Archive for the Zhou Enlai Category

Backgrounder: History proves Diaoyu Islands are China’s territory [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Diaoyu Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, US imperialism, USA, World War II, Zhou Enlai on August 20, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) — The Japanese government on Friday decided to release the 14 Chinese illegally detained Wednesday by Japanese authorities at the Diaoyu Islands after the Chinese government repeatedly demanded their "immediate and unconditional" release.

The 14 Chinese, despite obstruction by Japan Coast Guard patrol ships, arrived at the Diaoyu Islands by a Hong Kong fishing vessel to assert China’s territorial claim to the islands.

Japanese police arrested them on suspicion of "illegal entry."

After their detention, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying reiterated China’s sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and the affiliated islets, and demanded that the Japanese guarantee the safety of the citizens and free them immediately and unconditionally. On Thursday, China once again urged Japan to "immediately and unconditionally" release its nationals.

Demonstrators across China staged protests Thursday demanding the release of the 14 Chinese nationals.

The Diaoyu islands, in the East China Sea between China and Japan, have belonged to China since ancient times.

The islands are 120 nautical miles northeast of China’s Taiwan province, 200 nautical miles east of China’s mainland and 200 nautical miles west to Japan’s southernmost island Okinawa.

Geologically the islands are attached to Taiwan. The waters around the islands are 100 to 150 meters deep and there is a 2,000-meter-deep oceanic trench between the islands and Japan’s Okinawa islands.

Fishermen from China’s Taiwan and Fujian and other provinces conducted activities such as fishing and collecting herbs in this area since ancient times.

The islands appeared on China’s map since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

There are records about the islands in a book published during the rule of Yong Le (1403 to 1424) in the Ming Dynasty, more than 400 years before Japan claimed discovery of the Diaoyu islands in 1884.

After the Ming Dynasty, the islands were recorded in many historical documents.

On a map published by Japan between 1783 and 1785, marking the boundary of the Ryukyu Kingdom, the Diaoyu islands were shown as belonging to China.

Japan never questioned China’s sovereignty over the islands before the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-1895. 

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Who is Lei Feng [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, CPC, Deng Xiaoping, Mao Zedong, PLA, Zhou Enlai on March 5, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

February 27, 2012

Originally called Lei Zhengxing, the former People’s Liberation Army soldier was born on Dec 18, 1940, to a farming family in Wangcheng, Central China’s Hunan province.

He was killed in 1962, while directing a truck as it backed up. A pole struck him on the head. Lei had a habit of keeping a diary to detail his deeds and experiences, which was published after his death and became one of the bestsellers of the time.

Many people in the West or China would take it for granted that Mao Zedong handpicked Lei Feng to be a role model devoted to the Communist Party and the people of China by writing, “Learn from Comrade Lei Feng,” launching a nationwide propaganda [sic].

Lei Feng’s rise from respected soldier to cultural icon that still matters to China’s social values today seems to be less politically charged than was assumed. According to Lin Ke, a secretary in Mao’s office, China Youth magazine approached Mao in February 1963 to write an epigraph for their special coverage on the influences of Lei Feng. After repeated requests, Mao wrote, “Learn from Comrade Lei Feng” in the traditional calligraphy.

China Youth magazine published Mao’s writing on March 2, 1963. Two days later, it was republished by People’s Daily, Daily of People’s Liberation Army, China Youth Daily and Guangming Daily. The news media later published handwritten epigraphs by Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping and other state leaders, finally immortalizing the solider as an emblem of selflessness and devotion.

The posthumous campaign, whether you like it or not, could not deny that Lei Feng was a man of integrity, responsibility, and love by today’s standards. Lei Feng had already built up a reputation thanks to media coverage, long before Mao’s call. The soldier was characterized by millions as a selfless person who devoted his entire life to helping others. On Jan 7, 1963, the Defense Ministry named a transportation unit where Lei Feng once worked as the “Lei Feng Squad.” The glory of Lei Feng extended from the military to other industries.

