Legitimacy as a government is something the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) strongly desires, as they are constantly reminded that the preceding government was what established China as an international player for the current era and is still recognized as an important political influence to China.
Generally, a government typically comes to power in two ways: either a political party or individual is elected by the people into power, or power is transferred from one entity to the next from a previously established government, either voluntarily or forcefully. The ROC was internationally recognized as the legitimate Chinese government following the chaos that began with the collapse of the dynastic system. After the death of the first elected President of the Republic of China, Yuan Shikai, the country’s army split into various warlord factions. At that time, the Nationalist party called the Kuomintang (KMT), led by Chiang Kai-shek, defeated the warlords and unified the country in 1928, and the KMT subsequently received international recognition as the legitimate governing power.
With this recognition at the international level, China was able to develop multiple trade deals and financial agreements that the KMT initiated to develop the country and military. When the KMT was ousted for their unpopular ruling techniques by the power-hungry CCP, these previous financial obligations did not disappear, and according to the standards specified in the international bonds, the CCP should have taken them over. However, the CCP has selectively decided to pay back some debts over others, and has conveniently avoided paying back the millions it owes to the U.S. However, the CCP still claims that it follows all its obligations to the country and people.
The CCP also says it has made China the leader of global trade, yet it outright disregards standards put in place to protect the people and economies of countries that involve itself with China. As a result of defaulting on its debt to the U.S., the CCP has put the country in an extreme negative field of debt, but it has found ways to circumvent these boundaries and raise billions in U.S. dollars. A popular example is the Chinese stock market giants that are not required to adhere to any taxation or financial transparency requirements every other business that functions on the NYSE has to.
If the CCP was able to conquer Taiwan, which currently shares a defence treaty with the U.S., it would mean an unprecedented scope of power would be used to keep China from adhering to any previous or current international laws, as well as even more crushing oppression for the people of both China and Taiwan. As the CCP proceeds to make more aggressive moves towards Taiwan, such as brazening fighter jets over the island’s airspace, one can only wonder if U.S. involvement will escalate given the import of the island for both China and the international community.
Sources (in order of appearance):
Wu, Su-wei. “PLA Aircraft Cross into Taiwan’s ADIZ.” Taipei Times, The Taipei Times, 18 Sept. 2020, taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2020/09/19/2003743692.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan). “History.” Government Portal of Republic of China, Taiwan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) , 2018, www.taiwan.gov.tw/content_3.php.
Hang, Li-wu (1983). 中華文物播遷記 (in Chinese) (2 ed.). Taipei: The Commercial Press. Odd Arne Westad, Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750 (2012) p. 291.
Luo, Yanming. “毛泽东与中国统一大业 (Mao Zedong and the Great Cause of China’s Reunification).” 中国共产党新闻网, 人民网, 4 Nov. 2013, 14:02, dangshi.people.com.cn/n/2013/1104/c85037-23425576.html.
Chabot, Steve. “H.R.535 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Taiwan Travel Act.” Congress.gov, 115th Congress , 16 Mar. 2018, www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/535.
It’s 2020: so far this year, the U.S. has seen millions of people demonstrating support of black lives, has had multiple articles published about the rising tensions caused by “political correctness,” and had an attempt to oust the current President because of his “racist” inclinations. In addition, in recent years performing and visual art attendance has increased³ and a higher focus towards art and culture in schools has been implemented. If you asked the average American, they would probably consider themselves informed on important matters affecting the world today. Yet, there are other governments, such as in China, consistently defining Americans as ignorant and selfish, and not many choose to question it. Why is such a statement, which Americans would find mostly untrue, working to deceive others so easily, especially when something like being culturally aware and racially accepting is the apex of every conversation from American pop culture to political debates?
Image Source: Eric Drooker (www.drooker.com)
Most people nowadays are aware of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and some of their accomplishments: from getting a street and plaza renamed to involving 500,000 people in protests all over the U.S. during the COVID-19 outbreak. Today, protests are still raging in Chicago, Portland, and New York, with no resolution on the horizon. Race and culture have been on a sliding spectrum from racist, culturally appropriating and stereotypical to supportive and culturally aware. It’s a slippery slope for many, and news sources are quick to feed anyone to the wolves if they slip too far into a racist or insensitive sentiment. Hopefully in the future, we all learn to not take everything seriously, but it’s safe to say that tensions are at all time high about whether something is “politically correct” or not, as most Americans want to be supportive and not be mistaken for ignorant.
On the other side of the world, you have the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that has stated the U.S. is more ignorant than ever. In a recent article, state-media accused the U.S. population of being swept up by a new “Red Scare” fear-mongering and are unable to make “informed decisions” about China, especially, because they “don’t study Chinese and don’t know about China.” Rhetoric like this is quite common from the CCP, and with tensions escalating between the U.S. and China since the commencement of the trade war, there has been a steady increase of it on both television and radio all over the country.
