The oppression of a civilization

The world was turned into an ocean of colonies of subject people during the few centuries of ‘friendly’ European conquest. The Africans were turned into slaves, the natives of both Americas massacred. The ancient civilization of China was crippled and dismantled into pieces. After the Western powers brought down the decadent Qing Dynasty with the might of modern firearms, the Chinese civilization was turned into a pariah race of nothingness by the invaders in their country. The foreigners did not bring anything good but oppression, bullying and raiding China’s wealth and dignity by all kinds of deceptive means, and by the barrel of the gun. The Japanese joined in and even thought of conquering and ruling the whole of China as their colony.

There was a moment of salvation when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and declared war on the Western power. China and its peasant soldiers were needed to open another front to sap the fighting power and resources of the Japanese. A large part of the Japanese Imperial Army was held down in China by the peasant soldiers. History would not be the same if the Japanese could run through China without resistance and conquer the whole of Asia.

After the war there was a brief moment of equality for China as a key member of the Allied Forces that fought against the Japanese. Chiang Kai Shek was seated with the Allied leaders like Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt in Potsdam and Cairo to divide the world among the victorious Allied Powers. China was lucky to have its lost territories back. Chiang was more like a flower vase, inconsequential, and would not be deserving of any war loot. His presence among the leaders of the big powers was a consolation that gave China a little recognition as a big nation.

This little moment of dignity did not last long when Mao Zedong defeated Chiang and China adopted communism as a state ideology. This turn of event led to a renewed and concerted Western effort to brand and condemn the Chinese civilization as peasants, rogues, dumb, uncivilized, aggressive and the pariahs of the human race, a good for nothing race that was lack of talent, unproductive and unimaginative, and unfit to join the advanced nations of the West. This was the hopeless China painted by the West. They kept repeating the misinformation daily in all western media, like they are doing to North Korea today that the whole world simply believed so. Chinese are useless, Chinese are lame, Chinese are bad.

Cold Wars, containment policies, encirclement, depriving China of its rightful seat in the UN, blocking China from joining international organizations like the WTO and the Groupings of rich nations, were history now. In the last 40 odd years, China came storming back on its own despite all the sanctions and barriers and threats against its rise as a nation and the Chinese people as a civilization, old, ancient, but not useless and remote of talents.

Throughout the two hundred years of Western oppression and suppression, the Chinese civilization was not allowed to surface, no opportunity to break out and be the equals of other nations. The Chinese civilization was down and out, the Chinese in despair. Many Chinese had doubts in themselves, and were ashamed to be Chinese. The Westerners reinforced this belief by sneering at them, contributing negative literature furiously to debase the Chinese, discriminated against them in practically every human endeavour and industry. In the USA there were racist laws forbidding the Chinese from higher skill jobs. The image and perception of useless and untalented Chinese became a self fulfilling prophecy. The Chinese civilization was a joke, a condemned race that was lacking in industry and innovation.

On its own, slowly and steadily the Chinese rebuilt their nation and their civilization, with little foreign talents and assistance, China has over taken Japan and is closing in on the US as the number Two world power, economically and militarily. They have proven that they could match the West in every field of industry. The oppression and suppression of a civilization have failed, and a revitalized China has assumed its rightful place as a proud nation among nations. The Chinese civilization is no longer to be spitted at, to be kicked around by the Western powers or by teeny weeny little Asian states. It is now a force to be reckoned with and to be respected on its own merits.

The tag of being the Sick Man of Asia, a semi colony of the West, a broken country with nothing, no inventions, no modern industries, no talents except poverty and all the trappings of a poor and backward third world country vanished over a few decades. There is renewed pride as a people, a nation and a civilization in the new China. A phoenix has risen from the ashes. There is no turning back. The Chinese have found their way back and will leap frog over the West in science and technology and in all things, while the West are still trying to restrain their advances by hook and by crook.

