Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /homepages/36/d175632550/htdocs/dontow/index.php:1) in /homepages/36/d175632550/htdocs/dontow/wordpress/wp-includes/feed-rss2.php on line 8
Don Tow's Website https://www.dontow.com Wed, 01 Jun 2022 04:18:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.4 U.S. Foreign Policy: Not Acknowledging History and Tempting Starting a Nuclear War https://www.dontow.com/2022/06/u-s-foreign-policy-not-acknowledging-history-and-tempting-starting-a-nuclear-war/ https://www.dontow.com/2022/06/u-s-foreign-policy-not-acknowledging-history-and-tempting-starting-a-nuclear-war/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2022 04:12:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7659 In its drive to be the supreme power in the world, the U.S. government has been trying to get rid of any country who can be a competitor or potential competitor in the world in terms of economic, political, military, intellectual, or social influence in the minds and hearts of the people of the world. With the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 and the rapid rise of China during the past 40+ years, the U.S. government sees that China as the main obstacle to keeping the U.S. to become the supreme hegemonic power in the world, basically dictating how the world should be run, instead of working collaboratively in a win-win situation with the rest of the world.

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

What Is Happening in the Past Decade?

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

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

Brief Reminders of Certain Historical Facts Involving Taiwan:

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

The 1943 Cairo Declaration [4]:

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

The 1945 Potsdam Declaration [5]:

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

The 1945 Japanese Instrument of Surrender [6]:

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

The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty [7]:

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

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

Summary:

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

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

———-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]>
https://www.dontow.com/2022/06/u-s-foreign-policy-not-acknowledging-history-and-tempting-starting-a-nuclear-war/feed/ 1
Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Taiji and Qigong https://www.dontow.com/2022/06/evidence-based-health-benefits-of-taiji-and-qigong/ https://www.dontow.com/2022/06/evidence-based-health-benefits-of-taiji-and-qigong/#respond Wed, 01 Jun 2022 04:10:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7686 During the last decade or more, there has been a series of Scientific investigations conducting evidence-based scientific investigations of the health benefits of Taiji and Qigong. The objective is to do experiments that can be duplicated with results that are quantitative and explanations that may be understood to a scientific audience. Although the research findings may need to be repeated in more laboratories and with larger sample sizes, we think the evidence is pretty impressive and moving us in the direction that hopefully in another 20 years or so of more research, we will have a significantly better scientific explanation of the health benefits of Taiji and Gigong.

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

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

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

Stretching to Reduce Inflammation:

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

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

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

Deep Breathing Can Increase Serotonin Cell Activity:

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

Taiji Increases Immunity Toward Shingles:

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

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

Taiji Can Enhance Bone Health and Increase Bone Density:

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

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

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

Gaining Physical Strength by Doing Exercises Via the Mind:

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

Observation of Brain Wave Patterns While Performing Taiji:

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

Conclusion:

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

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


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

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

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

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

]]>
https://www.dontow.com/2022/06/evidence-based-health-benefits-of-taiji-and-qigong/feed/ 0
A Conversation with Tamaki Matsuoka: “The Conscience of Japan” https://www.dontow.com/2022/06/a-conversation-with-tamaki-matsuoka-the-conscience-of-japan/ https://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.

]]>
https://www.dontow.com/2022/06/a-conversation-with-tamaki-matsuoka-the-conscience-of-japan/feed/ 2
Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part I https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-i/ https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-i/#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2022 05:15:13 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7515 The central image of the U.S. government of itself is that it is a model government for the world to admire and mimic. It is a gold standard in terms of governance of the country with respect to democracy and human rights, and in terms of world peace and addressing the world’s critical problems. In a sense we as Americans as well as the people of the world have more of less accepted this characterization of the U.S. and the American people, because for more than half a century from the end of WWII to about the beginning of the 21st century, so many of us in the U.S. and in the rest of the world have often tried to pursue this so-called American dream without seriously thinking what was this American dream, whether reality matches this depicted dream, whether it has been achieved, and more importantly how far is the actual U.S. government from this gold standard.

