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Don Tow's Website http://www.dontow.com Wed, 21 Dec 2022 04:24:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 Panel Discussion on “Changing U.S.-China Relations and Their Impact on Chinese In the U.S. and Elsewhere” ** http://www.dontow.com/2022/12/panel-discussion-on-changing-u-s-china-relations-and-their-impact-on-chinese-in-the-u-s-and-elsewhere/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/12/panel-discussion-on-changing-u-s-china-relations-and-their-impact-on-chinese-in-the-u-s-and-elsewhere/#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2022 18:02:39 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7920 This is a summary of the Panel Discussion on the topic “Changing U.S.-China Relations and Their Impact on Chinese In the U.S. and Elsewhere” at the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO) Conference in San Francisco on Nov. 12, 2022. The panelists are Gordon H. Chang (and not Gordon G. Chang), George Koo, K. J. Noh, and Julie Tang, and it was moderated by Don M. Tow. Brief bios of the panelists and moderator are included at the end of this article.

Questions posed to Panelists are:

  • What is the reason U.S. and China are heading toward a head-on collision?
  • What are the consequences of this head-on collision?
  • What can possibly avoid this collision from happening?
  • Role of Chinese Americans in this conflict?
  • Address generation gaps among different generations of Chinese Americans

Uni-Polar World Versus Multi-Polar World:

The main reason that the U.S. and China are heading toward a head-on collision is because China’s rise is fascilitating the creation of a multi-polar world, but the U.S. wants a uni-polar world following only the U.S.’s rule. This leads to conflicts and instabilities. The consequences of this U.S. desire to maintain hegemony at any cost could lead to regime changes and instabilities all over the world, and possibly leading to wars, including world wars and nuclear wars.

Before the Panel Discussion, the panelist K. J. Noh left a paper underneath each chair in the conference room and asked the audience to show them and read them. Each paper listed the name of a U.S. military base. There were over 200 chairs in the room, and there are over 400 U.S. military bases encircling China, providing a tangible sense of the U.S.’s military threat to China.

As the panelist George Koo pointed out, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a recent visit to China declared in a joint statement with President Xi Jinping that the two countries will promote a multi-polar world and disavow any attempt at decoupling.

We are also seeing other developments in the world. For example, there is great interest in joining BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) which is a grouping of the world’s leading emerging market economies; its purpose is to promote peace, security, development and cooperation. Quite a few countries, such as Algeria, Argentina, Indonesia, and Iran have applied to join, while countries like Afghanistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have also expressed interest.

Also several countries have also expressed interest in joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which focuses on regional security issues and fighting against regional terrorism, ethnic separatism and religious extremism. SCO currently has eight countries (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) with interest in acceding to full membership and six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey), with Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia also expressing interest to become Dialogue Partners.

Developments like the above could put geopolitical pressure on the U.S. to change its political position of a uni-polar world. Such a change will not come from U.S.’s good will, but it will be forced to change. As pointed out by the panelist George Koo that the U.S.’s full-blown chips war against China has impacted the U.S.’s semiconductor industry in companies like Applied Materials, Lam Research, Advanced Micro Devices, and Nvidia. Therefore, there will be political pressure from the American people and other parts of the U.S. government to force changes.

If such geo-political and geo-economic pressures are not sufficient to change the U.S.’s uni-polar policy to acceptance of the multi-polar world, then we must mobilize a large-scale world-wide pro-peace or anti-war movement on a scale much larger than the anti-Vietnam war movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The panelist Julie Tang pointed out “The cold war against China is characterized by Obama’s pivot to Asia, Trump’s trade war, and Biden’s all-inclusive economic war against China. We live in a dangerously insane world where our US leaders are increasingly turning warmongering on the unsupported rationale that China is an existential threat. We adopt policies thoughtlessly, such as the trade war that drove up inflation, a chip ban on China that kneecapped our own most productive industry, the US chip manufacturers. Our leaders appeared to be lost and confused. They have lost their reasonableness, common sense, and direction in pushing China close to war.”

