself is that it is a model government for the world to admire and mimic. It is a gold standard in terms of governance of the country with respect to democracy and human rights, and in terms of world peace and addressing the world’s critical problems. In a sense we as Americans as well as the people of the world have more of less accepted this characterization of the U.S. and the American people, because for more than half a century from the end of WWII to about the beginning of the 21st century, so many of us in the U.S. and in the rest of the world have often tried to pursue this so-called American dream without seriously thinking what was this American dream, whether reality matches this depicted dream, whether it has been achieved, and more importantly how far is the actual U.S. government from this gold standard.

This article looks more carefully into the American government and its actual practice during its existence in the last 250 years so that we can have a better benchmark to assess the actual American government. For our assessment, we will consider the following metrics:

  • Democracy
  • Human Rights
  • Peace
  • Addressing World Problems

Part I of this two-part article discusses the first two metrics of democracy and human rights.  Part II discusses the other two metrics of peace and addressing world problems.

Democracy:

Is the U.S. a government of the people, by the people, and for the people? This means whether the U.S. government is all the people (i.e., whenever we mention people, we are referring to all the people), whether the control of the government is in the hands of the people, and more importantly whether the purpose of the government is for the benefits of the people? First let us look at the Constitution of the U.S. The key to democracy is that the people have a right to vote and therefore the people are in control of the government, and the decisions of the government should then be for the benefits of the people. People elect representatives to vote for them, and the key is how many congressional representatives a state should have. From the very beginning when the U.S. Constitution was created in 1787 and ratified in 1788, a black person was counted to be equal to three fifths of a white person. This did not change until 76 years later in 1864 in the middle of a divisive and deadly 4-year civil war (1861-1865) when the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed. Then it took about 100 more years until the 1960s when the Civil Rights Movement finally gave more recognition to the rights of the black citizens. Furthermore, even today about 250 years after the U.S. was founded, black and and other types of Americans are still being discriminated in schools, housings, businesses, judicial courts, and almost every other aspect of life, and are being arrested and killed much more frequently by police. How the Native Americans were treated and are still being treated can be considered to be an example of genocide.

Are the decisions of the U.S. government for the benefits of the American people. There are several metrics we can consider. One metric is the top 1%’s wealth as compared to middle 60% of the American public (i.e., so-called middle class). After years of declines, American’s middle class now holds a smaller share (26.6%) of U.S. wealth than the top 1% (27.0%). [1] Another metric is the Gini index [2], the most commonly used measure of income distribution (the higher the Gini indes, the greater the gap between the incomes of a country’s richest and poorest people). According to Ref. [3], the Gini index for the U.S. is 41.50, which is near the highest among industrialized countries. It is important to note that the Gini index for China has gone up to 38.6, which is also very high and an important issue that China also needs to address.

Another area that needs to be looked at is the homeless issue in the U.S. The number of Americans living without homes, in shelters, or on the streets continues to rise at an alarming rate, as discussed in a recent Dec. 28, 2021 report by Judy Woodruff of PBS News Hour. [3] In cities like Los Angeles, the homeless situation is especially bad, with over 66 thousand people in the county experiencing homelessness. This represents a 12% rise from 2019, with the city of Los Angeles reporting a 16.1% jump to 41,290.

For a country supposedly as rich and as successful as the U.S., the above statistics may be surprising and unexpected. However, if you look at how our government leaders, especially among the Republican Party in the last couple of years, perform their jobs, when their objective is essentially solely for their own or their party’s self interests. They focus on outright lies to try to reverse election results, to forcibly occupy the nation’s capital and overthrow our legitimate government, to change voting regulations and procedures to disenfranchise the legitimate rights of voters, to gerrymandering electoral districts to favor specific political interests. When you take this into account, it is not surprising at all that we end up with the results mentioned earlier in a supposedly democratic and model country that the world is supposed to admire and mimic.

Unfortunately, such unreasonable behavior of our political leaders is not just limited to the Republican Party, because in the realm of world diplomacy, we see so much biased news and outright fabricated and false news, especially with respect to China, coming from both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. It is not surprising that there has been so much anti-China and anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S.

