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Insights From Asia’s Senior Statesman Lee Kuan Yew

The collected insights of Asia’s senior statesman, Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew on the U.S., China and what the future holds.

Singapore's former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, unseen, at the Istana, or Presidential Palace, on Friday Nov. 16, 2012 in Singapore. (AP)

Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, unseen, at the Istana, or Presidential Palace, on Friday Nov. 16, 2012 in Singapore. (AP)

We talk about China’s rise, its surging wealth and power, but the U.S. has been Number One for so long it’s hard to really picture what it means, or will mean.  Hard to really know what to think.

Lee Kwan Yew knows. Asia’s most senior statesman.  A longtime friend of the US.  A grand master of global strategy out of little Singapore.  And here’s what he sees.

Does China want to be Number One?  Of course.  Will they be?  Pretty likely.  Will we fight?  We’d better not.

This hour, On Point:  the collected wisdom of grand master Lee Kwan Yew, on the US, China and all that is coming.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Graham Allison, professor of government and director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Former Special Adviser to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan, and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy and Plans under President Clinton. Co-author of “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World.”

Robert Blackwill, professor of government, council-member, and member of the board at the Belfer Center. Senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Former Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Planning under President George W. Bush. U.S. ambassador to India from 2001 to 2003. Co-author of “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Financial Times “Should we connect the dots between China’s neighbours’ increasing assertiveness over claims to disputed islands in the South and East China seas on the one hand and sharp declines in their trade with China on the other? Yes, but do not take our word for it – take it from Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s former prime minister.”

Time Magazine “Lee Kuan Yew hails from a very small country, but, for decades, he has been a very big man — at home and on the world stage. During more than a half-century of public life, including some 30 years as Prime Minister, Lee transformed Singapore from a simple trader of commodities into a sophisticated hub of finance and technology — The Little Red Dot, as many of its people affectionately call it.”

Reuters “North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday in defiance of existing U.N. resolutions, drawing condemnation from around the world, including from its only major ally, China, which summoned the North Korean ambassador to protest.”

Excerpt: “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World”

Interviews and selections by Graham Allison and Robert D. Blackwill, with Ali Wyne. Published by The MIT Press, February 2013. © 2013 Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. All rights reserved.

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  • Call_Me_Missouri

    Anyone other than me find all of Tom’s China-worship a little sickening?

    China has not even begun to face the social/economic issues that they have created for themselves.  Christ they had to pass a law to force kids that fled the rural areas to find work in the big cities to GO HOME and take care of their parents when they get too old to take care of themselves.  What does this say about their society?

    • ikonoklast44

       Tom always points when he as Yale (sniff) that he did a semester abroad in China.

    • Tyranipocrit

       pretty much all they care about is money but they will tell you it is family–tho they are full of contradictions and do feel compelled to be with family–when they are working abroad, in country, or out–most of their money goes to family, rather then themselves–it is part of the obedience and kowtowing and absolute deference to authority–and they will expect it of you to–in a world run by China.

      The peopel who control hina are some of th elowest people on earth–vicious, sociopaths who only care about power and money and themselves.  These ar ethe people who control all the wealth of china and will forever–because billionaire only make money and pass on their inheritance thru family–they never relinquish it.  ther echldren are more selfish than any generttio that hase ever lived and i think dont understand what it is to be human–they drive around nillion dollar vehicles while common chinese starve–these kids never did a day of work in their life and they have 7 Lamborghinis and other top cars i cant name.  And they see no need to show anyone ever any mercy or compassion.  They are taught to harbor much disdain for everyone else–including the west. 

      • anon

        I expect to see more and more hatred like this as Americans are forced to realize that they are no longer #1…

        • Tyranipocrit

           number ONE in what?  What I’ve said is really not very different than billionaires anywhere in the world, but in China it is surging and extreme because it is new.

          I would like to see a leveling across the world.  Where resources are shared.  Where people live well, not in poverty, but not in the lap of luxury either–except in community centers open to all.  it would look a little different in each country, but it would be a world where we pool resources and innovation.  To do that the 10% must be vanquished, the bottom 49% must be lifted.

