By our special commentator.
We are now in the year 2016.
The US is hot with its presidential election and Donald Trump is sure to win.
The European Union has been harassed with a refugee crisis and anti-terror campaign, besides Great Britain’s vote to leave the big family.
Canada and Australia have attracted more investment from China into their resources and real estate industries while resentment from their local citizens is on the rise.
South East Asian nations are competing for interests on South China Sea islands and reefs with the Philippines launching a dispute to the Hague against Chinese military reclamation.
The world has entered an age of economic instability as we see more buzz than carnivals at the Olympic Games in Rio.
We are now living in a world of internet dominance.
At an age of industrial civilization and information technology, we seem to be enjoying more comfort of life and convenience that technology has brought us. But do any of you think that you become happier and healthier with the economic advancement and accumulation of more material wealth? Do you think that social morality is declining and the earth we are living on is facing greater challenges of “man-made” naturally disasters?
Let’s look at China as an example.
No one can deny that China has made great economic achievements after 40 years of reform and development. It’s now the world’s second-biggest economy.
But please remember, the most important elements of material wealth never change: water and air. After 40 years of development, 90 percent of China’s underground water is contaminated, air pollution is widespread. Worse than anything else, severe destruction of moral values lead to numerous social problems. Humanity is under threat.
Let’s look into the course of these developments and see how it has affected the whole world.
Besides industrious efforts of the Chinese people, economic achievements have been made possible by a government of highly centralized power led by the Communist Party.
The philosophy of people fighting each other is the basis of a communist party, as was said in its Manifesto by Karl Marx, “The Communists support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.”
This philosophy was brought into China only one hundred years ago. It has found the soil to grow against Chinese traditions which despise “profit-orientation”.
Once Mencius went to see King Hui of Liang. The King said: “My good man, since you haven’t thought one thousand miles too far to come and see me, may I presume that you have something with which I can profit my kingdom?” Mencius said: “Why must you speak of profit? What I have for you are humaneness and fairness, and that’s all. If you always say ‘how can I profit my kingdom?’ your top officers will ask, ‘how can we profit our clans?’ The elites and the common people will ask: ‘How can we profit ourselves?’ Superiors and inferiors will struggle against each other for profit, and the country will be in chaos.”
The Chinese Communist Party had been in power for 30 years before it decided to reform the economy and open the country up to the outside world. The party’s fighting philosophy and working only for profits has shaped its administration ever since its establishment. The hunger struck Chinese in the last century are like the fierce floods and savage beasts rushing forward. They marched ahead in a revolutionary way to search for profits amid the economic tides.
Xiaogang Village is a small village in Fengyang County, Anhui province in China, not far from Nanjing. During the Great Leap Forward, Fengyang County, along with much of the rest of the country, experienced a period of famine. A quarter of the county’s population, 90,000 people, died of starvation. In Xiaogang village alone, 67 villagers died of starvation out of a population of 120 between 1958 and 1960.
In December 1978, worried about another possible famine after a particularly bad harvest, the village farmers met to discuss for a solution. They finally agreed to break the law of the local government to divide the land into family plots and work individually to grow their own crops. The farmers also agreed secretly that should any of them be caught by the local government and sentenced to death that other fellow villagers would help raise their children until they were eighteen years old.
Even until today, the general public in China still live with the fear culture of fighting philosophy. This reform is a revolution. Reform might also mean individuals beheaded. But the fear of hunger prevailed. And this fear of hunger gave way to a nationwide revolution far beyond the meaning of an economic reform.
The Chinese as a whole is a diligent and industrious people. For generations one after another, the majority population had been tied to their small plots of land and made their living by farming. They have the culture to despise merchants and traders. They tend to be an obedient people and would not easily resort to revolts unless there were severe conditions like famine.
There have been numerous peasant uprisings because of famine in Chinese history, and many of them led to an overthrow of feudal governments. Chinese rulers regard its people as water and they know clearly that water holds up that boat and water also would sink the boat. They know that reform is necessary to lead people away from hunger.