U.S. Propaganda Against China:

The panelist Gordon H. Chang mentioned “we are entering a new international geopolitical relationship with far reaching negative consequences for Chinese Americans, with unfair targeting of Chinese American professors, columnists, and other professionals, as clearly demonstrated in the large number of completely unjustified accusations and arrests of such Chinese Americans.” [1]

Gordon H. Chang also said “I see Sinophobia and anti-Asian racism entrenching themselves in American life. U.S.-China relations will never resume to what they were in the early 21st century. This is in spite of what the panelist K. J. Noh said “China is not a threat, China’s rise is peaceful–the most peaceful rise of any great power in history –, and why despite this, the US sees China as a threat.”

Noh also added referring to how the U.S.’s financialized economy lives off of extracting value from productive economies in the global south, ‘A parasite sees the host’s effort to free itself as an existential threat.”

Julie Tang also said “US people have been fed daily that China is a competitor and an enemy, rather than a potential partner in trade, climate change, scientific research, and world hunger. The negative sentiments American people hold towards China represents the massive propaganda, disinformation, and brainwashing taking place in the U.S. mass media. It is no wonder that a 2021 Pew study found that 9 out of 10 Americans believe China is a competitor and enemy.” [2]

The U.S. government is also following such false propaganda by executing illegal, dangerous, and counter-productive measures such as “the China Initiative” in carrying prosecutions against Chinese professors and other professionals, in the process of ruining their lives, their reputations, and their livelihood. [1]

The Issue of Taiwan:

As to the issue on Taiwan, the moderator Don Tow said that all the international agreements, including the 1943 Cairo Declaration [2], the 1945 Potsdam Declaration [3], and the September 2, 1945 Japanese Surrender on the U.S. Battleship Missouri [4] all stated clearly that Taiwan should be returned by Japan to China. Therefore, there should be no issue on Taiwan. If there is any, it is fabricated.

Role of Chinese Americans in this Conflict:

As all the panelists mentioned that the current atmosphere in the U.S. creates great difficulties for Chinese Americans. We are looked upon and treated as enemies. We are on the receiving end of hate crimes. We are being discriminated against, not only by the people, but also by our government. Having been brought up in the atmosphere of demonized China, difference of opinion often surfaced among ourselves, e.g., between 2nd/3rd generation Chinese Americans and 1st generation Chinese Americans.

As Chinese Americans, we all love the U.S. and China, and we want the best for both countries. How to identify and address such conflicts is an important issue for all of us and an organization like ISSCO to address.

At the panel discussion, Don Tow mentioned that a modification of the Peace and Reconciliation Asia Study Tour similar to what organizations like the “Alliance for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia” (ALPHA) to study and discuss modern Chinese and world history, but instead of orientating toward U.S. high school teachers, our audience should be Chinese Americans.

However, after giving it more thought, the impact of such an approach would be far too small to make a difference. Therefore, we need to write books on this subject. The more books and articles on this subject, the better it will be, because the issue is important and complex. It is important to hear the wisdom from different perspectives and backgrounds.

** I also gave a talk at this conference. That talk “Perspective on U.S.-China Relationship – War or Peace” was prepared before the conference and that talk can be found in the September 2022 release of this website: https://www.dontow.com/2022/09/perspective-on-u-s-china-relationship-war-or-peace/

[1] Such cases were clearly discussed at the conference with the participation of people like Sherry Chen, Gang Chen, and Xiaoxing Xi.

[2] https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2021/03/04/most-americans-support-tough-stance-toward-china-on-human-rights-economic-issues/.

[3] The 1943 Cairo Declaration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1943_Cairo_Declaration.

[4] The 1945 Potsdam Declaration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potsdam_Declaration.

[5] The September 2,1945 Japanese Instrument of Surrender on the U.S. Battleship Missouri: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Instrument_of_Surrender.