          • anon

            Well, I know that the ‘number one’ attitude doesn’t even make sense, and it keeps people from demanding what should be their rights. For example, many Americans don’t want universal health care coverage because they really have this idea that they’re ‘number one’ in this area, and thus they can’t learn anything from the systems that er successful in other countries…

    • SeanLim

      it says that the state cared to enforce moral behaviour jn the face of declining social vakues with caoitalism.

      the same cannot be said in the US for eg where psrents are abandoned anyway and the state does nothing. at least the chinese authoritarian one party state still cares

      • anon

        And on that note… I found this article pretty shocking: http://www.alternet.org/poverty/old-female-and-homeless

  • ikonoklast44

    He is Graham Allison’s favorite despotic dictator. That caining thing was maginificent.

  • ikonoklast44

    He was a cruel man but fair

    • Jasoturner

      Shut that bleeding door!…Mother.

  • burroak

    During the last three decades what percentage of U.S companies have shipped their jobs, factories, and operations to China? Hundreds, many hundreds perhaps? And, what was the effect of this outsourcing on China’s expeditious growth?

  • Roy-in-Boise

    China will not eclipse America. Their ultimate limitation will be it’s own government. Critical thinking and creativity is not encouraged. This present Chinese expansion is based on imitation of western products. Once the present economic expansion plateaus the built in lack of creativity will stifle future expansion and dominance. If America were to loose it’s creative edge the same would apply here. This is universal.

    • http://www.facebook.com/drpmeade Paul S Meade

       IMHO there is a certain lack of critical thinking and creativity being expressed by our own politicians here in the US. If the Tea Party and some of the more leftist elements of the Democratic party had their way our natural tendency toward isolationism would run rampant.

      It’s a global economy and we can’t keep hitting the snooze button on the alarm that’s already sounded. Our infrastructure is nearing the point of no return here in the US and any resurgence in our manufacturing base will not occur without a major restructuring both physically and politically.

    • Jasoturner

      If you ever spend time in China, particularly around working class urban dwellers, your opinion might change.  The country has issues, but it also has a fantastically ambitious and curious young generation.  These guys aren’t gong to roll over for the U.S.

  • PithHelmut

    Let China be the best in the world (whatever that means) and America can be the most humane and the most environmentally clean. Jobs aplenty in renewable energies, high tech and low tech jobs. 

    • Tyranipocrit

       I’m sorry but that is not possible because China would confront, challenge, and thwart every attempt –corrupting our affairs–that is how they operate.  i would like to believe otherwise but it is not the reality.  Their culture is based–rooted-in corruption and dark tides of inhuman acts–at a state level and individual level.

    • anon

      It would be nice if America were the most humane. They have a ways to go before they get there, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/drpmeade Paul S Meade

    This is a very interesting program session. I’ve put Mssrs Allison and Blackwill’s book on my wishlist at you know where. This program is book ended, interestingly, by a segment on Morning Edition about the cyberthreat from China hacking into the computer systems at businesses here in the US and elsewhere.

    • Jasoturner

      Be sure to click through the WBUR link to your bookseller when you ultimately purchase.  Every little bit helps when it comes to public radio…

  • robert bristow-johnson

    boy, i dunno about idolizing Singapore either.

    if i were to visit, i think they would cane me right after i step of the plane.

    • anon

      I’ve been to Singapore, and I enjoyed it. And while I’m sure that Lee Kwan Yew is an intelligent man who’s worth hearing, I do think it’s ridiculous to suddenly assert that this guy is the genius of the world…

  • John Walsh

    Henry Kissinger in his book “On China,” points out that American Exceptionalism is missionary – we want the entire world to be like us.Chinese Exceptionalism, on the other hand, feels that China is the greatest civilization and others can imitate or not as they wish.

    In that spirit, Europeans (including the US) went out in the world, conquered, plundered and enslaved.  
    China went out almost a century before Columbus with a vast fleet superior to what Columbus deployed and traded but did not conquer or plunder or enslave.  To this day China with the world’s second largest economy has not one single overseas military base.  

    We can look forward to a more peaceful, less imperialistic world with China the greatest force on the world stage. I for one will be relieved when America no longer wages endless war.