Human Rights:

The U.S. always describes itself as a country that is at the forefront of advocating and supporting human rights., and when another country who is not one of the U.S.’s own strategic partners has any hints of human rights issues, the U.S. would not pass any opportunity to attack that country on any hints of human rights violation. On the issue of human rights, again the U.S. considers itself to be a beacon for other countries to follow and to mimic.

Let’s look more carefully at the human rights record of the U.S. As it was already mentioned in the previous section on “Democracy,” it was written explicitly in the U.S. Constitution that a black person is considered to be three-fifths of a white person, and this was not changed until the 13th Amendment in 1864. Then the whole reconstruction movement was basically postponed for about 100 years before the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s started to restore the basic rights of American black citizens. Even now in 2022, the American blacks and other minorities still suffer significant discrimination and are much more likely to be arrested, killed, or found guilty in the judicial system.

The Native Americans were never treated properly, their lands were stolen; they were attacked or killed, and then put into reservations. Living in reservations is comparable to living in the 3rd world, with inadequate housing, high unemployment, low wages, often with income coming only from social security, disability benefits, or veteran compensation, poor health with significantly shorter life expectancy, with reservation land tightly controlled by the federal government. [4]

Native American children were usually educated and brought up in American Indian Residential Schools, which were established in the U.S. from the mid 17th to the early 20th centuries with a primary objective of “civilizing” or assimilating Native American children and youth into Euro-American culture. These schools forced removal of indigenous cultural identifiers: cutting the children’s hair, having them wear American-style uniforms, forbidding them from speaking their indigenous languages, and replacing their tribal names with English-language names for use at the schools, as part of assimilation and to “Christianize” them. The schools were usually harsh, especially for younger children who had been forcibly separated from their families and forced to abandon their Native American identities and cultures. Children also sometimes died in the school system due to infectious disease. Investigations later in the twentieth century have revealed many documented cases of sexual, manual, physical and mental abuse occurring mostly in church-run schools. [5] When we remember how the U.S. treated the Native American, it makes one wonder how can the U.S. with a straight face accuse other countries of mistreating their minorities.

We should also remember:

  • The hardship and courageous sacrifices of Chinese workers in building the first continental railroad, and then not even invited and recognized in the celebration of the completion of that railroad in 1869 [6]
  • The discrimination and massacres of many Chinese workers in the 18th century and 19th century. [7]
  • The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the only law in American history to deny citizenship or entry based on a specific nationality. [8]

Then we should need to remember the internment of Japanese Americans in 1942-1945, when they were rounded up from their homes in various parts of the Western U.S. and shipped to internment camps. [9] These include many Japanese Americans who were born in this country and served in the U.S. military fighting against the Japanese.

We will continue the rest of this article in “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part II” in the “Other” category page in the same issue of this website [9]. In Part II, besides discussing the other two main metrics of “Peace” and “Addressing World Problems,” we also revisit the American Dream issue and then provide a conclusion summarizing both parts of this article.

Brief Summary of Part I:

This ends the first part of this article “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part I”. In Part I, we discuss the U.S. government from the perspective of democracy and human rights. We conclude that contrary to what the U.S. government and mass media have always tried to depict that the U.S. is a model in terms of its democratic government and human rights that the world should copy and mimic. This is not saying that the the U.S. government is a worse government than that of other countries, but we do want to emphasize that the U.S. government has not been a model government for the whole world to copy and mimic. We should acknowledge that there may not be one model of government that is always best suited for all countries at all times. We should be willing to let other countries to try their own form of government, and be willing to coexist with them.


[1] See, e.g., https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-08/top-1-earners-hold-more-wealth-than-the-u-s-middle-class.

[2] See, e.g., https://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicators/SI.POV.GINI/rankings.

[3] See, e.g., https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/whats-behind-rising-homelessness-in-america.

[4] See, e.g., http://www.nativepartnership.org/site/PageServer?pagename=naa_livingconditions and https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/03/13/5-ways-the-government-keeps-native-americans-in-poverty/?sh=14b1b0db2c27.

[5] See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Indian_boarding_schools#cite_note-Stephen_Magagnini-3.

[6] Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Continental Railroad, by Gordon Chang, Mariner Books, 2019.

[7] The Chinese in America, by Iris Chang, Penguin Books, 2003.

[8 See, e.g., Chinese Exclusion Act: https://www.history.com/topics/immigration/chinese-exclusion-act-1882.