[Many nice photos available in original article.]

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China’s aid to Africa above reproach [People’s Daily]

Posted in Africa, China, Egypt, Somalia, Western nations' human rights distortions, Zhou Enlai on September 13, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By He Wenping (People’s Daily Overseas Edition)
August 11, 2011

Recently, the severe famines in Somalia and other countries in the Horn of Africa have greatly troubled many international communities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China declared recently that the Chinese government will offer emergency food aid worth 90 million yuan, which equals about 14 million U.S. dollars, to the affected African countries. Meanwhile, it will continue to communicate with U.N. institutions, including the World Food Program, through bilateral channels to discuss issues on offering emergency aid to Somalia.

China’s aid to Africa began in 1959. When Premier Zhou Enlai visited Africa in as early as the beginning of the 1960s, he proposed the “Eight Principles for China’s Foreign Aid to other Countries,” which clearly prescribed that while the Chinese government offers aid to other countries, it will strictly respect their sovereignty and would never attach any extra conditions or ask for any privileges.

On Nov. 8, 2009, at the opening ceremony for the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, Premier Wen Jiabao restated the principles once again in his theme speech and firmly promised that, “China’s foreign aid and support to Africa has not and will never have any extra political conditions attached.”

In sharp contrast to the Western policy of interference after the Cold War that links assistance with democracy [sic], China’s African policy does not involve “ideologies,” stressing non-interference in internal affairs and respect for the development path independently chosen by Africa. China has never imposed any political condition on its assistance to Africa.

The reasons why China’s African policy is different from the West’s mainly lie in the similar miserable historical memories of China and Africa as semi-colonial and colonial countries (they lost enormous precious resources and the right to develop because of Western powers’ interference) as well as the unprecedented subject of development and challenges faced by Africa and China as developing countries.

China has accomplished achievements through more than 30 years of reform and opening-up instead of by copying or imitating the Western political or economic development models. China has maintained social and economic stability and accordingly achieved economic development by exploring its own development path that is in line with its context and opposing Western interference.

A Chinese saying goes, “do not impose on others what you do not desire to do.” China’s diplomatic policy shows respect and fully believes that African countries and people who best understand their national contexts can find the appropriate development paths for themselves without the instructions and interference from foreign countries. The China-Africa relations are a type of South-South cooperation characterized by equality, mutual benefit and respect, and common development.

However, certain Western politicians, media outlets and non-governmental organizations in recent years have repeatedly criticized China’s no-strings-attached aid to Africa. They claimed that by offering no-strings-attached aid, China was actually supporting some “rogue states” and “failed states” in a covert way, which was against Western efforts to promote democracy and human rights and to combat autocracy and corruption in Africa.

Their criticism seems reasonable but is in fact far-fetched after careful analysis. First, most countries rely mainly on themselves for development. More importantly, it is impossible to achieve “democracy,” “human rights,” and “sound governance” in a short time simply through nice-sounding slogans and propaganda campaigns. These goals will be naturally achieved after a country’s economic development, educational and legal systems, and democratic consciousness reach certain levels.

China has actively conducted economic and trade cooperation with African countries, contributing to about 20 percent of Africa’s economic growth in recent years. Furthermore, it has also greatly helped African countries carry out large-scale infrastructure projects, improve the people’s living standards, reduce poverty and train talent. In other words, China has been helping laying a solid economic and talent foundation for true democracy and sound governance in Africa. After all, Africans themselves have the final say on the development path of Africa.

He Wenping is director of African Studies Section at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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Western global hegemony theory can’t be projected onto China-Asia relations [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Beijing, Black propaganda, China, China-bashing, China-US relations, Deng Xiaoping, Indonesia, Japan, New York Times lie, Pakistan, Sinophobia, South China Sea, south Korea, Zhou Enlai on November 24, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Xinhua Writer Yang Qingchuan

BEIJING, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) — The frequent visits by Chinese leaders to neighboring countries and the joyous gathering of Asian Games participants in Guangzhou are just the two latest examples of a growing sense of unity and common prosperity in the region. However, some Western commentators have as always tried to interpret the positive developments in Asia in another way.

