The best fighting soldiers

The British attacked China with a few wooden boats armed with cannons and won. A legion of 20,000 men from Europe calling themselves representatives of the League of Nation, ransacked the Summer Palace and burnt it to the ground. The Qing Empire was in shambles and China, together with all Chinese, bowed their heads in shame. It led to nearly 150 years of humiliation by the world. Even Chinese became ashamed of being Chinese or anything Chinese. They lost all self respect and confidence as a people, and nearly lost their country.

In the 150 years of shame, the Chinese diaspora started to settle all over the world as coolies, labourers and the luckier ones as cooks and laundrymen and farmers. There was no self respecting Chinaman to speak off. They were bullied, discriminated and abused, even killed everywhere they went. Many got killed in Indonesia and Malaysia, the Phillipines, Australia, Africa and the USA, for just being Chinese.

The thousand years of civilization was reduced to dust, nothing worthy to talk about. And in times of adversities, many Chinese stooped to work with their enemies, became traitors of their country and people, for the simple selfish reason of survival. In China, in Southeast Asia, the Chinese betrayed Chinese and helped the Japanese to kill many more Chinese. They became a hopeless race that were only good to be kicked around. No wonder many Chinese today still despise their Chineseness and anything Chinese.

There were many mean and shameful Chinese all over the world. For every such despicable Chinese, there were many that would rise and willing to fight and sacrifice their lives for their motherland. The revolutionaries that overthrew the decadent Qing Dynasty were Chinese, not that different from the shameless Chinese elsewhere. Hundreds of thousands died in the course of rebuilding their lost and broken country, in the name of martyrdom, patriotism and nation before self. Yes, there were many more patriotic Chinese out there, in the past and today.

The greatness of the Chinese people was lost in an era of shame and poverty. All that was written about the Chinese outside China were a helpless and hopeless people, good for nothing, shameful in everything. No one has any good impression of the inscrutable Chinese, no class, no personality and no money.

1911 was the formation of the Republic of China. 1949 Mao Tse Tung took over an impoverished China torn to pieces by warfare and foreign aggression and lootings. For once, a new China was emerging, a new united China standing up on its feet to face a brave new world. No one took them seriously, a communist country that was bankrupt in everyway, with no industry, except the will of a defeated and broken people.

1950, exactly a year after People’s Republic of China was formed, China entered the Korean War. The ferocious and hungry North Koreans were a force to be reckoned with. They drove the South Koreans nearly into the sea in Pusan. They could have reunited the Koreas into a united country. Then the world’s biggest military power intervened with the landing at Inchon, cutting the North Korean forces into two. The mighty Americans, with superiority in all arms, air force, navy and army, were too powerful for the North Korean foot soldiers. With little air cover and heavy weapons or tanks, the North Koreans were beaten back to the north. General MacArthur was victorious and continued in pursuit, crossing the 38th parallel and driving the North Korean soldiers across the Yalu River into Chinese territory. He paused and threatened to cross into China. The poor Communist China was in a dilemma. They had hardly stood on their feet, with not much military hardware except a bunch of peasant soldiers and small arms to face the might of the USA. The only thing they could depend on was the will of their fighting men, the same fighting men that fought the great Japanese Army who were supported by fighter bombers from the air and tanks and big artilleries on the ground, and a naval fleet that destroyed the American Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbour.

The Chinese soldiers fought the Japanese in many battles with small arms, rifles, machine guns, pistols, hand grenades, many obsolete, and broad knives. They could not defeat the Japanese, but neither the Japanese could defeat them, amidst heavy casualties on the Chinese side. The Chinese soldiers never say die, but die they did, in hundreds of thousands. These were the faceless, fearless and patriotic soldiers that would give their lives for their country. They have their unspoken heroes. For every turncoat Chinese, there were thousands and thousands of patriotic Chinese willing to die for their motherland.

Now another battle was looming with the victor of the Second World War at their doorstep. All the latest military hardware was available to MacArthur and his highly trained and equipped forces. The Chinese did not even have an arms factory then. No war machines and highly dependent on the Soviet Union for every bullet and rifle it needed. It was an odd that no military commander would be pleased with. They were simply outgunned, out classed and could easily be out manoeuvred by the highly mobile and modern American forces at their front yard.

To make matter worst, General MacArthur was no decent school teacher. He was a military brat. And with all the superior arms and forces in his charge, he was eager to push into China to thrash the commies and the gooks. Victory was at his calling. It was a military mismatch.
His other half on the Chinese side was General Peng Te Huai, a war veteran of the Long March, who was conversant with fighting a conventional cum guerilla warfare with only foot soldiers. No air power, no air cover. No big guns, no tanks or big artillery pieces. He could only fight a basic infantry battle on the ground, with soldiers running all over the place. In today’s parlance, MacArthur must be telling himself that it was a piece of cake, a cake walk to glory. Defeating the poorly equipped peasant soldiers was like playing war games.

