posted on 21 October 2015
Written by Frank Li
Hello from China!
Most Westerners, especially Americans, know China by two things (1) "communist China" and (2) The Great Wall. Since I have already pointedly addressed (1) ("Communist China", Really?), now let me address (2), revealing the real China inside, as well as outside of, the Great Wall!
1. The Great Wall
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia - The Great Wall of China:
2. Where does the Great Wall sit?
The Great Wall sits inside China, as shown below.
3. Why is the Great Wall inside China?
The Great Wall was built by the Han Chinese (more than 90% of all Chinese today) to fend off all barbarian foreigners, including the Mongols (north of the Great Wall) and the Man-folks (Manchuria - northeast of the Great Wall).
Unfortunately for the Han Chinese, the Great Wall was not completely effective over the past two thousand years. For example, both the Mongols (e.g. Gengis Kan) and the Man-folks (e.g. Qing dynasty - 1644-1912) beat the Han Chinese to form their own China! In other words, the invaders were so impressed by the advanced civilization in China, that under their rule, they effectively made their own ruled areas become part of China, instead of the other way around!!
Fortunately for the Han Chinese, they prevailed eventually, inheriting the included "countries" that had become part of China! In business terms, today's China is the result of several "reverse mergers".
Historically speaking, China is an exceptionally peaceful country. Three examples:
Contrary to popular belief in the West, the Chinese actually started exploring the world's oceans earlier than the Europeans did. Two facts:
However, unlike the Europeans who discovered the "new" world and conquered it for exploitation and colonization, the Chinese discoveries (see image below) were left largely alone, having concluded that their own civilization was vastly more advanced than the "new" world they found.
With that, China then chose to ignore the rest of the less cultured world until they themselves became the target of western aggression, being repeatedly defeated by the West in recent centuries. It's more than a little ironic that the Chinese invented gunpowder without proper IP (Intellectual Property) protection - The Europeans not only "stole" it from China but returned to China with more much powerful guns to defeat them!
Very importantly, unlike Japan which believed it had a "divine right" to rule, and its [long-term] prosperity was dependent on conquering the world, militarily (e.g. Tanaka Memorial) or economically, China, also known as the "Middle Kingdom", thought, mostly for the first 16 centuries of our 2015-year-old calendar at least, it was independent and self-reliant enough to be on its own!
Most importantly, there is little imperialism in Chinese history! For more, read:
Let's talk about two places far away from the Great Wall:
Here is an excerpt from a previous post (Top-10 American Misconceptions about China):
Finally, the South China Sea ... Is China's recent activity there imperialistic? Arguably, not! However, like Tibet, it's a big subject for another day. Meanwhile, here is my message to America: do not interfere there! Instead, let the affected people work out their differences, over time, in their own way (China, Vietnam agree to 'properly handle' disputes)!
The Great Wall of China stands tall to speak for China, its culture and its nationality!
Do we need a Great Wall of America on our southern borders? If yes, build it like the Chinese did more than 2,000 years ago! It will stand tall to speak for America, for a long time to come ...
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