Image Source: “China-US relations at ‘critically important’ stage: Xi to Trump” by Orissa Post
Now, to be fair, the U.S. has been ignorant about China for some time now. In Brigadier General Robert Spalding (U.S. Air force, Retired)’s book Stealth War: How China Took Over While America’s Elite Slept, it goes in-depth about how a blind eye has been turned to many CCP issues, such as how they have advanced their military by stealing U.S. intellectual property and have infiltrated our science laboratories. The U.S has also been ignoring the gross human rights violations occurring in Xinjiang against the Uighurs (including sterilizing woman and performing forced abortions, child abuse, and live organ harvesting), the spyware installed in Huawei devices and on Chinese apps like TikTok and Wechat, and how, although done quietly, CCP members have been systematically buying mass amounts of U.S. property and have acquired more than billions in assets from the U.S. since 2002. Only earlier this year were the funds from the Thrift Savings Plan limited from being invested into Chinese companies.
As a reminder, this is the Chinese Communist Party we are talking about, meaning they own a percentage of every Chinese business. So, where does this percentage of revenue go that the CCP is entitled to? It’s difficult to say, but something to consider is that in 2018, China’s Defense Budget had increased 850% from the previous 20 years (an increase from $20 billion to $170 billion according to China) and in 2020 it is now at $178.2 billion. How can a country support that kind of increase in their budget without a newly tapped source of funds? Where could the funds be coming from? To clarify, the CCP has a lot to gain if the U.S. remains ignorant about what they are doing so they can continue with profiting off U.S. citizens and the economy. A combination of tactics is used to keep the Americans from understanding the CCP’s true intentions: controlling information from leaving their country (like how they kept information about the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus from the rest of the world in an act of blatantly allowing spread) and attempting to silent all individuals speaking out against them. American’s must also understand that a government does not equal a country and its people; it can actually do many things the people do not approve of, especially in non-democratic nations.
Image Source: Pixabay
So the question is, are Americans as ignorant as the CCP says? The CCP has both directly and indirectly threatened the integrity and safety of all world citizens: normally these consequences would be immense to bear. The U.S., which has been reported as being at one of its most divided times, will need to unite citizens to encourage freedom and understanding, like the Hong-Kongese who have recently come under attack by the CCP, like Apple Daily owner Jimmy Lai, due to the new Hong Kong National Security Law. Despite the increasing danger, protesters are still making five clear demands to the government so that Hong Kong citizens are entitled to the same democracy the U.S. has and is meant to upload.
We are living in a time where information has never flowed more freely (except in countries where they censor, like China) and Americans are learning how to make more informed decisions than ever. They have proven they want to support people of all backgrounds, cultures, and creeds. However, if there is a government easily convincing 1.6 billion people or more that Americans are ignorant and uncultured, can they really say that they are succeeding in creating change? This question can only be answered with action: to improve the U.S. through peace, to eliminate the threats to essential values like Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression, and to better our lives with happiness and sincerity. This is our fight, too.
Art is tremendously important: not only can a glimpse encapsulate a person, but it can ignite a kaleidoscope of individual emotions. A further appreciation is to make art, and with it stems another set of sensations. There is a feeling of connection and individuality experienced in unison which speaks at a deeper level than language: a way to communicate thoughts and emotions.
Destroying art connects to a deeper part of a person, too. It means something more than ravaging beauty: it is an attempt to eradicate freedom of thought and the ability to express it. Two very stark examples should come to mind: first is the “degenerate art” movement that took place during Hitler’s dictatorship. Countless pieces were destroyed, and others taken to “enrich” the regime. For instance, in 2013, a trove of $1.35 billion in Nazi-seized art was found,1 but many pieces remain missing to this day.
The second example has been an ongoing process: the steady and systematic seizure and destruction of art by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Instead of exclusively destroying well-known pieces, all art is demolished and artists are promptly arrested and/or detained.
This is because the CCP refuses for thoughts to be expressed freely; all must abide by its censorship and information control, which is seen as an ongoing problem to the rest of the world.2 It wishes to control every thought of the Chinese people so it can limit their actions and ability to fight for themselves, while destroying creativity and originality. Who embodies these qualities more so than artists? After “containment,” the government can do whatever it wants with little to no interference from the common folk (even if it is detrimental).
Artists at this moment are working against the grasp of the CCP around their lives, like Beijing-based artist Li Jinshan who was forcibly evicted from his home and art studio during the official second wave of Wuhan Novel Coronavirus. This was due to corruption of the land system in China (another topic that can be endlessly elaborated on) and the current position of art in Chinese society, which was once a noble profession that is now considered unprofitable and individualistic. How was the CCP able to change a country that once cherished creativity?
It all originated with a little red book: the ignition of the Cultural Revolution. Some artists at this time were arrested and forced into labor, like Lin Fengmian (Lin Fengming, 1900-1991), a painter who studied in France and worked to increase multicultural appreciation of art in China.
He personally destroyed many of his own paintings, but was still later imprisoned. He was able to survive and eventually flee to live out his life in Hong Kong but many of his artist friends committed suicide.3 However. even today, with the introduction of the new Hong Kong Security Law,4 Hong Kong is not a safe haven for artists to flee.