Thirty to forty years ago in many parts of the country rural areas, people would feel ashamed to speak of the word “money”. Few would dear to say that they love money or have a great idea of making a lot of that. In their blood, there were still DNAs of Taoist, Buddhism and Confucianism that are content with simple material life. Cultural destruction by the Communist Party overturned this and their blood now started to change color.
The change was gradual but after thirty years we see its dramatic effects. When the pursuit of material profits became commonplace for the whole population, the eastern civilization was embarking on a path towards the natural destruction of fighting against heavens and earth. For most people, working for profits has become the only workable meaning of life.
With its door open, flies and mosquitoes flew in. The Communist government took the western lifestyle and thoughts of freedom as flies and mosquitoes. But its people loved these flies and mosquitoes. They had been educated that the American people lived in darkness and needed liberation. Now they awakened to realize that they themselves had been living under darkness and needed liberation. They knew the distance and differences between the two countries and were very much willing to embrace the capitalized way of life, although their Communist government put it as socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Japan was the first to help China. According to a government report released in 2003, since 1979, Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) has played a very important role in China’s reform and open as well as in the social and economic development. For 30 years, China obtained about 3.4 trillion Japanese Yen loans as well as other types of technical cooperation assistance. Japan is the largest donor country to China. Japan’s official assistance to China stood at over 60% of all bilateral aid provided to China in all donor countries.
For a variety of reasons, most Chinese do not know about Japan’s ODA to China. The Japanese helped the Communist troops of China to force Chiang Kai-Shek into Taiwan, and the central government does want its people to learn about those facts. Japanese invasion has left a scar in the skin of common Chinese that is hard to heal. The Communist Party has been cautious about this as it has been feeling happy to play the game of patriotism by making use of its people’s hatred against Japan. In many sense, the communists own the Japanese its gratitude as it bites the hand that has put food into his mouth.
The European Union was the second to give China a hand. Through the Generalized System of Preferences, numerous industrial exports were allowed to enter European markets at very low costs. A hundred dollars a month as salary for an ordinary worker in a toy factory in Dongguan city in Southern China would make a Chinese peasant family happy enough to celebrate a year of good harvest. In less than twenty years, Dongguan city has become the biggest production base of electronics processing industry.
China played tactically with WTO rules to overcome barriers and obstacles along the way of its steady development boosted by cheap exports. As young workers of several generations were exploited, environmental interests sacrificed, and political corruption ignored, China caught up with the west, slowly but with firm footprints.
The United States has been reluctant to give Chinese more support, as it was among the first to open its door for Chinese exports, and the US has been the largest market for Chinese export goods ever since its openness. The communist government has been in a struggle with the US for as long as it proclaimed its establishment, but the general Chinese public has never regarded the US as an enemy. Numerous Chinese parents have sent their children to the US not just for education, but with a dream that their next generation would become a US citizen.
Yu Minhong was born in a normal rural family. After graduation from Beijing University in 1985, Yu, like many classmates, began to apply for US universities for further education, but was denied. On November 16, 1993, he founded the New Oriental School, offering courses to young Chinese who were planning an education in the US. As of November 2015, his New Oriental had a network of 63 schools in 53 cities, 720 learning centers, and over 17,000 teachers all working to help young and educated Chinese to pass exams for admittance to US universities. In 2006, New Oriental Education was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Yu was then labeled “China’s richest teacher” with a wealth of US$800 million. In 2013, a film named American Dreams was released and became a hot topic across China.
From solving the problem of food and clothing to building a comparatively well-off society, it took China thirty years of hard work marked by many milestone records in foreign trade. To feed the mouths of 1.3 billion people was not an easy task and this seemed to be a long march, but the Chinese took their steps carefully and finally “crossed the river by feeling the stones”.
In pursuit of economic well-being, we don’t see any difference in human nature between the east and the west, between the lower and higher class.
