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By Jeff J. Brown
Pictured above: well, at least the CIA does some things that don’t destroy humanity. The spooks at Langley put out this nice bar graph, showing China’s meteoric economic rise, while surpassing the US as the world’s biggest economy. Actually, this incredible growth goes all the way back to 1949. It’s just been accelerating. You know what the Russians say, right Uncle Sam? Tough shitsky. (Image by CIA)
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Sixteen years with the people on the streets of China, Jeff
Mr. Kim Petersen is the well known former co-editor of the popular Dissident Voice. Kim is a stalwart fighter against racism, colonialism, empire and war. He is finishing reading Jeff J. Brown’s newest book, China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations. It inspired him to ask Jeff questions about China, the West, past, present and future. Kim’s penetrating questions got answers from Jeff that may surprise or vex you, depending on your point of view.
This is the second of their 3-part interview:
Crosslinked with: http://ahtribune.com/world/asia-pacific/1206-resurrection-of-china.html
In Part 1, I interviewed Jeff Brown, author of 44 Days Backpacking in China and the recently published China Rising, to get a perspective from an American ex-pat who has lived in, deeply studied China, and learned Mandarin.
I am glad that Jeff Brown raised the 15th century voyages of Zheng He in Part 2. Zheng He was a Muslim Chinese admiral who navigated much of the world in colossal wooden treasure ships conducting trade and spreading news of a China that was then the world power. Following Zheng He’s voyages, China would become influenced by Confucianism and become insular. Now China faces outward, and it is a trading power again.
China continues to expand its economy. What does China’s economic resurrection mean for Indigenous peoples, trade deals, and sanctions against a socialist neighbor? Brown further presents a perspective on China’s place in the world that differs from that related by monopoly media in the West.
Hmmm… “nominally independent” sounds like western propaganda to me. Something like you are independent as long as you do as the colonizing entity directs. Mohawk Elder Kahentinetha Horn stated a moral imperative: “No nation has a right to denationalize another nation.” Did Texas not achieve nominal independence based on denying the nationhood of Nermernuh (Comanche) in Comancheria, as well as the Apaches, Araphoes, Kiowas, and other Indigenous peoples? So which national fold did Texas return to? Newfoundland became nominally independent from Britain in 1949 when it joined Canada which was also nominally independent from Britain at that time, meaning that they were both part of British empire. In Newfoundland, the Beothuk did not survive the arrival of the White man; i.e., it was a 100 percent genocide. As for Hong Kong and Macao, they may not have been “severed” from mainland China, but they were British colonies. Xinjiang and Tibet are both populated by several ethnicities and have changed hands several times over the centuries. Taiwan, yes, I agree, it is part of PRC and should one day return to the national fold.
Jeff J. Brown: Point well taken, Kim. I suffer from the same Western propaganda as everybody else and can easily fall into its racist, imperial paradigm. You are right, the Americas have been home to its First Nations peoples, for at least 20,000-30,000 years. In 44 Days Backpacking in China, I wrote about the “Tibet-Pueblo Connection”, which theorizes that American Natives have, at least in part, High Plateau, Tibetan ancestry. I concur with you that political entities like Texas and Hong Kong are extrusions from the West’s colonial prism of conquest and exploitation.
So, let us imagine a rewritten world history, starting in the 15th century. We can close our eyes and see the Chinese landing in the New World, not the Europeans. In fact, a book about this has been written, 1421: The Year China Discovered America, by Gavin Menzies (2008). If true, then it reinforces my dreamy speculations and helps explain why the Chinese, if they did visit the Caribbean, left no anthropological traces of their time there.
Chinese Admiral Zheng He made seven voyages to Asia, Indonesia, Arabia and Africa, 1407-1421, a full three generations before Christopher Columbus’ history changing voyage to the Bahamas and Hispaniola, in 1492. Zheng He’s first voyage consisted of 317 ships, carrying 27,870 crew members. How significant is 27,870 voyagers? It represents half the total population of the city of London, in 1407! China’s ships were titanic in size, up to 135m long, with 7-8 main masts and compartmentalized hulls and advanced rudders and rigging, whose innovations were centuries ahead of the West.
