China’s anti-Japanese patriotism set to soar

Just what we need. This blogger is the latest addition to my blogroll.

The Discussion: 16 Comments

wow, thanks for the plug!

June 23, 2005 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

Kevin, you are doing some stand-up stuff – I added you to my blogroll yesterday – not that I can get you much of an audience, but I really appreciate the work you’re doing.

June 23, 2005 @ 9:47 pm | Comment

wow, thank you both very much.
too bad the weekend starts today, so my blog is about to come to a screeching halt…
but i’ll be back monday!

June 23, 2005 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

I wonder if they want stories from the Flying Tigers, the KMT military, Stilwell and the non-communist partisan? Or should the CCP be reminded that they did not defeat the Japanese without the help of the US. I think Japan only surrendered in China after The bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

June 24, 2005 @ 1:51 am | Comment


Your above comment just reminded me of a particularly good ESWN post re what Chinese schoolchildren learn about history….and what they don’t.


“…an examination of several of the most widely used history textbooks here (China) reveal a mishmash of historical details that many Chinese educational experts themselves say are highly selective and often provide a deeply distorted view of the recent past.

Most Chinese students finish high school convinced that their country has fought wars only in self-defense, never aggressively or in conquest, despite the People’s Liberation Army’s invasion of Tibet in 1950 and the ill-fated war with Vietnam in 1979, to take two examples.

Similarly, many believe that Japan was defeated largely as a result of Chinese resistance, not by the United States.”

Mao’s on record during WWII as supporting a policy of standing back and restricting the poorly-equipped, rag-tag communist forces to guerilla attacks and letting the KMT and Japanese Imperial troops slaughter each other in order to be in better shape at the end of it all to establish power.

Now there’s patriotism for you.

June 24, 2005 @ 11:44 am | Comment

I’ve also heard a considerable number of Chinese going on about how the British burned the Summer Palace – and in context they’re usually holding me guilty by association, as an American. The reasoning seems to be that all Anglophones are guilty by association, for burning the Summer Palace.
Then I tell them that the British burned the White House in 1814 – and inevitably, none of the Chinese have ever heard of that. Then to emphasise the absurdity of it all I tell them, “Well, that’s just how the British are, they just like to burn things. I never give my cigarette lighter to any of my English friends, because I know he’ll just take it and burn down some more buildings.”

June 25, 2005 @ 12:39 am | Comment

Speaking of the minor role played by the CCP in WW2, compare that to what passes for the truth in China today:

“…the mainstay role the Communist Party of China played in the Anti-Japanese War which was fought by the people of all nationalities of China united as one, the role of the people’s armed forces as the main force in the Anti-Japanese War under the leadership of the Party, and the glorious history of the Anti-Japanese War waged by the whole people under the banner of the anti-Japanese national united front initiated by the Communist Party of China.”

Chen Xianyi, PLA Daily, 24/5/05. talking about the 128 new patriotic books about the ‘CCP heroes of the Anti-Japan War’ being published to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the war.

June 25, 2005 @ 2:47 am | Comment

You’re right Ivan, the Summer “But it was soooo beautiful” Palace is a biggie in China.

It’s the way their history books, media, lots of things are all slanted towards China being the eternal victim.

Anyone with half a brain cell knows about history and the suffering of all peoples as nations and empires rose and fell. Just depends how far one wants to go back.

Some Chinese people today talking of China being the eternal victim is just as laughable as that other myth about China being a peaceful and non-agressive nation throughout history.

How badly must a mind be twisted in order to actually believe that? Scary.

June 25, 2005 @ 2:53 am | Comment

I think you’re overexaggerating a bit martyn.
yes, tibet and vietnam and, I’d say to a slightly lesser extent India and Korea are black marks.
but looking from China out, the fightings initiated by Europeans or the US in the last 100 years surely appear much greater?
I guess I’m saying you don’t have to be all that twisted a mind to see China as less aggressive to third parties than Europeans and Americans over the last 100 years.