The Chinese could not accept the Americans occupying North Korea and it was a do or die situation. The American war machine had crossed the 38th parallel against the warning of Zhou En Lai. They decided to intervene and take on the Americans. They ambushed the American division after division and sent them scurrying south of the 38th parallel. They exchanged the lives of their soldiers for American bullets. The Chinese soldiers fell like dominoes, but they kept charging. The Americans fired until their gun barrels melted by the heat of non stop continuous firing. The waves and waves of fearless peasant soldiers were too much for the Americans and they fled. They were driven south by the poorly equipped peasant soldiers with rifles and small arms and no air cover. The Americans were forced to retreat 500 km from the Yalu River back to where they started south of the 38th parallel. A stalemate and truce was called till today at the same position now known as the DMZ.

The Chinese soldiers battled the seasoned and well equipped first class American soldiers to a stalemate after chasing them out of North Korea. Their ability to send in 700,000 foot soldiers all the way from China deep into Korea without being detected was legendary. The soldiers travelled on foot and bicycles, and only by night. Their swift mobility and stealth allowed them to ambush Americans soldiers of division strength, not companies or battalions. MacArthur was caught sleeping until the PLA, then called People’s Voluntary Army, PVA, pounced onto them. He thought they were still in China. It also spoke highly of their intelligence gathering, without air recon, they could pin point all the American forces and took them out at will.

The Korean War was the first major military victory of the peasant soldiers of modern China. The war was fought at a time when Communist China was at its weakest while America was at its peak of military power, coming out as the main victor of the Second World War. And of course the Americans claimed they had won. That would be the American and western version of the story of victory over Chinese peasant soldiers. They will repeatedly tell the world and their allies that they pushed back the Chinese to the 38th parallel. They would not tell anyone that they were pushed down from the Yalu River to below the 38th parallel by the peasant soldiers. Neither will they tell the world that the Chinese troops were ordered to hold their positions at the 38th parallel which was and still is the demarcation line between the two Koreas. It was an internationally agreed line and sanctioned by the UN. It was the line that MacArthur was told not to breach. He did and get delirious only to be knocked back to sanity by the peasant soldiers of the PLA.

This war was also significant in the military sense as it was conventional warfare fought with guerilla tactics on the side of the Chinese. It was two huge armed forces of many divisions fighting in the battle field. Yes, designations of armies versus armies. Every arm and department of a combined armed force in battle was tested. Just to illustrate the scale of the war, the US 8th Army was attacked on 3 fronts, the US 7th Infantry Division with 30,000 men were encircled and had to fight their way out and suffered 15,000 casualties. Then the Marines were attacked by six Chinese PVA divisions and forced to retreat.

The Sino India Border War was another conventional battle but of a much smaller scale, brigade or division strength. In 1962, a staunchly nationalistic Nehru was the Prime Minister of a revived independent India. After 100 years of British colonial rule and inheriting British military training and arms, and a British map claiming Chinese territories as Indian’s, Nehru saw India as a new power in the region. In the north was the poor communist state of China. Adventurism and ambition came to his head. He had no respect for the peasant soldiers of a poor commie country. He had in his arsenal, some of the best and most modern firearms from the British. The peasant soldiers were inconsequential, hungry and not well fed or well trained. His dreams of grandeur led to designs on more Chinese land for India. He was not contented with the Chinese territories that McMahon drew into the British map as part of India. He wanted more.

Indian soldiers were sent to the border and started to attack the Chinese border guards. He was successful initially as the element of surprise in a military battle was with him. He planned the attacks and was well prepared for it, with his brigades and logistics. Indian soldiers entered Chinese territories and claimed victories over the Chinese for several weeks. Nehru was jubilant. The whole of India was jubilant. They were beating the commie Chinese soldiers. Soon India would be bigger with more Chinese land conquered and a respected big regional power.

Nehru took no heed to the warnings from Beijing. He kept on his attacks. In the meantime the Chinese were bringing in reinforcement and planning their counter attacks to rid the invaders. The easy victories got into Nehru’s head. He under estimated the fighting abilities of the peasant soldiers. When the Chinese launched the counter offensive, they were swift and deadly. Indian forces were cut off and destroyed. The rest just fled and fled, leaving behind their weapons and everything to the Chinese. There was no will to fight. The Chinese peasant soldiers drove all the way to the outskirt of New Delhi without resistance. It was like a hot knife cutting through butter.

The Chinese soldiers could easily march into New Delhi. But they unilateral declared a halt to their advances and withdrew. The Chinese could have taken back all the territories seized by the British there and then. But they told the Indian Govt that they would not take back their territories by military means. They would negotiate for their return by diplomacy. Then they returned all the military weapons captured, left behind by the fleeing Indian soldiers. The POWs were also returned, after being treated for their wounds and fed. They were not subjected to any torture or interrogations for military intelligence, except for their names and units. The Chinese treated them like friendly forces injured in a joint war game. No hostility or abuses.

The war tally, nearly 5000 Indian soldiers killed, 4000 captured and nearly 2000 wounded. On the Chinese side, 700 were killed and nearly 2000 wounded. None were taken as POWs.

All the Indian POWs and captured weapons were returned to the Indian govt without extracting any terms or conditions. It was Chinese diplomacy at its best. The Indians and the world were shocked by the event and started wild speculations trying to explain the Chinese conduct of the whole engagement. Of course they claimed that the Chinese were the provocators and the cause of the border war, and were taught a lesson by the Indians. And that the Chinese were driven out of India.