When British convicts were brought to settle down in Australia in late 1700, the first and only thought they had in mind must be the same to survive from hunger. Food is the God of the people.
In 1789 when former convict James Ruse produced the first successful wheat harvest in New South Wales, the whole colony must be overjoyed and its residents began to grow enough food to support itself and gradually improved their standard of living.One hundred years ago, they called themselves British or Scottish; now they call Australia home.
About 200 years ago, through its colonization and foreign trade, Britain became the greatest empire on which the sun never sets. The British colonists brought down the Wall Street set up by the Dutch and turned Manhattan into a trade outpost that later became the world’s financial center. History has its ups and downs. As the Chinese put it, “30 years ago there was prosperity on the west bank of the river; and 30 years later prosperity was seen on the eastern bank of the river.” Historians made their predictions but few had provided a good guess.
China has called itself “center of the world”. This has shown the people’s pride if not arrogance. But to depict the true qualities of Chinese, one shall be put in a difficult situation without a deep understanding of its process of nationality mixture and development in five thousand & more years history. People are supported and changed by the land they live of different water and soil qualities. Residents in Sichuan love hot and spicy foods while residents in Shanghai and surrounding areas put sugar in most of their dishes. Migrants from Inner Mongolia live more on dairy products while those from central China rely more on wheat and vegetables. They speak different dialects and have different living habits. They all call them Chinese.
Since the mid-19th century, millions of Chinese migrated to neighboring countries, their descendants now a vital presence in the local economy and in the population of many nations. Today more than 30 million people of Chinese ancestry or ethnicity live outside of Greater China, over 20 million of them in Southeast Asia. Mostly through hard work, Chinese settlers eventually became dominant in the commercial sector in many societies in Southeast Asia, like Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Increasing numbers of migrants arrived in trade or mine for tin and gold, ushering in a “Chinese century” in the Southeast Asian economies from around 1700 into the mid-1800s. Although there were anti-Chinese events in all these countries where many Chinese migrants were persecuted, they still maintained a strong force in the economy of these countries.
Chinese made their way to North America during the time of the Spanish colonial rule over the Philippines in mid-1500. They established themselves as fishermen, sailors, and merchants on Spanish galleons that sailed between the Philippines and Mexican ports. The last major immigration wave started around the 1850s to the Western Coast of North America during the California Gold Rush. At that time, southern China suffered from severe political and economic instability due to the weakness of the Qing government, internal rebellions, and foreign invasions. The term “Chinaman”came to be used against the Chinese in America as some were murdered largely due to hatred of their race and culture.
Likewise, thousands of Chinese came to Australia in the 1800’s Gold Rush. According to Australian records, they were particularly industrious, with techniques that differed greatly from the Europeans. This and their physical appearance led them to be persecuted in a racist way that would be regarded as untenable today.
As a result, many Chinese emigrated from the poor Taishanese- and Cantonese-speaking area in Guangdong province traveled to the United States to find work. These earlier migrants formed the image of general Chinese public in the mind of western citizens: short, thin, long braids and shabby clothes of a lower race that could be easily looked down upon. Compared to the Japanese and Koreans, they looked similar but were widely taken for granted in terms of human dignity. The first Chinese immigrants usually remained faithful to traditional Chinese beliefs, which were either Confucianism, ancestral worship, Buddhism or Daoism, while others adhered to various ecclesiastical doctrines. Most overseas Chinese maintained their cultural heritage. Some married local women or men, but the number of Chinese migrants who converted to Christianity remained low. The Europeans seldom came to realize that this is one of the most persevering peoples on earth with great courage and fortitude.
