1996 / 10月
即使在經濟層面，一般人都以為「市場經濟」的概念最早是來自亞當．史密斯（Adam Smith,1723-1790）出版於一七七六年的《國富論》。事實上，早在一七五八年，法國「自然管理學派」的經濟學家魁奈（Francois Quesnay,1694-1774）即在《經濟表》一書中提出自由市場的觀念，他認為私有財產是絕對的，經濟個人主義和市場都是構成經濟生活的基礎；而市場法則是和自然法則一樣專斷的。魁奈更明確指出，他心目中理想的模式正是中國的政治經濟型態。魁奈和其弟子都承認其思想來自孔夫子的啟發。
美國亦暗中運作「一中一台」或「兩個中國」的政策，以確保台灣做為美國太平洋防線上的一顆棋子。曾任美國副國務卿和駐印大使的甘迺迪總統密友鮑爾斯（Chester Bowles）即在一九六○年四月的《外交季刊》上撰文道：「一個獨立的中台國（Independent Sino-Formosan Nation）可以顯出一個非共的近代化中國社會之特異……我們最好不惜費時使台灣在聯合國內獨立的地位得到承認……台灣成為獨立國家的前途，關係到自由亞洲的前途，尤其是與兩個地理上的政治安定力──印度與日本為然。」
美國九十年代的亞太戰略是針對中國而設計的：在國際上散布「中國威脅論」，製造「遏制中國」的正當性；對中國則推動「和平演變」，意圖將社會主義國家轉化為資本主義國家。一九九一年七月，美國副國務卿鄒立克（R.B. Zoellick）在東協擴大外長會議中，具體說明美國未來在亞太地區的戰略部署：以北、中、南三線撐起防衛架構。其中，「北線」指美國與南韓既有的聯盟；「中線」指美、日雙邊關係和「美日安保條約」；「南線」是美國與東協的良好關係和美國對菲律賓、泰國與澳洲的安全承諾。明眼人都看得出來，此三線所形成的「新月形戰略線」所要圍堵的正是中國。同年年底，國務卿貝克（James Baker）在《外交事務》發表〈美國在亞洲──浮現中的太平洋區域架構〉專文，更指出美國的亞太戰略是：以美國為中心所輻射出去，從日本──南韓──菲律賓──泰國──澳洲構成一弧形「扇狀圖」。這一「扇形戰略」也明顯指向中國。貝克稱其扇沿為「新圍堵線」。
偏執的帝國主義 VS. 狂熱的民族主義
其實，不知道說「不」，就不曉得說「要」，說「不」正是說「要」的前提。而一旦說「要」，也就牽涉到「自由意志」的問題。英文的Will，在動詞是「要」，在名詞則為「意志」。意志之所以是自由的，乃是因為它能依循普遍的律則來「要」，而非如同禽獸一般，做漫無限制的「要」。正因為人的意志會「要」得合於思維的律則，會「要」得不自相矛盾，所以各個人的意志也才能「要」得彼此不相矛盾、「要」得彼此和諧並存。也就是從個人的私欲（I will）擴展到整個社會的普遍意志（general will）。合理的國家秩序也就是這樣建立起來的。同樣地，合理的國際社會秩序又何嘗不然？每一個國家就像個人一樣，也都可以「要」得與國際社會的普遍意志並存不悖，中國可以說「不」，正是中國可以說「要」的前提。
Ju Gau-jeng /tr. by John Murphy
"Nationalism" has long been a sensitive subject between the mainland and Taiwan. Early this year during the ROC presidential elections, the mainland again and again used national identity as justification for its military intimidation of Taiwan. Now, might the publication and best-seller status of The China That Can Say No push Chinese down the slippery slope of nationalism? We of course do not agree with many of this book's arguments. But rather than simply lambaste it, and thus push those who sympathize with its views to even more dangerous positions, wouldn't it be better to try to come to a logical, theoretical understanding of it and thus help the people who care about this issue to deal with and quell emotional responses to it? Therefore, in this issue we have alotted much space to publishing two reviews of this book: one by Ju Gaujeng, a New Party legislator and long-time observer of East-West relations, who lays bare the causes and history of Chinese nationalism, and one by Chris Hughes, a British Far Eastern affairs scholar who wrote an award-winning dissertation last year on Chinese nationalism. Note that the captions were written by Sinorama's editors. May these different perspectives provide some food for thought on this emotional issue. (Editorial Dept.)