Compare this to Columbus’ “armada”, which consisted of three Lilliputian ships, the biggest and best that Europe had at the time, and the largest of which was only 19m in length, while sporting three main masts. His three boats would have made good kitchen ships for Zheng He, carrying only a combined total crew of 90. For years, pirate Columbus had to beg from royal court to royal court, to finance his first 1492 voyage. This confirms the relative wealth and prosperity of Europe and China, in the 15th century.
Technologically, the Chinese had already invented gunpowder in the 9th century and by the 14th century, had their invention of guns, grenades, rocket propelled grenades, mortars and flame throwers. This, while Europe was pulling itself out of the Dark Ages, killing each other with pikes, maces and later, crude muskets.
Did Zheng He massacre local natives? No. Was genocide a policy (The Canary Island Model)? No. Did he cut off tongues, noses, ears, arms, heads and dismember helpless children and women? No. Did Zheng He send packs of ravenous dogs to chase down escaping natives, to be eaten alive? Burned at the stake? Slowly roasted alive over simmering coals? No. Did his Chinese sailors, business people and dignitaries burn, pillage and rape everything and everyone they could get their hands on? No. Did they steal local natural resources and enslave the masses? No.
In fact, local leaders were invited to send emissaries with the fleet, to sail back to China, for diplomacy and trade. Zheng He’s people had the finest of Chinese goods and merchandise to trade with each country, as well as silver to buy local goods at negotiated prices.
For at least 3,000 years, China had the fabulous wealth, technology and military superiority to take over the world. But they didn’t, unlike the West, which poured over Planet Earth, like an evil spawn, killing and enslaving billions of people and stealing trillions in natural resources. It’s just not the way the Chinese look at the outside world, which definitively confirms President Xi Jinping’s platform of “win-win” trade and development. Nothing has changed about the Chinese for millennia.
The voyages of Zheng He, who was one of the greatest admirals in history. Unlike all the marauding, 15th-17th century European pirates, whom we mythically call “explorers” and “settlers”, the Chinese traded goods, technology and diplomacy everywhere they sailed, not committing genocide, rape, slavery and theft. (Image by Rochester.edu)
KP: On 29 August I received an email from a Victoria-based NGO, the Dogwood Initiative, which read:
Back in January, a Chinese trade official arrived in Canada with two demands: 1. Open up Canadian oil companies to direct ownership by the Chinese government. 2. Build a West Coast pipeline and tanker port so China can lock in access to the oil sands.
Kai Nagata of the Dogwood Initiative put it more diplomatically in an article, noting China was negotiating for trade privileges sought by other countries. However, there has been no Malaysia bashing while its state-owned enterprise Petronas seeks to build a LNG terminal in northern BC (China is a junior partner in the venture). In fact it was welcomed by the BC government despite the science pointing to devastation of crucial salmon habitat. (See “Science, Industry, and Salmon“; “‘Yes’ to Wild Salmon; ‘No’ to BC Premier’s Name Calling“; and “Original peoples, sovereignty, industry, and Salmon,”) There is massive First Nation opposition to the pipelines.
With regard to this and the preceding question, does China not bear responsibility for acceding to the inherent rights and sensitivities of Original Peoples (China is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) when pursuing business in colonial-settler states?
JB: I am not familiar with the Dogwood Initiative, [I am working on an article examining Dogwood to be published soon — Kim] but it sounds like they have a political agenda. It is just not Asian style in general, and Chinese culture, specifically, to make direct, pointed demands as described. As far as wanting to have access to Canada’s natural resources, like other countries, this is only logical for the world’s biggest economy and #1 manufacturer.
The fact that China appears to be discriminated against compared to Malaysia does not surprise me. Canada is a craven puppet of American empire, a full-fledged member of the NSA’s Five Eyes spy program and a signatory to the US’s manifestly anti-Chinese Trans-Pacific “Partnership” (TPP).
Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was a northern George W. Bush wannabe. Hopefully, new PM Justin Trudeau can exert some independence from the clutches of America’s dictatorial empire and negotiate a free trade agreement with China.
KP: On page 454 of China Rising you wrote:
So, by all means, Xi feels entitled to his position of power. Just like every other political leader you can name. When you read/hear a character assassination piece on China’s president, be sure to honestly ask yourself, How does this accusation compare to high powered western leaders?