It may not be wrong for the West to seek greater market access and maintain security alliances in Asia, but its goal should not be achieved at the cost of China’s relations with her neighbors. The New York Times, like some other Western media organizations, tried to flame up territorial disputes in Asia, claiming that it was “China’s assertive posture” on these issues that pushed her neighbors toward the embrace of Washington.

The allegations are new, but the logic is centuries-old. They dated back to the time of the rise of colonial powers. The Social Darwin[ism] theory, deeply rooted in the Western view of world politics and still held by many there, believes every rising power will eventually pursue regional and world hegemony. However, that is just something the West drew from its own experience and is irrelevant to China’s case.

Let facts speak for themselves. Even in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD) when China’s overall strength reached its historical zenith and was capable of launching long-haul sea voyage[s] as far as…Africa, it neither seized an inch of foreign territory nor set up any overseas colony.

Unlike Western sea powers which built their colonial empires around the world, legendary Chinese Mariner Admiral Zheng He and his massive fleet, unmatched at the time, brought Chinese merchandize [sic] and assistance to locals at every stop throughout his voyages.

In recent decades, after ending the sufferings from internal upheavals and foreign invasions, China is once again progressing on a path of rapid economic and social development. During that process, in relations with neighboring countries, China always sticks to the principles of mutual respect, good-neighborliness, seeking common grounds despite differences, and harmonious coexistance.

In 1954, late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai played a crucial role in formulating the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence”, which are now the fundamental guidelines for international relations.

In the early 1980s, late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping proposed the “independent foreign policy of peace”, and since the turn of the century, the Chinese leadership has pledged to take a “path of peaceful development”.

Most recently, current Chinese leaders reiterated China’s unchangeable policy towards its neighbors, which underscores peace, harmony and concord, and is based on the cooperative strategy of seeking peace, promoting development and pursuing a win-win situation.

It is undeniable that China’s impressive socioeconomic development has contributed greatly to peace and prosperity in Asia, and helped the region to overcome economic and natural mishaps.

In October 2008, at the onset of the global financial crisis, East Asian leaders gathered in Beijing and reached a broad range of consensus to avert risks and maintain economic stability.

In the first nine months of 2010, the trade volume between China and the rest of Asia achieved a year-on-year growth of 38 percent to reach more than 640 billion U.S. dollars, with China having a trade deficit of 79.6 billion dollars. China has become the largest exporting market for other Asian countries and increased economic assistance to Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The recent launch of a free trade area between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has enhanced the flow of capital, resources, technology and personnel…in East Asia.

China encourages its leading companies to increase investment in other parts of Asia and actively supports upgrading of regional transport networks.

Every time a major natural disaster took place elsewhere in Asia, China is more than willing to extend a helping hand. The Chinese government provided 250 million U.S. dollars in assistance to Pakistan when it was hit by massive floods earlier this year. Chinese President Hu Jintao called his Indonesian counterpart immediately after Indonesia was struck by tsunamis and volcano eruptions.

…China’s communications with other countries on the South China Sea issue are going smoothly and its call for “setting aside disputes and pursuing joint development” was well-received in the region.

It is crystal clear that there is neither historical precedent nor contemporary proof that China is on her way to become a threat to the neighbors or a new hegemony. So why all the fuss about the talks of “China threat” from the West? A possible explanation is that the West looks at China through a lense of its own past.

A modern U.S. theory on international relations argued that a hegemonic superpower like the United States is indispensable for maintaining a “free and open” international order. But such a hegemony theory runs counter to Chinese philosophic traditions, which expound the concept of “harmony without uniformity,” which means the world is full of differences and contradictions, but the righteous man should balance them and achieve harmony.