Since its publication in May of this year, The China That Can Say No has become a non-fiction bestseller in the Chinese language market, and has generated controversy at home and abroad. Many feel that the book is an emotional outburst, with inadequate reasoning, and suspect the book of inflaming nationalist chauvinism.
In fact, The China That Can Say No was never meant to be an academic work, and it is better that we examine its popularity as a noteworthy "socio-cultural phenomenon." The authors unreservedly express the anger and frustration of Chinese youth at the imperialism suffered by China since the Opium War in the mid-19th century. Thus, we can only understand the nature of this "socio-cultural phenomenon" by looking at history and international relations.
After WWII, East and West divided into a disastrous confrontation that was nominally based on ideology but in fact was enforced by a balance of terror. The "Cold War" between the USA and USSR set the norms for the playing out of international politics. At that time, the Chinese Revolution had Bolshevik overtones, and the West mainly saw China as a Soviet dependency in Asia. With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, pitting the USSR and PRC on one side and the US on the other, the US dispatched the Seventh Fleet to assist in the defense of Taiwan, and US-PRC relations severely deteriorated. The US actively inserted itself in Asian political and economic affairs, and began a strategic buildup. The US virtually single-handedly created SEATO (the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization) in 1954, and was clearly aiming to "contain" Communist China militarily, economically, and diplomatically.
In the 1960s, the Cold War grew frostier, and it seemed that a single spark could upset the balance of terror and start a war. With the Bay of Pigs in 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later, and the US intervention in Vietnam in 1965, the danger and blind foolishness of the ideological war became increasingly obvious. The US faced an internal crisis, marked by anti-war and anti-government movements, which peaked in 1968.
Looking at the PRC meanwhile, after its ideological split with the USSR in 1958, it deliberately rejected the status of Soviet dependency and allied itself with newly independent nations of Asia and Africa, trying to establish itself as a leader of the Third World. After the Zhenbao Island incident of 1969, when Soviet and PRC forces had a bloody clash, relations between the two reached a low point. At this time the USSR supplanted the USA as the PRC's "leading enemy." At the same time, in the US, the idea spread to "ally with the PRC to contain the USSR."
In the 1970s, the leading advocate in government of "playing the China card" was Henry Kissinger; in academia the most prestigious figure was John King Fairbank. In 1971, Kissinger secretly visited Beijing, arranging for Nixon's later visit. In an editorial in the New York Times, Fairbank noted that since 1950 the American government had sent more people to the moon than to mainland China. Later he and 60 other intellectuals, in an open letter in the New York Times, called for supporting PRC entry into multinational bodies, especially the UN. The PRC became a member of the UN Security Council, and the US and PRC began "ping-pong diplomacy."
From enemy to ally
However, the relationship between the US and PRC did not really firm up until 1979, in a series of events culminating in the "punitive war" against Vietnam. The two countries exchanged formal diplomatic recognition on January 1, and later that month Deng Xiaoping (who had just recently won leadership on a reform program at the Third Plenum of the 11th Central Committee in 1978) visited the States. On February 17, the PRC sent troops into Vietnam. It seems clear that China received the endorsement of the US before launching their limited punitive war on Vietnam. Meanwhile, a US-led boycott of Vietnam undertaken through the UN was approved with strong Chinese support. Another product of US-PRC cooperation was that the Pol Pot regime continued to hold Kampuchea's seat in the UN. In April of 1979, the PRC notified the USSR that it was terminating the "Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Support." The PRC and the US-led West were engaged in global containment of the USSR.