This is verging on a tu quoque argument, so I ask for elaboration because whether western leaders are as bad or worse than Xi does not speak well to leadership within Chinese “democracy.” Wei Ling Chua, who wrote Democracy: What the West Can Learn from China (review), would state that rather than being entitled to his position of power that Xi earned that position. Asserts Chua:
In sharp contrast to the West, the Chinese culture is basically a corrective one. People who are able to make their way to the top of the leadership ladder in China are usually less individualistic with positive personal qualities. (location 546)
JB: No question about it: Xi Jinping has more than earned his stripes to become China’s president. He spent seven years in the countryside, during the Cultural Revolution, as an urban youth getting and giving an education with poor, illiterate peasants. He suffered from chronic flea and lice infestations, while laboring back-breaking days, barefooted in the fields. After graduating from university, he was a low level secretary in the People’s Liberation Army (albeit for a high ranking officer), whereupon he spent the next 30 years working tirelessly from village, to county, to province, then big city and finally national level of governance.
At the same time, we cannot overlook his background. His father, Xi Zhongxun, was one of Mao Zedong’s right hand men and considered one of the towering figures in China’s communist pantheon, whether his son ever became president or not. So, Xi’s rise is both earned and entitled. A good Western parallel is Franklin D. Roosevelt. He came from a well-known patrician family with a celebrated name, but worked his way up the ladder to eventually become president. John F. Kennedy also comes to mind.
KP: On page 471 you wrote that the British Guardian had “journo-cohones.” Given that Noam Chomsky has accused the Guardian of “extreme dishonesty,” and given that Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald (yes, even Greenwald who broke the story of NSA spying via Edward Snowden while at the Guardian), Media Lens, and other progressives have been highly critical of the Guardian do you consider the “journo-cohones” of the Guardian to be an aberration or a defining characteristic?
JB: Kim, I blow hot and cold about the Guardian. Since writing China Rising, the winds are definitely deep frozen. In fact, for the last two years, I haven’t even looked at its website. My daily consumption of 24-hour news cycle information comes from RT, Telesur and Press TV. Of course I read and research many other anti-imperial websites, writers and journalists (including you). I am an editor of The Greanville Post and I write articles for the The Saker.
KP: I found it interesting that you spoke to the western disinformation campaign of a “massacre” having occurred at Tiananmen Square because I wrote a review of Wei Ling Chua’s Tiananmen Square “Massacre”? that demolishes the western corporate-state media disinformation, much of it by citing western corporate media recantations of previously published accounts. And yet every lead up to 4 June, the western media will trot out the disinformation again? Given the lies surrounding the sinking of the USS Maine, the phantom North Vietnamese missiles fired in the Gulf of Tonkin, Iraqi troops tearing babies out of incubators in Kuwait, the phantom WMDs in Iraq, that Muammar Gaddafi supplied Viagara to encourage mass rapes by his troops in Libya, that the Syrian government crossed Obama’s red line with a sarin gas attack in Ghouta … all concocted lies! Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice… You used the term sheeple in your book, but how much are people to blame for a system that relies on propaganda and disinformation? What would Americans think if every 29 December foreign media began remembering the massacre at Wounded Knee … a genuine American-perpetrated massacre.
JB: Well, that’s just it, Kim, going back to my earlier mea culpa, above, Western propaganda is so ruthlessly effective, that its conditioning can last a lifetime. It’s like a mental, recessive gene that keeps coming out and expressing itself, or what evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins famously termed “memes”. I lived and worked in Africa, the Middle East and China, from 1980-1997, two of those years as a Peace Corps volunteer. Yet still, it wasn’t until I came back to China with my family in 2010, to serendipitously create two sociocultural bookends, as it were, then traveling extensively and writing 44 Days Backpacking in China and China Rising, that I could finally start to claw the Western scales off my eyes.
It probably cost me some sales, but that is why the first section of China Rising covers three famous “terrorist acts”, meticulously and thoroughly researched, to prove conclusively that they were perpetrated by our very own Western governments, with help from Israel’s Mossad and Europe’s Gladio armies. One cannot fully understand how the world works, how Eurangloland viciously controls its sheeple and the global zeitgeist, if one does not accept the fact that it is largely done via a continuous string of false flags. Western false flags are truly the cipher, the codebreaker, for transparently understanding modern geopolitical history, global current events and the real goals of Eurangloland’s tireless efforts to control the rest of the world’s peoples and their natural resources, into the 21st century.