In the past 30 years or so, and after China launching its Go Out Policy, more and more Chinese are going overseas and become local citizens or residents. Many sources of statistics reveal that there are about 30-40 million Chinese living overseas. When more and more Chinese become US, UK, Australian or Canadian citizens, the world is truly a global village. When Chinese elders have become Australian grandparents, or uncles and aunties of other white people, imagine the humanity effects. There is me in you, and you in me. When the Germans are coaches of Chinese football and the Chinese are coaches of Malaysian gymnastics, who would care which country wins the most Olympic medals. The world “patriotism” shall have more and more negative meaning as it would show the narrow-mindedness of people who honor it. As migrants, we have our children born to be Australian citizens; they have the education here and can only write English. When they grow up, they would regard themselves as Australians instead of Chinese. Which team they would and should support when Australia and China are competing on the field of Olympic games?
Thousands of years before, we did not have passports; and there were no borders between nations. Or there were no such things as nations or countries. The earth was one nation and people were free to travel anywhere they liked. When we looked into the history of humanity, one hundred years of development seems to be of little importance.
“Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.” Rousseau’s words told more about the Europeans in his age. Westerners value individual freedom so much that they are still fighting to safeguard this today. To the ordinary Chinese, freedom has never been a pursuit of their mind or is just an inordinate ambition. At least for two thousand years, individual freedom has been confined by feudal rule and even more so under the communist rule. The Chinese are in chains, now as it was in the past. This has greatly shaped the Chinese character.
Ancient Chinese philosophers commented that stress of morality was the source of all evil. When human beings lack morality, we must stress the importance of morality. From the stress of moral conducts came law and regulations, and government administration. Government administration produces fear and challenges human dignity without which freedom loses its grounds. The first communists of China were overseas students studying in France and Germany during the last days of Qing Dynasty. Their primary aim of bringing Marxism into China was to create a country of freedom for the people. When these young men heard of the world “freedom” from their European teachers, they had such a lofty ambition that they could bring this ideology back to their mother country and build a republic based on that. But they were too young to be able to understand the core nature of the Communist Manifesto. They did not expect this to cause more destruction to human dignity of their fellow country men.
Let’s talk more about China’s reform and economic development in the past 30-40 years and social/moral consequences that have been brought about.
When the communists took power in 1949, China had a population of about five hundred million and in 30 years this figure doubled to one billion. But the communist destruction of social order and traditional moral values made this huge population the most ravaged among the world’s nations. During the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, tens of millions of people were killed as a result of class struggles besides shortage in food supplies and deficient production. Mao’s mismanagement led the national economy to the brink of collapse.
By the time Deng took power in 1979 there was a widespread appeal among the elite for economic reforms. Despite debates of various social sectors, Deng and his supporters chose the western capitalist method. China’s first reform began in agriculture, then spread to cities across the country. Controls on private businesses and government intervention continued to decrease, and there was small-scale privatization of state enterprises which had become not viable. Few people at that time would expect a vitality released like rushing water that gushed through the sluices.
Shenzhen was a small town less than 30 thousand people on southern coastal line bordered to Hong Kong in 1979 when it was designated China’s first Special Economic Zone. In 2015 Shenzhen had transformed to a metropolitan city with a population of over 18 million. Shenzhen is now a major financial center in southern China, home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as headquarters of numerous high-tech companies. Shenzhen ranks 19th in the 2016 edition of the Global Financial Centres Index. It also has one of the busiest container ports in the world. Great changes have occurred in China over the past 30 years, and Shenzhen is a miniature of the national economic landscape.
“Feeling the stones to cross the river” has not been an easy adventure. While people in central China live a conservative lifestyle, residents in the southeastern coastal areas took a more adventurous approach. Historically, inhabitants in north China along the Yellow River were said to be more civilized as direct descendants of the Yellow Emperor; they looked at the southerners as barbarians with little morality and ethics. These south-easterners are more industrious and easy to take risks. Only to make a better living, they were the pioneers to sail and migrate to overseas countries and contribute to improving living standards of other family members and relatives left behind. They humbled themselves to work in difficult situations and always looked for more opportunities like a release of controls by their local and central governments. They were the first Chinese that westerners had an impression on.