The Sino Indian Border War was the second military victory against a foreign power chalked up by the peasant foot soldiers of modern China, the PLA. It was a bitter lesson that the Indians learnt and that kept them away from more mischief in the Sino Indian border all these years. Lately there are signs that they have forgotten this lesson and are itching to test the peasant soldiers once again.

After proving their fighting capabilities, the world still looked down on the peasant soldiers. They were not very well equipped, not very well uniformed, not refined, just like peasants, unlike the sparkling tailored uniforms of the West, and those of the Indians. But they have proven twice to be a mean fighting machine.

Then came 1979. After their victory against the most powerful nation in the world, the Vietnamese thought they were invincible. They repaid gratitude to China for supporting them for 30 years against the Americans with several border incursions into China. The Vietnamese were once a part of the Qing Empire but ceded to the French when the Qing lost a war with them. There were good reasons to want to be tough and ungrateful to their former ally. Like the Sino Indian border incursions, the Vietnamese were victorious in their surprise attacks and did not take the Chinese warning seriously. They had defeated the mighty Americans and what was a poor commie peasant army? They must have believed that they could lick the Chinese army like the way they kicked the Americans out of Vietnam.

The Vietnam War was not conventional warfare. It was guerilla warfare, a war of attrition. The Vietnamese outlasted the Americans. There were some battles but of much smaller scales. The American troops did not meet force to force with the Vietnamese. During the dying days, the Americans were just pulling out and the Vietnamese moving in.

The biggest conventional battle fought in Vietnam was Dien Bien Phu in 1954. There the Viet Minh fought the French in a main battle field and won convincingly.

When the Chinese launched their counter attacks in 1979, it was a repeat of the Sino Indian border exercise. They came with a cane and whipped the behinds of the Vietnamese and sent them running back to Hanoi. Yes, it was conventional warfare. They defeated the Vietnamese soldiers in the battle field. The Chinese peasant army could march into Hanoi if they wanted to. But to show their non aggressive intent, they stopped and withdrew like before. The Chinese not only wanted to teach the Vietnamese a lesson not to be ungrateful, and also not to think too highly of themselves, it was also a message to the world that it harboured no territorial designs on its neighbours.

The Americans fought every war and kept their soldiers behind, in Europe, in Japan, in South Korea, unfortunately they were driven out of Vietnam. The Americans are also in the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Libya.

But the world and some silly Asians, including some Chinese, chose not to believe the Chinese peaceful rise. The Chinese had fought in Korea, India and Vietnam, because the enemies came to them, and then withdrew after defeating the enemies. If these were not enough to show their non expansionist and not aggressive policies, what else would the world want before they will acknowledge that China is a peaceful country?

Of course the Western media put the blame on China in all three wars, as the aggressor and also the loser. The Chinese lost to the Americans in Korea, driven out by India, and were taught a lesson by the Vietnamese. The fact is that the arrogant Vietnamese have since become a very peaceful neighbor. No more adverturism. So is India.

What the three wars said, or did not say, is that the Chinese peasant soldiers had fought three wars, against the Americans and supplemented by its Allies under the guise of UN, which meant that the PLA fought the combined forces of at least 15 countries, then the Indians and the mighty Vietnamese that defeated the mightier Americans, and came out victorious. In the war against the Americans and its Allies, the odds in terms of technology and hardware were stacked against the Chinese, and still they came out on top.

The Chinese people should be proud of the way their peasant soldiers conducted themselves in battle. They were not pushovers. And today, with the full compliments of an air force, navy and army and supporting arms, equipped with the best weapons and communication systems, they now have their own armed industries and are self reliance in weapons production, the peasant soldiers are more than the peasant soldiers of the past. The PLA is now well equipped, well fed, well armed and well uniformed and can take on any military power anywhere, any time. This is the new Chinese peasant soldier, a soldier of the 21th Century with a record of 3 victories against enemies that were better equipped, with better weapons and superior firepower, and with better credentials. What US marines? They will eat them for breakfast. Don’t trifle with the PLA. They can fight conventional war as well.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgfFpojG4GM&feature=topics The crushing moment - part one.

PS. This article is written to commemorate the new China’s 60 years of struggle to reconstruct a country, to rebuild a nation, to redeem the pride and dignity of a people, to bring economic prosperity to its people, to restore faith and confidence in its people, to be a respected nation and an equal among all nations. As a Singaporean of Chinese origin, I wish them well.


notanotherspinstory said...

Interesting perspective you have.

I don't regard throwing large numbers of men into the battle as cannon fodder as superior tactics.

There are good reasons for China not occupying land that was won.
1. Local population may not be amenable to the occupier and the
2. High cost of maintaining standing army in foreign land.
3. Land occupied may not have valuable resources, i.e, wasteland.
So I won't say that China is not ambitious. It's just that they know what they want.
I'm not surprised if China continues to grab at South China Sea offshore territories.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Agreed, it was not a good tactic to trade lives with bullets. Under the circumstances when they were faced with overwhelming superior forces, it was one method that they were forced to use.

The thing that stood out was the bravery and the will to fight and die for their motherland. It is this will that make them different. The Japanese had their kamikazi pilots. It was extreme exhibition of patriotism.