[8] See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Japanese_Americans.

[9] “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part II”: https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-ii.

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More Speculative Thoughts on Qigong http://www.dontow.com/2022/03/more-speculative-thoughts-on-qigong/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/03/more-speculative-thoughts-on-qigong/#respond Tue, 01 Mar 2022 05:08:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7517 Physics is based on explanations of observable phenomena as well as predictions of not yet discovered observations. The question then is whether the field concept of Qigong can lead to some explanations of observable phenomena and predictions of not yet discovered observations. This article discusses some speculative thoughts on this question.

In the March 2021 issue of my website, I made some speculative thoughts on the scientific basics of Qigong. [1] The idea is based on the concept of “fields” which is so prevalent in physics in describing what matter is made of, or the fundamental building blocks of matter. [2] Until recently, there are four fundamental fields in physics, corresponding to the four forces of nature: the gravitation force, the electromagnetic force, the strong force, and the the weak force. Since the discovery of the Higgs particle in 2013, now a fifth field, the Higgs field, has been added. [3] Historically, the reason of introducing the concept of fields is to remove the need to answer the question, e.g., of instantaneous action at a distance. Instead of saying that an object of mass M exerts instantaneously a force on any other object in the universe, we say that the object of Mass M creates a gravitational field that permeates all of space, then any other object in the universe will be affected by the presence of that gravitational field. Thus we don’t have to explain “action at a distance”, i.e., how does the object of mass M instantaneously affect any other object in the universe no matter how far away that object is from the object of mass M.

Can the field concept of Qi help to explain any observable phenomena?

We know that many Qigong practitioners can exhibit unusual strength or power, which cannot be explained based on the practitioner’s physical size or normal strength. See the two sample videos in Ref. 4: One by Sifu Liang De Hua (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGEP5X78G1w), and another one by Sifu Adam Mizner (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuW4UfaC-l8). We know that these are real phenomena, although currently we don’t have a scientific explanation of the phenomena. The question then is: Can the field concept of Qi help to provide a scientific explanation of these unusual and unexpected physical phenomena? Finding an explanation will be a major breakthrough in Qigong and will help to establish Qigong as part of science.

What Sifu Liang De Hua and Sifu Adam Mizner [4] (as well as other Qigong masters have demonstrated in other videos we can find in the web [5]) is that skills such as theirs can also have many interesting and useful applications. For example, they can be used in the sport of American football. An obvious example is by offensive linemen to protect their team’s quarterback, running backs, or other players from being tackled or sacked by the other team’s defensive linemen or other players. Or conversely they can be used by defensive linemen to push back the offensive linemen and attack the other team’s quarterback, running backs, or other players. Finding an explanation of this phenomena perhaps can also lead to finding a method that can train people to learn these techniques in a reasonable amount of time (like within a year or two, or even more optimistically within several months) so that it can become a practical technique in football.

Can the field concept of Qi predict new phenomena that have not been seen before?

In physics, a field affects the space all around it. That most likely will also be the case for a Qigong field. Therefore, the Qi field from a Qigong practioner should also affect the space around it. This means that the Qigong field exerted by an expert Qigong master can also be felt by someone else in the vicinity of the Qigong master’s Qi, thus possibly explaining the therapeutic value of Qigong therapy. There are many important questions related to the Qi field. For example, how does the strength of a Qigong field drop off with distance? Is the Qigong field short range, like the strong field, or long range like the gravitational field? How does the Qi field get circulated in a person’s body? Does it get circulated via the body’s blood vessel system, or does it get circulated via the body’s nervous system, by perhaps first converting the neurological information into perhaps chemical signals and then transmitted via neurotransmitters?

In physics, the quantum fields are represented by ripples or flickering or fluctuations in space. These ripples or flickering or fluctuations in space may manifest themselves in physical particles, like a photon (a fundamental constituent of the electromagnetic force), or quarks (which are the fundamental constituents of the strong force). In the Qi field, are there fundamental constituents of the Qi force?

We don’t know the answers to these questions, or even whether they are useful questions. But introducing the concept of field to Qigong may open up new ways of examining and understanding this ancient art of Qigong and the associated Chinese martial arts.

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[1] “Some Speculative Thoughts on Qigong”: https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/some-speculative-thoughts-on-qigong/.