Moreover, China is still a developing country with a large poor population and backward rural areas. Its leaders and people are very clear that it has a long way to go before it is fully developed. Thus it is in China’s fundamental interest to maintain good relations with all its neighbors and promoting common development. It is also in the world’s vital interest to maintain a good relationship between China and the rest of Asia. Given Asia’s growing prominence in the world economic structure, any turbulence in the region could jeopardize the world growth.

So painting the China-Asian relations with colors of Western hegemony theory is both irrelevant and harmful, and it just shows how outdated and absurd the theory itself is.

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China: Modernization Goes On – an Analysis of China’s 21st Century Synthetic Socialism [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in China, CPC, Deng Xiaoping, Economy, Employment, Energy, Income gap, Mao Zedong, Mao Zedong, Marx, Russia, Socialism with Chinese Characteristics, Zhou Enlai on October 6, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

There’s more to be learnt from this incisive article about the complex and nuanced development of Chinese socialism than you ever could get from thousands of corporate media hacks’ trite and bigoted analyses, combined.  This is my choice for the best article on China so far this year, despite some small errors in use of English. – Zuo Shou / 左手

by Alexander Salitzki

September 30, 2010

The 61th anniversary of the Chinese Republic is celebrated in Beijing rather modestly.  The country is preoccupied with its current tasks as it faces reemerging inflation, unemployment, excessively fast urbanization, and unrestrained [sic] energy consumption.  Nevertheless, it is clear that China manages to sustain its exceptional growth and that its march to modernity continues regardless of the pains suffered by its economic partners from the ranks of industrialized countries.

Back in the 1970ies, the epoch marked with problems which stemmed from the global financial overhaul and later from the triumph of neoconservatives in the US and Great Britain, the world seemed to have departed from the formerly central concepts of development and modernization.  Nowadays, the situation is different, and we largely owe the change to China.

In the West, modernization was traditionally equated to the transition from feudalism to capitalism.  This used to be a protracted process driven by industrialization.  In contrast, eastern countries had to build their modern industrial capacities in a snap regime, China exemplifying the snap industrialization in its broadest form.

To an extent, China’s careful preservation of its own traditions is the explanation behind its development success.  Being careful is by all means a Chinese trait.  China is a country where nothing is rejected recklessly or irreversibly.  Comparing the epochs of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping one discerns a number of parallels that warrant interpreting the past six decades of China’s history as a continuous project.  Simply, in its framework the initial phase of struggle had to come to an end, and the phase of peace commenced. The traditions dating to the former phase have never been brushed of [sic], though.

Self-reliance is one of the aspects of continuity in China.  In present-day terms, the self-reliance is seen as the creation of an integrated system of productive forces and, among other things, the concept implies switching from Made in China to Made by China.

Modernization in China has permanent political backing.  The notions that politics should be playing the guiding role and that politics is a concentrated reflection of the economy have never been overshadowed by China’s reforms.  In the reformed China, the economic players have long been receptive to politically motivated regulation, only the political regards evolved.  The tendency became even more visible when the political control was supplemented by material incentives.

The idea of a structural overhaul was expressed already in the days of Zhou Enlai.  In 1974, the view materialized in the call for economic planning in the following order: agriculture first, light industry — next, heavy industry — last.  One should keep in mind that even in the early and mid-190ies [sic] China’s economic administrators reached a conclusion that the economic centralization in the country had to be limited and that efforts had to be for the most part focused on a number of key enterprises.

Chinese reformers must be credited with stern realism in assessing accomplishments and mistakes.  Realism is the underlying concept of China’s modernization and openness policies.  A lot in this respect was done personally by Deng Xiaoping  who introduced a novel approach that helped the situation in China revert to normalcy [sic].

 It was widely held in China that socialist views and Marxism — importantly, interpreted in the puritan terms espoused by Khrushchev and Suslov – had to be a a universal measure of things.  Marxists in China — and largely elsewhere — shared the belief until the late 1970s.  Instead, Deng Xiaoping suggested measuring the values of socialism and Marxism against the Chinese reality. Continue reading