    • Tyranipocrit

       i agree-however–they will expect you to kowtow and thru manipulation and unforgiving passive aggressiveness and economic means–will have the world kowtowing–and your life will not be pleasant.  IN fact–FACt–the earth cannot sustain a powerful China–it MUst not happen if humanity is expected to survive–if the earth should continue to be a beautiful place–a place that you can actually respect and love–suicide will be pandemic–because death will be preferable.  Trust me.  Even in China–suicide among youth is all ready pandemic.

    • Tyranipocrit

       there are different kinds of imperialism.  I really dont think you understand the CHinese culture.  You cant sjust paint america as the great evil and assume china will be somehow benign or good for the planet or anything you would want to emulate–you really dont know chinese culture and clearly are not paying attention to how they do behave in the world.  its more complicated than good vs evil.  You ould trade one kind of threat for another–that wont be good for anyone.  They dont play fair–ever.  And they dont see the world thru progressive compassion or reason. 

  • Tyranipocrit

    Ive lived in China 7 years.  I will tell you this, if and when the Chinese are “1″ they will WILL–Absolutely will–expect and demand all people of the world, whether common citizen or national leader to kowtow and bang their head on the floor–they will revel in our humiliation–i promise you–i promise you that–they will take much pride in our humiliation–they are people who NEVER forgive, NEVER compromise, NEVER discuss or debate an issue–THEY DEMAND and expect you–YOU–to obey. Trust me on this.  They have little value for human rights or even understand them.  Individuals might show kindness, but the entity of china, the culture, the dominant culture–will have no mercy for anyone and little compassion if any–I promise you that. 

    You think the world is f@#$-up now–it will Be FAr FAr FAr FAr worse.  I am a humanitarian and a progressive.  I am probably a pacifist.  The west and America has many many problems and I hate most of what America does and how it behaves–I want to fix that and feel with all my heart that the west, America, the world is better off without a powerful china–and it must be the west–our long tradition of debate, discussion, compromise, compassion, democracy–or least our will and love for it–that it MUST be us who lead the world into a green direct-democracy.  China will set us back centuries and if you have any hopes–ANY hope of a compassionate greener world–a living world not killed by industry-pollution and the apex of greed–you will not want o see China become the ultimate power in the world–

    Now imagine a world–dying, overpopulated, with little compassion, expanding into space–do you really want to see China be the pioneers that take humanity into space and faraway worlds as our embassy of earth?  I do not.  I’ve tried and tried to reconcile my understanding of Chinese culture and to temper it, to dismiss my observations–i can not. 

    The heart of Chinese culture is not pretty.  Its dark and noisy and dirty and littered.

    There must be a way to contain them without loss of life–we must be progressive green leaders in the world–stop our insane wars and lead by example.  Stop using China as platform for cheap labor and bring our jobs home–stop allowing them to tak and steal our technology.  And usa little force in the South China Sea and the Japanese sea to slap them back when they act like greedy belligerent children–they cannot be allowed to just take the south china sea–all the way into Malaysia and Philippines and Vietnam, and Indonesia–take look at a map and look at the borders they are invading and tell me they have any regard or respect for other peoples land, property, country, rights, or humanity. 

    That “know your place” attitude is exactly how they think all thru China–they do not understand discussion, debate, cooperation, dissent, democracy, equality–they have contempt for it.  They want you to kowtow–trust me.–or don’t trust me, come here, live here, find out for yourself.  The world is going to be doomed–DOOMED–with China on the rise.
     

    • anon

      I’d love to hear what you’re doing in China and why you stay since you seem to have such contempt for the people there.

      • shaneSL

        Don’t worry about him. Racists will always be racists.

        The Nazis have lost the war 70 years ago, but their racism and hate still lives on in some.

  • Tyranipocrit

    the soup toxic sky is not just over Beijing–it is everywhere in China.  They are not working on cleaning the environment–no they are not–all talk.  Their green investments are noting more than fingers in the dyke–they build polluting industries 100 times faster than green tech and nobody enforces it–they pollute indiscriminately and without any concern or compassion.  It is Disgusting and disturbing.