[2] See, e.g., “Quantum Fields: The Real Building Blocks of the Universe” by David Tong – February 15, 2017: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNVQfWC_evg (1:00.17)

[3] Since the Higgs particle was discovered in 2013, physicists have also introduced a fifth quantum field, the Higgs field, associated with the Higgs particle and through its interaction with other quantum fields leads to the mass of particles. See also Ref. 2.

[4] “Wonders and Mysteries of Chinese Martial Arts”: https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/wonders-and-mysteries-of-chinese-martial-arts/

[5] Besides videos of Sifu Liang De Hua and Sifu Adam Mizner mentioned in Reference 4, one can find other similar videos demonstrating similar extraordinary strengths. Here are a couple more such videos:


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Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part II http://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-ii/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-ii/#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2022 05:01:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7547 This is the second part of my article “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part II.” The first part “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part I” [1] appeared in the “Political/Social Commentary” page of this March 2022 issue of this website. These two articles assess the U.S. government in the four important metrics of democracy, human rights, peace, and addressing world problems. In particular, these two articles assess the actual performance of the U.S. government, and not what the U.S. government is advertised to be. Part I discussed the two metrics of “democracy” and “human rights.” This Part II discussed the other two metrics of “Peace” and “Addressing World Problems,” and It also provides more discussion on the American dream and a summary of the whole two-part article.

Peace:

Since the end of WWII, the U.S. has been involved in several major wars that are usually well known to the world, such as the Korean War (1950-1953), the Vietnam War (1955-1975), the Gulf War (1990-1991), the Iraq War (2003-2011), and the War in Afghanistan (2001-2021). Not so well known to the world or to the American public is that the U.S. has also been involved in many other wars [2], such as:

  • Laotian Civil War (1953-1975)
  • Lebanon crisis (1958)
  • Dominican Civil War (1965-1966)
  • Cambodian Civil War (1967-1975)
  • Multinational intervention in Lebanon (1982-1984)
  • U.S. invasion of Grenada (1983)
  • Bombing of Libya (1981)
  • Tanker War (Persian Gulf) (1987-1988)
  • U.S. invasion of Panama (1989-1990)
  • First U.S. intervention in the Somali Civil War (1992-1995)
  • Bosnian War and Croatian War (1992-1995)
  • Intervention in Haiti (1994-1995)
  • Kosovo War (1998-1999)
  • American intervention in Yemen (2002-present)
  • American intervention in the War in North-West Pakistan (2004-2018)
  • Second U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War (2007-present)
  • U.S. intervention in Libra (2011)
  • Operation Observant Compass (Uganda) (2011-2017)
  • American-led intervention in Syria (2014-present)
  • American intervention in Libya (2015-2019)

In addition to these wars, the U.S. has also been involved in numerous regime changes when the people in power in these foreign countries were not in alignment with the positions of the U.S. There has been a large number of regime change activities. [3][4] To mention all these regime change activities will take a much longer article. Below we list only a subset of such regime change activities, especially during the cold war period before the dissolution of USSR to Russia in 1991:

  • Replaced the Egyptian monarchy with the Republic of Egypt under Mohamed Naquib and Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt 1952)
  • Iranian coup d’etat that replaced the constitutional monarchy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi by the military general Fazlollah Zahed (Iran 1953)
  • Guatemalan coup d’etat that with the help of the CIA overthrew the government of President Jacobo Arbenz with a right-wing dictator Carlos Castillo Armas (Guatemala 1954)
  • A failed coup d’etat orchestrated by the CIA against Syria (Syria 1956-1957)
  • A failed CIA attempt to overthrow the non-aligned and independent President Sukarno of Indonesia (Indonesia 1957-1959)
  • Mass protests largely funded by the CIA that ultimately resulted in the India government dismissing the first elected state government in Keral, India led by Namboodiripad of the Communist Part of India (India 1958-1959)
  • A coup d’etat from the Kennedy administration that assassinated South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem (Vietnam 1963)
  • A failed CIA-back attempt to overthrow President Fidel Castro (Cuba 1959-1962)
  • Extensive involvement by the CIA in planning and murdering President Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic 1961)
  • U.S. government provided the Indonesian army with thousands of names of alleged Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) supporters and other alleged leftists so that these people can be killed off resulting in the erosion of support for President Sukarno and forcing him out of power and replaced by an authoritarian military regime led by General Suharto. Historian John Roosa in his book Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th Movement and Suharto’s Coup d’État in Indonesia wrote “almost overnight the Indonesian government went from being a fierce voice for cold war neutrality and anti-imperialism to a quiet, compliant partner of the US world order.” This campaign is considered a major turning point in the Cold War, and was such a success that it served as a model for other U.S.-backed coups and anti-communist extermination campaigns throughout Asia and Latin America. (Indonesia 1965-1967)
  • U.S. endorsed and supported the coup d’etat that overthrew President Isabel Peron of Argentina and replaced with the US-backed military dictatorship of General Jorge Rafael Videla. (Argentina 1976)
  • U.S. provided funding and arms to provide covert support to Nicaraqua’s Contras, an anti-Sandinista rebel group based in the next-door country of Honduras. As part of the training, the CIA distributed a manual “Psychological Operations in Guerrilla War” which instructed the Contras on how to blow up public buildings, assassinate judges, create martyrs, and blackmail ordinary citizens. After many years, the regime change was successful. (Nicaragua 1981-1990)
  • U.S. interfered in the internal affairs of Haiti and forced the transfer of power from Raoul Cedras to Jean-Bertrand Aristide (Haiti 1994-1995)

As you can see, the U.S. government has engaged in a large number of wars, declared and undeclared wars. Furthermore, the U.S. government has also engaged in a large number of regime change activities in foreign countries. These regime change activities interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign countries and are not consistent with the self-projected gold standard of the U.S. government.

The purpose of our discussion is not to conclude that the U.S. has engaged in the most number of wars or engaged in the most number of regime change activities in foreign countries. See, e.g., References [5] and [6] for regime change activities by USSR or Russia. The purpose of our discussion is that the actual behavior of the U.S. government does not match at all to the gold standard presented by the U.S. government that it is always working for peace and it is always acting for the best benefits of the people of any country.

Addressing World Problems:

We all know that our world has many critical problems. These critical problems are all important, and some if not addressed properly could result in the end of civilization as we know it. Here are among the major problems:

  • Global warming
  • Nuclear disarmament
  • Hunger
  • Health
  • Jobs

Global Warming: As the most industrialized country and the richest country in the world, the U.S., together with China the country with the most people and the second largest economy, contribute the most to fossil fuel pollution. We must take the lead to reduce our use of fossil fuel and create alternative energy sources. It is good that we are moving toward electric vehicles, and we are relying more on other alternative energy sources, such as solar power and wind power. But we may not be moving fast enough.

In 2016 the world reached an agreement to address the climate change issue. It is known as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. However, the U.S. under President Trump withdrew on June 1, 2017 from this agreement. After he was defeated in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and replaced by President Biden, the U.S. rejoined the Paris Agreement in February 2021. [7] On an issue of this importance to the U.S. and the whole world, it is really unimaginable and unconscionable that the U.S. would adopt such a position and waste several years of crucial time. It makes the world wonder whether the U.S. can always be counted that it will assume its role, as well as involving in the leadership as the world’s most powerful and richest country.

We should also use our technology prowess to develop new methods to solve climate change related problems. For example, one of the consequences of climate change is that the sea level will rise, and therefore some of the coast land will increase in salinity and therefore may not be able to grow food. However, technology may also be coming to the rescue, because China has shown in recent years that by selecting a type of wild rice that is more resistant to saline and alkali, such land with higher level of salinity can be used to grow rice. [8] As we discuss later in the discussion on “hunger,” China in the last few years has also successfully used new technological technique to transform deserts into fertile land. [9]

Climate change can create devastating droughts. We should also investigate how scientific breakthroughs can create artificial rain as well as other methods to reduce the negative impacts of climate change. Instead of dropping out of the Paris Agreement, the U.S. with its well known research infrastructure and large number of brilliant scientists and engineers should be able to contribute greatly in this effort if our government decides that it is one of our important goals.