I used to get frustrated by Westerners’ unwillingness to look beyond the headlines of CNN, Fox, BBC, the New York Times and the Sunday Times. Knowing how brutally effective Western propaganda is, in brainwashing its masses, and by empathetically looking back at my life’s arduous, geopolitical awakening, I now stay calm, nod my head, offer a few polite rejoinders and gently coax them to read my books!
KP: Recently, China’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning a nuclear test by the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea. According to the statement, China seeks denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, preventing nuclear proliferation, and maintaining peace and stability in Northeast Asia. Given that China is a nuclear power and signatory to the NPT and its Article VI (commitment to the goal of disarmament by the nuclear-weapon states), does its opposition not come across as self-righteous, self-serving, and discriminatory? And peculiar since China does not want the socialist North Korean government to fall allowing the US to creep up to its border on the Yalu River. Also since China was spurred to acquire the nuclear bomb for self-defense purposes, given that the US refuses a peace or non-aggression treaty with North Korea, does North Korea not have the same right to self-defense?
JB: Most Westerners don’t know that the Korean War never ended. There has never been a jointly signed armistice, just a cessation in fighting. South Korea is the same size as Iceland or the American state of Indiana. Imagine having 30,000 Chinese troops in a similar sized area where your readers each live, armed to the teeth, likely harboring nuclear warheads and installing an antimissile shield, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), all justified because the country is divided in half. The Chinese troops are there to intimidate the enemy on the other side of the ceasefire line. Not only this, but China regularly and arbitrarily imposes cruel and vindictive economic and trade sanctions, causing much daily suffering among their neighbors across this border. This, while China bullies the rest of the world to not conduct any commerce or financing with neighboring country, to keep it as isolated and miserable as possible.
Replace China with the United States and South Korea with your readers’ little countries, and that is where North Korea finds itself. Now one can appreciate better how the North feels. As I explained in an article on China Rising Radio Sinoland, Mao Zedong’s son died on the battlefield during the Korean War. China humiliated America, thoroughly defeating Uncle Sam, then tactically retreated back to the original 38th parallel line, having proved the point and thus keeping a communist brother-in-arms as a buffer against the West – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). China will never throw the DPRK to the Western dogs of war. I’ve even speculated that Baba Beijing keeps pushing the envelope and tightrope-walking a fine line with the North’s nuclear program, as a way to drain valuable American military, espionage and financial resources from the South China Sea, and from the West’s nonstop efforts to overthrow the Communist Party of China, much like the US did against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, in the 1980s.
North Korea would never launch a nuclear missile on South Korea or Japan, without Baba Beijing’s OK, which means it will never happen, unless the upcoming Clinton administration desperately goes to hot war with China and Russia. Militarily neither China, nor Russia are terribly concerned about the THAAD missile shield, since they have developed weapons to overcome it. However, it does not preclude them from using the superfluous, multibillion dollar THAAD installation as a bargaining chip, in ongoing, behind the scenes negotiations.
I wish Baba Beijing would be more supportive of its fraternal, communist little brother, south of the Yalu River. My only conjecture is that it knows the West owns the global mainstream media, with its suffocating Washington-London-Paris consensus. Given that the West’s demonization and ostracizing of North Korea is so complete, and the world is so brainwashed, China probably does not see much PR and diplomatic benefit from coming out fully backing North Korean President Kim Jong-un & Co., even though this support is happening 24-7 in practical, behind the scenes terms. Together, China and Russia have four rail lines connecting to North Korea. Regardless of Western imposed sanctions, is Uncle Sam going to be allowed to see what’s in those kilometers of freight trains coming and going across the borders? And again, Baba Beijing can use its Western mainstream criticism of North Korea as a bargaining chip with Washington, as can Russia.