Today, the overseas Chinese are also starting to rediscover themselves, their pride and dignity as a respectable people. They too find some renewed confidence that they are not rubbish and useless as the West wanted to hole them in, to be bullied by even little third world people, to be told to go home in western countries. They too share the pride of an ancient civilization seeking a second chance in renaissance, to achieve in whatever they seek to do, to be a respectable people and civilization on par with the best in the world. They no longer lower their heads in shame as they go about their lives. They are standing tall, heads and shoulders to the Western civilization with the knowledge that they are just as good if not better. The Chinese civilization is reviving and will no longer be oppressed and suppressed again.


Anonymous said...

Sun Yat Sen said, "Chinese people is a pan of loose sand." No unity but everyone wants to be the Emperor. Just look at Korea and Japan.

Anonymous said...

I have never doubt my ancestor's
civilization, neither did Napolian.
What happened was only a hiccup along the path of enlightenment.

Chak ks

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Chak ks, welcome to the blog.

The consistent and persistent disparaging literature against the Chinese civilisation over centuries, coupled with oppressive affirmative actions in the West against the Chinese took a big toll on the overseas Chinese who were mostly illiterate and ignorant in the early days.

Look at the media and how they keep attacking the North Koreans. It is the same strategy to marginalise and demolish a country and people. The reports in the media are coordinated and very effective in brain washing the minds of the unwary.

Anonymous said...

Cannot blame foreigners lah.

The Chinese Race themselves were ever ready to embrace Western Culture.

How many Chinese today know their root and culture?
Fuck the Chinese that cannot speak, read and write their mother tongue. Worse, many do not ever under their mother tongue verbally.

Be sincere and honest, anyone here not guilty of abandoning their own culture and feel superior speaking in good alien langiage? How many here familiar with any Chinese Clasics in literature and art in their original language?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Anon 12:18, we should not be too harsh on the Chinese diaspora. When their forefathers left China, it was during a dark period of Chinese history when the country was broken up, poor and bankrupt. Many who left were poor and illiterate and got to make do with whatever in hostile foreign land. They eked out a living just to survive and there was no powerful China to protect them. There were exploited and discriminated everywhere, killed, robbed, cheated, imprisoned, beaten etc etc.

They grew up in foreign countries and learning a new way of life, including language, culture and religion just to survive. China was nothing to talk about or an aspiration, nor the civilisation.

With the revival of the Chinese civilisation, many are returning to their roots to find out more and to understand more. Some may still have difficulties trying to learn the language. Not being able to speak and understand Mandarin does not make them not Chinese. Ethnically they are still Chinese. It is only what is inside their heads.

Anonymous said...

A Chinese leader from SEAsia went to America to ask the Americans to counter the rise of China. To many Americans, he is a Chinese talking about countering another Chinese country. Does it make any sense?

Anonymous said...

'he is a Chinese talking about countering another Chinese country'

It makes sense cos most chinese are like him - selfish, greedy and money oriented, afraid of losing especially power and wealth.

China already has many scars even before the western invasion. Many emperors were non-chinese, they were foreigners. They used even much more underhand strategies to defeat the chinese. Even the chinese emperors did not treat the chinese well, using all sorts of torture and cruelty to secure their power and wealth.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

As a Singaporean, it is quite natural to talk to others like we are different from the Chinese in China. Our nationality is Singaporean.

To the Americans or westerners, they would be thinking, huh, he is going against his own kind. They cannot tell the difference between us and PRC Chinese. That would make the westerners thinking, why like dat?

Anonymous said...

'counter another chinese..'

Ah Long is Xenophobia. maybe when he goes to china, he will say 'counter another india..'

THis guy is a joke.

bond said...

It does not matter to the world whether it is a chinese or angmoh leader, so long as he/she is a kind, benevolent, truthful leader.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese Emperors oppressed the Chinese people more than any American or Japanese.

Don't believe me?