They did not do it again in the Sino Indian and Sino Vietnam border wars. They need not do it today when they have modern weapons and technology.

They paid a very heavy price to defend their motherland and dignity. The soldiers did not die for nothing.

agongkia said...

Yes, the best,so long as they dun disturb my ah choo in the ROC.

Just Mumbling To Myself said...

When the Chinese army was peasant soldiers, hungry and have got nothing to lose, they fought like hell and according to your thesis, won all their battles.

Well, that was a long time ago.

Go to China now and you will find them well fed, well housed and enjoying life as much as anyone in a progressive society. The will to fight a war with sacrificial human waves is history.

They are now as scared as the Americans fed on rich food and housed in luxury.

Food for thought.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Agongkia, your Ah Choo is safe. The years of stupidity, when Asians were made to fight Asians, Chinese to kill Chinese, are over. They are not stupid. But some Taiwanese may be take the
American bait to start a war with China. Then you better go and fetch your Ah Choo fast.

Hi, Just Mumbling to Myself, welcome to the blog. You are right in some ways. The new Chinese may be too well fed to fight. But you must not rule out the sense of patriotism and national pride after being humiliated for 150 years. There is a renewed confidence and self respect, a new spirit, to some, a sense of arrogance on their part.

You remember the air incident when a Chinese fighter collided with an American surveillance aircraft over Hainan? That was another soldier who was willing to die for his country. It was no accident. The pilot crashed into the big American aircraft, losing his life but bringing the Americans down as well. Firing at the Americans could lead to open warfare.

They are well fed, but still hungry. Many are still hungry.

Anonymous said...

I think it is in the nature of the Chinese people to be patient, forgiving and peace loving. But those who mistook such good nature to be weakness were ultimately taught good lessons they would not easily forget, as you have narrated. Beware the fury of a patient man or people.

Anonymous said...

"They are well fed, but still hungry. Many are still hungry", said Redbean.

And may me adds to that; they are still angry. The Chinese has a saying: 'one can be bullied but never hurt my dignity'.

Dignity and respectability are what all virtuous Chinese aspire. Unfortunately, there are Chinese who choose money over virtue. Some betrayed their fellow countrymen and became traitors. Others got mesmerized by women and lost their sense of duty and propriety. Luckily, they are the minority.

Me believes the Chinese understand that peace and harmony bring prosperity and hence well-being for all mankind. This is wisdom that the Chinese had been adopting.


Anonymous said...

You lost me there, now this seems to be your version of history. Time for you to get real education which is obvious from your made-up history.
Good luck.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Let me write a version that you are happy with, or have been told by the Western media.

The Americans beat the Chinese in the Korean War. The Indians chased the Chinese out of India in the Sino Indian War. The Vietnamese taught the Chinese a lesson in the Sino Vietnam War.

I hope you will be satisfied with these versions.

The facts still stand today. The Americans were south of the 38th paralled instead of south of the Yalu River. No more border skirmishes from India or Vietnam. There is peace in the three former battle zones. It is a good result.

I am very generous and will make people happy with whatever they wish to believe in. My message is to some silly Chinese to stop feeling ashame of being Chinese. They must believe in themselves, that they are just as good as any other race and it is time to carry conduct themselves with some respectability.

The 150 years of shame and humiliation is over. 150 years of embarrassment and pain to be Chinese. There is a new China and a new Chinese people who are proving to be as good as anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Anon 336. Think you need to look at the reality of the 21st century. Your education by the western media is casting a hallucination over you.

For centuries, the western media has cast a dark cloud over the Chinese people to the extend that the Chinese and the rest of the world believed that the Chinese were useless people, lack talent and good for nothing.

Please open your eyes and look at them clearly. They are America's biggest creditor. The Americans owed them plenty of money, not by war or extortion, but by honest hard work, eat less, work harder and produce more.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha, Uncle Redbean, those who read the western versions of truth and history are feeling very uncomfortable with your revisionist view. But good, now got another version and everyone can choose his version and sleep well.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

It is like some believers who would pretend to be in shock and utter disbelief that you never heard of their saviour as if you are so ignorant, and try to patronise you that his belief is the undisputed truth.

Anonymous said...

You are still not satisfied with Chinese achievement? Singapore is ruled by Chinese after British both politically and economically, while economically Chinese rule Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand at the expense of natives as well as politically in Laos and Burma. Your greed is overwhelming. What is enough for you? Your history omits 30-50 million who was perished by Mao, etc, etc.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Anon 4:36,

My message is not about achievements. No racial groups can achieve what the Europeans have achieved, in occupying continents, like North America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, taken from the natives.

My message is about a people that have lost their sense of pride and self respect, confidence in themselves for nearly two centuries. It is good to see them rise again, to believe in themselves, in their civilisation, that they are equals to others.

They should stand tall like everyone else. The diaspora in Southeast Asia came about because their country was in chaos, broken up and in stricken poverty. They left to find a better life, to escape starvation and death, not to conquer, suppress or kill the natives. They assimilate and live like the locals, intermarry and became one of them.

Anonymous said...

Cultural Revolution - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_cultural_revolution

Great Leap Forward - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_leap_forward

Sino-Indian War - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino-Indian_War

Sino–Soviet border conflict - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sino%E2%80%93Soviet_border_conflict

History of Tibet (1950–present) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet_under_Chinese_rule

Sinicization of Tibet - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinicization_of_Tibet

Anonymous said...