Brief Bios of Panelists and Moderator

Gordon H. Chang: Gordon H. Chang is a professor of History at Stanford University, the Olive H. Palmer Professor of Humanities, and a former director of the Center for East Asian Studies. He was also the founding director of the Asian American Studies Program at Stanford. In 2019, he published Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic History of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad and The Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental Railroad. His other books include Friends and Enemies: The United States, China, and the Soviet Union, 1948-1972 and Fateful Ties: A History of America’s Preoccupation with China, which studies the long arc of U.S.-China relations from American colonial days to the present. Among his other publications is Chinese American Voices, which he co-edited with Judy Yung and Him Mark Lai. 
George Koo: George Koo retired from a global advisory services firm where he advised clients on their China strategies and business operations. Educated at MIT, Stevens Institute and Santa Clara University, he is the founder and former managing director of International Strategic Alliances. He is currently a board member of Freschfield’s, a novel green building platform. Dr. Koo is one of the leading Chinese-American writers and organizers in regard to U.S.-China policy and on the conditions of Chinese-Americans in the United States, especially the persecution over these last years of Chinese-Americans and Chinese in the U.S.
K. J. Noh: K.J. Noh is a journalist, political analyst, writer and teacher specializing in the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific region. He writes for Dissident Voice, Black Agenda Report, Counterpunch, Popular Resistance, Asia Times, MR Online. He also does frequent commentary and analysis on the news programs The Critical Hour, By Any Means Necessary, Fault Lines, Political Misfits, Loud & Clear, Breakthrough News, Flashpoints. K.J. Noh has reported extensively on great power  competition, geostrategic messaging, and the media ecology and its effects on communities. He has also collaborated with various scholars on the geopolitics of global health, Indigenous health rights policy, structural violence, and medical care delivery under neoliberal capitalism. He recently pioneered a study with Dr. Claudia Chaufan on the military transmission of infectious diseases and its implications for Covid transmission. He believes a functioning and healthy society requires good information; to that end, he strives to combat the weaponization of disinformation in the current cold war climate.
Julie Tang: The Hon. Julie M. Tang is a retired judge of the San Francisco Superior Court. Before her judgeship, Judge Tang worked as an Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco and served three terms as President of the SF Community Board. Upon retirement, Judge Tang co-founded the “Comfort Women” Justice Coalition and “Pivot to Peace.” Through these organizations, she actively promotes awareness of the issues of sexual violence against women and the importance of peace between the US and China. Judge Tang was named “Outstanding Chinese American” by the SF Board of Supervisors; she was inducted into Hastings’ College of the Law’s LEOP program’s Hall of Fame and received the “Joe Morizumi Award for Exceptional Legal Advocacy” from the Asian American Bar Association.
Don M. Tow: Don M. Tow is the President of the New Jersey Alliance for Learning and Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (NJ-ALPHA).  He is the Co-Founder of “10,000 Cries for Justice” and the “Coalition Peace Initiative.” Don has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley, and performed Physics research at the Institute for Advanced Study, Brown University, University of Paris VI and XI, and University of Texas in Austin.  He also taught undergraduate and graduate Physics courses at UT Austin, before changing fields from academia to industry working at Bell Laboratories, Bellcore, Motorola (in Beijing), Telcordia, and Raritan Computer. He is the author of the book Mental Aspects of Youth Soccer: A Primer for Players, Parents, and Coaches. He also posts regularly in his website www.dontow.com.

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A Historic Settlement for Sherry Chen Against U.S. Government’s Wrongful Prosecutions** http://www.dontow.com/2022/12/a-historic-settlement-for-sherry-chen-against-u-s-governments-wrongful-prosecutions/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/12/a-historic-settlement-for-sherry-chen-against-u-s-governments-wrongful-prosecutions/#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2022 17:57:34 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7940 Background of Sherry Chen: Sherry Chen was a hydrologist working at the Wilmington, Ohio office of the National Weather Service (NWS). NWS is an agency in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is part of the federal government’s Department of Commerce. The NWS is the world’s largest weather organization, employing approximately 4,700 persons.