  • If_we_dream_too_long

    How not to miss Chris Lydon, when one hears a silly program like this one?  Ashbrook, Allison, and Blackwill display a shameful ignorance of Singapore’s history and of both its and Lee Kuan Yew’s current circumstances. They suffer from a daft lack of perspective. Their intellectual indolence is staggering.  And it extends to the recycling of superficialities and obvious statements in which they indulge when talking so breathlessly about  the PRC.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/X6ZRXT6KIUCKDMMQPFOHHZSYIQ Hans

    China was very successful in the past three decades. America was very unsuccessful in the first decade of this century. China’s success came from the lesson they learned from the previous thirty years under Mao. America’s failure was a result of the successes it had achieved since WWII. Imagine if America had not made the three big mistakes, tax reduction and deficit fiscal policies, mismanagement of monetary policy and mortgage backed securities, anti-terrorist and Iraq wars, what state of the union would it be today? It may take America a decade to get itself out of the hole it fell into. But that is a short period in history. What Americans need is not to worry about China’s rise. They should do more soul searching on why the nation made such mistakes. If no lesson is learned and nobody takes the responsibility, America’s future is dimmed. All China did in the past thirty years was to learn from America. They will continue to learn. They used to learn about business. Now, they started to learn about innovation and social justice. They are still far behind. They have long way to go to become a power that matches the U.S. especially on the “soft” side.

  • ExcellentNews

    China is a communist dictatorship that has murdered more of its citizens than Stalin and Hitler combined. That IS the historic fact. Left on their own devices, dictatorships do not rise to lead the world (just look at the former Soviet Union). 

    It is the US that enabled China to rise in the last 30 years. A handful of our home-grown billionaire oligarchs exported over 25,000,000 high-wage US jobs (and the underlying industrial base and technology) to China. They used the US as an end-market fueled by credit card debt to make obscene profits stashed in hedge funds. The result – corresponding decline in American strength and standard of living. Their reward – tax cuts by every president since Carter. Meanwhile, their shills are trying to convince us that our President is a communist.

    Most of our “global” bankers, industrialists and CEOs deserve a honorary Chinese citizenship and a one-way ticket to Beijing. Since they have done so much for China, let them stay there for good.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

      correction: China is a fascist non-racist state. 

      if you consider China is communist then Castro is a capitalist.

      also… yes, China murdered many people… but what did the United States did to the native Indians when it committed genocide, to chinese people when they exported opium, to the vietnamese when it summarily killed innocent civilians, to congonese when it supported the killing of Patrice Lumumba and destroyed the whole nation, to iraqis when it lied to start an oil invasion that completely uprooted and killed many families, to iranians when it overthrew a democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh against the wishes of the people, etc.

      don’t criticize others when your country is an infamous killer of the past.

      • Tyranipocrit

         I like what your saying, but i feel it is necessary to question, challenge, and criticize everyone, even myself.

    • Tyranipocrit

      It is not a fact.  They are not communist.  I wish you people would quit saying that nonsense like you know what you are talking about.  THEY ARE NOT COMMUNIST!!!  not a fact so dont say it is.  But they would be a lot better off if they were.

      • Tyranipocrit

         but I agree with everything else you say.

      • ExcellentNews

        The Constitution of PRC (China) clearly states that the Chinese Communist Party is the sole governing body, combining absolute executive, legislative and judicial powers in one. It is the standard model for all former communist countries, and it is followed to the letter in China. There is ZERO popular voice in governing the country at any level. Everything is decided by the party. Do not be fooled by the so-called “Chinese capitalism”. It is activity that happens with the 100% blessing and support of the Communist party, and the vast majority of “owners” are party insiders. China is a communist oligarchy, just like the Soviet Union or North Korea. The only difference is that they decided to co-operate with our oligarchs, instead of threatening to wipe them out… If Stalin had been as smart, his face would be today on Mt. Rushmore…

        • Tyranipocrit

           I am afraid you are absolutely wrong–and belligerently wrong–you understand the definition of communism.  There is nothing communist about China except the name.  And there is very little that is democratic about America.  Democracy and capitalism are antithetical.  Communism cannot work without direct democracy.  It has basically never existed.  Even in a collective sense the Chinese do not live in a communal way or in any way that is socialistic or community centered–nothing is equal or shared–there are NO cooperatives owned by workers.  Workers are more exploited than probably anywhere on earth.  In no sense is it communist. 

          And probably never was except for Maoist communes fifty years ago. 