Whatever version of history one reads, the only thing that I can get from it is that there is always a winner and loser(s). Neither side stays in that position for long. At any rate whoever 'wins' or becomes dominant we can be very sure that there is only one thing on their minds-- To keep themselves in power for their benefit. It doesn't matter if it's the US, Russia, China or India. They are all the same because you can be sure that they'll never do something that is of detriment to their own country and people because that doesn't make them popular. All that matters is how you, as a small little guy, continue to survive in this mad world.

Anonymous said...

What's new with your typical nationalistic thinking? Starting to feel good about being Chinese now because China is growing economically? Who is ideological father of China - Karl Heinrich Marx (not Chinese). Who made it possible for China to grow - USA (not Chinese). Why did USA do it? Who does Singapore depends for defense support? Why not PLA of China?

Anonymous said...

Patriotism - my foot. PLA was an escape from starvation. You seem to regard brainwashed communist as your pride. Reveals what's in your own brain.

Anonymous said...

You are least qualified to write these piece being a Singaporean Chinese. Are you telling Singapore Chinese or China Chinese to feel proud being Chinese?

Anonymous said...

Malay in Malaysia are told to be proud to be Malay. Now you in Singapore telling the Chinese to feel proud. Learn to be who you happen to be born as, its not your choosing. Write what "you" have done for greater good, at least in Singapore for Singaporeans regardless of RACE.
Can you?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Why are you so unhappy?

Anonymous said...

Because half-brained peas like you think having a keyboard makes you a "knowledgeable".

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Anon, I believe the above few posts were all yours. Let me tell you, yes I have something to be proud of to see the new Chinese no longer becoming a convenient whipping boy of the West.

You are angry because you got nothing to be proud about, because you are backward and cannot do as well as the China Chinese?

Is there anything wrong to wish them well?

Oh, I am not qualified. So you are better qualified?

Anonymous said...

Yes anon, write something useful to prove that you are just as good as Redbean. If not, you are just an empty vessel full of hot air. Quick, quick, write something like 20 sentences that make sense. I bet you can't.

Anonymous said...

Wish you would start practicing what you preach. Start with posting in your proud Chinese and not western English. By the way, was not internet by the west that you dislike, how about computer itself. Well, again typical China, steal and copy, steal and copy, steal and copy everything, then claim we are great. They surely can be proudest thief's.

Jonathan said...

Nice read. You have spent quite a bit of effort writing such a long post, which is unusual of you.

But I am not sure of your reason for writing a piece of history (which is what historians do, nothing wrong with it) that is centred around this concept of "Chinese vs. Others". Frankly, the historical significance of British colonialism is much higher than Chinese nationalistic influence in Singapore. Singapore adopts British Common Law system, practices Parliamentary Democracy (with a Singaporean twist) and many others. Thus, I am not quite sure why you are writing a piece of history which doesn't quite concern Singaporeans.

In your essay, you have no problem treating "Americans" as a homogeneous concept. You listed many things that the Americans had done onto the Chinese. However, even "Americans" is not a homogeneous concept. The best example now is probably Gary Locke, who is a third generation American and is now the Ambassador to China.

My point is that your article (together with the previous one on a similar theme) seems to be expressing a type of nostalgia towards the "Chinese" -- specifically, the Chinese in the nationality sense. Being an ethnic Chinese can be difficult in places where the people discriminate against non-Anglo-Saxon people, but that's no reason for Singaporean Chinese to share much sympathy towards Chinese nationals.

The Chinese culture that had largely been dominated by a blind faith to Confucianism is a major source of problem. While China may be rising economically, the country is no where near decent. China is now wrought by a lack of trust and credibility. In general, no one would trust anyone else. Politically, it is nowhere near a democracy. Its wanton violation of human rights (even protested by it own people) is happening everyday. There is certainly no one who abides by the Rule of Law. With all these, the Chinese nationals deserve no special sympathy from Singaporeans.

I think that Singapore is a place where its unique sense of identity is being cultivated. I truly appreciate its multi-racial society and have no wish of associating myself too closely to China, even if I am a second generation Singaporean.

Anonymous said...

My first respect goes to my origin.
As a product of Nature, my fidelity shall first be to Nature no matter where i am. Patriotism is not an inborn nature of mankind, it is a feeling of love which depends on ones' affinity to the land. Patriotism can be inculcated, however true patriotism is likely inspired. And to be inspired, the leaders have to show the way.

I am proud of the Chinese anywhere, more so the well-governed Nation China of today. Like Redbean, I find the attacks on China by the Westerners and Europeans very unreasonable. The attacks are politically and economically generated and driven by unfriendly and hostile politicians and the business leaders in these angmoh countries.

I do not know how many understand egalitarian system, I don't as I am born in a democratic society in which I and fellow citizens have limited freedom. But, at least I get the freedom to remain Chinese like the Malay, Indian and others. I do not believe that any of the Races I mentioned wish to deny their ancestries(root), much less to uproot them.

I find 'Black Chinese' absurd and nonsensical.