The mainstream educated Chinese are more aggressive and experienced in human conflicts. For thousands of years, China has developed strict bureaucratic systems based on rituals and penalties and people as gentlemen must be well trained to climb the ladders towards different levels of supremacy. That is among the key reasons why many reforms in the country might turn into revolutionary movements. Momentum could be huge when a great mass was mobilized towards a material goal. Historical experience from temporary victories like the Opium Wars let many westerners underestimate the strength and endurance of the Chinese people.
When reform and opening up to the outside world have become an idiom in the Chinese dictionary and a slogan “Time is money” was written on a huge traffic sign at Shenzhen’s industrial zone, a capitalist DNA has been injected into the blood of the Chinese population. Ordinary Chinese in the past would feel degraded to discuss money matters; now the whole population worship money and people put money above everything else in all human developments. Everything now is money-oriented.
Karl Marx saw capitalism as a progressive historical stage that would eventually be followed by socialism. Marxists define capital as “a social, economic relation” between people and seek to abolish capital. This was upheld by the Chinese communists for decades. Now they are going to overthrow this belief and send more of its young economists to study Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations. With a purpose to confuse the ordinary Chinese, the government proclaims that it is undergoing a movement of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The communists who had been wonder pretenders avoided labeling this movement as “capitalist”.
China’s economic reforms over the past 20 to 30 years came in two stages, from commodity to market economy. Even today its Communist leaders still label itself as socialism with special characteristics, but its marrow truly flows with capitalist cells. In capitalist market economics, the key word is competition, rivalry among all parties involved in business operations aimed at increasing profits, market share, and sales volume. During this period, the Chinese mainly learned from Japan, the United States, and Western Europe.
The Chinese are very familiar with the terminology of competition and rivalry from the Art of War by Sun Tzu. To put them into practice in economic operations, they were eager to study more from western nations. And for some period of time foreign joint venture enterprises were like bamboo shoots after spring rain. Among other measures, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs was established to be responsible for introducing overseas talent to China.
The values of self-interest and entrepreneurship drove Great Britain to advance in the industrial revolutions. Education and technological changes in Germany or Europe helped their governments to modernize. The colonists built the best country on earth of freedom and democracy called the United States in 200 years. The Japanese turned their tiny islands into an economic superpower with crisis consciousness and Bushido spirit. And the culturally self-conceited Chinese were now ready to belittle themselves to learn from all these industrial pioneers.
Although historically Great China has despised this tiny neighboring nation to its east, calling it “little Japan”, they generously gave it a translation “the land where the sun rises”. Despite the shame from trade wars by the British, the Chinese named Britain “the handsome nation”. In the mind of Chinese, German is a country of great philosophers and they gave German this translation “a nation of virtues”. To France, the Chinese term was “a nation in good legal order” and they have always adorned Paris as a city of romance. When the communists in China deprived its people from its traditional benevolence, righteousness, etiquette, wisdom and trustworthiness, the America’s values of freedom, equality and democracy became so lovely to the general Chinese that they interpreted the United States as “a beautiful nation”. American movies greatly influenced a whole generation of young Chinese in the 1980s; and the Chinese elites gave Hollywood a very interesting translation “the shipyard where good things come from”. In contrast, to Soviet Union whom the Chinese Communists called Elder Brother, the general public gave a more unfavorable term of lower class if not negative meaning. This seems to be an interesting cultural phenomenon.
Divine Land company was a business set up in 1979 producing gas water heaters in Foshan city in the south. A thirty-year-old veteran went for travel in Japan in 1978 and brought back a heater. He disassembled the Japanese heater and made his own brand. In less than five years he was able to produce 100 million gas water heaters annually that dominated the national market. Trucks from across the country often lined up for two kilometers waiting for loading and discharge in front of his factory warehouses. He made torches for 1985 Asia Sports Games and won a world-wide reputation. But an ownership struggle with the local government took him to the brink of bankruptcy. Later in the 1990s his joint venture with German Bosch brought him to closing down of the business. Many more private businesses followed his footsteps.
