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Originally Answered: Do you like China?
The Chinese people are great. As a people they have endured hardship that would make most peoples wither. The people of every nation have suffered greatly, but the Chinese have endured hardship after hardship. They have stoically faced difficulty with great determination and persevered until they have finally stabilized as a modern and wealthy nation. What’s not to like – admire about that? The Chinese political system may be pseudo-Communist, but trust me when I say that there are probably more capitalists in China than in all of the “Western world.” That said, the Chinese people espouse a belief in a harmonious society and most actually attempt to “make it so” (Thank you, Captain).
I personally believe that the USA should make an honest attempt to partner with/ally with China. It will take a long time to build the sort of trust that we have today with most European nations and Canada. Lest this devolve into a discussion of color, the Chinese say, “A journey of a thousand like begins with the first step…”
There are many great peoples on this planet; this response is not intended to diminish them. However, the question asked specifically about China and that is what I addressed.
I worked in China for a year as an English teacher. When I first came, I was amazed by the buildings, subway, train systems, malls, food and drinks. I loved the variety of food and how cheap it can be. I like going to Huoguo (hot pot) and BBQ places with friends.
Originally Answered: Do you love China?
Yes and no, it is a mixed bag.
When I was in London years ago and visited the London museum, I hated China (or rather, the Qing Dynasty and Empress Dowager Cixi) when I saw the many priceless Chinese national treasures being displayed there. The sight reminded me what I learned in history books…the Opium Wars, the cession of Hong Kong to Imperial Britain, the Burning of the Old Summer Palace, the Boxer Rebellion, and all the unequal treaties forced on China who was then just too weak to resist. This is what Chairman Xi reminded all Chinese of as the “Hundred Years Of Humiliation” !
I hated China when I learned that 600 years ago, Chinese treasure ships under the command of a Muslim Admiral Zheng He, already roamed the South China Sea, the India Ocean, and all the way to the east coast of Africa (including Mogadishu, Somalia), only to bring back some exotic animals like the giraffe, the memory of which eventually faded into obscurity.. What remains now is the short-necked mythical divine animal qilin (麒麟，or kirin in Japanese). Nowadays, the Japanese still call giraffe “kirin”. So also was the African lion that becomes the auspicious sinicized lion as depicted in popular lion dance. Can’t actually blame the ancient Chinese for their funny depiction of giraffes and lions, because they are foreign and exotic, and none existed in nature in China. What saddens me was the muddleheaded Ming emperor and the naivety of the Chinese in general, when compared with the Europeans’ exploits 100 years later.
Model comparing Zheng He’s treasure ships with Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria. Lars Plougmann on http://Flickr.com
Only about 100 years after Zheng He’s fleet roamed the oceans, did Westerners like Vasco da Gama sailed their dwarf-sized ships round the African Continent to reach India, followed by Columbus across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World, hence starting the Western history of world domination, colonization and genocide (against native Americans especially). If only the Ming Dynasty emperor Hongxi (洪熙皇帝) was not that muddleheaded, timid and inward-looking and banned Admiral Zheng He from further maritime explorations after his 7th, the world now might have looked differently, and the American natives might still be the boss of North America ! Because the Chinese do not believe in genocide; the word is not in their dictionary. That is why I hate Ming China, or its emperor Hongxi Emperor (洪熙皇帝), who ordered a complete halt to all subsequent voyages.
I hated China when it comes to the sad and bitter memories of the disastrous Great (!) Cultural Revolution. All the turmoil and destruction inflicted on the great nation by its own people the Red Guards were absolutely unnecessary and uncalled for ! Not only were years of valuable time wasted, which would otherwise be put to good use in nation-building, but innumerable priceless national treasures were also forever destroyed. How stupid and unthinking could the Chinese be !? The Japanese might be cruel and ruthless, but they would never be so stupid as to commit the kind of destruction and atrocities as the Rape of Nanking on their own soil, and on their own people.
These are but some of the many instances that could stir up a sense of hatred (or rather deep regret) in me. But I must confess at the same time that the reasons for me to love China far outweigh the opposite. Therefore I could only mention some that come to my mind.
I love China because I am still a proud user of its near-4000-year old written script or characters, which could be traced back to the Oracle Bone Scripts at least 3500 years ago. And its evolution through the ages is obvious.
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