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We Are Not The New Nazis
by James Dunnigan
June 19, 2013

June 7, 2013: China continues to make threatening moves and noises in the South China Sea. The nations on the receiving end (Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines) are alarmed at the aggressiveness China is showing towards India, a neighbor with nuclear weapons. This is demoralizing for China’s neighbors, who hope that the United States will provide some support if China becomes too aggressive. None of these nations are interested in negotiations either, in part because of the Chinese custom of using these meetings to generate more propaganda instead of seriously trying to work out a compromise. All the nations are putting more troops and weapons in the disputed areas and sending more naval and air patrols. Meanwhile, the Chinese Navy is seen more often in the South China Sea and Western Pacific. Not just warships, but also long range recon aircraft and marines staging landing exercises on these uninhabited islets. So far this year China has sent groups of warships into the Western pacific at least once a month.

Chinese naval officers are also boasting of sending surveillance and electronic monitoring ships to American coastal waters off Hawaii, Guam, and eventually the American mainland. This would be in retaliation for the U.S. doing the same off China for decades. China has complained about this “intrusion” but it is legal and China has only rarely tried to use force (without success, the American patrols continue).

There are also disputes in the South China Sea that don’t even involve China. For example, on May 9th, a  Taiwanese fishing ship refused to halt when ordered to do so by a Filipino patrol boat. The Filipinos opened fire, and at least 40 bullets hit the Taiwanese ship, killing one of the crew. The Taiwanese ship then got away and the Taiwanese government accused the Filipinos of murder, excessive force, and attacking a Taiwanese fishing boat that was not in Filipino waters. China joined in criticizing Filipino “savagery” and Taiwan did not discourage this support. This dispute is still unresolved. The Philippines has been getting more and more aggressive with equally aggressive Taiwanese and Chinese fishing boats that deliberately fish in Filipino waters. Taiwan and China refuse to control their poaching fishermen, and in this case Taiwan is playing the victim and threatening retaliation, even though the Philippines apologized. Most Filipinos see this as bullying by the greedy and lawless Taiwanese. More uncharitable Filipinos mumbled about how “those Chinese are all alike.”


More Chinese are being vocal about how unhappy they are with the vigorous government efforts to eliminate pornography. What is particularly annoying about this is how it leads to major cuts in foreign movies, in which material that would not even get a movie rated “adults only” in the West is cut as being too offensive for Chinese audiences. Chinese are also upset about how the government forces foreign (usually American) movie makers to change films that could be interpreted as “anti-Chinese.” While many Chinese like to see China throw its weight around, the fact that Nazi Germany made the same demands in the 1930s (and Hollywood complied) is unnerving. China does not like to think of itself as the new “evil empire.” Chinese consider themselves the victims of two centuries of abuse by the West and long overdue to get the appropriate measure of respect. To Chinese, China is the world’s premier civilization and foreigners need to recognize that.



 

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