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

  • Democracy
  • Human Rights
  • Peace
  • Addressing World Problems

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

Democracy:

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

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

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

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

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

Human Rights:

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

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

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

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

We should also remember:

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

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

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

Brief Summary of Part I:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]>
https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-i/feed/ 1
More Speculative Thoughts on Qigong https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/more-speculative-thoughts-on-qigong/ https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/more-speculative-thoughts-on-qigong/#respond Tue, 01 Mar 2022 05:08:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7517 Physics is based on explanations of observable phenomena as well as predictions of not yet discovered observations. The question then is whether the field concept of Qigong can lead to some explanations of observable phenomena and predictions of not yet discovered observations. This article discusses some speculative thoughts on this question.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

————————————-

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

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

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

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

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


]]>
https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/more-speculative-thoughts-on-qigong/feed/ 0
Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part II https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-ii/ https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-ii/#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2022 05:01:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7547 This is the second part of my article “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part II.” The first part “Tale of Two Standards in World Politics – Part I” [1] appeared in the “Political/Social Commentary” page of this March 2022 issue of this website. These two articles assess the U.S. government in the four important metrics of democracy, human rights, peace, and addressing world problems. In particular, these two articles assess the actual performance of the U.S. government, and not what the U.S. government is advertised to be. Part I discussed the two metrics of “democracy” and “human rights.” This Part II discussed the other two metrics of “Peace” and “Addressing World Problems,” and It also provides more discussion on the American dream and a summary of the whole two-part article.

Peace:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Addressing World Problems:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nuclear Disarmament:

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

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

Hunger:

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

Health:

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

Jobs:

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

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

Revisiting the American Dream:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

]]>
https://www.dontow.com/2022/03/tale-of-two-standards-in-world-politics-part-ii/feed/ 2
China Is Not United States’ Enemy https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/china-is-not-united-states-enemy/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/china-is-not-united-states-enemy/#comments Wed, 01 Dec 2021 05:23:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7385 In the past year, if you just read or listen to the statements coming from the top political leaders of the U.S. and other Western countries, as well as from the many articles and reports coming from various major Western mass-media companies, you will undoubtedly conclude that China is the enemy of the U.S. Recently, the “Coalition Peace Initiative,” together with 11 other co-sponsors, organized a series of nine webinars, to promote peace between the U.S. and China. This just completed webinar series discussed the three topics of U.S.-China relationship, modern Chinese history, and Chinese experience in the U.S. [1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——————————————————-

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

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

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


]]>
https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/china-is-not-united-states-enemy/feed/ 4
Wonders and Mysteries of Chinese Martial Arts https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/wonders-and-mysteries-of-chinese-martial-arts/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/wonders-and-mysteries-of-chinese-martial-arts/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 05:20:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7392 Internal and external components of Chinese martial arts: There is an internal component and there is an external component of Chinese martial arts. Internal component talks about Qi, some sort of bio-electric energy that circulates throughout the body. With proper training, one can build up and guide this Qi to circulate in one’s body. Practicing and building up this Qi to certain parts of your body can strengthen the power that you can exert externally and also increase your capacity to absorb the power of a strike.

But how this is done is mysterious, although most important. However, because I am not sure that today there is a good simple scientific explanation of the internal aspects of Chinese martial arts that is more or less universally accepted, I will not discuss this further here, except that I will refer to two sample videos that demonstrate the internal powers of Chinese martial arts. [1] [2]

The external component of Chinese martial arts can be understood in terms of physics and mathematics:

When you defend against an attack, you don’t block the attack head-on, because then whoever is stronger wins. Instead, you yield to the attacking force by complementing it with a small force along the same direction and simultaneously add a small force perpendicular to the attacking force. The former yields and gets your opponent off balance, and the latter, even a small force, will deflect the attacking force, because there is no force of your opponent in that direction.

This is the essence of the classic saying “four ounces can deflect a thousand pounds”.

Once you sense that your opponent is losing balance, you change direction by applying a force opposite to the direction of your opponent’s original direction of attack. This changes you from defense to offense, as illustrated by the Taiji symbol of constant change: 

Since a rotation changes the black part into the white part, and vice versa. The small white dot in the black part implies the offensive potential while in a defense position.  Similarly the small black dot in the white part implies the defensive potential while in an offense position.

When you step, you step heels down first, followed by stepping down your toes. When you do that, as your foot steps down, not only your foot moves forward, your body also moves forward. By synchronizing your arm attack with the movement of your steps, all parts of your body (foot, body, and arm) are simultaneously moving toward your opponent, thus increasing the power of your attack.

