D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

Make Great Again

Xi Jinping wants to make China great again

Julia Lovell

Contributed to The Globe and Mail

Published 24 hours ago

Julia Lovell is a professor of modern China at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of Maoism: A Global History, which was the winner of this year;s Cundill History Prize.

The directives project a seamless unity between five thousand years of “Chinese tradition” and the “red genes” of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism, ignoring the way that Chinese Communism for decades treated older patterns of belief and behaviour as dangerous heterodoxy. Even in his dying years, Mao still found energy to wage war publicly on Confucius. Mr. Xi’s credo paradoxically lauds the sage’s favourite virtues – benevolence, harmony, respecting the elderly and the family – and merges them with Maoist markers of merit. Chinese emperors promoted Confucian virtues to forge loyal subjects: Just as children should revere their parents, imperial morality preached, so should subjects revere their rulers. The CCP under Mr. Xi similarly hopes to use a Confucian revival to inculcate devotion to the “motherland” and its ruling party-state.

The basic difference between President Xi's hopes to inculcate devotion to the ruling party-state and the motherland through Confucianism and Sun Dawu's reliance on Confucianism to better the family and hence the state is that the former system is undertaken by coercion whereas the latter is a matter of choice. The forceable separation of family members in Xinjiang is certainly not Confucianism as has been practiced for thousands of years by both the state and family.

                                 Make Something Great Again

Donald J Trump wants to make America great again ie. when Donald Duck was a quack. With respect to recent history, he wants to take America back to the McCarthy era. It began with a speech by Senator Joseph McCarthy in February 1950. McCarthy claimed there were many Communist Party members in the State Department and he was initially supported by J. Edgar Hoover. This period coincided with segregation. Since then the term "McCarthyism" means the excesses of similar efforts of unsubstantiated accusations and demagogic attacks.

However, Trump also beckons back further to the period of the Antebellum South. It began at the start of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the Civil War. It was a time in which the economy was growing because it was based on slavery. There was also a gradual polarization between the abolitionists and the supporters of slavery.

Xi Jinping wants to make China great again as Professor Julia Lovell says. Xi harkens back to the Cultural Revolution which was begun by Mao in 1966. Mao charged that bourgeois elements had infiltrated the government and society and these elements aimed to restore capitalism. Unfortunately, the Cultural Revolution damaged China's economy and led to the death of an estimated 500,000 to 2,000,000 people. It was a failed experiment as was the earlier Great Leap Forward.

The dream of making China great again by the Communist Party though goes back much further to Qin Shi Huang who was First Emperor of China from 246 BCE to 210 BCE. Qin defeated the Han kingdom in 230 BCE and then six other warring states thus unifying the northern empire. He then expanded the empire to the south. In order to fend off the threat of the nomadic Xiongu he had slaves build the first portion of The Great Wall. He regarded Confucian scholars as a threat to his authority and burned their books. The only approved school of thought was legalism: Follow the Emperor's laws, or face the consequences.

If the reader doesn't mind the author will briefly contrast the aforementioned views with those of Sun Dawu. Sun also wishes to make China great again but in a different way. He would like China to return to the period of Deng Xiaoping which followed the Mao era. Deng introduced a new constitution (fourth) in December 1982. Most of its content is effective today. Basically speaking, Sun would like its laws protecting individuals and property to be enforced.

Deng Xiaoping also was the architect of a system which combined socialist ideology with free enterprise. Its slogan was "socialism with Chinese characteristics". He also opened up China to foreign investment and the global market. Sun established the Dawu Group more than thirty years ago. It definitely is socialist as it serves the people while it makes a substantial profit mainly due to the fact that it has virtually no debt. Sun also introduced China's first Private Entrepreneurial Constitutional System which is based partly on the Confucian concept of the family.

Sun knows that the Qin Dynasty was short lived as it lasted only from 221 BCE to 206 BCE. He therefore thinks that China was great in the Han Dynasty which replaced the Qin. The Han Dynasty spanned four centuries and was regarded as a golden age. Even today, China's major ethnic group refer to themselves as Han Chinese and the script is known as Han characters. The dynasty was founded by the peasant Liu Bang who was know posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was a period of economic prosperity. While salt and iron mines were nationalized in the Western Han Dynasty they were repealed in the Eastern Han Dynasty--a precedent which might have bearing on state-owned enterprises today. Finally, under the Emperor Wu the court officially sponsored Confucianism synthesized with cosmology.


                           The Hong Kong Dream

Hong Kong is not Tibet of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau with an impoverished population which is rich in spiritual beliefs of Tibetan Buddhism. Hong Kong is not the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region where Turkic Muslims exercise no autonomy as prisoners in so-called education camps which in reality are prisons. Both Tibet and Xinjiang are frontier areas which are sparsely populated.

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China with its own constitution which is different than China’s. The One Country, Two Systems was a constitutional principle formulated by Deng Xiaopeng. Hong Kong has a population density of 17,156 people per square mile. Hong Kong is Asia’s world city in terms of financial services, trade, tourism, transport, communications and a regional hub for international business. Its youth experience transnational education where learners are located in a country different from the one where the awarding institution is based.

All of this means that what China does in Hong Kong is not hidden from the world or for that matter from mainland China. It means that when China deviates from and undermines One Country Two Systems then everyone takes notice. It means that every peaceful demonstration for the last six months is recorded and disseminated. It means that every protest riot is photographed by thousands of smart phones and filmed in real time for international audiences. It cannot be censored as was Tiananmen Square and the Cultural Revolution because it is not part of revisionist history, but it is part of the here and now. It is real.

Finally, it means that Hong Kong is no longer part of One Belt One Road System. Hong Kongers might argue that One Country Two Systems or 1=2 is more logical than One Belt and One Road or 1+1=2. Shenzhen does not equal Hong Kong or 1 does not equal 1. The China Dream equals a China Nightmare. The Hong Kong Dream is now the China Nightmare.