The PRC's internal reforms, opening to the outside world, and estrangement from the USSR foretold the gradual dissolution of the Cold War division of the world along ideological fault lines. Completely strategically contained, facing mounting defense costs, and embroiled in a ten-year long war in Afghanistan, Moscow was caught in a hornet's nest. The bureaucratic system had become stagnant, and the domestic economy was in decline. Though Gorbachev launched perestroika and glasnost in 1986, it was too little, too late. First the Berlin Wall came down, then Eastern European countries one by one left the shadow of "big brother" Russia, and the Warsaw Pact collapsed. In 1990 Germany was reunified, and in 1991 the USSR itself dissolved. The state Americans had seen as the "Evil Empire" had disappeared from the world map.
From the Baltic to the Bering Strait, socialist regimes fell one after another in a domino effect. Only Vietnam, North Korea, and the PRC held out. It was the PRC in particular, which had begun economic reform as early as 1978, that blocked the domino effect, thus becoming the world's most important socialist state in the post-Cold War era.
Folding the China card
With the demise of the USSR, the US had seen its main enemy disappear, leaving the US as the world's only superpower. At this point the "China card" became superfluous, and US-PRC relations underwent a qualitative change. In fact, ever since WWII, the PRC's foreign policy has always been to "resist hegemonism." Thus the PRC tried to ally itself with Asian, African, and Latin American nations that had been victims of US or European power politics or colonialism. The US, having gone untouched by war and relying on powerful military and economic resources, naturally became the leader of the non-communist nations.
As for challenges to US dominance within the non-communist nations, there were two. One was from DeGaulle's France, the other from the Arab world. In the former case, DeGaulle asserted "national independence," and France left NATO, refusing to accept US military command. France led the way in breaking the Cold War deadlock. It promoted "harmony and cooperation" with the Eastern Bloc, and was in the forefront in establishing formal diplomatic relations with the PRC.
In the case of the Arab world, its strategically vital oil resources had long been controlled by the US, UK, and France. In 1973 oil producers employed OPEC (the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries) to seize back control over their resources from the US-led West. Using oil as a weapon, they employed boycotts, reduced production, and higher prices to pressure the West. Ultimately they set off a global oil crisis, affecting operations at 99% of the gas stations in the US, while in the UK, in order to save energy, the government reduced the work week to three days.
However, after all the US and France share historical and cultural links, and their conflicts did not become overly acute. In particular, after WWII, Europe lay in ruins, and the US provided aid under the Marshall Plan; it was not until the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels that it was clear that Europe had finally recovered. In 1960, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was founded, and the G-7 (group of seven leading industrial nations) was formed as a "club for the rich"-North America, Europe, and Japan. Thus, though the US has had differences with other developed nations, they have maintained smoothly operating channels of communication.
As for the conflict between the US and Arab states, there were also mitigating factors. Islamic and Christian civilizations share common historical and cultural roots; Islamic sciences (astronomy, math, the calendar) had a profound impact in Europe; and the Justinian Code and Greek Bible, from Asia Minor, had far-reaching influence on law and religion in the West. More immediately, the US and Europe have remained energy dependent on the oil-producing states of the Middle East, while these states are the largest purchasers of US and European weapons. Since the end of the Gulf War, Western countries have sold US$50 billion in weaponry to the Middle East, most of which has come from the US. Thus, though there are differences between the US and Arab states in the Middle East, they have remained tied by cultural background and economic interdependence.
Thus there has remained only China, with its ancient history and traditions, which has remained very different to the West. Westerners have always found China difficult to understand. Even after reform and opening to the outside world, as relations between the PRC and the West have gotten on track, the PRC's rapid economic growth has outrun Western expectation and Western control. Add to this the fact that the PRC has an ideology for governing the country and the people's lives markedly different from American capitalism.