Nuclear Disarmament:

People recognize that there is no winner in a nuclear war. As a matter of fact, our civilization may not survive as we know it after a nuclear war. Many countries have dozens or hundreds of nuclear weapons, with the U.S. and Russia having thousands of nuclear weapons. However, detonation of just a few nuclear weapons may already be sufficient to result in calamitous damages to the world. That is why unless the world can agree to getting rid of all nuclear weapons, the next best thing is to commit to a “No First Use” (NFU) policy, i.e., a pledge by a nuclear power not to use nuclear weapons as a means of warfare unless first attacked by an adversary using nuclear weapons.

Currently, the only country with nuclear weapons who has a NFU policy is China. [10] The U.S. with its massive and sophisticated conventional weapons should be willing not to rely on its nuclear weapons as a deterrent.

Hunger:

Current estimate is that about 10% of the world’s people do not have enough food to eat on a regular basis. [11] We need to produce more food for the world, as well as more equitably distribute the food. As we already previously mentioned that new technological advances have recently shown that desert lands can be converted to become fertile fields to grow food, and food can be grown in land immersed with water of high salinity. Again, should the U.S. with its sophisticated research infrastructure and talented pool of scientists and engineers willing to contribute to this effort? Besides addressing technical questions, to address the world hunger problem would also require overcoming many political and social obstacles. Therefore the most important question may not necessarily be the scientific question, but the political question of the commitment of the U.S. government.

Health:

Many countries in our world have a lot of people with poor health, high infant mortality and low life span. To address the health issue of the world, we may be able to learn some lessons from addressing the Covid-19 epidemic. Not only that we need proven medical solutions and skills, we also need political and social commitment, and willingness to sacrifice some individual freedom for the benefit of the larger community. Of course, solving the question of global health is also related to the previously discussed problem of hunger (and associated malnutrition). Again, the most important question may be the political question whether we are willing to make the commitment to work together with the world to address this critical problem.

Jobs:

On a small scale, people need to have jobs to earn enough money to provide for themselves and their family. On the large scale, a country needs to have a vibrant economy to provide enough jobs for its citizens as well as providing an infrastructure for the country’s transportation, communication, education, healthcare, security, etc. Usually by working together collaboratively with other countries, we can complement each other and also increase the outputs of an individual country. Something like a joint or multi country collaboration, similar to a belt and road initiative, can create additional benefits. Instead of fighting among ourselves and criticizing each other and trying to sabotage each other’s contributions, countries should seriously consider how we can work together and complement each other and create teams whose outputs are greater than the sum of individual parts.

Again, the question is whether the behavior of the U.S. government actually matches what it pretends to be. We should look inward and ask whether we are really doing our share, and working together with the rest of the world to right perhaps a mis-directed or wandering ship.

Revisiting the American Dream:

One may raise the following question: The fact that there seems to be an American Dream in the minds of many Americans as well as other people of the world, isn’t that already an existence proof that the American system of government must have been doing things close to what has been advertised. This is a very important question, which we actually have previously discussed in another article in this website. [12] We only have time to summarize the main points of that article:

  • The American Dream occurred after the end of WWII, and it occurred in a unique environment of the U.S. in terms of geographic or natural opportunities during most of its existence.
  • It offered a vast country with a very small native population.
  • If offered a large percentage of the land that was ideal for agriculture and cattle ranging.
  • Thus, there was always room to expand and enough resources to share, instead of being a zero-sum situation where one could gain only at the expense of someone else.
  • The country actually welcomed more new comers to help develop the vast land.
  • As a matter of fact, it was partially due to immigration to the U.S. of so many of the best and brightest from other countries that propelled the U.S. economic engine to become the richest and most powerful country in the world.
  • The U.S. is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the East and the Pacific Ocean on the West, providing natural barriers from foreign aggressors.
  • It is bordered on the north and the south by two relatively new countries also with a vast land of their own and a small native population.
  • Therefore, the U.S. was able to live relatively peacefully without worrying too much about the threat of foreign invasion until WWII. Thus, it could focus its resources and energy internally to develop the country.
  • With the above advantages, the U.S. was able to develop into a rich and powerful country. Furthermore, compared with most other countries, it suffered relatively minor damages from WWII.
  • This enabled the U.S. to develop for about another 25-50 years before other countries (e.g., first Germany and Japan, and then Korea, India, and China) developed into credible economic competitors. The result was that the U.S. was able to reap great economic advantages all over the world.