Should China be occupied and Chinese called 'sick' man, I will regret it for the rest of my remaining life.

I am a Chinese anywhere I am.


Jonathan said...

Just to add on:

Americans have well regard for their nation. They have this thing called the "national interest". That means that Americans would always treat the interest of America/Americans with paramount importance.

China, on the other hand, can hardly cultivate such a culture. Early Chinese observers (1900s) like Arthur Hendeson. Smith had noted that the Chinese generally lack the spirit for public service. The Chinese has historically been deemed as the only nation to be smarter than the Jews in terms of making money. It is certainly not true that only western nations practice profit-maximizing with upmost self interest. The Chinese did it in a much greater extent. It is not uncommon to hear true stories saying how a Chinese is willing to discard all matters of principle to gain some monetary benefit. This could be a reason why corruption is so severe in China nowadays that can possibly threaten the CCP's reign if nothing is done right now.

Anonymous said...

"I am a Chinese anywhere I am"
Really, sure, its so hard to differentiate a Chinese to a Caucasian. Wonder why in a poll in sg about 75% teenager preferred to be born white. What's your name again, Peter, Paul, Patrick, etc, etc.

Jonathan said...

Well said, Patriot. It reminds me of the quote by Charles Montesquieu "If I knew of something that could serve my nation but would ruin another, I would not propose it to my prince, for I am first a man and only then a Frenchman...because I am necessarily a man, and only accidentally am I French."

But I think RedBean is not only defending the concept of "ethnic Chinese" (which I totally agree that there is nothing to be done to change it), he is going a step further to express his nostalgia towards Chinese as a national concept. It is the later part which slightly disturbs me.

By the way, culture is a very interesting concept. Culture takes roots from different places. It can be political culture, ethnic culture, geographical culture, religious culture...... For me, I tend to resist Chinese culture because my experience has inform me that it is an unfit culture that has elements which are not suitable for any democratic system.

Of course, there is not much point in resisting Chinese culture in the sense of food, aesthetic appreciation and etc.

As always, I think that Singaporean Chinese are better thinking about how to consolidate our own unique multiracial culture than to reminiscent the old Chinese roots. We can be Singaporeans that are different from both the Chinese and the Anglo-Saxons.

Anonymous said...

The Poll is the Poll
me remains me till I


Anonymous said...

"I find the attacks on China by the Westerners and Europeans very unreasonable." How about taking over Tibet? "Well governed China". LOL, Greatest IP theft, deadly food products, greatest corruptions, greatest execution and incarceration,etc, etc,........

Anonymous said...

Thank You Jonathan!

As an elderly Chinese Singaporean, me am not associating myself to any political system practiced in China(PRC) or Taiwan(ROC).

Me has got some unique natural physical and cultural traits. Then there is the cultural foundation of wisdom and tradition uniquely Chinese for thousands of years which are passed down to me. Me too wants to have the virtue pass down to my successors which to a large extent i am happy with my success.

As You have read me; a weak China could result in all Chinese around the World be called 'sick' man. As a Chinese, I will not want to be affected and me believes Redbean and the other Races would not want to suffer similarly.


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Thanks Jonathan and Patriot for an interesting discussion there. We can't choose our parents, neither can we choose our race. We have to live with them as our baggage. As such, this baggage comes with pros and cons. No doubt there is this nostalgia of a place that my parents came from. But as all of you agree, we are Singaporeans and no longer the same.

And as Jonathan has said, the Chinese are not homogenous, and so are the Singaporeans or Singaporean Chinese. Our family, experience and educational background will mold us to become a different individual with different values and sentiments.

But there is one thing we cannot change, our racial origins. When the West spit at the Chinese and Chineseness, you cannot just laugh it off. They are spitting at you if you happen to be one. Can't run away from it even if one is a Singaporean or Malaysian or whatever.

And many Westerners have no qualms about passing very unfriendly remarks about Chinese in front of Singaporeans. Some may say, not me, I couldn't. When they sneered and made derogatory remarks that Chinese is bad, or like Patriot said, sick man, they are saying all Chinese, be it China, Singaporean or Malaysian or any Chinese.

Today, when China is a powerful nation, the Westerners are now less rude and less generous in their abusive remarks. Reluctantly they will have to live with all things Chinese, even learning to live with them and trying to appreciate their idiosyncrasies.

As a Singaporean, I find many things in China and the China Chinese unacceptable and unbearable. But that is a sea of humanity that is not homogenous. There must be some goodness in them. We can only wish them well, and improve and abide to universal goodness and behaviour.

The China Chinese are in a hurry. They just get themselves organised as a nation again in the last 60 years. And if they can pick themselves up economically, there is no reason why they cannot develop the cultural refinement of richer nations. There is no need to rule them out or rubbish them. The colonial thugs were worst than the Chinese in the early days. They were not what they are now.

The Chinese were rubbish for the last 150 years. Even as recent as 30 years ago, they were poverty stricken and a pariah nation. Now the Americans have to be more careful when dealing with them.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Oh regarding the poll, the young would gravitate to anything that is fashionable. The West is still in fashion. Soon they would want to be Koreans or Japanese.

30 years down the road, their taste will change when the geopolitics of the world changes.