The PRC's strength creates fear in the US. Even though it still poses no threat to the US' hegemonic position, the PRC's development model is difficult for the US to control. Thus, voices in the US are calling for "containing China" and making the PRC the major hypothetical enemy in post-Cold War strategic planning.
An eye for an eye
Faced with the idea among some in America of "containing China," the authors of The China That Can Say No have advocated "counter-containment": "For every step that the US takes to contain China, we must meet them head-to-head, and cannot allow the least appeasement or relaxation." This is the classic mechanistic model of action and reaction. It lacks the autonomous consciousness that a great nation should have, and at worst forces the PRC to be knee-jerk reactive to American initiatives. The entire book is overburdened with such "backlash" sentiments, and lacks any detailed analysis or effective counter-strategic thinking.
The book also lacks what the authors call the "tolerance" that a great nation should have. Thus, the "feelings and political choices" of the five young authors toward the post Cold-War world are often to "use war against war," "use containment against containment," "use trade sanctions against trade sanctions." If the rules of the game of international politics could be simplified to "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," there would be no need for statesmen or diplomats.
As a great cultural nation, China must first consolidate its position in world history. Based on artifacts of settlements unearthed along the middle portion of the Yellow River, Chinese culture has been developing for 8,000 years. In the course of this long history, there have taken shape traditions of humanism and benevolent kingly government. China's oldest classic, the Yi Jing, is a crystallization of the wisdom practiced in ancient society. With additions and interpretations by King Wen of the Zhou dynasty, his son the Duke of Zhou, and Confucius, the later cultural tradition-sober, benevolent, and humanitarian-evolved. Moreover, China continually absorbed surrounding peoples into the great Chinese family, and in this way could be said to have had unmatched coherence.
Leaving aside Gan Ying's abortive trip to Rome in the Eastern Han dynasty, contact between China and the West began with the westward expeditions of the Mongols and the record of the legendary Marco Polo. The Travels of Marco Polo, completed in the 14th century, opened up the eyes of the West and caused the works of outstanding thinkers of China to become a stimulus to the Enlightenment in continental Europe. Leading figures of the early Enlightenment era, like Voltaire (1694-1778), Leibniz (1646-1716), and Christian Wolff (1679-1754) all deeply admired Chinese culture. The Enlightenment was a movement of awakening among intellectuals pushing Europe into early modern society, and it changed the course of human history.
Even in economics-where most people ascribe the earliest conception of the market economy to the 1776 work The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (1723-1790)-there was earlier Chinese influence. As early as 1758, the economist Fran蔞is Quesnay (1694-1774) of the French "physiocrat" school outlined the free market concept in his book Tableau Economique. He argued that private property is absolute, that the foundations of economic life are formed from economic individualism and the market, and that the law of the market is as inviolable as the laws of nature; and he clearly indicated that his ideal model was China's political economy. He and his followers acknowledged that their thinking was inspired by Confucius.
Enlightened by China
Leading figures of the Enlightenment got most of their understanding of China from Jesuit missionaries. Jesuits came to China as early as in the 16th century, following in the wake of Spanish and Portuguese merchants. By the 17th century, Dutch and English trading ships had followed. At that time China and the West engaged in equal, mutually beneficial relations. Missionaries brought astronomy and mathematics, and introduced China's classics and system to the West. Unfortunately, because Jesuits got involved in court intrigues, the Yong Zheng Emperor banned missionary work, and East-West contacts were interrupted for a century.
China was originally self-contained, relying on its status as an ancient cultural power to play the leading role in East Asia. But in 1840, after the resumption of contacts between East and West, came the horrors of the Opium War. For the first time foreigners appeared before Chinese as vicious bandits. They nakedly and brazenly sold narcotics into China. And after the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842, China was restricted nearly to suffocation by unequal treaties. At this time, in all the West only Karl Marx spoke up for China. He wrote several articles for the New York Tribune defending China and criticizing the arrogant methods and wrongful plunder in China by nations like England and France. Thus there are reasons why Marx's critique of capitalism was so quickly accepted in China.