Ask any Singaporeans.
Ask the Chinese peasants who built the Great Wall of China.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Did you ask the early Chinese immigrants how they were treated by the Americans? Do you know anything about the racist American legislations against Chinese?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Have you met a Red Indian? There hundreds of millions of these original Americans in North America. Where are they now? How many left?

Anonymous said...

Dear redbean
I fully agree with your comments about the Americans legislation against the Chinese immigrants and the genocide of the native Americans.

But today, the American Chinese do very well in America.

The native American tribes keep all their profits from casinos on reservation lands. No need to pay taxes.
(As citizens, do we get to share in the profits of our casinos?)

You can even go to America with your friends and protest in New York's Times Square about historical injustices against Chinese and native Americans.
(As citizens in our own country, we can't even protest in Orchard Road).

The wisdom of the common man.
One man, one vote.
Free speech. Freedom of ideas.
The right to protest.
Human rights come from God and not Kings & Emperors.

These institutions and ideas protect individuals.
They are all from the West.

The white man is perfectly capable mass genocide just like the Chinese.
The modern ideas I've listed above keeps all of us safe.
I'm ashamed to ask.
What has been our Chinese contribution towards human rights & freedom?
Throughout history, Chinese rulers have never done anything for the ordinary Chinese people.
Just a bunch of self-serving tyrants.
They free themselves and enslave the rest of us.

Even this internet is courtesy of the Americans.
No surprise that China and Singapore governments want to control internet access.

Until we acknowledge the historical inadequacies of Chinese rulers.
That they never represented the ordinary Chinese.
That they only represent themselves and serve their own self interest.
Chinese people under Chinese rulers will always be deceived and screwed.

Anonymous said...

Chinaman asking Americans to counter Chinaman. What would the Americans be thinking of this Chinaman?

Anonymous said...

When there is a war to be fought, the Chinese ruler will be the first to ask for national service and sacrifice.

When there are profits to be shared in the national reserves ... they got call us or not?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Anon 9:14,

Civilisations rise and fall. The good will thrive and the evil will perish. But normally the evil will exploit the good to the max before they are brought down.

The last two centuries saw the decline of the Chinese civilisation. They are recovering, stil harbouring many of the old bad habits and ideas. That is why some crazy despots like Pol Pot would think of erasing a whole population to start anew. The cultural revolution to some extent is in such a line.

Would the new China and the new Chinese civilisation given a second chance be better than the old and improve the lives of their people? At the moment they have done quite well, material well being has been achieved and poverty almost eradicated. The next phase is a renaissance, new values, graciousness, refinement etc may follow. It may not and they may regress to their old barbaric and cruel past.

We just have to wait and see. Singapore has gone through that and is entering a phase of decay with so much greed and 'corruption' and self interests over the interests of the average Singaporeans.

denk said...

from the *shit times*

us boosts missile defences [sic] amid n korean threats [sic]

pyongyang's threats [sic] n military capabilities pose *real clear danger* [sic]

there should be a health msg on the *shit times* front page, like those for cigarettes u know !


Anonymous said...

Dear redbean
Thank you for graciously allowing me to express my opinion on the Chinese civilization in your blog.

We both want the same thing.
A revival and renaissance of the Chinese civilization.
Where we differ is probably in how to achieve this.

I humbly submit that our best chance lies in joining hands with countries & races that embrace the ideas of freedom & democracy.

I just don't think Chinese civilization will ever have a renaissance under Chinese rulers.
The evidence of our 5,000 year history tells me that Chinese rulers are just a bunch of self serving tyrants.
Singapore is just another chapter in a long line of disappointing Chinese rulers.

Thanks again for entertaining my revisionist musings.

Anonymous said...


I agree. as chinese, we all hope to see china rise up and wise up but we also know the short comings.

I think china never has a proper sewage system until invaded by the west while the romans already have a complex but well designed sewage system a thousand years ago.

Provety in china is still long from being eradicated. There are people who died from freezing in waste bin to escape cold.

It does not matter who is the leader of the world so long as he/she is a truthful, benevolent, kind and wise being.