When you attack, you also add the rotation of your waist to increase the power of your attack. That is why loosing up your waist or doing waist rotation is often part of the warm-up exercises.

To increase your own stability, don’t walk like a tightrope walker or a model walking down a walkway. Instead, you always separate your two feet by about a shoulder width. As long as your center of gravity is within your lines of support of your two feet, you don’t fall and your stability is increased.

By keeping these Taiji principles:

  • Do not oppose a force head-on.
  • But deflect it and simultaneously add a small component of force along your opponent’s original direction of attack.
  • When opponent begins to lose balance, you change from defense to offense by applying a force opposite to your opponent’s original direction of attack.
  • Separating your two feet by a shoulder width provides stability.
  • Synchronizing your feet movement with your hand movement allows you to attack your opponent with your hands, feet, and body simultaneously.
  • Including rotation of your waist adds power to your attack.

By keeping these Taiji principles: Your soft and slow Taiji technique can exert the power of a football player, and your opponent feels like that he is attacking cotton.


————————————————–

[1] Sifu Liang De Hua: Taiji Jin 太極勁 | Part 1/2 | Liang De Hua | Season 3 Episode 9 (good demonstration of jin to resist and transform attacking force):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGEP5X78G1w. In particular, see

  • The video clip at (0:00-6:20): An introduction and the theory behind it.
  • The video clip at (9:00-12:32): More demonstration of its applications.

[2] Sifu Adam Mizner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuW4UfaC-l8. In particular, see

  • The video clip at (3:30-6:00): Applications
  • The video clip at (7:45-11:20): Striking and neutralizing striking, importance of placement, timing, and power
  • The video clip at (12:20-15:30): External versus internal martial arts

For both Reference [1] and Reference [2], I like to offer a few comments:

  • The way different people may explain it may be slightly different or they may use different terminologies.  Do not let that bother you too much because in my opinion I am not sure that currently we have a really good scientific explanation that is understandable and acceptable to all the people.
  • What one should get out from these videos is that these are real phenomena, and many people have been able to achieve these skills.
  • It is not easy to achieve the level of these experts.  It takes many years of serious training with suitable experts as your teachers.

]]>
https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/wonders-and-mysteries-of-chinese-martial-arts/feed/ 0
Campaign to Promote Peace Between the United States and China https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/campaign-to-promote-peace-between-the-united-states-and-china/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/campaign-to-promote-peace-between-the-united-states-and-china/#comments Wed, 01 Dec 2021 05:07:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7390 Under the sponsorship of the Coalition Peace Initiative (CPI): www.CoalitionPeaceInitiative.org, we recently (from 9/22/2021 to 11/17/2021) completed a series of 9 webinars “To Promote Peace Between the United States and China”. Reference [1] provides more information on the details (such as speakers, topics, and co-sponsors) of this 9-part webinar program. Reference 2 on the topic “China Is Not United States’ Enemy” is the crux of this webinar series.

This article summarizes the main points presented in this 9 webinar program.

We believe that the most important question facing the world today is Whether our world is moving toward war or peace.” Since the U.S. and China are the two most important and most powerful countries in the world today, the relationship between the U.S. and China is key to the question “are we moving toward war or peace”? Let’s see what has been happening in the world?  Almost every day, we hear in mass media reports about all kinds of accusations against China, with respect to Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea, Diaoyu Islands, Covid-19, etc. At the same time, we also hear all kinds of pronouncements from the U.S. government reiterating all these accusations. Unfortunately, almost all these accusations are essentially false, not based on truth, but on fabrications.

But there are serious implications for these fabricated accusations, especially when they are repeated over and over, many people will believe them and they will buy into this demonization of China.  This increases the tension between the U.S. and China, and will result in serious consequences:

For Chinese Americans: Creates hate crimes against Chinese Americans, and more generally speaking against Asian Americans, as we have clearly seen this past year. It leads to fabricated espionage charges against Chinese Americans, as we have also clearly seen this past year.

For Americans in general: Critical funding will be diverted to the military to meet the fabricated tension, instead of spending on improving our economy, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, fight climate change, fight against the pandemic, improve racial harmony, fight against terrorism and war.

For citizens of the world: Again, critical resources will be diverted to military and war, instead of using such resources to work on global problems like hunger, illiteracy, infant fatality, climate change, terrorism, job creation, and peace.

