In the aftermath of a war, history cannot be written. The losing side has no one to speak for it. Historians on the winning side are constrained by years of war propaganda that demonized the enemy while obscuring the crimes of the righteous victors. People want to enjoy and feel good about their victory, not learn that their side was responsible for the war or that the war could have been avoided except for the hidden agendas of their own leaders. Historians are also constrained by the unavailability of information. To hide mistakes, corruption, and crimes, governments lock up documents for decades. Memoirs of participants are not yet written. Diaries are lost or withheld from fear of retribution. It is expensive and time consuming to locate witnesses, especially those on the losing side, and to convince them to answer questions. Any account that challenges the “happy account” requires a great deal of confirmation from official documents, interviews, letters, diaries, and memoirs, and even that won’t be enough. For the history of World War II in Europe, these documents can be spread from New Zealand and Australia across Canada and the US through Great Britain and Europe and into Russia. A historian on the track of the truth faces long years of strenuous investigation and development of the acumen to judge and assimilate the evidence he uncovers into a truthful picture of what transpired. The truth is always immensely different from the victor’s war propaganda.Continue reading “The Lies About World War II”
Opinion: The View by Winston Mok
The failure of the Paris Peace Conference not only led to another world war, it also taught China to be wary of the US-led global order. It triggered the May Fourth Movement and a brand of nationalism that is still potent today
A century ago, Paris was the centre of the world’s attention, including China’s. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, unfair treatment of China triggered the May Fourth Movement – with profound repercussions for China’s intellectual, social and political development. Amid protests and boycotts, Chinese society was radicalised away from intellectual elitism. Western liberal democracy was discredited while Bolshevism’s appeal grew. The Communist Party of China was founded two years later.Continue reading “100 years of Western hypocrisy: how the ghosts of 1919 still haunt China as it forges its own development path”
In the 1930s it contributed to the rise of fascism. Alarmingly, we are experimenting again with a monopolized economy.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, an urgent question presented itself: How can we prevent the rise of fascism from happening again? If over the years that question became one of mostly historical interest, it has again become pressing, with the growing success of populist, nationalist and even neofascist movements all around the world.
1. Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? https://www.belfercenter.org/thucydides-trap/overview-thucydides-trap
2. “Prospect Of U.S.-China War Rising” After US Warships Sail Through Taiwan Strait https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-23/graham-allison-tensions-taiwan-strait-prospect-us-china-war-rising
3. History of Peloponnesian war
4. What is Thucydides’s Trap? https://www.quora.com/What-is-Thucydides%E2%80%99s-Trap
The Thucydides Trap is a theory proposed byGraham Allison who postulates that war between a rising power and an established power is inevitable:
“It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” Thucydides from“The History of the Peloponnesian War”
The two key drivers allegedly being “the rising power’s growing entitlement, sense of its importance, and demand for greater say and sway, on the one hand, and the fear, insecurity, and determination to defend the status quo this engenders in the established power, on the other.”
EdX.org ChinaX part 6.
How do the incorporation of the inner Asian frontier, the final corporation
of this frontier into Qing shape the course of modern Chinese history?
How is it seen?
How is it reflected in politics and society in China today?
These territories, along with Tibet, which
also comes, as I mentioned earlier, under more and more direct authority
of the Manchu Emperor through the course of the 18th century.
These territories comprise a pretty significant part
of modern Chinese territory, the lands of the People’s Republic of China.
And they set the mold.
The Qing shape sets the mold then for what
will become the shape of the modern Chinese nation.
These territories also represent a continuing problem
of governance for the PRC.
And so the relevance of Manchu empire to modern China, I think,
is hard to exaggerate.
Inheritance of these territories has been very effectively naturalized
by the leaders of China under the Republic of China,
as well as under the People’s Republic of China.
And so it’s easy, in a way, for us to forget that this was the result
of an imperial expansion, a project of imperial expansion that took place
in the late 1600’s and then in the 1700’s.
But if it hadn’t been for this project of imperial expansion,
we could be pretty sure that China today would be half the size that it is now.
An awareness of the Qing imperial enterprise during the High Qing
reminds us that while much is made of the continuity of China
as the last of the antique empires to survive into the modern era,
this is something of a misunderstanding.
That is to say, China today is the successor state,
we can say of “imperial China,” but more specifically,
it is the successor state of the Qing empire
which was a vast, hybrid, polyethnic, multinational state that
brought peoples from very different backgrounds,
with different religious traditions, different languages together
in a kind of gunpowder empire of the type that is quite comparable to say,
the Ottoman Empire, the Mughal empire, the Romanov empire.
It represented the synthesis of centuries
of interaction between China and inner Asia.
It wasn’t just another Chinese empire.