Seen as a great success, the first ten years of economic development provided enough food to feed the majority population. When food and clothing were enough, people started to seek sexual or more honorable desires which led to the communist’s crackdown on the so-called bourgeois liberalization. Increasing wealth accumulated by families of government leaders caused resentment from most people and an anti-corruption campaign in 1989 turned into a political movement against the communist bureaucracy. Spirits of freedom, equality, and democracy were then only little sparks not fierce enough to kindle a fire under communist rule.
China has never been a country of freedom, equality, and democracy. Its people have been content with dreaming of natural life in a small state with fewer people as Master Laozi put it, “Let the people return to tying knots and using them for fishing, relish their food, appreciate their clothes, secure their homes, happy with their local simple lifestyles. The neighboring states shall be so close that they can see each other, and hear the sounds of roosters and dogs. But the people shall grow old and die, without having visited each other.” For many years, education for better morality based on these traditions had been challenged by class struggle originated from Marxism and its communist fighting philosophy, and pursuits of their ancestors for universal love were seldom heard of in modern Chinese communications. The policies of opening up to the outside world gave the elder elites of the Chinese a better chance to learn about the world’s universal values and reflect on its traditions, but for the younger generations who had been cut away from traditional values, this had been a difficult education. In fact, those free and democratic values are inconsistent with traditional Chinese norms of conduct, but unfortunately, these younger Chinese generations are more than happy to throw them into the rubbish bins.
As the economic developments advanced, more and more Chinese got rid of poverty and they actually became richer and richer. But inevitably, the morality of the whole society deteriorated when getting rich became the only goal for many. The whole country holds the idea that prostitution is more accepted than poverty. Corruption is widespread among government officials. Ninety percent of China’s rivers and underground water are polluted; arable land cannot be cultivated because of chemical contamination. Among many other disasters, there were food safety incidents like poisonous rice and infant formulas.
On the afternoon of 13 October 2011, Wang Yue, a two-year-old girl also known as Little Yue Yue, was run over by two vehicles on a narrow road in Foshan city. As she lay bleeding on the road for more than seven minutes, at least 18 passers-by skirted around her body, ignoring her. She was eventually helped by a female rubbish scavenger and sent to a hospital for treatment, but succumbed to her injuries and died eight days later. The closed-circuit television recording of the incident was uploaded onto the internet and quickly stirred a widespread reaction in China and overseas. Many saw this as indicative of a growing apathy in contemporary Chinese society. This has not been an isolated incident.
China faces lots of problems along with its economic advancement, either politically, socially, environmentally or ethically. The Chinese government is highly bureaucratic with a rigid centralization of authority. The advantage of centralization of authority can be obvious in that governments at all levels can mobilize national or regional resources on a mass scale for construction and there is high efficiency. But the centralized regime dictated by a small group of elite who monopolizes political power holds the authority that penetrates into the deepest reaches of societal structure. Under the communist regime, officials seek to completely control the thoughts and actions of ordinary people; many human and environmental disasters had been covered up.
China’s economic reforms created over a million millionaires in 30 years, but a quarter of them have been sentenced or are going to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Over the past 3 years, more than 100 ministers and half a million government officials have been sentenced to imprisonment because of corruption charges or related political struggles. We hear about corruption cases of even higher ranking officials always every month in 2016 and people are expecting more in the coming year.
Let’s move to China’s recent Go Out Policy.
By 1999, China has amassed huge amounts of foreign reserves, thus putting upward pressure on the foreign exchange rate of the Chinese currency. Indeed, there have been much demand from the international community for China to float its currency. In order to deflate that demand, China therefore actively seeks to employ its foreign reserves by acquiring assets overseas.And this, along with Chinese immigration overseas, has a significant effect on the world’s economy and society, as well as on human development as a whole.