After moving to the U.S. for additional education, she worked for a number of years in the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Then she started working for NWS in March 2007. Chen’s primary work was to develop, model, and significantly improfe flood prediction for over 2,000 miles along the Ohio River and its tributories.

Accusations Against Sherry Chen: In October 2014, the FBI came to her workplace and took her away in handcuffs in front of her co-workers to the shock and surprise of her colleagues. She was charged with making false statements to federal investigators and downloading data from a restricted government database in relation to a trip to visit family in China in 2012. And a month after her arrest, she was suspended from her job without pay. Chen said that she had accessed only publicly available information to help a former classmate. In March 2015, federal prosecutors dropped all changes without any explanation. Nevertheless, in March 2016, she was fired from her job as a hydrologist with the NWS.

In 2012, the Commerce Department’s internal security unit, the Investigations and Threat Management Service (ITMS) began unlawfully investigating Ms. Chen as part of a broad pattern of discrimination directed at Chinese Americans, leading to her baseless arrest and prosecution by the FBI and Justice Department. ITMS was officially disbanded last year, following a Senate report detailing how the unit had become a “rogue, unaccountable police force” that operated outside the law and “opened frivolous investigations on a variety of employees without evidence suggesting wrongdoing.”

After being fired from the job she had worked at for years, a federal administrative judge found that her termination by the NWS and NOAA was unlawful, and that Ms. Chen had been the victim of a “gross injustice.” After the government appealed, she was placed on indefinite leave, instead of being fired.

Sherry Chen’s Lawsuit Against the U.S. Government:

Ms. Chen asked herself “why do I have to accept the unfair and unjust treatment my government has given me? I am not just fighting for myself but for all victims of racial profiling so that it won’t happen again.” So around 2018 she filed a complaint for wrongful termination with the Merit System Protection
Board (MSPB). The MSPB was established to protect federal workers against abuses by their employers.

Finally, the settlement of that lawsuit was announced on November 10, 2022 at the time during the “International Society for the Study of Oversea Chinese” (ISSCO) conference in San Francisco. The results of the settlement include:

  • Ms. Chen will receive $550,000 from the Commerce Department
  • Ms. Chen will receive an annuity valued at over $1.25 million over 10 years
  • The Commerce Department will host a private meeting between Ms. Chen and a senior National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official, where they plan to discuss wrongdoing at multiple levels of the agency and the importance of anti-discrimination reforms
  • The Commerce Department will also provide Ms. Chen with a letter acknowledging her extensive accomplishments during her years of service as a government hydrologist.

The settlement is one of the largest paid to an individual plaintiff in Commerce Department history. Nevertheless, the compensation just covered her legal fees and her back wages. It cannot compensate for the disruption to her life, and the mental anguish she and her family members had to suffer.

Implications and Lessons Learned:

It took a decade for Sherry Chen to win some kind of justice. How many people can afford to be suspended from their career for so long and put themselves in a seemingly endless legal battle.

Despite the victory, it is important to remember that this was a decade of Sherry’s life,” says Gang Chen, the MIT Mechanical Engineering professor experiencing similar charges from the U.S. government under the “China Initiative.”

Sherry Chen, Gang Chen, and Xiaoxian Xi, another Chinese American scientist being falsely charged under the China Initiative all participated at the ISSCO conference in San Francisco, and all have been fighting against the false charges against them.

During this time, these people and their family members’ lives are turned completely upside down, their reputation is destroyed, and their finances are completely taking up by the huge legal expenses.

We need to be constantly alert in the atmosphere of demonizing China and take actions against it.

Anti-Chinese hate crimes must not be tolerated, especially when it was originated by the government.

We are really grateful for the courage, stamina, and sacrifices displayed by these pacesetters. We hope that we can follow their blazing footsteps.


