Can China be loved?

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neverfail
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Can China be loved?

Post by neverfail » Mon May 03, 2021 11:35 pm

Francesco Sicsi (pundit - Asia Times).

https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/time-for- ... -the-love/

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him,” said G.K. Chesterton.

That is, the worst fear in a relationship is the withdrawal of love. This is the terror. Then it is even more so for political power, which cannot simply inspire fear. The US, for instance, is far more fearsome than China but also can inspire great love.

The path to greatness for China should be to inspire love. In fact, the US has been loved more than feared for many decades. Its success in the Cold War was not motivated by the Soviet fear of invasion.

The USSR was fully capable of defending itself, and it was far more fearsome than America. Yet the United States was far better than the USSR at inspiring love of its friends and enemies alike.
..............................................................................................................................................

It must be true. During the very first decade of this century before the PRC started doing nasty, imperialistic things such as turning shoals and reefs in the South China Sea into artifical islands and then building military bases on them the PRC had a very benign image here in Australia. Conversely over the same time slot the Bush Administration was throwing America's weight around in the World with destructive but ultimately futile military forays into places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Polls of the time were showing that far more Australians saw America and the Bush administration as a greater threat to world peace than the PRC. Knowing the strength of my compatriots attraction to American "soft power" along with their old dread of the yellow peril (current just over a century ago) which Xi along with recent CCP policy moves have partially reignited again I can only observe "that takes quite a lot of doing"- I mean, by the USA, not by the PRC.

The moral to that seems to be that in order to be loved the PRC did not even need to do anything particularly loveable : just abstain from pursuing a foreign policy course of attempting to exercise power over others.

Ellen
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Re: Can China be loved?

Post by Ellen » Tue May 04, 2021 1:54 am

Well, NF, not doing nasty things to other people does not make one loved by them or anyone else.

Being loved by others requires certain attributes or sentimental associations that people will link to a party, whether or not they deserve it. These sentimental associations, in fact, may be based on fantasies, not reality, but it doesn't matter if they elicit a strong response from the intended audience.

For example: When the Greeks fought their independence movement against the Turks in 1831, they received a lot of very helpful support from English and French romantics who wrongly associated the modern Greeks with their illustrious ancestors in classical Greece. A whole support movement (or in today's language - a lobby) was established to support the Greeks in their revolt. Little did the English and French romantics realize what modern Greece would evolve into. Ask the leaders of the EU today what they would associate modern Greece with, and the last thing they would think of is Classical Greece with its great philosophy, literature, culture of intellectualism and military prowess.

America was loved in the past partly because of the attractive qualities of its popular culture which captured the imagination of multitudes of people across the world. This was in the wake of the murderous atrocities of WWII, that were associated with European intellectualism and high culture (rightly or wrongly). Also, America was a land of immigration and opportunity for millions of immigrants fleeing from the war and misery of other countries of the world. This wasn't a fantasy - it was a reality.

Today, neither of those things are true, which accounts for the loss of love on the part of the global audience for America generally. However, the Chinese have never produced an exportable culture that anyone other than afficionados of Chinese art and architecture could love. Other than Chinese restaurants and food, of course. It also is not a country of immigration beckoning the impoverished multitudes. China in its current form does not elicit or deserve love. It may arouse fear, and fear counts for something. Look at what Vladimir Putin as achieved by making people afraid of him. But, this is not love and will never be love.

neverfail
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Re: Can China be loved?

Post by neverfail » Tue May 04, 2021 2:31 am

Ellen wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 1:54 am
Well, NF, not doing nasty things to other people does not make one loved by them or anyone else.

Being loved by others requires certain attributes or sentimental associations that people will link to a party, whether or not they deserve it. These sentimental associations, in fact, may be based on fantasies, not reality, but it doesn't matter if they elicit a strong response from the intended audience.

For example: When the Greeks fought their independence movement against the Turks in 1831, they received a lot of very helpful support from English and French romantics who wrongly associated the modern Greeks with their illustrious ancestors in classical Greece. A whole support movement (or in today's language - a lobby) was established to support the Greeks in their revolt. Little did the English and French romantics realize what modern Greece would evolve into. Ask the leaders of the EU today what they would associate modern Greece with, and the last thing they would think of is Classical Greece with its great philosophy, literature, culture of intellectualism and military prowess.

America was loved in the past partly because of the attractive qualities of its popular culture which captured the imagination of multitudes of people across the world. This was in the wake of the murderous atrocities of WWII, that were associated with European intellectualism and high culture (rightly or wrongly). Also, America was a land of immigration and opportunity for millions of immigrants fleeing from the war and misery of other countries of the world. This wasn't a fantasy - it was a reality.