          China is an authoritarian one-party republic operated by robber barons–plutocrats.  It is an oligarchy.  America is the same, only America has a two-party system and three branches of government designed with checks and balances to ensure that democracy never works, but rather maintains and supports the establishment (like a bulwark that prevents any kind of sea changes from the bottom up)–the establishment being the corporate-aristocracy–the oligarchs, the plutocracy, the 1%–it has always been thus, and always thus it shall be–unless the 99% rise up in cold blood. 

          The form of American government and Chinese government may be different but they perform the same function to protect the same people for the same reasons.  America is more sophisticated in its delivery and its free speech mechanisms–in order to weave the illusion that helps to maintain stability for the banking system and banking class.  China is learning to do the same thing, but it does it differently.

          America is more socialist than China.  Europe is more socialist than America–and Europeans are by far more better off than Americans.  Socialism is basically just agreeing to be of the same people united.  Americans talk a big game about “united” freedom  and blah blah blah–but none of it is real.  America is number one in two things–the highest gap between aristocrats and plebeians (maybe China) and it is has the most sophisticated propaganda machine to effectively and absolutely brainwash the entire population/control the conversation. The rest just enjoy being sadistic.  And a tiny minority see and want to be change. its probably a crude way of saying it but this is the distilled version.   America has a long way to go before its united or democratic in any true sense.

          • Tyranipocrit

             that should read “dont” understand–at the top.

  • anon

    Very interesting conversation. I just want to say, though. that this adulation of Lee Kwan Yew is typical of US media; they focus on one person – either as a new prophet or the new satan – and soon, we’ll be on to someone new (and probably be denigrating this guy).

    Anyway, there are a lot of good points made. Looking from the Middle East, it seems to me that the US (and their trying to promote their model around the world) has already been losing relevancy. It would be naive to say that they have no more power to influence other countries, but it’s waning. That doesn’t mean that everyone will want to emulate the Chinese model, though. But I think that it might reinforce those who look to other models – for example, Muslims who look to an Islamic model. 

    The American government seems incapable of dealing with problems. The leaders really don’t have much insight into the rest of the world, and the partisan attitudes make it virtually impossible to actually figure out what’s best for the future of the country and then implement it.

    I also don’t think Americans will easily give up the ‘We’re #1″ attitude. In fact, the US is already not #1 in many areas (and it IS #1 in some areas that aren’t anything to be proud of), but most Americans haven’t accepted that yet… and they won’t feel that way even if China takes over in terms of GDP or whatever.

    • Tyranipocrit

      Anon, it’s really not contempt.  its observation and experience.  We cant pretend that all cultures are wonderful and benign.  They just are not.  Even the Chinese will tell you how bad they are in so many ways–and they feel shame, real or pretend–for a little while, but it never changes how they behave.  They will tell you this too.  its not about race.  Its about culture.  Culture is cultivated over generations, and anyone seriously and objectively looks at Chinese culture throughout history with an open mind must only conclude that is a culture of very selfish behavior and greed (broadly) with little or no concern for human rights. In fact, when we use this phrase in China they have nothing but contempt for it.  I realize, that is partly political, as they feel we in the West “want to criticize we China” but, its also partly because they don’t see human rights the same way and think we are ridiculous for concerning ourselves over such matters. “it’s none of my business” is there favorite phrase.  They leave people to die in the streets and walk by them without any concern every day all over the place–in car accidents especially.  NO one will take responsibility for their actions here–no ONE–from trivial matters to the big issues.  They will put their heads in the sand every time. 

      its not contempt for all people in China–but it is contempt for their culture.  I pity the people and empathize for some and want the best for others but it is is a very sad reality that exists here.  Consider the millions trying to flee Chinese culture everyday.  I used to live in a American bubble too thinking ‘oh, we do so many terrible things in the world’ and we have–but it is not fair, honest, or reasonable to pretend that other cultures are innocent or benign or impartial.   And that we can’t or shouldn’t criticize them.   We absolutely should criticize them–the world depends on it.  But we must also work with them to see something better and to make change, and to be change, because sadly– if we dont change China, the world is going to die.  All our efforts in the west toward preserving the planet, or preventing global warming are useless without China radically changing its culture.

      • anon

        I appreciate your thoughtful response. Are you able to say what you’re doing there and why you stay?