There are other artists who continue to struggle with government intervention today, like Yan Zhengxue who creates art to expose human rights violations and the corruption of the government; he has been detained, beaten, arrested and forced to work at a labor camp. Some artists will form mutual agreements with the local government to avoid these kinds of situations to continue their art unhindered, yet they all are eventually attacked for being artists. No artist is safe from this eradication of individual ideas. Artists have even died from their captivity and forced labor as well, like Pan Tianshou (1897-1971) who was a traditional Chinese painter. After being compelled to partake in “struggle sessions,”5 he was forced to work while he had failing health, which eventually led to his death.
Artists are targeted because the CCP limits the freedom of the Chinese people and makes it so they can only think in the same narrow threshold, which makes them easy to control. So, the CCP destroys their works, uproots them from their homes, and does everything it can to silence them and keep them from influencing others. It tries to break their wills. Now, when thinking of dictatorships aiming to control every aspect of a people, do they typically stop at their country’s borders? Well, let’s look at Hong Kong. Many countries have publicly disapproved of the Hong Kong Security Act 6 because they know if the CCP gets what it wants, everyone would fall in line under its rule. It would demand everyone follow the regulations and requirements they demand of the Chinese people, and it is closer to accomplishing this than it has ever been. Realizing a dictatorial regime has the power to influence your everyday life directly can be shocking, but it is the first step to stopping it from becoming a reality. Being aware of these happenings can result in efforts against this threat and can help the people already subjected to it.
Art remains one of the few things that connects people during times of instability and makes them stronger. It is a way for us to look back upon history and culture, and when any authority tries to exert power over people and represses them from expressing their own thoughts and opinions, it is a mark of a totalitarian regime that will stop at nothing to attain power and control. Every aspect of every person’s life is endangered when this type of entity exists, and it’s happening right now. The people of the world need to protect democracy and freedom of thought and expression, and work towards exposing those who oppress it. Let’s start with protecting art: this is our fight, too.
“Over $1.35 billion in Nazi art found hidden behind ‘mountains of rotting food’ by Aaron Souppouris https://www.theverge.com/2013/11/4/5063996/nazi-art-seizure-cornelius-gurlitt
“China 17 August 2006: Official press reports new restrictions on online video” by Reporters Without Borders https://web.archive.org/web/20061123195357/http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=18579
Mingyuan Hu: Fou Lei: An Insistence on Truth. Leiden: Brill (2017)
This announcement has been posted on the front door of the house of Chinese calligrapher and painter Li Jinshan in Beijing a few days ago:
He is being forced out of his only home and art studio during the second wave of the #CCPVirus outbreak in Beijing, and soon to be 2000+ other families of the common people, or “old hundred names” as #SteveBannon always says.
Protests of the people
Bulldozers have arrived
After Li & other villagers had been fighting for their rights & properties for almost 3 years, Li had to abandon his house and beautiful garden that he had been tending to for many years. Before he left, he relocated a bird’s nest which had been built inside his kitchen’s ventilation, forcing him to tolerate smoke from cooking for half a year. He was worried that the birds would be killed by a bulldozer when the thugs hired by the Chinese government tear down the whole village.
The beautiful garden of Li
There are many artists who lived in this village, like Li, that do not praise the Chinese Communist Party. They have been creating art as a way of expressing their freedom of thought, but there’s no such thing as freedom allowed on the land of the #CCP.
The destruction of a nearby village
Culture and art are treasures of human civilization. Li has said that we are a part of civilization, and no one can deny the CCP’s existence affects everyone’s lives. By spreading this story and the truth of the CCP to your friends & community, it is the simplest way for us to fight them.
Freedom and Democracy have no bounds, this is our fight too.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has committed atrocities, including their treatment of Uighurs involving live organ harvesting and their response to the Hong Kong protests, but the common person’s reaction is “how could the Chinese government do these to their own people?” This can be frustrating, especially when warning against something like the Wuhan Coronavirus.
As General Robert Spalding has written and spoken about, the CCP is disguised as the “government of China:” an entity that represents the people. In turn, there is difficulty for non-dictatorial citizens to comprehend a government can act like the Mafia.
However, if you explain that China is like the Kingdom of Rohan, America is like Gondor in Lord of the Rings, they begin to understand..
Imagine King Theoden represents the “government of China.” The CCP and its leader Xi Jinping represent Grima Wormtongue, the one who corrupts and controls the king. And Saruman as Wang Qi Shan & the gang of Jiang Zhe Ming
It becomes very simple to understand: the corrupted King Theoden can perform horrible actions against his own people, because that is the goal of Saruman.We know now that Saruman and his forces have already launched a frontal assault, and the people outside need to acknowledge what is happening so the people of Rohan can be helped. Steven “Gandalf” Bannon & Kyle “Legolas” Bass have already woken the people of Gondor; the final battle at the Black Gate of Mordor soon will arrive.