Today, neither of those things are true, which accounts for the loss of love on the part of the global audience for America generally. However, the Chinese have never produced an exportable culture that anyone other than afficionados of Chinese art and architecture could love. Other than Chinese restaurants and food, of course. It also is not a country of immigration beckoning the impoverished multitudes. China in its current form does not elicit or deserve love. It may arouse fear, and fear counts for something. Look at what Vladimir Putin as achieved by making people afraid of him. But, this is not love and will never be love.
Very good reply, Ellen (or should I call it a riposte? :lol: )

But Ellen, re. your reference to Greece. You are not trying to suggest that the Greeks would have been better off remaining under Ottoman rule, are you?

Not 100% true! China's native philosophies of Confucianism and Taoism were adopted by neighbouring countries like Korea, Vietnam and Japan. While the first two of these spent periods of time incorporated into Chinese empires and at other times found themselves within the spheres of influence of other strong Chinese dynasties as tributary states - that is not true of Japan which for centuries entered into a tributary association with China (especially during the Tang and Sung periods) in order to learn as much as they could from what the Japanese recognised as a higher civilisation than their own native one (until they reached a certain advanced level of development and then they dispensed with the China association - the cunning sods).

In all three cases their states were build up according to the borrowed Chinese imperial template.

Having noted that, I concede that China's philosophies and ways did not seem to have had any appeal beyond some of the countries located around China's immediate rim. For instance, the Philippines had a regular seaborne barter trade contact with China from around 800AD onward yet the Filipinos never picked up these philosophies from Chinese mentors. Indeed, like the other peoples of what Kipling referred to as the Malay Archipellago the Filipinos (pre-colonisation) seem to have been influenced more by India than China. Even most parts of mainland south East Asia west of Vietnam demonstrate past centuries of a more ready acceptance of Indian ideas and forms than Chinese ones.

Even the Sunni Islam of Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the southern Philippines apparently originated second hand from the Indian sub-continent instead of directly from the Arabic Middle East.

While the native Indians never built any Empire beyond the bounds of their own subcontinent it seems that their soft power extended much more widely than that of China.

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cassowary
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Re: Can China be loved?

Post by cassowary » Tue May 04, 2021 3:34 am

neverfail wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:35 pm
Francesco Sicsi (pundit - Asia Times).

https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/time-for- ... -the-love/

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him,” said G.K. Chesterton.

That is, the worst fear in a relationship is the withdrawal of love. This is the terror. Then it is even more so for political power, which cannot simply inspire fear. The US, for instance, is far more fearsome than China but also can inspire great love.

The path to greatness for China should be to inspire love. In fact, the US has been loved more than feared for many decades. Its success in the Cold War was not motivated by the Soviet fear of invasion.

The USSR was fully capable of defending itself, and it was far more fearsome than America. Yet the United States was far better than the USSR at inspiring love of its friends and enemies alike.
..............................................................................................................................................

It must be true. During the very first decade of this century before the PRC started doing nasty, imperialistic things such as turning shoals and reefs in the South China Sea into artifical islands and then building military bases on them the PRC had a very benign image here in Australia. Conversely over the same time slot the Bush Administration was throwing America's weight around in the World with destructive but ultimately futile military forays into places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Polls of the time were showing that far more Australians saw America and the Bush administration as a greater threat to world peace than the PRC. Knowing the strength of my compatriots attraction to American "soft power" along with their old dread of the yellow peril (current just over a century ago) which Xi along with recent CCP policy moves have partially reignited again I can only observe "that takes quite a lot of doing"- I mean, by the USA, not by the PRC.

The moral to that seems to be that in order to be loved the PRC did not even need to do anything particularly loveable : just abstain from pursuing a foreign policy course of attempting to exercise power over others.
China can be loved if the CCP is thrown into the dustbin of history.
The Imp :D

Ellen
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Re: Can China be loved?

Post by Ellen » Tue May 04, 2021 4:45 am

I stand corrected about the Chinese influence. Of course, you are right about the huge influence that China had on its immediate neighbors - Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and even further afield. My mistake.

I was referring, though, to its global influence on the rest of the world, particularly the West in the last 2 centuries. In this case, with the very tasty exception of Chinese food and handicrafts, I don't see much evidence of it.

I have always thought that the Indians, on the other hand, have a very attractive and exportable popular culture (incuding Bollywood movies and their version of pop music), and of Indian high culture associated with Hinduism, Vedic herbal medicine and the like. Including their beautiful forms of clothing, which I myself have worn over the years, even being an occidental sort of person.

The reason Indian culture hasn't spread as much as it could is because they lack the power, influence, technoloical advancement and general heavy weight quality that global powers usually have. Instead, they are still trying to build flush toilets for 50% of their population and get over a terrible management of the Corona pandemic. So, someday the Indians may be loved for their culture, but not until they develop the power and influence and success of an America or China, or Europe of yesteryear.

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lzzrdgrrl
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Re: Can China be loved?

