Far-Eastern Feuding ...
The Chinese have been showing Japan exactly what they think of it's 'revisionist' history recently. Hundreds of thousands have regularly been demonstrating in the streets. As it's all gone on, what's not been happening is as noteworthy as what has. Everything's taken place without a single sighting of a solitary, Tianamman-square-type tank to keep 'order'. Hmm?
It's true the Japanese have, in the past, inflicted terrible things on their oriental neighbours [and others] -- but 'revision of history' has long been the norm in China, too. Often, by more subtle yet equally effective, sins of omission.
Witness what Briton, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, the BBC's Beijing, resident correspondent, recently reported -- in an intelligent and fair & balanced way. Incidentally, he's more than well read in Chinese history, and has much first hand experience in life in modern China, where he lives with his family. Interestingly, his wife is Japanese and they have two young children. Hopefully, they'll ensure we soon have at least a couple more enlightened adults amongst us. Half British, half Japanese, growing up in China? Definitely, far Eastern experts of the future, I'd say.
Here's a telling extract from their father's recent BBC piece.
* Young Chinese are taught about the atrocities committed by the Japanese during World War II. They are not however taught about the 17 official apologies that Japan has made to China over the last 30 years, including one from the Japanese emperor when he visited Beijing.
Nor are they told of the $30bn in aid that Japan has given to China since ties were re-established in 1972, aid that has helped build Beijing's international airport and the city's new subway system. You'll search in vain for a plaque on either acknowledging where the money came from.
Unlike Japan, in China the government really does control history.
His full article's well worth a read -- at the link down below -- here's another taster:
China's own history has been relentlessly rewritten to erase the episodes the Communist Party would rather forget. Ask any young Chinese about Mao's disastrous "great leap forward" campaign in which more than 20 million people starved to death, and you will get a blank stare.
Ask about China's unprovoked invasion of Vietnam in 1979 in which tens of thousands of Vietnamese were killed. Again, nothing.
Last week China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao declared that:
"Only a country that respects history, and takes responsibility for history, can take greater responsibilities in the international community."
He was talking about Japan, but he could just as well have been talking about China.