Anonymous said...

When the elites rule, the ordinary people lives will never be good.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi guys,

Singaporeans and many overseas Chinese are the greatest beneficiaries of European rennaisance, philosphies and political thoughts. Democracy and human rights, rule of law, etc etc are concepts and principles we learnt from the West.

China also benefitted from such values when Sun Yat Sen returned to overthrow the Qing Dynasty. Unfortunately the Chinese social and political structure and thinking of the people were not ready to benefit from Sun's introduction of democracy. It needed the ruthlessness of Mao and communism to uproot the evils of a decadent gentry class, warlords etc etc to start from a new slate. It was painful, destructive, a lot of lives were lost. But that was a rebuilding process, turning everything to ashes to bring forth a new phoenix.

When Singaporeans can embrace and learn the good things from the West, the new Chinese too can do the same by being educated in the West, experience the new values of the West and reintroduce them into China. There will be a clash of civilisations, the decadent old will resist and want to return to bring China back to its old backward ways.

China needs the return students, and there are many of them, the overseas Chinese, to rebuild a new China. It has copied our economic model of growth and move on from there. It can also copy the western models of philosophies and political ideologies, to pick up the good and discard the bad. It must not return to the old ways or it will get drag back to the old shit hole.

JayF said...

Hi Chua,

China's decline started near the end of 2nd Manchu Emperor Kangxi's reign.Which is tragic considering Kangxi was one of the most enlightend rulers China ever had the benefit of having. He was interested in science, astronamy, overcame the bigotry in court when he openly supported the far more accurate calculations of the eclipse done by the Jesuits compared to the court mathematicians. He even became a patron of the early church, something that would be unthinkable to a less confident Chinese monarch. Pity the Rites Controversy and the Vatican's insulting correspondence dashed any hopes of China undergoing a Meiji Reformation or Peter the Great's Westernisation reforms two centuries earlier.

It is telling that when Lord McCartney visited Qianlong's court at the end of the monarch's reign, he wrote prophetically that the Qing Empire "was a grand old ship, massive but lumbering, held together only due to the fortune of a able crew choosen by the previous generations."

China is undergoing the same much needed reforms Japan faced at the end of the 80s. God help us if the world's growth engine were to end up with it's own version of the lost decade.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

JayF, I agree that China is in a state of reform in all areas, from thoughts, social and political, to science and technology. And they have many able men and women studying all the systems and countries to take their country forward. They have found many answers in science and technology, in economics, and raising the standard of living of their people.

The advantage the Chinese have today is that information is free flowing, transfer of knowledge is easier and quite instant. Hopefully they have wise and good leaders to bring the country and civilisation forward to benefit themselves and the world. So far they are doing ok, and this is frightening the shit out of the Americans who are still treating China as enemy number One and would want to do China in if they could.

The future of China and the Chinese civilisation is still evolving and looking positive. A Chinese renaissance will be good for the world. If it turns bad, it will cripple the world just as bad.

Anonymous said...

Democracy, freedom, human rights, one man one vote, free speech, freedom of ideas, the right to protest,are only hollow intangible words that are only held deeply by some shallow people.

Man’s fundamental need is really … 衣食住行.

Hollow and rhetoric words do not put food on the table.

Politics, rhetoric and propaganda aside, Chinese cultures and traditions regarding to “making money” has withstand the test of time and have serve the Chinese people well throughout history.

We must never lose terms and aspirations such as 福祿壽 and 恭喜發財 to live real happy lives on this planet earth, albeit for only a brief moment in time.

OldChinese said...

The West does not have real democracy. The ruling elite allows freedom to the extent that permit them to be able to make their money. That happens every where. Saying the Chinese ruling elite are the same as the europeans and japanese may be correct, as they are all human, but that is no excuse for the bullying that was performed on people of Chinese origin the last few hundred years. The cringing of overseas Chinese was a result the consistent propaganda. Let us not cringe further with more self-criticism, neither over-glorify anybody.