To understand modern U.S.-China relationship, we need to understand the historical relationship between U.S. and China, and the evolution of that relationship, and how the world has changed during the last 50 years or so.

To understand the historical development of U.S.-China relationship, we also need to understand how China was treated by the foreign powers, including the U.S. Therefore, we need to discuss modern Chinese history, in particular, starting with the 19th century.

How China is treated by the U.S. is very much related to how Chinese Americans are treated in the U.S.  That is why we also need to discuss the experience of Chinese Americans in the U.S.

That was why the three major topics for this webinar program were chosen to be:

  • Modern Chinese History
  • Chinese American Experience in the U.S.
  • History of U.S.-China Relationship

We now summarize the main points discussed during this webinar program on each of these three topics.

Main Points on the topic “Modern Chinese History”: For the discussion of U.S.-China relationship, we need to discuss modern Chinese history starting with the 19th century, which was a period of unequal treaties that China experienced with almost all of the world’s major powers. The most well known is the unequal treaties with Great Britain starting with the end of the First Opium War (1839-1842) when China was forced to open up a lot of ports to Great Britain, besides paying a large amount of money, and when Hong Kong became a colony of Great Britain. What is not well known is that even though the U.S. was never a war adversary of China during the Opium Wars, the U.S. also obtained many benefits during the Opium Wars, such as having their own political and legal jurisdiction in many ports in China. It also resulted in many Americans making huge fortunes selling opium in China. These people later became financial and industrial pillars of the U.S and major donors to the Ivy League schools. [3] Near the end of the 19th century the encroachment of Japan in China resulted in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894) which China lost, and had to give a huge sum of money to Japan while at the same time conceding Taiwan to become a colony of Japan.

Then in the 20th century during WWII, China was an ally of the U.S. and kept the majority of the occupied Japanese military on Chinese soils which kept these Japanese troops from making more attacks on U.S. troops in Southeast Asia, as well as on the U.S. mainland, besides the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also near the end of WWII, several major declarations by the Allied powers stated that after Japan is defeated in WWII, Japan must return the island of Taiwan to China. This was so stated in the 1943 Cairo Declaration, the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, and the Japanese Instrument of Surrender signed on the U.S. Battleship Missouri on September 2, 1945. However, in 1951 at the San Francisco Peace Treaty which was orchestrated by the U.S. and supposed to decide on the treatment of Japan as the result of Japan’s defeat in WWII. Neither the Republic of China (ROC) nor the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was even invited to this Peace Conference even though China suffered the most at the hands of the Japanese military during WWII and more than 50 other countries were invited. Contrary to all the previous agreements, the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty did not say that Taiwan should be returned to China, but only stated that Japan should give up Taiwan. This is one of many examples that the U.S. did not acknowledge history and did not follow up on its own agreements, but instead set its own ruled-based order.

Main Points on the topic “Chinese American Experience in the U.S.”: Starting in 1849, a large number (about 24,000) of Chinese workers first came to the U.S. to work on the gold mines. Then from1863-1869, another large number (about 20,000) of Chinese came to help build the first continental railroad. The Chinese workers were instrumental in building the western part of the first continental railroad. Their magnificent contribution is best summarized by Leland Stanford, then governor of California and president of the Central Pacific Railroad, who originally wanted only white workers to work on the transcontinental railroad, said in his report to then President Andrew Johnson: “They were “quiet, peaceable, patient, industrious and economical.” In a stockholder report, Stanford described construction as a “herculean task” and said it had been accomplished thanks to the Chinese, who made up 90% of the Central Pacific Railroad’s labor force. These workers showed their mettle, and sealed their legacy, on the peaks of the rugged Sierra Nevada.” Many thought that Stanford and the Central Pacific Railroad were foolish thinking that it could be done. [4]

However, the Chinese were not even represented at all in the large celebration ceremony in Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869 marking the completion of the First Continental Railroad. This huge oversight of history and display of racial discrimination were not corrected until the May 10, 2019 celebration at the 150 year anniversary of the completion of the First Continental Railroad.

In spite of the great contributions and sacrifices made by the Chinese workers to the development of the United States, the Chinese were discriminated against in every sense of the word, including many massacres. [4] [5] Finally, this led to the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the only law in American history to deny citizenship or entry based on a specific nationality. This law was supposed to last for only 10 years, but it was repeatedly renewed until 1943 when the U.S. and China were allies during WWII.

