Written by Frank Li
After discussing Civilizations, Human Races, and Religions, let’s focus on people. In this article, I will highlight three peoples: the Jews, the Chinese, and the Americans, as they are highly relevant to my next book “China vs. America”.
1. The Jews
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia – Jews:
The Jews (Hebrew: יְהוּדִים ISO 259-3 Yehudim, Israeli pronunciation [jehuˈdim]), also known as the Jewish people, are an ethnoreligious group originating from the Historical Israelites of the Ancient Near East..
2. The Chinese
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia – Chinese people:
Chinese people are the various individuals or groups of people associated with China, either by reason of ancestry or heredity, nationality, citizenship, place of residence, or other affiliations.
3. The Americans
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia – Americans:
Americans, or American people, are citizens of the United States of America. The country is home to people of different national origins. As a result, Americans do not equate their nationality with ethnicity, but with citizenship. With the exception of the Native American population, generally all Americans or their ancestors immigrated within the past five centuries. Also, there are other groups that did not immigrate to the United States but became American because of American expansion in the late 19th century. These groups are people from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine Islands.
4. Key differences among the three peoples
The Jews: They are defined by ethnicity and religion (i.e. Judaism).
The Chinese: They are defined by their “association” with China.
The Americans: They are exclusively defined by their U.S. citizenship.
5. More on the Jews
As a people, the Jews are successful, despite the fact that they were homeless for more than 2,000 years, at least, before the State of Israel was created in 1948 (History of Israel). Generally speaking, the Jews have thrived in many countries around the world. Three distinctive examples:
Now, have you ever wondered why America’s support of Israel has been so strong and persistent? In the words of Pat Buchanan, “Capitol Hill is Israeli occupied territory”. For more, read: Pat Buchanan: In His Own Words.
6. More on the Chinese
The Chinese were autonomous, self-contained, advanced for the first 18 centuries of our calendar, at least. They were, generally speaking, satisfied with life in the Middle Kingdom. The Chinese did explore the world by sea a few decades before Christopher Columbus (e.g. The Seven Voyages Of The Treasure Fleet), only to confirm their belief that their civilization was way ahead of the rest of the world, as they thought and saw at the time.
The Chinese started going overseas, in large numbers, during the Century of Humiliation, settling down mostly in Southeast Asia, although some did come all the way to America to participate initially in the Gold Rush in California and later in the construction of the Western Pacific Railroad.
Many Chinese expatriates started their own businesses, large or small (e.g. restaurants). Some did extremely well, but many suffered miserably, because of China’s poor (economic) standing in the world. Two examples:
With China soon becoming the largest economy in the world, if not already, many Chinese expatriates are taking advantage of newly created opportunities. I am one of them, for about 10 years now! Today, I consider myself a bridge between China and America, and I am an active advocate for peace and prosperity between the two countries!
Here is a recent news story about how Chinese expatriates and China are “associated”: 2014 Vietnam anti-China protests. During these protests, some Vietnamese ran down some Chinese-owned shops and factories. As a result, some natives of Taiwan realized, for the first time ever in their lives, that they are actually Chinese, at least in view of some Vietnamese!
7. More on the Americans
I was proud to take the Pledge of Allegiance when I became a U.S. citizen in 1997:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
No question America is one nation. But are Americans truly one people? Theoretically yes, but practically no! Two recent incidents:
There are obviously some serious racial issues involved in these incidents that divide America. How can America truly resolve the racial issues with “liberty and justice for all”? I don’t have the answer and I am deeply concerned about it. For more, read: Human Races.
Look at the Middle East: it’s a melting pot for many of the most difficult issues in humanity: religion, race, ethnicity, and worst of all, poverty! Israel is stuck in the middle, with no way out!
America is also a melting pot. Although we have come a long way from the first European settlers, there is still a long way to go towards “liberty and justice for all”. Many underlying problems have been masked by our prosperity so far. As America’s economy falters further (The America That Can No Longer Think, Economically), more and more problems will surface, bigger and more frequently (e.g. Child poverty in the U.S. is at highest point in 20 years). America must be prepared for them. Here is a concrete example:
In contrast, not only does China have fewer such profoundly complex problems, China’s peaceful development model will continue to be greatly assisted by Chinese expatriates. No question, to truly be Americans, Chinese-Americans must pledge their loyalty to America. But that should not prevent them from helping China, just as Jewish-Americans help Israel.
Moreover, in case you haven’t noticed, there is a striking similarity between Chinese-Americans and Jewish-Americans: both emphasize education (see picture below) and both are extremely hard-working. So do not be surprised that Chinese-Americans will be increasingly involved in American politics in the coming years, just as Jewish-Americans have been over the past few decades, at least.
Personally, it is simply beyond my wildest imagination that China, from which I did everything possible to escape more than three decades ago, would have advanced so much and so fast that it has enabled me to be more successful in America!
Bottom line: All Chinese-Americans must become positive forces to promote a win-win Sino-American relationship and to prevent any possibility of a military conflict between the two countries!
Question: will Chinese-Americans be used by America as scapegoats for WWIII, as the Jews were used by Adolph Hitler as scapegoats for WWII? For more, read: Civilizations.
“We, the people,” so begins the U.S. Constitution. But what does it mean to America today? Should we continue rabidly following the 200-year-old Constitution while blithely consuming the nation’s accumulated wealth and spending the futures of our children? Or can America change, fundamentally and big, as I have suggested?
What contribution might a Chinese-American make to America now? How about doing my best in the form of “Saving America, Chinese Style”?