Tuesday, April 3, 2012

China: Always Inscrutable!

By Rich Kozlovich

There is an old term, “the inscrutable Oriental”! What does that mean and why? I have my own personal view about this. It is a cultural thing. The Chinese are not direct in coming to the point. They were more concerned with being “more tactful, [their] chief concern being to make the other fellow feel comfortable, to give him “face,” rather than to tell the truth. This comes from hundreds of years of Confucian thought and the need to get along in often crowded and uncomfortable surroundings.” We have the tendency to “find this tactfulness exaggerated and the emphasis on face irritating and incomprehensible.” Thus we have the tendency to find it means there is something going on in the background. And with the Chinese, there probably is. Much like Don Corleone…”never let anyone outside the family know what you are thinking.

Many years ago I read a book dealing with the old Chinese system of study known as “The Classics”, which was required in order to rise within the ranks of the Mandarin; the bureaucrats that ran the Empire. That created interesting paradigms within the Chinese government. If during some internal power struggle one were to openly attack on adversary it would be looked down upon by the rest of the leadership. But if you could get them downgraded cleverly, or even executed, without anyone being able to trace it to you…while at the same time making sure everyone knew you did it; it was looked on with favor. Although this system changed during the centuries; after all those centuries the training molded the thinking of the entire culture until became a cultural paradigm, no matter who was ruling. That hasn’t changed.

However, when Henry Kissinger (the guy that is supposed to be so smart) went to China he told Mao Tse Tung that the nice thing about this visit was that neither of them wanted anything from the other. Mao looked over at him and said; “If I didn't want something from you I wouldn't have invited you, and if you didn't want something from me you shouldn't have come." The only "face" Mao was concerned about was his own. He wouldn't even let his main henchman in mass murder, Chow En Lai, receive medical treatment to save his life. The thinking is that he didn't want any of his close associates to outlive him and spill the beans about his activities.

Now the Chinese leadership faces the same dilemma the Russians face. In order to maintain their socialist systems they have to keep repainting history in order to justify their existence. Although in Russia it is a bit different, the same party apparatchiks still run everything…even more incompetently than did the Soviets. There are even people in Russia who declare that Stalin really didn't kill all those people. I guess Hitler didn't kill all those Jews either.

In so many socialist tyrannies there seems to be a recurring theme. So many bodies turn up in mass graves that no one killed.

Coup Rumors Spur China to Hem In Social Networking Site
By IAN JOHNSON

 China started a sweeping crackdown of its vibrant social networking media over the weekend, detaining six people, closing 16 Web sites and shutting off the comment function for two gigantic micro-blogs. The campaign, which was announced late Friday and put in place in stages through Saturday, was directly linked to the political instability that has gripped China since one of its most charismatic politicians, Bo Xilai, lost his post in mid-March. That spurred rumors of a coup, which the government-run Xinhua news agency cited as the reason for the measures. Xinhua quoted an official with the State Internet Information Office as saying that the sites had spread reports of “military vehicles entering Beijing and something wrong going on in Beijing.”…. In addition to the six detainees — whose names were not released — Xinhua said others were “admonished and educated” and had promised to “repent.”

Insight: China wrestles Mao's ghost after official's divisive fall
By Chris Buckley

Former Red Guard leader Tang Dahua says memories of the fanatical bloodshed that tore apart the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing return to him with startling clarity. Decades after Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution made Chongqing a bloody ideological battleground, the riverside megacity, China's largest, is at the heart of a different political storm - one that has exposed rifts inside the ruling Communist Party after the ouster of the city's charismatic leader, Bo Xilai. Tang was a prominent leader in the late 1960s battles between Red Guard factions in Chongqing that killed many hundreds in ferocious fighting, and he dismissed the idea that the violence that ravaged China then could return. But Bo's downfall has exposed ideological fault lines in the government and the public that could trouble the party months before a delicate reshuffle of top leaders.

China’s Defence Budget 2012: An Analysis
Mandip Singh and Lalit Kumar

China’s Defence Budget for 2012 continues to follow anticipated trend lines in keeping with its plan of carrying out Revolution in Military Affairs in a calibrated, coordinated and comprehensive manner. The actual figures of the Chinese Defence budget continues to be a source of conjecture and no standard factors can assist in accurate prediction of the real expenditure. The allocation for 2012 appears to suggest that ‘it is business as usual’ for the PLA, although there are reports of a substantial rise in salaries and expenditure on improving the living standards even as it finds new ways to woo young men and women to join the PLA. It would be prudent to assume that the bulk of the monies will be directed at ensuring domination of the Asia- Pacific by developing its ‘ Anti-Access Area Denial’ strategies while building on a nascent expeditionary capability for power projection and protection of its interests globally. As far as India is concerned, we will see no let up in the momentum of infrastructure development in the TAR and the possible establishment of the PLA`s first base overseas in the Indian Ocean in the near future.


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