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:
[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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