** Normally this Taiji page in my website is reserved for articles on the subject of Taiji. However, because of the importance and timeliness of the recently (Nov. 10, 2022) announced settlement in two lawsuits from the American hydrologist Sherry Chen against the U.S. government for the U.S.’s wrongful prosecution and termination from her job as a hydrologist at the U.S.’s National Weather Service, we have made an exception to this website and have replaced my Taiji article in this page with this most important and timely decision on the Sherry Chen’s legal lawsuit settlement.

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Quantum Theory: Path from Mysteries to Reality? http://www.dontow.com/2022/12/quantum-theory-path-from-mysteries-to-reality/ http://www.dontow.com/2022/12/quantum-theory-path-from-mysteries-to-reality/#respond Tue, 13 Dec 2022 05:10:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7907 Background:

Ever since quantum theory (QT) was invented almost 100 years ago (in 1925), it has led to a tremendous number of innovations that has revolutionized the world, including our lives and the business world.  However, at the same time, from almost the very beginning, QT has created a number of deep mysteries that have shaken how we look at and understand the world, including making a great reassessment of whether we can actually explain what happens in nature, besides that we can no longer predict the outcome of every experiment, except to predict the probability of the outcome of experiments.  It has led Einstein to make remarks like “Does the moon exist when there is no one looking at the moon?” and “God doesn’t play dice.”

In this summary paper, we recall these early mysteries, that led many physicists to acknowledge that although QT can make remarkable predictions (such as predicting accurately to one part to the billion), many also question whether QT is a complete theory, and its explanation of how and why things happen in nature may not be satisfactory.  Some people thought that something like local hidden variable theory (LHVT) that states that there are also (hidden) variables that we are not aware of, and if we know and can specify the values of these hidden variables, then we will be able to predict the exact outcome of every experiment.  Many physicists were even contemplating that LHVT may turn out to succeed QT and will be able to predict not only what will happen, but also to explain why certain things happen.  Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be any possible experiment that can be done to differentiate QT and LHVT.

This was the case for about 40 years until 1964 when the Irish physicist James S. Bell proved a remarkable but simple theorem (now known as Bell’s Theorem) that shows that QT and Local Hidden Variable Theories can lead to different experimental results, and therefore we can let experiments to decide on QT or LHVT.  Starting in the 1970s and during the next half century, it has led to many remarkable experiments that repeatedly confirm all the predictions of QT and at the same time showed that Local Hidden Variable Theories are wrong.  This not only declared that QT as the winner over LHVT, it also caused us to rethink how we should look at the world and whether there may be a limit in our understanding and description of the details of what is happening in an experiment.  We will come back to Bell’s Theorem after we review the mysteries of Quantum Theory.

Mystery of QT-I:  Wave-Particle Duality:

We now recall the series of quantum mysteries that started with the advent of QT.  The first one was that the behavior of subatomic objects like electrons behave very differently from macroscopic objects, like baseballs, in the world around us.  That is, in the microscopic world of electrons, they exhibit wave-like properties, but simultaneously also particle-like properties.  The best explanation of this can be found in Feynman’s Lectures on Physics in his explanation of the double-slit experiment. [1]  Physicists are all familiar with the double-slit experiments.  For those who are not familiar with the double-slit experiments, it is best to read the description and explanation from Feynman himself in Ref. 1.  A slightly shorter explanation can also be found in [2].  Note that in the explanation, we not only see the interference pattern of waves, but we also observe that the electrons arrive at the backdrop with full clicks, but never a half click, indicating that electrons also behave like particles even though simultaneously they are also behaving like waves.  This phenomenom is known as wave-particle duality of QT, i.e., subatomic particles display both characteristics, showing behavior like a wave, and also showing behavior like a particle.