        Just to explain where I’m coming from… when I came to work in a Gulf Arab country, I worked with both citizens and foreigners, and I heard a lot of… how should I describe it? A sort of sneering attitude towards the ‘natives’. And certainly some of the criticism is justified, and the citizens themselves see the same problems – but some of it’s not – yet there was no balance.

        I ended up becoming Muslim, marrying and staying here, and sort of went to a different level in knowing people and how they think, and got a more nuanced view of things.

        I see the good and bad here, and the good and bad in the US. The society (like China, I assume) is more community-oriented and not so individualistic. The idea of human rights is one that people look at differently; many people around the world don’t admire a society where you’re free to make some outrageous art exhibit or insult someone’s religion (or do both at the same time!) but you have tens of millions of people who don’t have access to medical care, or people who are evicted from their homes and lose all the money they put into them, or 12,000 people murdered a year, etc. 

        I have heard of Chinese people ignoring victims of accidents, etc., which is horrible any way you look at it… 

      • SeanLim

        I do not know how you have xome to such strabge and weird ideas abiut china and for all thr faukts in china, the chinese always take immense pride in their history anf cukture.

        it is selflessness and sacrifice when many men in chinese history have given uptheir individual rights and lives fot the sake of the civilization and the chinese people.

        however, I do not blame you as many countries do not have a history even a quarter as long as chinas. even the longest european one in France (since the Franks of Charlemagne) are only 1300 years long. the closest analogy of understabding china and her cukture is to imagine the Romans from the time of their city founded by Romulus, to a kjngdom, to a republic, to an empire, to its spkintering intto two halves, to its collapase and continuation as the byzantines BUT continuing to survive into the modern era instead of being absolutely conquered and destroyed by the turks in the 15th xentury. that would be what china is and was. an amalgation of ancient culture and modern thinking and technology, with great rises and spectacular fallls, periods of absolute glory and dismal tragedy, all in kne continous civilisation and history.

        as you can see, it is complex and notsomething many can comprehend, especially the western journalists who have little understanding, or interest to understand both the dark and glorious chapters of chinese history. the chinese have been there at the dawn of human civilizatikn and has not only survived thriugh all that time, but is once again yet on the rise to greatness. imahine the contradictions of modernity and antiquity in play. imagine what the chinese are willing to sacrifice for their civilization’s greatness. I suggest a more careful read andunderstanding of cjina and the chinese before you come to such hasty conclusions. the chinese are able to read English in case you havent noticed and are pretty entertained by the quality of some comments. oh and yes, hit is good for others to have pride in their cultures too. we chinese make it a point to understandthem thoroughly and be less quick to judge.

        • Tyranipocrit

          you are so full of propaganda. and much of what your saying just isnt true. its the same tired lines i hear everyday. Oh western journalism–first of buddy–i dont get my answers from western journalism. You have said nothign that will make me think differently, you only repeat the same Party Rhetoric that all chinese love to hear themsleves saying–a people so insevure they have to constantly talk about the daw of cililization–nobody cares…it has no relevance to anything. And Sunmeria is older than China and the the foundation of western society. The people of france go back far longer than 1000 years. europe were tribal people–celtics, gauls–their origin cannot be known but is older than chinas dubious claims of 5000 years. And china was never on entity–it was many empires and disparate peoples–i find it ironic that you totally refuse to acknowledge your minorities–conquered peoples. The Han are not the only people in the land called china. but guess waht–we werent talking about chinese history or your pride–we were talking about current chinese culture and its lack of real conviction–you can talk about pride and history until your blue in the face–its meaningless.

          • shaneSL

             Of course not people, dont be ridiculous. Any person with an adequate level of intelligence would know that we are talking about the continous nature of culture and civilization. If not, might as well say the french have been around for 100 000 years since the first caveman.

            I suggest you read Chinese history again. They are different dynasties (ruling families), not empires. They are Chinese with the exception of the Yuan and Qing, which were foreign but were assimilated along with their cultures and peoples. Much like America has been a country for 225 years but has had different equivalents of dynasties including the Bush family, and the Clinton family, and the Kennedy family.

            And I said the French have a history of 1300 years (and am being quite generous with Charleslemagne’s Franks being included as French) and the french have the right to be proud.

