Tuesday 17 September 2013

The insanity at the heart of Chinese nationalism

"Personal opinion" or not, this insane plan for conquering most of Asia published as an editorial in the Chinese Communist Party's Hong Kong-based media outlet Wen Wei Po is certainly the kind of opinion and attitudes that the CCP is happy enough for Chinese citizens to have even if they would never dream of letting them influence official foreign policy.

The piece outlines a series of six "necessary" wars of conquest unfolding between 2020 and 2060 for "unification" of the country ("都是中國必須進行的統一戰爭"), with Taiwan first on the list for subjugation if they reject a 2025 deadline to "peacefully reunify". The fact that reunification at gunpoint is not "peaceful" according to any sane definition of the term does not seem to have occurred tot he author of this deluded piece.

Next up are the islands of the South China Sea. Again, a deadline for "peaceful" settlement of the dispute there is to be set, with war coming if China's terms are not met. The preferred strategy of this article's demented author is to invade Vietnam "because Vietnam is the biggest and strongest of the countries surrounding the South China Sea" ("因為越南是南海周邊最大最有實力的國家").

The third target of this military genius is the recovery of "South Tibet" from India. The pretence of even considering a "peaceful" solution is doen away here, with either the division of India into smaller, more mangeable parts, or a surprise attack in co-ordination with a Chinese-armed Pakistan being the only methods considered.

After these easy conquests, the author turns his (?) attention to the Diaoyutai and Ryukyu islands. In the 1960's China' Communist Party supported the return of the Ryukyu's to Japan, but here the CCP's own paper printing commentary calling the Japanese holding of the Ryukyus (which the author goes out of his way to indicate includes Okinawa) is an "illegal theft of China's wealth in the East Sea" ("非法竊取我國的東海財富")  deserving war.

As the fifth course in this brain-washed individual's banquet of military adventurism, he choses Mongolia. Apparently, having conquered Taiwan, he plans to resurrect the R.O.C.'s claims to the country as this is the only way to acheive "unification" with that country ("所以只能以中華民國的憲章及版圖為依據 對外蒙進行統一").

And the final step in this person's lunatic plan? An attack on Russia to reclaim territory lost by the Qing Dynasty, with war apparently being necessary to Russia's lack of "obedience" ("俄羅斯豈會乖乖歸還,到時唯有一戰。").

Again, I don't think this reflects official thinking in China, even if it was published in a government mouthpiece. If it were, modern-day China would not be engaged in reasonably friendly and productive relationships with many of the countries listed for invasion in this person's plans. Instead, it reflects the kind of insane ultra-nationalism and omni-directional aggression that the government is only too happy to engender in the Chinese population as a distraction from domestic issues.

The thing to keep in mind is, it works.

(H/T Big Lychee blog)

Sunday 15 September 2013

The bomb under the floorboards

Just arrived back home after an epic road-trip across south-eastern Europe that I'll write more about in the next few weeks. First I'd like to relate something that happened a few months ago and still baffles me.

Living in the city of Wroclaw, you get used to occasional interruptions and evacuations caused by the many unexploded shells and bombs left in the city after the 80-day-long battle between the Red Army (and their Polish allies) and the city's German defenders. However, something of a somewhat different nature happened whilst the building I'm currently living in was being renovated back in May.

The worker found a package with German markings under the floorboards. Since the building I'm living in was built in the immediate pre-war era, whilst the city was still called "Breslau" and a long-standing part of the German Reich, and still has German signs over the light-switches, they thought little of it and set it aside. A neighbour, seeing the package, identified it as explosives of some kind and called the local bomb-squad who then took it away for disposal - but only after their husband nearly set fire to it in an effort to find out what it was!

I wasn't in at the time, so I never got to see it, but I'm left with a bunch of questions I have been unable to answer:
  • The area in which I live is to the north of Wroclaw and wasn't the scene of any great fighting - the main assault came from the south. I seems unlikely that the explosives were put there during the fighting - so how did they get there?
  • Who put the explosives there? Was it Germans preparing resistance to Soviet occupation? Or Poles preparing something later? Both seem unlikely - the 'Werwulf' resistance was a total flop, and Polish guerilla warfare wasn't really fought in this area since it wasn't part of pre-war Poland.
  • Why didn't the authorities investigate more? I cannot think that if the same thing happened in the UK that there would not be an investigation due to concerns about terrorist activities.
Anyone out there have any ideas?