The discrimination against Chinese Americans continued in the 1950s during the McCarthy era. As a matter of fact, it has never really gone away, and has resurfaced many times, especially prominently with the Vincent Chin murder in 1882, the Wen Ho Lee espionage accusation in 1999, and the recent hate crimes against Chinese Americans, and more generally against Asian Americans in general, as well as a series of arbitrary false espionage charges against many Chinese American professors and researchers.

Main Points on the topic of the “History of U.S.-China Relationship”: As discussed under the topic of modern Chinese history, the U.S. made full use of the unequal treaty treatment of all the foreign powers toward China in the 19th century. So for most of the 19th century, the U.S. took advantage of China’s weakness, and basically exploited China as much as possible.

However, there was a brief period of diplomatic brilliance in the 1860s with the Burlingame Treaty of 1868. Anson Burlingame is unique in diplomatic history. He was appointed by President Lincoln to be the U.S.’s Ambassador to China 1861-1867, and then he was China’s Ambassador to the U.S. and Other Powers 1867-1870. Following Lincoln’s domestic policy of equality of men with the freeing of slaves from the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, Burlingame, together with Secretary of State William Seward, changed the U.S.’s policy toward China from one based on unequal treaties to one based on equality of nations. Arguing that such a policy change in the long term was in the best interest of the U.S., they were successful in persuading the U.S. Senate and President Andrew Johnson to pass the Burlingame Treaty in 1868. If such a policy had continued, we could have a very different world today. In light of the current U.S. government’s hostility policy toward China, the world would definitely benefit from another Anson Burlingame.

However, with the assassination of Lincoln, the early death of Burlingame, and the great change in the political climate in the U.S., the whole reconstruction movement was delayed in the U.S. by about 100 years, so that the emancipated slaves did not make significant gains toward equality until the civil rights movement of the 1950s/1960s. Not only that the Burlingame Treaty was basically repealed in the 1870s, it was then substituted by the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.

The first half of the 20th century was dominated by WWII and the emergence of the People’s Republic of China. As previously discussed, the U.S. did not recognize history or its previous agreements, but instead pursue its own rule-based order. This led to many current flash points between the U.S. and China, such as Taiwan, Diaoyu Islands, South China Sea.

To support its own rule-based order, the U.S. also continues to create fabrications and create unrest and various umbrella movements to try to weaken and de-stablize China. The most obvious examples are Hong Kong and Xinjiang which were discussed in Webinar 6. [6]

The crux of this webinar program is “China Is Not United States’ Enemy.” That last webinar [7] (Webinar 9 on 11/17/2021) provides many specific arguments that the answer should be no to the question “is China the enemy of the U.S.?” See also the program summary remarks at the end of that webinar. [8]

Let’s all work together harder for peace in order that our children and grandchildren will have a livable world to grow up in. We really have no other alternative.



——————————————————–

[1] “Educational Webinar Program”: https://www.dontow.com/2021/09/educational-webinar-program/.

[2] “China Is Not United States’ Enemy”: You can see the video replay of this 9th and last webinar at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWGqwPibQW8.

[3] See, e.g., James Bradley, The China Mirage:  The Hidden History of American Disaster in China, Little Brown and Company, 2015.

[4] Gordon H. Chang, Ghost of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Continental Railroad, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.

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

[6] See the video reply of Webinar 6 on 10/27/2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4vANu9EdSE. In particular, see the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website for funding they provided to various organizations, such as those fermenting unrest in Hong Kong and Xinjiang: https://www.ned.org/wp-content/themes/ned/search/grant-search.php?organizationName=&region=Asia&projectCountry=China&amount=&fromDate=&toDate=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&projectFocus%5B%5D=&search=&maxCount=100&orderBy=Country&start=1&sbmt=1

[7] For the video replay of Webinar 9, see: https://youtu.be/tWGqwPibQW8.

[8] “China Is Not United States’ Enemy” The audio podcast of this summary can be found at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/n07xoft8rhd3jw1/P9c-20211117-Tow%27s%20Closing%20Remarks.mp3?dl=0, and it can also be found at:  https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/china-is-not-united-states-enemy/.