            No sumerians exist today. The idea of China and the Chinese was a longstanding one from the times of Zhou which first came up with the term the middle kingdom. The idnetity and culture was solidified in the Han dynasty.

            It makes a difference in that a Chinese person today can still relate and read to a certain degree the scripts of the ancient Chinese 2000 years ago, be able to quote poems and historical figures from over 2000 years ago.

            As for insecurity haha, sure if you say so. You will be incredibly mistaken about this however, tho i do not expect you to understand this, given your poor understanding of the subject in the first place.

          • Tyranipocrit

             are you proud that chinese culture is static–never changing, never evolving, never progressing–always mired in the mud and totalitarianism?  The west is strong becuase it accepts change and works towards change–china worships the dead and abhors change–a sign of little empathy and little creativity.  Not a rich or powerful culture at all–it is stagnant and dehabilitating. No wonder people try to leave as fast as thy can.  Why does the chinese dictatorship forbid foreign influence?–ie great e-wall of china–has anything really changed –NO.  A very arrogant culture to reject the whole world–what are you afraid of–that you might be wrong–that you might have something to learn form other people?  Are you afraid your people will see that china is not so great afterall.  The biggest culprit of chinese containment is the chinese government itself.  The enemy of the people.  Th sad thing chinese no nothing of thier own history–only delusions.  If you dont know your past–you are a child.

          • shaneSL

             Haha read again the history carefully. Chinese culture changes throughout time. Yes times of slower change, times of faster change.

            We are everywhere. We are changing. We have a better command of the English language and philosophies than you.

            We can discuss Voltaire, Jacque Rosseau and the Social contract and the French Revolution with you. We can discuss the ethics and morality of Immanuel Kant, or the ideas of Milton. We have a better understanding than you of the philosophies of Thucydides and the military ideas of Von Clausewitz. We can discuss at length the ideas of Plato’s Ideal Republic. We understand you to your core, your religious ideas, the nature of the Great Schism, the Bible, the Council of Rome, the Council of Nicae, the Reformation and Counterreformation. We can even discuss medicine and mathematics to your level and beyond. I suggest you improve on your intellect.

            We can discuss your political systems, the ideas of the Nation State from the Treaty of Westphalia (a rather late invention merely 500 years ago if I may humbly add). Yes we know all about you and what your strenghts and weaknesses are. We know of the logical fallacies you commit on a daily basis through the lies in the media and in your words.

            We are not at all afraid. We are everywhere and numerous. We have survived the past 4 millennia and will do so till the end of humanity. In fact, it is you who will have to fear. The Chinese are in your neighbourhoods, they know where you are. They have hackers to find out where your children, family, parents live. They are also watching them in your country.

            It is your right to delude yourself into the nature of the Chinese. The Chinese are kind to their friends, but merciless and ruthless to theirenemies. Vengeance is not personal, it involves clan extermination, starting from the most economically productive ones to deal maximum damage. The Chinese allow foreign influence, but they decide at what rate to allow them in. They control it and master it and return like for like – kindness for kindness, hate for hate with a much more sophisticated twist.

            Yes we are arrogant. A culture that has survived the past 4 millenia cannot hope to be anything but. And you are arrogant to think that you can continue to spew lies and spit out racist hate with no consequences. Such is the arrogance of childishness and immaturity, perhaps even the immaturity of one’s civilization (though at the same time, full of youth to pursue their dreams)

            Justice is coming for racists and those who smear the name of China. Just like Israel has Mossad to hunt down racists and Nazis, the Chinese have their equivalent. And they number in the tends of thousands.

  • SK

    China is what it is to day,thanks to the USA in particular and in general the west.For the last two decades a staedy flow of Tech, inovative ideas and importantly the manufacturing sectors  have moved to China to take advantage on their ‘Cheap labor’,and inturn they the Chinese have captured the world trade and markets.
    The next inovative ideas moving to China will be the defence secrets,already the Chinese spies are hard at work to get their hands on some of latest on the western in particular the USA defence secrets and when that happens,with trade and defence advantages in the hands of China,then truely USA will fall to #2 position.

  • anon

    Interesting report on unhappy citizens in Singapore (and comments from some who say that Singapore is not what it used to be) at Al-Jazeera: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/02/20132169114441474.html

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