Mystery of QT-II:  The Act of Observance Can Change What You Are Observing:

If we follow the discussion of the double-slit experiment by Feynman, and if we try to determine which of the slits that the electron goes through, we learned that the act of observance actually changes the result of the experiment.  This is actually perfectly understandable in the microscopic world, because in order to observe the path of the electron, for example by placing a light after the slits. Since electric charges scatter light, then noticing whether the light is coming from near slit 1 or slit 2, we will be able to determine whether the electron went through slit 1 or slit 2.  However, when we do that, the resulting pattern on the backdrop changes drastically so that the interference pattern we saw in the original double-slit experiment signaling the wave-like property of electrons has disappeared, and replaced by the pattern characteristic of particle-like behavior.  In the macroscopic world, we don’t see this because the disturbance from the act of observing is not large enough to change the result of the experiment.

Mystery of QT-III:  One Cannot Simultaneously Measure Precisely the Position and Momentum of any Object (also known as Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle):

One way of understanding this principle is that in order to measure the precise position of an object, you have to use shorter and shorter wavelength of light.  But the shorter the light’s wavelength, the higher is the frequency of the light, since the light’s frequency is in inverse proportion to the light’s wavelength.  And the higher the frequency of the light, the more energy is the light, since E=hv, where E is the energy, v is the frequency, and h is Planck’s constant.  That is why to measure precisely the position of an object, you need to use shorter and shorter wavelength, or higher and higher frequency, and therefore you impart more and more energy to the object.  If the object is a microscopic object like an electron, the energy you impart from the observance of its position would disturb its velocity greatly, thus resulting in Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.

Mystery of QT-IV:  In the Subatomic World, We Can Only Predict the Probability Distribution of Certain Physical Happenings in the Future:

In classical physics, if we are given the initial conditions of an object, then using the laws of physics, we can predict precisely the future behavior of an object.  However, in the subatomic world, because particles also have wave-like characteristics, we can no longer predict precisely the behavior of an object even if given the initial conditions.

Instead, in QT, the state of an object is described by a complex wave function C (complex in the mathematical sense of real versus complex numbers).  The probability of finding the object in a certain state and time is given by the square of the complex function C, i.e., |C|2.  In QT, we can only predict the probability of finding the object in a certain position and time, but never precisely that the object will be in a certain position at a particular time.  In other words, we change the precise prediction of classical physics to the probability prediction of quantum theory.  

This led many people, including Einstein, to make the remark that God does not play dice and question whether there is a more fundamental theory than quantum theory so that the uncertainties can be removed and the theory can then be deterministic, and not probabilistic.  That was what led many people to the LHVT as mentioned in the Background section at the beginning of this article.

Local Hidden Variable Theory (LHVT) and Bell’s Theorem:

Before we discuss the experiments done in the past half century related to Bell’s Theorem and the implications of these experiments, we first discuss two classic thought experiments from 1935.

Schrodinger’s Cat:  As we discussed earlier that the act of observing can change what we are observing.  So in the double-slit experiment, if we try to detect which slit the electron went through, the interference pattern that was observed indicating the wave-like properties of electrons disappeared.  Within the wave function mathematical description of QT, the wave function was originally a superposition of states, but then the act of observation causes the wave function to collapse to a specific state.

This led Schrodinger to the following thought experiment in 1935.  There is a radioactive atom inside a box that is connected to a radioactive detector that is connected to a hammer that breaks a glass jar which then releases a poison gas, and inside this box is a cat. The radioactive atom has certain probability of radioactive decay, e.g., with a half-life of about 10 minutes. From QT, the radioactive atom is described by a wave function that is a superposition of two states, a decay state and a non-decay state. A decay state will release the poison that will kill the cat. A non-decay state will not release the poison and the cat remains alive. Before the box is opened when we don’t know what is inside the box, the quantum wave function of what is inside the box is a superposition of a live cat and a dead cat. However, when the box is opened, we will find either a live cat or a dead cat, and never a half-dead cat and a half-alive cat. In other words, the act of observation caused the wave function to collapse from a superposition of states to a specific state. This is analogous to the double slit experiment with electrons that the act of observing changes what we are observing.

The Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) Paradox:  Einstein together with Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen proposed another thought experiment, also in 1935. This involved a QT system at rest and zero angular momentum, also known as spin-0, that emits two photons in the opposite directions. Since photons also have spins (their spins are either up or down), and linear momentum and angular momentum are conserved, if one photon is moving to the left and is measured to have spin up, then the other photon is moving to the right and if measured must then have spin down. If we provide sufficient time for these two photons to travel a large distance, then if we measure the spin of the left photon and find it to be spin up, then if we measure the spin of the right photon, then its spin has to be down. This seems to say that the photons seem to be entangled, i.e, measuring the spin of the photon going to the left will automatically tell you the spin of the photon going to the right.  This is known as quantum entanglement. Since the distance between these two photons can be sufficiently large so that no information can be transmitted from the left photon to the right photon, unless we are willing to give up one of the cornerstones of the theory of special relativity that stipulates that no information can be transmitted faster than the speed of light.  This led Einstein to make the remark that QT seems to allow “spooky action at a distance.”  This thought experiment of Einstein/Podolsky/Rosen is known as the EPR Paradox.  Now we are ready to discuss Bell’s Theorem.

Bell’s Theorem:  In 1964, the Scottish Physicist James S. Bell proved a very remarkable and extremely important theorem (some people have even proclaimed that it is the most profound discovery of science) that showed QT and LHVT do not always make the same predictions.  In other words, we can now do experiments to decide whether QT or LHVT is correct or wrong (or both could be wrong).

Although extremely important, Bell’s Theorem was actually relatively simple to prove in terms of the mathematics used.  The original proof by Bell [3] makes ingenious use of logic but only high school mathematics; other proofs developed by others later all make use of logic and also did not require the use of sophisticated mathematics. [4]  However, the proof does not require to know the detailed specification of the hidden variable theory, but it does require the use of locality, i.e., no information can be transmitted faster than the speed of light.  That is why LHVT in Bell’s Theorem applies to all hidden variable theories as long as it is local.  Bell’s Theorem can be shown as an inequality and is therefore also known as Bell’s Inequality.  Although the proof is not long or complicated, we are not including the proof in order to make this article to be of reasonable length, but the proof can be found in, e.g., [4] and [5].

The first people to use Bell’s Theorem to compare the predictions of QT and LHVT were S.J. Freedman and J. F. Clauser in their classic paper in 1972. [6]  The experiment is similar to the setup in the EPR paradox except that photons with spin up or down were replaced by photons with polarization which could have two values – up or down. When the results at the photon detectors were compared, the ups and downs did not match the ways predicted by LHVT, i.e., Bell’s inequality was violated, showing that LHVT is wrong.  However, the experimental results were completely consistent with the predictions of QT.  During the last half century, the result of this experiment has been confirmed by many other experiments, including developing more sophisticated experiments that removed some of the possible ambiguities or so-called loop holes in the Freedman-Clauser experiment  This has removed a lot of skeptics of QT, and more and more people think that QT may be a correct theory, in spite of the fact that its many mysteries seem to contradict our understandings and explanations of how nature behaves.  As a matter of fact, we may even have to accept the fact that Is how nature behaves, or perhaps until another great breakthrough in the future that could possibly provide a better explanation of what we observe.  We now discuss refinements of the Freedman-Clauser experiment.

Refinement and Removing Possible Loopholes in Experiments on Bell’s Theorem: When they were doing their 1972 experiment, Friedman and Clauser were already aware of possible “loopholes” in their experiment.  For example, could it be possible that their laboratory instrument might have been leaking information to each other, after all, the correlated information of the separated photons only showed up after the measurements of the separated photons.  In 1982, Alain Aspect in France refined the experiment by switching the direction of the photons’ polarization every 10 nanoseconds when the photons were already in the air and too fast for the two pieces of laboratory instrument at the two ends to communicate with each other.  But results turned out to be the same, i.e. experimentally LHVT is again wrong and QT is correct. [7]

Another possible loophole was that the polarization directions in Aspect’s experiment in France had been changed in a regular and therefore theoretically predictable fashion that could be sensed by the photons or detecting instruments. Then Anton Zeilinger of Austria in 1992 used random number generators to change the direction of the polarization measurements while the photons were in flight.  The experimental results again confirmed that LHVT is wrong and QT is correct. [8]

This kind of experiments has been done many times in the last several decades, and the winner has always been QT.

