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Inside China: China’s one million traitors
Question of the Day
“China is a country with fertile soil to produce traitors. There were over 1 million Chinese traitors during the Resisting the Japanese War [World War II]. In today’s China, there are more traitors than that number,” said Rear Adm. Zhang Zhaozhong of the Chinese navy, who is the most well-known and most senior military commentator on China’s state television. He is one of the most outspoken, hard core anti-American spokesmen. The revealing remarks were made June 7 in the online edition of the official Chinese newspaper the Global Times.
“Some Chinese traitors are foreign agents disguised as our diplomats; some are economic spies; others are military spies. They have all lost the last iota of virtues and conscience by betraying their country for their own selfish interest,” the admiral charged. The remarks were triggered by Adm. Zhang’s recent realization that there are no prominent memorial days or monuments dedicated to what he said were China’s history of national humiliations, including the 1993 U.S. naval interdiction and inspection of the Chinese government container ship Yinghe on suspicion of carrying banned chemical weapons materials headed to Iran.
The suspicion turned out to be inaccurate.
He was also ticked off by civilian Chinese officials’ repeated efforts to repackage some existing national humiliation-themed museums into international friendship-themed museums in order not to offend countries that are now considered to be Beijing’s strategic allies.
A museum in Helongjiang province along the China-Russia border, for example, was built to document Russia’s aggression against China since the 1700s, but it recently was told to close down in order to avoid offending Russia, now a strategic ally of the Chinese government.
GREAT WALL ESTIMATE ANGERS S. KOREANS
China’s State Bureau of Cultural Relics announced recently that the total length of the ancient Great Wall of China is not 5,300 miles long, as has been claimed, but 13,000 miles.
The Great Wall was never a contiguous barrier, but rather a network of shorter walls built piecemeal by various Chinese dynasties. The most commonly accepted starting point of the wall had been Shanhaiguan, south of what used to be called Manchuria, which could mean that “ancient China” may not include the area north of the wall, including today’s northeast provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Helongjiang and any part of the Korean peninsula.
However, the new Chinese calculations extend the Great Wall well into northeast China to include the ancient Korean states of Goguryeo and Bohai.
South Koreans were outraged recently by Beijing’s new declaration of the wall’s length.
At the core of the outrage is China’s inclusion of wall structures built by Goguryeo and Bohai, whose territories are within China’s Liaoning, Jilin and Helongjiang, land many Koreans still consider their territory.
All leading newspapers in South Korea, including Chosun Ilbo and Dong-a ilbo, in recent weeks published commentaries with sharp condemnation and criticism of China’s announcement as a blatant misuse of history to justify future territorial expansion.
China’s Global Times fired back with an article quoting Lu Chao, a Chinese scholar at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences who said: “It is ridiculous to say the Great Wall should not include the wall built by Goguryeo simply because it was built by Korean ancestors.”
While South Koreans are fuming over China’s new claims, the communist North, China’s regional ally, has remained conspicuously silent on the matter. Most of the disputed territories in this debate directly join North Korean territory.
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About the Author
Miles Yu’s column appears Thursdays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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