June 25, 2005 @ 4:05 am | Comment

KLS, must we restrict which part of history we look at just to suit whatever fact or comment we want to substansiate?

It’s pretty poor form.

Above I simply pasted the contents of real Chinese history books and compared it to the historical realities as I, and much of the rest of the world know it. ALso, pasted the commonly-held Chinese view of the role of the CCP in WWII. I also took exception to the Chinese view that they are the eternal victim in history.

Overexaggerating? Hmmm.

June 25, 2005 @ 4:18 am | Comment

BTW, KLS mate, have you ever had a poke around EastSouthWestNorth with it’s Google search tool? It’s pretty amazing, with a lot of translations as well. Also, not prone to exaggeration!! Yer cannat whack it man.

June 25, 2005 @ 4:28 am | Comment

well arguably we do have to restrict it, otherwise you’ll have people saying “the US was founded on the genocide of the red indians” and accuse the US of hypocrisy when it condemns, say, rwandan genocide.

anyway, I do pretty much take your point about being the eternal victim … China had long been a victim until 60 years ago, but that was 60 years ago…

really, as I said in the previous post, I was picking up on what you termed the myth of being peaceful and non-aggressive … and I stand by what I said.

can’t deny though I’ve been on the receiving end of the odd gruff summer palace comment or two — though they’ve always been made as a kind of knowing joke, as in “we’re not going to let you get away with it so easily..”

June 25, 2005 @ 4:40 am | Comment

not restrict ESWN, of course!

June 25, 2005 @ 4:42 am | Comment


Yes, I think we stand so far apart on the question of China having a long history of aggression and conquest that we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Still, I would ask you exactly how come China is so big these days and how come the maps of China are sometimes completely different depending on what time in history you look at. Those differences in size have to do with soldiers you know.

I’m still amazed that anyone can look at China’s history and think that it’s always been a peaceful and non-aggressive nation. At the start of each dynasty China would build standing armies bigger than the world had ever seen to expand it’s territory and empire. This is taught in schools here KLS, it’s hardly just “my opinion”.

Please don’t tell me you’re another Adam Morris and believe that only Europeans are capable of imperial aggression? I’ll be devastated.

June 25, 2005 @ 9:01 am | Comment

KLS: I’m always surprised at your point of view on a lot of things. Very, very unique stance I think.

However, I am with Martyn’s above comments on this one. From what I have learned about Chinese history he is correct.

“I was picking up on what you termed the myth of being peaceful and non-aggressive … and I stand by what I said.” KLS

I am shocked that you consider that China was always a peaceful and non aggressive nation. KLS, it’s so untrue that I am staggered to hear you say it.

Don’t you, as I do, start to feel nervous if you hear yourself saying something that is almost word-for-word the same as what the ccp spout in their propaganda?

Even a lot of Chinese people themselves take that line with a large pinch of salt!

June 25, 2005 @ 12:02 pm | Comment

Ben I don’t try to different on purpose, I promise!
OK. I admit I should have clarified: reaching way back in history there’s been a lot of fighting in and around China involving “Chinese”. so I agree with you both, Martyn and Ben, that it’s a myth that China has not been aggressive down the centuries.
But I should have made clear that I was emphasising the last century. I did in fact mention the “last 100 years” in the above post.

maybe this is neither here nor there, but I do think it is understandable that someone in China — even someone able to rise above the propaganda — would see China as less aggressive to third parties than has been (over the last 100 years) the US or Europe.

as I say, I stand by that, although I don’t think it’s a particularly big deal. less aggressive does not mean not aggressive.

but I’m sorry Martyn for not making clear that I wasn’t referring to centuries and centuries ago: I take all your points there and never disagreed.
by the way, it’s been at least a week since I last accused you of china-bashing … do you think you could post about how the weather is too hot and muggy in GZ, then I can have a go at you for that?

June 25, 2005 @ 12:48 pm | Comment

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