Today there is no more Charlie Chan or Darkie. You cannot simply go calling a black man negros or niggers. The Afro Americans are quite acceptable today vis a vis the days of slavery. Now white kids also want to do the Michael Jackson.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

To that anon. I know exactly who you are. Let me give you a piece of advice. Be proud of who you are first, and don't pretend to be something else.

The second advice, learn and adapt from the best, including the West. They have many good things that are superior to yours. Don't cling blindly to obsolete and ancient bad practices just because it was part of your culture.

The old Chinese did that and failed badly. The new China Chinese are learning everything that is good from the West. Singaporean Chinese were earlier to do that. That is why I am happy using English and typing on a keyboard. I do not detest modernisation or Western things just because they are Western. I can detect a sour taste in your remarks about using computer and English.

Another advice for you. If your culture could not do better, do not be afraid or feel shameful to learn from the West. They are very advance in many things. Oh, I can still read and write Chinese. But you won't be able to appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

hmm..i wonder if our singaporean indians would have the same nationalistic or racial-nolstagia towards India like you do. No wonder SAF /gahment still bear suspicions against Singaporean Malays for taking higher post in Military. Regardless of history/roots, the best acid test is this - If/when the time comes, in event China will attack SG, whose side will you stand on? Willyou then say I am a first & foremost Chinese then Singaporean, or Singaporean then chinese?

About time our school civic education and public have a more open discussion/discourse on race-related issues , instead of choosing to sweep it under the carpet and suppressed it under "anti-terrorism" or other stupid acts.

And one more thing. The number of people who will dare to show up at #occupyrafflesplace this weekend, will tell you how brave your ancestors roots have taken place here. I can bet, theory are no way even close to what the hungry and unafraid peasant soldiers of China once were/ and probably still are today. World of difference. Which is why, I always believe - don't even try and mess with the chinese soldiers. Maybe there is an upside in all these chinese immigrants coming into SG after all. You have to wonder sometimes, the spur in the hides do work sometimes, esp when your survival is at stake.

Anonymous said...

Readbean, sorry for some corrections below:

"They exchanged the lives of their soldiers for American bullets. The Chinese soldiers fell like dominoes, but they kept charging. The Americans fired until their gun barrels melted by the heat of non stop continuous firing. The waves and waves of fearless peasant soldiers were too much for the Americans and they fled." - This is not true. The Chinese used a military strategy of hitting the weakest link of UN forces and avoid the strongest link. To overcome the inferior equipment issue, the Chinese ensure outnumber the UN force to win every engagement. The so-called "people sea strategy" is actually a myth.

"This war was also significant in the military sense as it was conventional warfare fought with guerilla tactics on the side of the Chinese." - This is also wrong. The Chinese was fighting the conventional war in Korea and not guerrilla warfare. In fact, PLA had conventional war with nationalist in Chinese civil war before Korea War. The Chinese had used many clever military tactics to win many battles in Korea War. It should be fair to say that both sides had not won the war. But, this war implies that USA is started to decline. The clear evidence of USA declining is the later Vietnam War where USA has actually lost the war.

The Chinese General Peng Te Huai is a very brilliant military leader. Mao has even written a poet to praise his contribution to Korea War. He later became the China defense minister. Unfortunately, he was a victim of the cultural revolution and gang of 4. You may want to know that USA General MacArthur still wrote in his autobiography that Lin Biao is the Commander of Chinese PVA in Korea war. We could see how good is the USA war intelligence. That is USA never won the Korea war.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

I have started a discussion that will dig into people's primordial instinct and the reaction can vary from the rational to the emotional. What is important is to open up our thinking process and not keep it closed like a small tea cup. Adopting a closed mentality, there is not much to discuss.

One example is that just because I praised the Chinese peasant soldiers for their fighting spirit so I am one of them. I praise whoever deserved to be praised.

As for the issue of China attacking Singapore, it is a hypothetical statement that demands a yes and no answer and both will not be believed.

The Taiwanese also talk about defending Taiwan with their presumably strong military. It is a myth and a mismatch. There will be no war between the two. But if there is, Taiwan will not last a week. But they can live on with their myth of acquiring American weapons to take on China. Or like some Singaporeans thinking of taking on China and wanting to dictate to China.

China attacking Singapore is like some Singaporeans believing that the North Koreans will fire their missiles at Singapore. This is not only a myth. This is delusion. The North Koreans have no interest in Singapore militarily. And if China is to attack Singapore, the whole of Asia would have fallen.

In the 21st century, wars to acquire countries and land is no longer a solution. Only the Americans and the Europeans think so because the Arabs and Africans were too weak to make any meaningful defence.

China have lost territories to Russia, Mongolia, Japan, India but have not resort to force to settle these issues. From their foreign policies, you can conclude that war to settle their territorial claims is not in their cards.

The Spratleys and Paracels? It is the little countries that are trying to pick a fight with China, like mouse pulling the whiskers of a lion.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

To anon 10:21, you have raised some interesting points. How the Chinese conducted their wars in Korea is subject to many interpretations. Yes there are the myths and the truth on the ground.