This is not to deny that other factors, e.g., its democratic system of government (in spite of many shortcomings pointed out earlier in this article), the American entrepreneur spirit, the creativity and independent thinking of Americans, and the hard work of Americans, also contributed to the success of the U.S. during the first two hundred-plus years of its existence. The point we want to make is that there was almost an ideal geographical or natural environment for the U.S during most of its existence that helped to create the base for the American Dream, and thus propelling the U.S. into the richest and most powerful country in the world.

The important question now is whether the American Dream can be continued in the future? In my opinion, unless drastic changes occur, it will not happen. These drastic changes would need to include:

  • The U.S. government and the American people need to reflect and look inward at their country, and not just at what it depicts itself as
  • We need to look at not only the positive things, but also at the negative things
  • We need to elect leaders who work for the benefits of all the people, and not just for the benefits of those who can contribute the most for campaign elections
  • Assess whether each decision has long-term benefits, and not just short-term gains
  • We must look within ourselves and ask whether all of us are doing our parts, instead of just placing the blame on others
  • We must genuinely care for our fellow citizens of the world, instead of considering them as a country or people we can exploit
  • We must keep in mind that we are part of the larger community in which we must work together cooperatively

Unless these changes occur, the American Dream will not be able to continue.

Summary:

The U.S. government always presents itself as a government that is democratic, respects human rights, treats other countries with peaceful intention, and helps to solve world problems. That is the image that the U.S. government and the U.S. mass media depict itself. In reality, the U.S. government doesn’t act that way. It is not a democratic government of working for the benefits of all its people, it treats its citizens differently depending on race, sex, place of origin, wealth, social and political status, etc., it involves in many wars, and instigates numerous regime changes. Not only that it often doesn’t get involved in solving various world problems. It sometimes drops out of critical agreements (e.g., Paris Agreement on Climate Change) and criticizes or even sabotages other countries’ contributions.

We are not saying that the U.S. government is worse than other governments, but it is definitely not the model government that it presents itself as and wants other governments to copy and mimic. We need to have an open mind and allow other governments to try other systems of government and join together cooperatively to address the world’s problems. It is not just everyone for himself, but we are in this together.


[1] “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part I”: https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-i/.

[2] See, e.g., List of Wars Involving the U.S.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States#21st-century_wars.

[3] See, e.g., United States involvement in regime change: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_involvement_in_regime_change#1991%E2%80%93present:_Post-Cold_War.

[4] Also, see, e.g., “The U.S. tried to change other countries’ governments 72 times during the Cold War,” Lindsey L. O’Rourke, The Washington Post, December 23, 2016: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/12/23/the-cia-says-russia-hacked-the-u-s-election-here-are-6-things-to-learn-from-cold-war-attempts-to-change-regimes/. According to the author, of the 72 times, 60 were covert operations and 6 were overt operations. And among the 60 covert operations, only 20 successfully brought the U.S.-backed government to power, and 40 failed.

[5] See, e.g., Soviet involvement in regime change: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_involvement_in_regime_change.

[6] See, e.g., Russia involvement in regime change: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_involvement_in_regime_change.

[7] “United States Officially Rejoins the Paris Agreement on Climate Change”, February 21, 2021: https://www.npr.org/2021/02/19/969387323/u-s-officially-rejoins-paris-agreement-on-climate-change.

[8] See, e.g., Bloomberg News, 2/19/2022: http://www.dontow.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/By-Bloomberg-News-growing-rice-in-seawater.docx.

[9] Numerous articles on this subject can be found in the web. Here are a few examples: (1) “Regreening the Desert with John D. Liu” – 5/7/2017:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDgDWbQtlKI (47:30); (2) “How China transformed its desert into a fruit growing oasis” – 9/26/2018:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BepMqZ4pFXQ (29:07).

[10] See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_first_use.

[11] See, e.g., https://www.actionagainsthunger.org/world-hunger-facts-statistics.

[12] “Can the American Dream Be Continued?”: https://www.dontow.com/2010/01/can-the-american-dream-be-continued/.

