This is the heading of an article by William Choong, a senior writer of ST and published in today’s ST. The gist of his article is that he got screwed by other Chinese for questioning the rise of China and China’s assertiveness as an emerging power. Some even questioned his roots, whether he is a Chinese or perhaps an ang moh or something else.
He claimed that as a journalist, and a Singaporean, it would be foolish to let his race shaped his assessment of global trends. He even quoted LKY’s defence of American presence in the region to balance the rise of China’s military power.
I agree that one should not allow one’s racial origin to colour one’s objectivity. And one should be thinking of one’s national interest and take a position on that ground. But it is altogether a silly thing to take a position without knowing why, without knowing that one is not being objective but trying to impress others as being objective.
The very title of his article is biased and not objective. It is not a matter of supporting China’s rise but a matter of supporting right against wrong, against injustice and inequality. Is China’s rise leading to China bullying the weaker nations, committing aggression and invasion against weak nations, or is China’s rise just a natural and neutral phenomenon of the growing economic and military prowess of a nation? What is wrong if a nation, any nation, becomes strong and powerful? Even with China’s new stature, little silly Asean nations have been arresting Chinese fishermen and threatening to go to war with China. What would it be if China is still a weakling nation? Would that be better?
Likewise, the silly statement that we need the US to balance the rise of China is as good as wisdom from a joker. Why is it that no one ever asked for a stronger country to balance the military might of the US all these years? Why isn’t China’s rise seen as a balance against the US presence and world domination? I am sure the Arab and Muslim world would beg for a stronger country, be it China or anyone else, to stop the oppressive and hegemonic American presence in the Middle East.
Or is it because the American world domination for too long has got stuck in his head, that this is the only normal? Any new power challenging this normal is unacceptable?
I half agree with LKY’s statement that it is Singapore’s national interest that there should be a balance of power in the Pacific. Now what kind of balance of power is he talking about? A mighty America unchallenged and can do what it wants against any nation, conducting espionage and military war games at other nation’s front yard, conducting aerial spying missions against weaker nations at will? Conducting regime change? Or a more balance of power between the Americans and the Chinese when both side would not dare to push the other around at will, like I can slam you and you cannot slam me back?
It is not an issue of supporting or not supporting China’s rise just because one is a Chinese. It is silly to just question and try to discredit China like the West because the West is doing it and saying the same thing. What the West is saying and doing is for their own interests.
Whatever, a Chinese is a bloody Chinese by any name, a Singaporean or an American Chinese, or if you call yourself Ah Choong or William. When China was a beggar of nations, any Chinese will be known as a useless Chink wherever he went, and be spitted upon, even physically abused, not only by the Westerners, but also by the colonized Asians. Pai Hua was common in Southeast Asia. Today, it is not so easy anymore, because there is a strong China. It would be nice if William Choong could be able to ask his grandpa or great grandpa what it was like to be a Chinese when China was the sick man of Asia.
Today, any bloody Chinese of whatever nationality takes it as a natural right that he is somehow seen as nearly equal, and treated slightly better by the Westerners, for granted. Just imagine how he will be treated if China is still the sick man of Asia? Will the Westerners take a bloody Singaporean Chinese with a name like William Choong seriously? Or will they be laughing their guts out at the thought of him and his great articles in questioning China’s intention as a new military power behind his inscrutable face?
Mind you, for many decades, the Chinese all looked alike to the Westerners, no personality, no character, no talent, poor, good only to be cooks and laundry men and inscrutable, with little slit eyes. Yes, they all looked alike, can't distinguish one from another. Sounds familiar?
The rise of China and its progress in all fields have made the Westerners to look at Chinese as a people, from a new angle. William Choong should thank the bloody Commie Chinese for the added respect and standing he is getting from the Westerners and the former colonized people of the world. The Indonesians and Malaysians would not be so ready to pai hua. The Aussies would not bang into him in the streets that often.
There is no need to support the rise of China just because you are Chinese. But you get some additional intangible benefits from it indirectly. Maybe I am wrong. The Westerners will respect me more and see me up if China is still a weak pariah state with its people living in poverty, without ideas and talents. Or maybe I should question China like the West and they will respect me more for seeing the world in their coloured lens, like a Westerner?