Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Prevailing Chinese Attitudes

Hal Pepinsky,,
January 19, 2011
My interest in history was awakened when I majored in Chinese, and honed when specialized in Chinese international legal relations in law school. Today, all Chinese I know acknowledge that they are citizens of single country with its political center in Beijing, and north capital, and economically in Shanghai, the coastal financial center downriver from Beijing.
Today Chinese president Hu Jintao is the guest of President Obama. Today in the US press, I hear historically blind US spin on US and China today. I invite any reader of this message to teach me and other readers what I’m unaware of, or blind to.
I learned that national identity was established by a northern Chinese ethnic group called the Han about the same time as the birth of Jesus. I continue to conclude that Chinese nationalism has never been expansionist like US nationalism. Once the empire was consolidated in Beijing, the only remaining issue was foreign invasion, which happened in the mid-19th century when Chinese warriors lost to British soldiers who won an “extraterritorial” import exemption for opium. As they overthrew a dynasty and drove their nationalist heirs to occupy Taiwan, Chinese have continued among themselves to debate over whether and how to respond to Western invasion.
History tells me that from dynastic times, Chinese political leaders have not shifted historical focus on national security away from keeping foreign “owners” from exploiting Chinese for international corporate gain, while cementing international relations through economic interdependence. For instance, the Chinese central bank has massively invested its financial “reserves” in buying treasury stock guaranteeing the US national debt. If the Chinese should happen to devalue the dollar in relations to the renminbi, the US consumer price index will rise in order to make goods made with US labor to become cheaper in China. When we hear talk about Greece, Ireland and so forth, I find it an awesome testament to Chinese interdependence that they are the major investor in a US national debt (aka US treasury bonds) that approximately equals the US gdp per year. What makes US so special? On historical and economic reflection, I appreciate the restraining influence of a Chinese nation, that has existed for millennia, in the face of US-centered, shortsighted military/economic pressure and aggression. l&p hal

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