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posted on 07 September 2016

Understanding China, Truly!

- Tibet, Taiwan, South China Sea, and Hangzhou -

Written by

In a previous article (The Great Wall and China), I wrote about China's Great Wall, highlighting its history and the Chinese culture behind it. I also briefly touched upon three big subjects: Tibet, Taiwan, and the South China Sea, with a note: "it's a big subject for another day."

Today is the day! In this article, I will discuss all these three big subjects, plus Hangzhou, my hometown in China, where a G20 summit was held this past weekend.

1. China: an overview

As one of the six earliest civilizations (Civilizations), Chinese civilization has been in existence for more than 5,000 years.

The bad news for China: Its environment has been severely abused, such as land (e.g. overly cultivated) and air (e.g. polluted).

The good news for China: the current form of government has proven to be the best possible for China! It has been creating tremendous opportunities for the Chinese people, dramatically enhancing the future of China for decades, or even centuries, to come!

For China's five domestic mega-infrastructure projects, read: The People's Republic of China at Age 65. The image below highlights China's biggest project: either moving people to the south or moving water to the north, China has chosen the latter!

2. Tibet: "it's water, stupid!"

Like Egyptian civilization which started along the Nile, Chinese civilization also started along a river, the Yellow River. Later, it propagated to another big river, the Yangtze. The picture below highlights these two big rivers crossing China from west to east.

Now, trace the sources of these two rivers westwards, you end up in the Himalayas, specifically Tibet!

History and politics aside, China controls Tibet now and will never give it up, because it is about survival!

3. Taiwan: "it's sovereignty, stupid!"

China regards Taiwan as a captive territory, with the strongest evidence being that the folks in Taiwan speak Chinese! Therefore, a declaration of independence by Taiwan will be viewed as secession, surely provoking China to launch a "civil" war, Abraham Lincoln style!

For more on Taiwan, read: Taiwan-China: Past, Present, and Future.

4. South China Sea: "it's natural resources, stupid!"

To quench her insatiable desire for continuing prosperity, China needs more natural resources (e.g. oil and gas), with the South China Sea holding huge potential. So it's just a matter of time for China to seize control of it, one bite at a time - Sooner is more desirable to China than later. Three informative readings:

  1. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Asia's 'Trump,' Eyes Closer China Ties.
  2. China, Vietnam agree to 'properly handle' disputes.
  3. Vietnam's Mekong Delta hit with worst drought in 90 years. Where is the source of the Mekong River? In China (see image below)! So can Vietnam (and all the other countries along the river) really argue with China about anything?

Bottom line: Regardless of what China does in the South China Sea, it will not be even remotely as immoral as what the Europeans did to the two Americas after 1492, when Christopher Columbus "discovered" the "new" world.

5. Hangzhou: "it's my hometown in China, stupid!"

Where is it? It’s a city right below Shanghai (see image below).

It has just spent a few hundred million, if not billion, Dollars to prepare itself for the G20 summit this past weekend.

Click this link to see its beauty in photos (with no need to understand Chinese, the language): Hangzhou ready for the G20 summit.

The photo below shows what Hangzhou looked like in 1972, when President Nixon visited it.

What a huge change over the past four decades, huh?

Similar transformational changes have happened throughout China over the past three decades!

Here is a key difference between America and China: Americans debate about everything, while the Chinese just do it! For example, while we have been debating about the 3rd run-way at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport over the past two decades, at least, the Chinese have built numerous new airports, 10 of which, including the one in Hangzhou, are bigger and better than O’Hare! For more on Chinese entrepreneurship, read: Venture Communism: How China Is Building a Start-Up Boom.

6. Discussion

Now, back to the first three big subjects …

Neither Taiwan nor Tibet is as big an issue today, thanks to China's newly found prosperity, as they were 30 years ago, when China was dirt poor. They will become non-issues within 20 more years, as China becomes even more prosperous. Meanwhile, keep the status quo!

The issue of the South China Sea is new. The rest of the world should let the local folks work them out, over time! In other words, no American intervention, no problem!

Below are two critical readings for my fellow Americans:

  1. Three New Kingdoms.
  2. Don't Mess with Nuclear-Armed China!

7. Closing

China is by far the most serious co-petitor ("co-operative competitor") for America. Therefore, it's critical for my fellow Americans to truly understand China. This article has helped, hopefully.

Now, please sit back and enjoy this not-so-new video from China ...

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