Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Recounting History

The last advice Uncle Ben passed to Peter Parker in the first Spiderman movie was "With great powers, come great responsibility". When US Secretary of Defence Chick Hagel said something along those lines, General Fan Changlong was not amused, "We will make no compromise, no concession, no trading, not even a tiny violation is allowed. The Chinese military can assemble as soon as summoned, fight any battle and win."

The vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, and Defence Minister Chang Wanquan, took umbrage at Hagel's comments made at the Asean defence ministers meeting about the Daiyu islands controversy ("The Chinese people, including myself, are dissatisfied with such remarks"). In Hawaii, Hagel actually said he would "prod" Chinese leaders towards responsible behavior. Given the sensitivity of the topic, even a Facebook "poke" may not be welcomed.

China's pugnacity may have been encouraged by a contribution to the April 14, 2014 issue of Forbes. The author is a politician from Singapore:
"China’s reliance on historical claims necessitates considering what its fleets did in the past, way before Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas and Vasco da Gama arrived in India. More than six centuries ago Emperor Zhu Di of the Ming Dynasty sent out a large fleet of trading ships to explore and trade with the rest of the world. His choice to command the expedition was Grand Eunuch Zheng He (1371–1433). Zheng He was born and raised a Muslim in what is now Kunming City in Yunnan Province. He was captured by Ming Dynasty forces around 1381 and taken to Nanjing, where he was castrated and subsequently sent to serve in the palace of Zhu Di, who was then the Prince of Yan and would later become Yongle Emperor.
Over the course of nearly three decades (1405–33) Zheng He led seven westward expeditions, which were unprecedented in size and range. They spanned the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, and reached as far as the east coast of Africa. The ships used for these expeditions–more than 400 feet in length, based on archaeological evidence–were many times the size of those Columbus used to sail across the Atlantic.

These expeditions amply demonstrated the power and wealth of the Ming Dynasty. More important, they left a lasting impact on the countries visited: Numerous masjids (mosques) in the region are named after Zheng He, commemorating his contributions to the local communities.

If historical claims can define jurisdiction over waters and oceans, the Chinese can point to the fact that 600 years ago they sailed these waters unchallenged."

The aforementioned Ming dynasty (1368–1644), despite all its glory years, was finally considered to have lost the Mandate of Heaven and collapsed before the rebel leader Li Zicheng and a Manchurian invasion.

13 comments:

  1. The unnamed politician's mandate from Heaven will soon end. Machiavellian to the core - playing both sides.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem is not the self serving Chinese Emperor.
      China's history is full of them.

      The problem is the willingness of Chinese people to endure pain while doing national service for these self serving Chinese Emperors.

      Millions of Chinese people died doing national service building the Great Wall of China.
      Similarly.
      Millions of Singaporeans' money endured low interest rates doing national service in the CPF accounts

      The problem is that Singaporeans have a very high endurance for pain.
      Even the Chinese Emperor was forced to grudgingly admit "Sinkies are indeed daft people".

      Delete
  2. Even if Sinkies are daft, there is no need to bully and exploit them.
    And worst of all, the Folks that exploit the People to the Maximum are those the Dafts voted to rule them.
    Just imagine what kind of monster leaders Sinland is having.
    Rotten luck for Sinkies.

    ReplyDelete
  3. “If one day China should change her color and turn into a superpower, if she too should play the tyrant in the world, and everywhere subject others to her bullying, aggression and exploitation, the people of the world should identify her as social-imperialism, expose it, oppose it and work together with the Chinese people to overthrow it.”

    Speech by : Deng Xiaoping
    (United Nations) - 10 April 1974

    It is time for the world to "help" the Chinese people now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't you also think the US of A should need even bigger help if you go by that yardstick?

      Delete
    2. Deng Xiaoping was prescient ! He knew then the basal instinct of the Chinese Han.

      Delete
  4. How did he manage to pen it while being bedridden? Is it lifted somewhere from his memoirs? When is he kicking the bucket?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He obviously cannot "pen it". Emperors never pen anything. Ours have million dollar secretaries to do it. For peasants that would warrant dismissal in disgrace for using(or misusing) public servants for private activities. Remember the charges against CSJ?

      Delete
    2. Obviously the work of another ghost writer. The guy was once quoted saying he does not sms because he "can't find the keypad".

      Delete
  5. I thought he is only a MP. So why on earth is he appearing trying to defend them and acting as if he is their official spokesman ?

    In view of his disappearing acts, I thought he was already incapacitated if not physically as least mentally? So why he bother to write on some matter that does not concern Singapore at all? Did someone do the actual writing using his namestake ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just wish he will rise up from his death bed or sick bed like he promised ... and fix up the MRT system ... and maybe also LHL's cabinet.

      Delete
  6. Not quite. It should be, "With great power_ comes great responsibility."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With great power comes million dollar salaries ....

      Delete