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China Is Not United States’ Enemy http://www.dontow.com/2021/12/china-is-not-united-states-enemy/ http://www.dontow.com/2021/12/china-is-not-united-states-enemy/#comments Wed, 01 Dec 2021 05:23:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7385 In the past year, if you just read or listen to the statements coming from the top political leaders of the U.S. and other Western countries, as well as from the many articles and reports coming from various major Western mass-media companies, you will undoubtedly conclude that China is the enemy of the U.S. Recently, the “Coalition Peace Initiative,” together with 11 other co-sponsors, organized a series of nine webinars, to promote peace between the U.S. and China. This just completed webinar series discussed the three topics of U.S.-China relationship, modern Chinese history, and Chinese experience in the U.S. [1]

The last webinar in this 9 webinar series is titled “China Is Not United States’ Enemy.” This article is the summary by the author given at the end of this webinar program.

I want to take a few minutes to summarize this series of webinars.  As we have emphasized repeatedly, the most important question facing the world today is whether the world is moving toward war or peace, and the key to answering that question is the relationship between the United States and China. There are many critical global problems that the world is facing.  It is absolutely critical that the world’s two most important and most powerful countries work cooperatively to solve these problems that could lead to a win-win situation for all the people of the world. 

As our speakers tonight pointed out that China is not the enemy of the United States.  In this summary, I want to discuss what would happen if China were the U.S.’ enemy.

  1. If China were the U.S.’ enemy, China would have many military bases surrounding the U.S.  China does not. But the United States does have many military bases all around China.
  2. If China were the enemy of the United States, China would have alliances with countries around and near the U.S.  China does not.  But the U.S. does have many alliances, including military alliances, with various countries around and near China.
  3. If China were the U.S.’ enemy, China would be fabricating accusations against the U.S. in order to psychologically prepare its citizens when conflicts and wars break out between the two countries. China has not done that.  But the U.S. has repeatedly done that as we have discussed throughout this webinar series.
  4. If China were the U.S.’ enemy, China would be boycotting U.S. companies and arresting U.S. business leaders on trump-up charges.  China hasn’t done that.  But the U.S. has done that.
  5. If China were the U.S.’ enemy, China would try to destabilize the U.S. and try to encourage secession activities within the U.S.  China has not done that.  But the U.S. has repeatedly done that.
  6. If China were the U.S.’ enemy, China would provide encouragement, financial support, and perhaps even military support to those organizations or parts of the U.S. who have differences of opinion from the U.S. government.  China has not done that.  But the U.S. has repeatedly done that.

In summary, China has not taken any of the actions which an enemy of the U.S. would likely be taking.  However, on the other hand, the U.S. has repeatedly taken all of those actions. 

That is why in this webinar program, we have repeatedly emphasized that the U.S. government’s demonization of China is essentially based on fabrications, and not based on facts.

Of course, the U.S. and China will also need to compete against each other.  As a matter of fact, we believe that it is healthy to have competition between the U.S. and China.  But that competition should be based on decency and fair play.  The U.S.’s foreign policy should not adopt a Tonya Harding-like foreign policy to unfairly attack its major competitor. 

On the other hand, it is equally important to recognize that the U.S.’s policy and actions all reflect the U.S. government’s belief that China is U.S.’ enemy.  The U.S. must look within itself, instead of blaming others for its problems. This is the most important attitude that needs to be changed.  If that is not changed, we in the U.S. will not be able to solve our internal problems, and we will not able to help the world to solve many critical global problems, and we will move the world closer to war, instead of peace.

Finally, I want to thank all the speakers of this whole webinar series, and I especially want to express my appreciation for all the participants, especially those who have attended multiple webinars.  Let’s all work together harder for peace in order that our children and grandchildren will have a livable world to grow up in, because there is really no alternative. 

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[1] For an explanation of why these three topics are relevant for discussion and understanding of modern U.S.-China relationship, please read the accompanying article “Campaign to Promote Peace Between the United States and China” in this issue of this website: https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/campaign-to-promote-peace-between-the-united-states-and-china/.

[2] You can see the replay videos of all 9 webinars at the Coalition Peace Initiative website: https://www.coalitionpeaceinitiative.org/replay-files-for-webinar-series/, including the talks by K. J. Noh and Sheila Xiao on the topic “China Is Not United States’ Enemy” during the last webinar on 11/17/2021. Also, the audio podcast of this summary to end the Webinar Program on 11/27/2021 can be found at:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/n07xoft8rhd3jw1/P9c-20211117-Tow%27s%20Closing%20Remarks.mp3?dl=0.


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