]]>
https://www.dontow.com/2021/12/campaign-to-promote-peace-between-the-united-states-and-china/feed/ 2
Campaign to Demonize China Must Not Be Left Unchallenged https://www.dontow.com/2021/09/campaign-to-demonize-china-must-not-be-left-unchallenged/ https://www.dontow.com/2021/09/campaign-to-demonize-china-must-not-be-left-unchallenged/#respond Wed, 01 Sep 2021 04:15:00 +0000 https://www.dontow.com/?p=7213 The recent deluge of Western mass media reports and U.S. government pronouncements are full of false accusations against China. [1][2] This has critical implications for not only Chinese Americans, but for Americans in general, and also for other citizens of the world, because it seriously increases world tension and could easily lead to wars, including nuclear wars that can destroy the world as we know it.

We understand that China is a major competitor to the U.S., in economics, in military, in politics, and in all other aspects, but it is immoral and illegal to create and spread false accusations on your opponent. This is stooping down to the Tonya Harding treatment of your opponent. Unfortunately, the consequences in this case are much more serious. Such demonization of China based on fabricated accusations will surely increase tension between the U.S. and China, and drastically increases the risk of war between the world’s two major military powers, each with sufficient nuclear weapons to destroy the whole world multiple times.

Of all the critical problems facing humanity today, none is more important than war and peace. The occurrence of nuclear wars must be stopped.  We must promote peace and stop hate.

There are many peace-promoting organizations doing very important work.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have enough support or powerful enough, as evident by wars still occurring in various parts of the world just during the 21st century, as well as the recently escalating amount of hate crimes.

Perhaps a coalition of various peace-promoting organizations can consolidate and create enough influence and power to make a difference [3].  In light of the recent neglect of science and truth, to promote peace and stop hate must be done with truth and accuracy as reflected in the banner shown below:

Educational Webinar Program:

As part of our program to promote peace and stop hate, we are organizing an educational webinar program to begin on Wednesday, 9/22/2021, 8:00-9:00 PM (Eastern Time) for 9 consecutive Wednesdays ending on 11/17/2021, on the three following topics:

  • U.S.-China Relationship: To understand current U.S.-China relationship, we need to understand the historical relationship between U.S. and China and the evolution of that relationship, as well as how the world has evolved over time.
  • Modern Chinese History: We need to understand how China was treated by the foreign powers, including the U.S., starting with the 19th century, then into the 20th century with non-acknowledgement of history leading to potential flash points in the 21st century, and recently with the demonization of China.
  • Chinese American Experience in the U.S.: U.S.-China relationship is also reflected in the Chinese American experience in the U.S., starting with the first Chinese settlers during the days of the gold rush and the building of the first trans-continenatal railroad, to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, and to the recent increase of hate crimes and fabricated espionage charges against Chinese Americans.

Details about the webinar program, including the bylines of the speakers, and the list of co-sponsors, can be found in Ref. [4]. We hope that as the result of the webinar program:

  • Chinese Americans, and more generally speaking Asian Americans, will realize that the current political climate leads to a lot of unfair treatments, and they will take actions to raise their concerns and eliminate the unfairness.
  • Americans in general will realize that a lot of valuable resources will be taken away for military and war expenditures, instead of using it to improve our competitiveness, our economy, environment, infrastructure, healthcare, racial harmony, and peace, and Americans will steer our country to a more far-sighted direction.
  • People of the world will realize that there will not be resources to spend on critical global problems like hunger, illiteracy, climate change, pandemics, terrorism, and peace, and will push the governments of the world away from a zero-sum game.

All these people will realize that the fabrication of false accusations will just increase the animosity between nations and therefore the probability of wars, instead of the world working cooperatively to increase the size of the pie and share it more equitably in a win-win situation.


[1] For a discussion of false accusations of China in Xinjiang Province, see D. Tow “Xinjiang: Horror Story or Historic Transformation?”: https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/xinjiang-horror-story-or-historic-transformation/.

[2] For other flash points between U.S. and China arising from U.S. not acknowledging history, see D. Tow: “It Is Time for the U.S. to Acknowledge History”: https://www.dontow.com/2021/06/it-is-time-for-the-u-s-to-acknowledge-history/.

[3] For a description of the Coalition Peace Initiative, see https://www.change.org/CoalitionPeaceInitiative.

[4] See the accompanying article “Educational Webinar Program” by D. Tow posted under “Other” category of this release.


]]>
https://www.dontow.com/2021/09/campaign-to-demonize-china-must-not-be-left-unchallenged/feed/ 0