Monday, July 13, 2009

China and Another Bankrupt Ideology

All the spare time recently has gone to sightseeing, studying, and just the general process of being overseas and stuff, so I haven't had an opportunity to update this blog. And, the stuff I did want to write about was about the trees here, or the awkward signs, or the language, or the castles, or the villages, you know some of the more pleasent stuff in life -- but the outrageous way in which Turks in Xinjiang(新疆, 신강) have been treated should be recognized as a serious threat to both the United States and Korea for we can now see Communist China for who she really is and why we as responsible citizens should care.

What Does It Mean To Be Chinese?

You see the Chinese flag has five stars. Each of the five stars represents an ethnic group that is supposed to compose the Chinese nation. These five stars represent the Han Chinese, the Turks of Xinjiang, Tibetans, Manchurians, and Mongolians. I was in fact referring to the older flag of the KMT (the pro-mainland party in Taiwan) during 1912-1928:
"五族共和" (Five ethnic groups together in harmony) -- Thank you Gudong.
Nonetheless, it is still indeed the ideology of the current communist regime in China that ethnicity has nothing do with nationality (Hence, Tibetans are Chinese according to this thought).
The ideology is so that just like you have Chinese-Americans in the United States, you have a Chinese nation of multiple ethnic groups, including Koreans. But, they don't get a star (But, of course, the crucial difference would be that Chinese-Americans willingly migrated to the United States whereas those five groups outside of Manchurians, who for all practical purposes no longer exist as a distinct ethnic group, were either physically conquered and/or culturally assimilated by the Han).

This should be of particular importance to Koreans as this was the main reason given by the Chinese government as to why the Chinese government claims Goguryeo as a kingdom in Northeast China as a minority Chinese kingdom. The logic being that since China is not a nation of a single ethnic group -- as in an Israel or Korea -- then it is possible for those people of Goguryeo or even Koreans to be ethnically Korean, but their nationality to be Chinese.

Of course, with uprisings in Tibet last year (and comparisons with Native Americans by Han Chinese) and Xinjiang this year, we all now know that just like communism, this concept or ideology of Chinese nationality is, well, bankrupt. China is a nation of Han Chinese who are systematically taking advantage of her ethnic minorities and continuing a ten-thousand year history of absorbing smaller, neighboring countries and ethnic groups one-by-one. Interestingly, the first character, "Xin" (新,신), Xinjiang, represents new as if it's some new land for the Chinese to settle.

This process of conquest and assimilation is not just a communist thing, you see. The Republic of China (Taiwan), even claims what is left of Mongolia. And, this I believe is more of a Chinese thing. This has been going on for hundreds and hundreds, no thousands, of years (Think about the initial assimilation of the Cantonese civilization). But, the easiest way to look at it is by looking at something none other than where the Great Wall of China is.

You see, for most of history, well, up until 1644 (when the barbarians conquered China for good), the Great Wall was meant to protect civilization (China) from the uncivilized or not as civilized (the rest of the world, pretty much). China was pretty much "contained" to the east coast with tributary states to the northeast (Korea, Japan) and to the south (Dai Viet, though, this state was directly ruled by the Chinese as late as during the Ming period), but did at times directly rule over states in the west. Nonetheless, even as late as the 19th century, when Manchurian rulers finally allowed the Han to settle in Manchuria (those areas northeast of the Great Wall), most of Manchuria was scarcely populated and the region was devoid of Han Chinese, which certainly is not the case today. Much of the lands that were occupied by barbarians are now part of China proper and the barbarians there speak Mandarin.

I remember a few years ago the term that China kept using was the "peaceful rise of China" or so, as if, to tell the world that you know what, the middle kingdom -- literally (中國), is returning to it's proper place as the center of the world and will do so in a very peaceful way. By the way, I'm sorry to tell you Sinophiles out there, but I doubt this will ever happen again, for you see, the United States is now here and by geography and ideology (and, perhaps, even destiny) the country sits right in the middle -- between the West and the Far East.

The last time the Han Chinese tried to conquer Korea (7th century C.E.) when the Tang turned on Silla, the Tang were much bigger than Silla, but nowhere near the proportions that either one of the Koreas today faces (This is one of the reasons why
I believe North Korea has a nuclear weapons program and why I believe a unified Korea will need either a nuclear weapons program or an iron tight alliance with the United States for perpetuity). Do you think Korea could have survived up until today had the Chinese borders been like how it is today for the past couple thousand years?

I'm not disputing the territorial claims that Communist China makes with respect to Tibet nor Xinjiang (though Taiwan is a whole another matter, but that's for another day), but I'm pretty sure nobody believes the Chinese government's definition of what it means to be Chinese now.


  1. For the Chinese to co-opt Goguryeo with a straight face is the equivalent of claiming that Viking culture and history is American because more Norwegians now live in the USA than in Norway. What chutzpah!

  2. Without dwelving into the legitimacy of why Goguryeo has traditionally been seen as one of the three Korean kingdoms, I'm just pointing out that the argument behind why and how Goguryeo is now bankrupt -- the minority "Chinese" Kingdom.

    Interestingly, the language of Goguryeo (for which, admittingly for which the evidence is scarce), is much more similar to Japanese then it is to Korean.

    What is known is that Goguryeo was a Buyeo kingdom (both the ruled and rulers) and Baekje (was at least ruled by a people speking Buyeo). As Silla came to dominate the peninsula, most of the Buyeo words died out, but some of these words were preserved in Japanese (again, for which evidence is scarce). I'd say it'd be entirely possible for Japan to claim that Goguryeo to actually be an ancient "Japanese" kingdom.