By now, scientists have done experiments with entangled particles, and entanglement is accepted as a main feature of QT and is being put to work in cryptology and quantum computing.  An application in cryptology is to send messages using entangled pairs, which can send cryptographic keys in a secure manner, because any eavesdropping will destroy the entanglement, thus alerting the people involved in the transmission that the message has been disturbed.  In 2017, Dr. Zeilinger used this technique with entangled photons beamed from a Chinese satellite called Micius to have an encrypted 75-minute video conversation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Dr. Jian-Wei Pan, one of his former students. [9]


Quantum Theory started a revolution in physics, as well as in our business world and our everyday lives. It changed our understanding of nature and our description of the microscopic world at the scale of atoms.  It introduced many unfamiliar concepts, such as particle-wave duality, uncertainty principle, the act of observance can change what one is observing, and the probability interpretation in place of absolute predictability.  These unfamiliar concepts led many people, including physicists, to question whether QT can be a true physical theory, in spite of its huge number of experimental predictions, and many physicists thought that there are hidden variables that we are not familiar with.  Once we can specify these hidden variables, then we should be able to remove many of these mysteries.

But in 1964 James S. Bell proved a very simple theorem that shows all local hidden variable theories (LHVT) cannot make the same experimental predictions as QT.  Experiments in the last half century have repeatedly demonstrated that LHVT is wrong, and QT is correct.  This reduced significantly the sceptism toward QT, but at the same time, it has introduced mind-boggling concepts and questions such as quantum entanglements, spooky action at a distance, does the moon exist when there is no one looking at the moon.  It causes us to wonder what is reality, can we describe or explain reality, or perhaps we are only able to describe the results of experiments, but not always able to describe what went on during the experiments.

We are definitely entering a challenging and exciting time in physics, hoping and waiting for the next breakthrough.  There may not be any more holy quails, including perhaps locality.

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics were awarded in October 2022 to A. Aspect, J. F. Clauser, and A. Zeilinger.

Note: Stuart Freedman passed away in 2012, and is therefore not eligible for the Nobel Prize. James S. Bell also passed away in 1990, and was also not eligible for any Nobel Prize after 1990.


[1] R. P. Feynman, R. B. Leighton, M. Sands, The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Volume 3:  Quantum Mechanics, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company Inc., Palo Alto, 1965.  The double-slit experiment is eloquently explained in Chapter 1 “Quantum Behavior.”

[2] A slightly shorter explanation of Ref. 1 can also be found in the article “Wonders and Mysteries of Quantum Physics”:  https://www.dontow.com/2020/09/wonders-and-mysteries-of-quantum-physics/.

[3] J. S. Bell, Physics 1, 195 (1964).

[4] See, for example, the video by Alvin Ash “The EPR Paradox and Bell’s Inequality explained Simply”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f72whGQ31Wg.

[5] “Paradoxes of Quantum Physics, Bell’s Theorem, and What Do Experiments Tell Us”: https://www.dontow.com/2020/12/paradoxes-of-quantum-physics-bells-theorem-and-experimental-confirmation/.

[6] S. J. Freedman and J. F. Clauser, “Experimental Test of Local Hidden-Variable Theories,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 28, 938, 3 April 1972.  This was Freedman’s Ph.D. thesis at the University of California at Berkeley, and Clauser was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California at Berkeley.

[7] A. Aspect, J. Dalibard, G. Roger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 49, 1804, 1982.

[8] G. Weihs, T. Jennewein, C, Simon, H. Weinfurter, A. Zeilinger, Phys. Rev. Lett. 81, 5039, 1998.

[9] J. Yin, et. al, Nature, 582, 501, 2020.

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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:

  • 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.


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]


[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]


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.


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.


[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.


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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