July 2016, the Serie A team owner Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sold his AC Milan to a Chinese consortium, as the club was not able to compete against other well-funded rivals. Football is a popular sport in China but it has never won any big games on the international football field. The Chinese government has pledged to revolutionize the game all over. The deal underscores China’s push not only to buy sports assets in Europe but more than assets across the globe. This has not been an isolated case.
In the past 20 years, China has been fairly good with small balls; now it has come to stretch its muscle on the field of bigger balls. With a population of over 1.3 billion and another 50 million overseas, this dragon of the east has awakened to rise up in the world of civilizations.
This intrusion has not been rejected by the majority as it has come in a more humane way of economics, although there are more concerns now from Britain when China is going to build a nuclear plant there and from Australia where China is going to buy its national electric network.
Walking into a Kmart store, we see toys, electronics and all other shells dominated by Made in China labels. Not just big supermarkets, even our neighborhood grocery stores. Not just America, Europe, South-east Asia countries, but remote tiny countries in Africa and the Middle East. We start our day with to wear clothes and shoes Made in China, carry the fake LV bags to work and watch movies at night with cheap China-made TVs.
Most US national flags are made in China, and army uniforms as well; Chinese machinery has reshaped the competitive landscape traditionally reserved for European machinery manufacturers. These Chinese manufacturers have become strong competitors in the global economy on the basis of not just cost advantages, but increasingly stronger technical capabilities. The United Kingdom has signed a deal with China to build a nuclear power plant which many British look at as a grand kowtow humiliating the Duke of York.
Chinese investors have been putting their money in Western movie companies, real estate, and even dating, besides grand investment in iron ores and other natural resources across the globe. In recent years, China has been building airports and other military outposts on disputed islands in the South China Seas, and has strongly invested in military capabilities and ambitious operations in areas far more than cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum.
Since 2004, under the Confucius Institute Program, hundreds of language centers have been established in western countries in spite of criticisms, concerns, and controversies during its international expansion. Some people name it “the dragon attack”.
Few would expect this to happen 30 years before when China first opened its doors to the outside world. Backwards, China was largely self-sufficient and trade with western merchants was confined to restricted coastal cities in mid-1800 when the British started the Opium War. Han Chinese has never been so aggressive for 2000 years except for 1000 years ago when Genghis Khan of the minority Mongolia people set foot on Europe through the Middle East.
With China’s going global strategy, the One Belt One Road program, and Asia Investment Bank to include more members, China is embarking on a greater expansion of its global influence. Despite the reluctance of the British government in pushing ahead the joint venture of nuclear power plant in England, and of the Australians with the Ausgrid electric project by Chinese investors, this invasion today is on a large scale beyond economical, political and cultural spheres. Mr Berlusconi said in a video: “It’s an important decision to give AC Milan to someone able to make it be a protagonist in Italy, Europe and globally. I didn’t discuss price, I’ve accepted what they offered me.” Money has all the talk; so many people are eager to sell without considering or asking for a good price.
As we have seen, the internet has brought about great changes in our daily life and every aspect of the economics. While ordinary people start to worry about their own privacy and cyber security, world leaders of developed countries show greater interest in building a New World Order which none of us knows what that is. What Obama has built today might be overturned by Donald Trump or Hillary; in the eyes of most people, it shows only the narrow-mindedness of the Turnbull government not to support Kevin Rudd’s nomination for the top job of the United Nations. If any leader only cares about the interests and security of his own party or nation, he shall never become a great leader.
After the twin towers of US World Trade Center were hit by airplanes, the world has witnessed a great change in international relations. Could China take over the US and rule the world in the coming century? Or Would China have an economic crash as a result of its political corruption, social instability, and other problems? Could the world be better off with Chinese domination politically and culturally? This has become an issue of public debate in many countries in the past decade. We don’t know how the world would look like tomorrow, but it is for sure that humanity will face more and greater challenges ahead. And what you and I can do to stop disasters is very limited.
Picture: China’s Wuxu Weixin Movement in the late Qing Dynasty