Post by lzzrdgrrl » Tue May 04, 2021 11:19 am

I'm rather ambivalent as far as China is concerned because no matter how much the people are regulated, controlled..... even repressed, I don't see the regime striving as hard to make them hate their lives so much as our regime is doing in our country. The self loathing and masochistic self-flagellation, but also the crushing out of mere simple joy wherever it dares to rear its head.......

What to do? China doesn't, may never understand the West, but America hates herself and wants to die......
I have a certain notoriety among the lesser gods........

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Milo
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Re: Can China be loved?

Post by Milo » Tue May 04, 2021 12:01 pm

People in other countries face a significant barrier to loving China: they are not Chinese!

Although many Chinese support China, they do so for cultural reasons rather than any love of the current regime, in my view. This is common to countries that are also nations, such as China, Israel etc. But not to countries that are not: Canada, the US for example.

The conflation that Mr Escobar and Sertorio always make: that they have such an old culture, so they don’t need human rights or anything like that, because their culture somehow takes care of those things, is complete rubbish of course.

There’s plenty of Taiwanese voting in free and fair elections, yet burning Joss Sticks and enjoying Hot and Sour Soup. China hopes to conceal that from their own people long enough to get rid of Taiwan.

The reason those in other countries can love the new democracies, particularly the US, is they only identify because of their SYSTEM. That system could be adopted by any culture.

Whereas the only thing China can offer non-Chinese is money. I love money! However, once it’s gone, there’s nothing to love, and once China is not able to afford its belt you to their road financing, same deal.

neverfail
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Re: Can China be loved?

Post by neverfail » Tue May 04, 2021 4:22 pm

cassowary wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 3:34 am

China can be loved if the CCP is thrown into the dustbin of history.
How can you be certain that what replaces the CCP won't be even worse?

neverfail
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Re: Can China be loved?

Post by neverfail » Tue May 04, 2021 4:30 pm

Ellen wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 4:45 am
I stand corrected about the Chinese influence. Of course, you are right about the huge influence that China had on its immediate neighbors - Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and even further afield. My mistake.

I was referring, though, to its global influence on the rest of the world, particularly the West in the last 2 centuries. In this case, with the very tasty exception of Chinese food and handicrafts, I don't see much evidence of it.

I have always thought that the Indians, on the other hand, have a very attractive and exportable popular culture (incuding Bollywood movies and their version of pop music), and of Indian high culture associated with Hinduism, Vedic herbal medicine and the like. Including their beautiful forms of clothing, which I myself have worn over the years, even being an occidental sort of person.

The reason Indian culture hasn't spread as much as it could is because they lack the power, influence, technoloical advancement and general heavy weight quality that global powers usually have. Instead, they are still trying to build flush toilets for 50% of their population and get over a terrible management of the Corona pandemic. So, someday the Indians may be loved for their culture, but not until they develop the power and influence and success of an America or China, or Europe of yesteryear.
Thanks Ellen!

(If you can project this visualisation from a European into an Asian setting): In a very loose kind of way a comparison between the Indians and the Chinese reminds me of one between Italians and Germans. While the former might have all of the chic it is the latter that has the organising talent and the industrial muscle. :D

neverfail
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Re: Can China be loved?

Post by neverfail » Tue May 04, 2021 4:54 pm

Milo wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 12:01 pm
People in other countries face a significant barrier to loving China: they are not Chinese!

Although many Chinese support China, they do so for cultural reasons rather than any love of the current regime, in my view. This is common to countries that are also nations, such as China, Israel etc. But not to countries that are not: Canada, the US for example.

The conflation that Mr Escobar and Sertorio always make: that they have such an old culture, so they don’t need human rights or anything like that, because their culture somehow takes care of those things, is complete rubbish of course.

There’s plenty of Taiwanese voting in free and fair elections, yet burning Joss Sticks and enjoying Hot and Sour Soup. China hopes to conceal that from their own people long enough to get rid of Taiwan.

The reason those in other countries can love the new democracies, particularly the US, is they only identify because of their SYSTEM. That system could be adopted by any culture.

Whereas the only thing China can offer non-Chinese is money. I love money! However, once it’s gone, there’s nothing to love, and once China is not able to afford its belt you to their road financing, same deal.
A brilliant distinction, Milo.

You have reminded me of something I have noticed in the past but did not at the time take much note of.

Canadians, when they grapple for a national identity of their own often seem to end up with a take akin to " we have a better system of democracy than you Americans." As for Canada's maple leaf emblem well, maple trees grow just as well in the northeastern USA as they do in southern Canada. True?

I hope that you will not mind if I digress from North America.

Applying your above benchmark standard to my own country it seems that it passes muster on both counts. We are doubly blessed with a functioning, tried and proven over time, system of democracy for government. Despite having a very large, ethnically mixed, immigrant population in our midst we also qualify as a nationality. As an island continent organised into a single soverignty our country also has clear bounds. Instead of our borders with neighbouring states comprising lines drawn on the map (political frontiers - which can change as international politics change) our international frontier is defined by geography in the form of a single, contiguous, encircling coastline.

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