Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Far-Eastern Feuding ...

27 April 2005

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.


Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

Yup. Look at American history...Texas buys the most text a they heavily censor American history or they won't buy a text book!

Japan: apologies were all INSINCERE. Words are el cheapo. Actions is what matters. The other Asian nations demanded the Japanese leaders NOT honor war criminals.

They honor their war criminals.

Secondly, Japan refuses to pay damages. Just this week, they refused again. So more bad blood.

China's invasion of Vietnam: part of the war with Russia. Vietnam was Russia's ally and it won the war with America so China decided to put them in their place and they won again! Amazing David vs 2 Goliaths!

I am still waiting for America to indemnify the slaves....ahem.

3:59 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Sad to say, I think you'll have an awful long wait then, Elaine. I doubt it will ever happen.

4:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't foget the $137 billion or so stolen from Native Americans via the Indian Trust. I was just googling to find more info on it, and found that the Interior Dept. has just closed down the Bureau of Land Management's site, where all the data on the Indian Trust is kept.

'Bureau officials took the site off-line April 8, two days after the report was released. Investigators found that poor network security and weak access controls “could have easily compromised the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the identified Indian Trust data residing on such systems.” '

They closed it down under pressure because it was being hacked so much, which makes you wonder how much data has already been compromised.

BTW, Richard and Elaine, thanks for keeping us informed of goings on in China and Japan. I've known very little about it until you started connecting the dots.

6:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Demanding that the Japanese stop honouring their dead isn't a starter. In Shinto terms, if the Japanese stopped honouring the departed spirits of the war criminals, they would return as ghosts and make everyone's life miserable. But, of course, this isn't about religion, it's about geopolitics, and I doubt that the Chinese rulers really care what the Japanese do, except insofar as they can use it as a lever to achieve their ends.

9:10 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I do my little bits & bobs, Harper, but Elaine's output is so prolific, she never ceases to amaze.

10:08 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Agreed, anonymous. In that repect, all our leaders share a common goal - to achieve their own ends.

10:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for helping us get some comprehension here on the China v Japan apology bru-ha-ha about rewriting history. Of course every nation is undoubtedly guilty of that crime, including our own (USA) certainly. China became famous for rewriting history in my lifetime, (or so we were told).

....absense of the tanks at the huge protests .....failure to acknowledge substantial gifts and earlier apologies .....

Brings to mind Shakespearean thoughts:

...all the world's a stage ... and ... Too much ado ...


1:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgot to add: Love you both!!!

1:13 am  
Blogger Richard said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:00 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Likewise, Rosemary, and thanks.

BTW, re:the Bard -- you forgot to mention "Methinks he/she/they doth protest, tooooo much." Heh. ;^)

2:02 am  

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