Maybe Xi Jinping and the CPC can take heart in the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte and his new, thoroughly anti-empire government and media campaign. He has just called off joint US-Filipino patrols in the South China Sea and demanded that the US military leave the southern, Muslim dominated island of Mindanao, which for decades has been dealing with the Abu Sayyef Group. Why? Because now, the Philippines is coming out publicly to state the truth: (like Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, ad nauseam) Abu Sayyef is a US creation used to pull off “Muslim” false flags, like this month’s bus station bombing in Davao, Duterte’s hometown on Mindanao. This to demonize Islam and justify billions more spent on American arms and occupation, in order to “defeat” the same said American Abu Sayyef Group. That’s the twisted perverseness, but lethal effectiveness of the West’s false flags around the world. And this just in, as I go to press.
This is unprecedented among Western puppet states and shows Eurangloland for what it is: the global dictator wears no clothes. Just to make sure that the imperial monster is totally buck naked, maybe Baba Beijing should start following Duterte’s lead and begin to fight the worldwide media war — ugly. As Western false flags and phony color revolutions prove, the truth doesn’t mean diddly squat, except for a small percentage of enlightened world citizens crying in the dark. It’s all about perception. As any customer based business will tell you, perception is reality.
On an individual level, symbolic acts of personal and political integrity can be the spark that ignites the fires of revolution. Rosa Parks refusing to sit in the back of the bus comes to mind, as do the raised, black-gloved fists of US athletes at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Currently, the NFL’s Colin Kaepernick’s symbolic “taking a knee” during the national anthem and wearing a huge Afro have finally raised the recognition of police slaughtering poor, Black and Latino people like dogs, beyond the slums of America and into the living rooms of white citizens.
Like a 15th century of Sino-exploration in the Americas, let’s dream just a little more, at the geopolitical level. Why don’t China and Russia do ongoing Wikileaks releases on 9/11, Tiananmen Square, Ukraine, Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, MH17 and MH370, as well as on all the other bogus Western false flags around the world, for which their excellent spy agencies, China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) and Russia’s FSB, surely have hard drives full of the down and dirty? Like an acid drip on the world’s conscience, why don’t China Daily, RT, Telesur and Press TV get together and agree to a coordinated media plan of action, to keep these revelations flowing through their 24-hour news cycles, day after day, week after week, month after month?
Currently, only Press TV has the courage to report on false flags, and then only sparingly. RT? Telesur? China Daily? Gutless in this category. Countless other “progressive” and “liberal” news outlets and journalists are equally cowed. For the sake of Planet Earth, they need to go through the same arc of revelation that I have experienced, since being back in China in 2010. It’s like all these principled, well-meaning anti-empire news agencies and journalists are waiting for the other shoe to drop, when they need to be like that Iraqi correspondent, Muntadhar al-Zaidi in 2007, targeting George W. Bush, and start hurling their footwear at the Princes of Power.
Eurangloland’s owners are counting on this self-censorship, to maintain their dictatorship over humanity. Take away the West’s main instrument of mass control – false flags – and like the Wizard of Oz hiding behind his billowing, vacuous bluff, it will be exposed as merely a hollow regime that deserves our derision and contempt.
The CIA’s post-JFK-assassination propaganda campaign to implant in the public’s conscience that anyone who questions the government’s official narrative is a “nut job conspiracy theorist”, must top its list of successful mind control programs. Until afflicted governments and the alternative media pierce this “conspiracy theory” veil, exposing all these false flags and deflating the West’s ersatz omnipotence, the world’s oppressed will never have a chance to gain their liberation and live with social justice and equality. Until then, Eurangloland’s owners will continue to freely mock, torment and exploit us.
False flags are not some theoretical abstraction. They are the raison d’être of our impotence and fear. Western false flags and all their affiliated color revolutions, government overthrows, assassinations, exterminations, genocide and war are the cudgel used to beat humanity into subservient humiliation. Every day the Sun comes up, Eurangloland defecates on the United Nations charter and the global stench is suffocating the human race. Expose Western false flags en masse, or we can continue to symbolically and collectively bend over and be sodomized into submission. That’s a great way to look at false flags: being raped by The Man. Like abused women and bow-backed slaves, it’s time to say, “No More!”.
• Next: In the final Part 3 — China, socialism, and what this means for the world of the future.
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One other installment is forthcoming. Stay tuned. After the third and final installment, a podcast of all the questions and answers will be posted for your listening enjoyment.
Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History
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