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Friday, 29 September 2006
A reader has asked me to comment on the rather alarming document reproduced in last August's Epoch Times here.  It purports to be the transcript of a speech given, presumably to high-level Party cadres, by old Party warhorse (and China's SecDef until the 2003 musical chairs) Chi Haotian (pronounced "Chrr How Tee-en") early last year.  The Chinese-language version is here.  Some samples:

—-Hitler was "too soft."

—-"Our ancestors left us with the two most essential heritages, which are atheism and great unity."

—-"If we let all Chinese people listen to God and follow God, who will obediently listen to us [i.e. the CCP] and follow us?"

—-"But the term 'living space' (lebensraum) is too closely related to Nazi Germany. The reason we don't want to discuss this too openly is to avoid the West's association of us with Nazi Germany, which could in turn reinforce the view that China is a threat. Therefore ... 'living,' but not 'space' ...  Western countries established colonies all around the world, therefore giving themselves an advantage on the issue of living space. To solve this problem, we must lead the Chinese people outside of China, so that they could develop outside of China."

—-"Whether we [i.e. the CCP] can forever represent the Chinese people depends on whether we can succeed in leading the Chinese people out of China."

—-"Our economic development is all about preparing for the need of war! Publicly we still emphasize economic development as our center, but in reality, economic development has war as its center!"

—-"Comrade Mao Zedong taught us that we must have a resolute and correct political orientation. What is our key, correct orientation? It is to solve the issue of America."

—-"Only countries like the United States, Canada and Australia have the vast land to serve our need for mass colonization."

—-"In the long run, the relationship of China and the United States is one of a life-and-death struggle."

—-"We must put up with America; we must conceal our ultimate goals, hide our capabilities and await the opportunity."

—-"In the past years we have seized the opportunity to master weapons of this kind [i.e. biological]. We are capable of achieving our purpose of 'cleaning up' America all of a sudden. When Comrade Xiaoping was still with us, the Party Central Committee had the perspicacity to make the right decision not to develop aircraft carrier groups and focus instead on developing lethal weapons that can eliminate mass populations of the enemy country."

—-"This yellow land [i.e. China] has reached the limit of its capacity."

—-"Here some people may want to ask me: what about the several millions of our compatriots in the United States? They may ask: aren't we against Chinese killing other Chinese?  These comrades are too pedantic; they are not pragmatic enough. If we had insisted on the principle that the Chinese should not kill other Chinese, would we have liberated China?"

[Derb]  The authenticity of the piece needs addressing.  The Epoch Times is a Falun Gong publication and its journalistic standards have been questioned.  I take the speech to be authentic just on general grounds.  I.e. that is how old Party warhorses—like my father-in-law—tend to talk.

To what degree Chi's sentiments can be said to represent Chinese govt. policy is highly debatable.  Certainly these sentiments are widespread in China, particularly among young males.  There is a strong vein of amoral fascism in modern Chinese political thinking, along with the ancient conviction of racial superiority.  The CCP carefully nurtures this tendency, with endless appeals to racial/national (they are the same thing in this context) pride and destiny, and constant reminding of past national humiliations.

Whether China will actually have the will and ability to depopulate North America by biological warfare in the near future is pretty doubtful, though.  For one thing, the demographic issue Chi makes much of is a passing phase:  all the signs are that the demographic cratering we already see in Japan and S. Korea is in China's near future, too.  For another, Chinese society is at present too chaotic and uncontrolled (yes, really) for any unified effort of the kind Chi is fantasizing about.  If you still harbor any residual Mao-era notions of a nation of drilled blue ants acting in regimented harmony, go stand at a traffic circle in Beijing for a few minutes.  China has to work through some major systemic problems before embarking on any great national project like the de-population and colonization of North America. 

The value of documents like this is to show us a ruthless and amoral strain that is not uncommon in modern Chinese thinking, but which is inchoate and, in my opinion, not likely driving any current policy.  It could turn to action only in extraordinary circumstances, and personally I'm not losing any sleep over the opium dreams of an old revolutionary.

Posted on 09/29/2006 1:38 PM by John Derbyshire
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