“China is a sleeping giant. Let her lie and sleep, for when she awakens she will astonish the world”
- Napoleon Bonaparte
A quote that is often repeated but rarely understood. Its accuracy proven by the academician’s obsessive interest in The Middle Kingdom. With a slew of best sellers like: When China Rules the World – The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order by Martin Jacques (2009), The Hundred Year Marathon – China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower by Michael Spillsbury (2015), The Stealth War – How China Took Over as America’s Elite Slept by Robert Spalding (2019), and Belt and Road – A Chinese World Order by Bruni Macaes (2019), filling the shelves at bookshops like Barnes & Noble and Waterstones.
Texts that should strike a chord with committed ethno-nationalists everywhere because what becomes abundantly clear almost immediately is the consistency of the Chinese leadership’s overwhelming determination for their society to survive and thrive over millennia – as evidenced by the Great Wall in response to the Mongol horde invasions of antiquity and more recently the Communist Party’s fixation with establishing the largest standing army in the world, comprising over 2.5 million service personnel and reserves. A force indoctrinated, less by Mao and Marx, ideological fathers of the authoritarian state, but by the thinking of Lao Tzu, who sagely said: “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”.
Please do not think that the stark warning that is to follow is written by some ignorant Sino-phobic, ‘yellow-peril’ fanatic. A person over-reacting, as if that were even remotely possible, given the scale of the pandemic, originating much like SARS and MERS, out of a wet-market selling things like snakes, civets, bats, dogs and cats in Hubei Province, or a secret military biological laboratory in Wuhan? Because, unlike many, this commentator does not claim to be an ‘Old China Hand’ but he has had the opportunity through his professional life to work directly with the Chinese State Land Administration Bureau, write a Masters thesis on the implications of British and US recognition of Mao’s communist regime after the Second World War, organise cultural festivals and events like Chinese New Year with some of the highest ranking figures in the Chinese community living in Britain, and has been offered – and politely refused – a very senior position in Suzhou, a city of 4.3 million in Jiangsu Province.
Someone then, who has actually read Shi Nai ‘An’s Water Margin, tales based on the outlaw song of Jiang and the sixteenth century classic The Journey to the West, better known as The Monkey King, navigated the thousand year old canals of Tongli, China’s own miniature Venice, built around seven islets, walked the land around Xinyang where people starved outside granaries full to bursting with wheat, as part of Mao’s Great Leap Forward, which cost upwards of 43,000,000 lives, stared into the inscrutable almond eyes of the grandchildren of students who had beaten and ridiculed their professors during The Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976, which led to many more millions dying and the cannibalistic massacres in Guangxi during the summer of 1968, and listened intently while a professor of political science from the China University of Politics and Law cold heartedly justified the People’s Liberation Army’s behaviour in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
For, much as we marvel at a country that boasts breathtaking beauty like that of the mist shrouded Yellow Mountains, the watery wonders of the Li River and sigh at the indolent pandas chewing on bamboo cane, the truth is that China is run by an aggressively expansionist governmental clique who are ethnically cleansing Tibet, buying influence in mineral rich parts of Africa, encroaching into the frosty tundra of Russia’s Siberia, and looking for ways to shut-down democracy in Hong Kong; committed to a strategy of large scale economic espionage against the West and regularly fluctuates the value of the Yuan for economic advantage; runs large re-education camps for non-compliant citizens, using prisoners for slave-labour while seeking to hoover-up all opportunities for the outsourcing of manufacturing and production from the West, especially in key areas like pharmaceuticals; utilises front-companies that are in reality run by the state like ZTE and Huawei, to gain control over the digital infrastructure of rivals; floods highly addictive and debilitating Fentanyl based opioids into the American health-care system; invests billions of dollars in promoting pro-China messaging across all media like that which promulgated the myth that the Americans had spread Covid 19; and literally pays Bloomberg News in America to suppress stories about the relatives of President Xi Jinping being involved in various financial scandals.
So having stood in the shadow of the Forbidden City’s ornate rooftops and looked from the inside-out, so to speak, and more recently squatted on the rim of Kazakhstan’s Charyn Canyon gazing from outside in, I am increasingly convinced that the recent secretive and irresponsible conduct of the Bejing government in relation to Coronavirus pandemic, with the aid of the incompetent Director General of the World Health Organizations Tedros Adanhom Ghebreyesus, that has claimed thousands of lives and infected millions world-wide is merely a portent of things to come. For having silenced ‘whistle-blowers’ like Dr Ai Fen and disappeared medical and business experts who say uncomfortable truths that the regime do not care to make public, the very nation responsible for spreading the virus to over 194 countries around the globe, is now congratulating itself on lifting the restrictions they imposed on the population of Wuhan, without even so much as an acknowledgement or a public apology to the rest of the world for the societal and economic chaos they have contrived to cause. Which is somewhat hard to swallow, especially when the Chinese President issues a secret hand-written note talking about instilling ‘a fighting spirit’ and telling hawkish hard-line diplomats like Lijian Zhao, a foreign ministry spokesman, to ‘get tough with America’.
But we should not be surprised because, although comprised of 55 various ethnic sub-groups and speaking a variety of languages like Mandarin, Cantonese and Xiang and dialects like Min, Gan and Wu, the ruthless way the authorities operate, mainly through the dominant Han racial group, makes it extremely unlikely that there will be a Soviet style collapse in the East. For despite their faux Leninist leanings the truth is that their collective spirit, forged through the fire of Mao’s tutelage, is by and large pan-racially orientated and still looms large in the psyche. One simple measure of their homogeneity being the tensions and violent backlash caused by Chinese women, colloquially known as Jeep Girls, fraternizing with GI’s in 1945. The underlying theme being the very familiar portrayal of women’s bodies as sovereign territory to be recovered from imperialist aggressors. An anti-white mentality which permeates a good percentage of a population of 1.5 billion people and remains a central pillar of Chinese cultural identity.
An identity which could once afford to bury a 8000 strong terracotta army of full-size figurines to protect the Emperor Quin Shi Huang in the afterlife now has at its disposal 270 nuclear warheads, including 90 ICBM’s with a range of 15000 kilometers; 1,231 fighter aircraft like the Chengdu J-20 ‘Mighty Dragon’; hundreds of Harbin Z-19 and CAIC Z-10 attack helicopters; aircraft carriers like the Liaoning with its air-wing threatening the South China Sea; 36 destroyers and 74 submarines; and a defense budget of somewhere around $237 billion.
Gone are the days of leaders like Zhou Enlai and his ‘slowly, slowly, catch the monkey’ policy. We now face a confident and dangerous adversary willing to show its teeth. Which even as we speak is sending satellites into orbit, buying up infrastructure which allows competitor nations to function and is increasingly exerting its control over an ever larger proportion of the world’s debt. A people who under the Chou Empire of 1000 BC believed themselves to be the middle of the world surrounded by barbarians. A dragon roaring while we sleep.