The Sea of People Warfare sounds foolish. Agreed. The Chinese cannot be so thoughtless to simply line their soldiers to take the bullets. Chinese infantry tactics are based on superiority in numbers, maybe 10 to 1. They will swarm the enemies with their soldiers. And given the superiority in American arms, they fought fearlessly and many had to charge at enemy positions and were brought down. They went after the Americans in waves but not with the intention of exchanging lives with bullets. But that was the consequence.

They fought a huge conventional war. They did adopt guerilla tactics like the movements of their troops, logistics and sneak attacks and disappearing into the jungle. I concede that I have not read much of the military strategies involved and my answers are quite superficial. I am only making broad brush comments of the war.

Anonymous said...

Redbean, you must be careful of the retard. He has an inferiority complex and is incapable of a mature discussion. Anything that he disagreed he will resort to personal attacks. It is in his blood, incorrigible trait.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Thanks Anon 9:14. He will claim that he wasn't personal and will not apologise for it as usual. That is typical of him, very impulsive and hot headed.

I must have posted something that hurt his inferiority complex very badly for him to come snarling at me.

Anonymous said...

No, I do not think there is any retard here, probably just an extremist.

Anonymous said...

General Peng Te Huai,was killed by your hero Chairman Mao.
A great pity!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The old hero was senile in the later part of this rule. But the Chinese people still revere him as the founder of a united new China. He is still impt and a hero to them.

Anonymous said...

The true feeling of Chinese people,how do you know?

Or besed on people democracy?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

No, I do not know the true feeling of the Chinese people. Do you?

I have been reading Chinese history and politics all my life and following the devts there. But I really know very little about China.

China has several thousand years of civilisation and many dynasties. The literature available can fill many libraries. Just the legends and folk tales, folk heroes, will take a life time to read.

What else do you want to know about China?

Anonymous said...

Redbean Sir;

talking about Chinese History and Chinese Culture to a Non Chinese is like casting pearls to swine.

Waste not your time.


Anonymous said...

No,no one knows!
What China has done is to copy LKY model,state gives preference to all the state owned enterprises(SOEs)and most of bank loans are given to SOEs which control the major slice of economy,such as our Temasek Holdings,managed by their elites,in this case,those related to Communist Party of China,the Chinese people call this
and they are now calling for
Those interested in this economic may refer to professor Larry Lang forums which are rather interesting!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Patriot, I would not mind sharing with anyone my little knowledge of Chinese history and culture if they are really interested to know. But I would not waste my time with those who do not know and think they know.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Anon 1:02,

China is what it is today not by accident. And I believe many academics will tell the world that they will be able to make a better China than what it is today, and the Chinese leaders are daft. Even our journalists wanted to advise the Chinese leaders on their defence policies and what military secrets they must tell the Americans.

Everyone has his right to say whatever he wants, to believe whatever he wants. I hope they will respect my right to say what I want. And they do not have to believe me or agree with me.

There are many versions of truths. My truth, your truth and third or fourth party truths. Picking the correct truth requires an open, objective and critical mind. It is very easy to pick the truth that one wants to believe and feel good about it : )

Then again, be happy with the truth that you have found.

Anonymous said...

well,for me,I truly believe that it is silly for Communists in China to copy from our wiseman,LKY.

but it is correct,you believe in what you believe in!
Thank you.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

There is one very silly thing that the Chinese leaders did not copy from Sin, ie, they don't pay their leaders crazy. Don't underestimate them. They know what the are doing. They are running a country thousands of times bigger than Sin, with 1.4 or 1.5b people.

And everyday they are fighting crisis after crisis with the Americans and the rest of the world. And internally they have to eradicate corruption, nepotism, cronism, separatism, and all kinds of inequalities.

The complexities of their jobs should be worth several times more than the complexities of our leaders. And they are in full control of their destiny. They don't blame external forces when their economy falters. And no one dares to claim credit when they do well.

Anonymous said...

Only Singaporeans have the audacity to want to teach the Chinese leaders how to run their country. Like you said, newspaper reporters also think they are smarter than the Chinese leaders.

Anonymous said...

But in this case LKY is right,as there have been many cases of high level official corrutions in China,and they actually corrupted to the level of many times S$ 1 million.so in this case,LKY was right!
Sorry that we come to different conclusions.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Haha, no need to be sorry if we disagree. But generally I agree with you except for the point about paying their leaders crazy. Yes corruption is still a serious thing in China. America and Europe sre no difference. That is why we have this Occupy Wall Street and London thing.

I am going to disagree with you on another point. In China, corruption is a crime, is wrong, and when caught they can be shot.

See the difference?

Anonymous said...

If you visit China regularly,people were very happy when the initial reform began in 1978,as the emphasis was in the agricultural sector,to life thier living standard.

Now,power corrupts and absoluta power corrupt absolutely!and absolute power is now with Communist Party.

Communists want to learn from LKY,how to prolong absolute power?now they have a big problem!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

There are real differences. The communist party has been in power since 1949 and will be the only power in a one party system.

Their terms of office for the top leaders are only for two years and not entrenched in a few individuals.

Anonymous said...

Yes,it is called One Party democracy by the communists.

This was the brilliant thing that Deng leart from Mao's many errors.

Let us hope that it works for China,as our wiseman seems to believe and edge them on!

Anonymous said...

Two terms not two years!
hopefully China's Putin does not appear !

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Oops. yes two terms.