The modern history of China is a history of how the great Western powers have encroached upon and swallowed up China. Amidst a long period of internal chaos and external aggression, China-always under the shadow of imperialism-has groped to find a path to modernization.
Prior to the Opium War, China had no inkling about Western imperialism. In 1689, during the reign of the Kang Xi emperor, after three wars China signed the "Treaty of Nerchinsk" with Russia. They blindly allowed Russia to take a huge chunk of land from Lake Baikal all the way to Manchuria. It was only in the Opium War that Chinese finally saw the true face of imperialism, and there followed a series of treaties which ceded rights, humiliated the nation, cut away territory, and required reparations. The weakness and stupidity of the Qing court was infuriating. When the Republic of China was first established, as usual England, Russia, and Japan all made demands. As conditions for recognizing the ROC, they demanded, respectively, self-rule for Tibet, self-rule for Outer Mongolia, and railroad rights in Manchuria and Mongolia.
The Tibetan problem, repeatedly raised in The China That Can Say No, can be taken as a sample of the encroachment on China by imperialism in the late-Qing/early- Republican era. In 1877, England swallowed up India. As Tibet was a principal trade route between India and China, Britain also was very anxious to control Tibet. Given the enormous political and economic power of Britain's empire (on which, it was boasted, "the sun never set"), India was easily swallowed up, and Tibet promised to be an even easier target.
In 1904, the British regime in India sent troops into Tibet; they entered Lhasa and killed more than 1500 Tibetan compatriots. The Dalai Lama fled to Qinghai, and the Tibetans were forced to sign the ten-article "Anglo-Tibetan Treaty." Britain, even while forcefully repressing the independence movement in India, encouraged Tibetans to leave China and become independent. The British established their influence in Tibet, so that once Tibet became a "neutral" nation, the British could do with it as they pleased.
The tragedy of Tibet
The current Tibet problem is a product of the imperialist invasion of China. Recently the National Assembly in Taiwan was debating the issue of Outer Mongolia, which in fact is just like the Tibetan problem. Russia, taking advantage of China's weakness at the time of the collapse of the Qing court, encouraged Outer Mongolia to declare independence in 1911, and the next year coerced the "Kulun authority" into signing the Russo-Mongolian Treaty. Russia used this to completely control Outer Mongolia, completely excluding Chinese influence. Later, owing to protests from the Republic of China, after repeated mediation, the treaty was altered in 1913 to declare that "Russia recognizes the suzerainty of China in Outer Mongolia, while China recognizes Outer Mongolia's autonomy."
Both Britain and Russia tried to disguise their motives even as they in fact encroached on China. Nominally they sought self-rule for Tibet and Outer Mongolia. But in fact they wanted to urge those places to declare independence only so that they could later make them into "protectorates" of their own. The difference is that Outer Mongolia was occupied by Soviet troops in 1921, and formally declared independence in 1924, while Tibet did not follow Mongolia's path due to the decline of British power.
As for the Taiwan problem, repeatedly raised in the most emotional terms by the five young authors, this is in fact something that has been drawn out for a century through manipulation by Japanese and American imperialism. Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki following the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895.
Though Taiwan was returned to China in 1945, due to the civil war between the Kuomintang and Communists and the outbreak of the Korean War, it became a place "protected" by American hegemonism. During WWII, Japan used Taiwan as a base for moving into Southeast Asia. After the war, Taiwan became (in MacArthur's words) "an unsinkable aircraft carrier" on the strategic frontline to block the expansion of communist power in the Western Pacific.
In fact, as early as 1942 a non-govern-mental group in the US, the Committee for Peace After War (organized by editors of several prestigious magazines), advocated setting up a Pacific defense line including Hawaii, Midway, Guam, Okinawa, and Taiwan; thus they thought Taiwan should come under "international condominium." This so-called "international condominium" in fact meant putting Taiwan under American control. After the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Taiwan's position became even more important. The US put forth the position that "Taiwan's status is still undetermined," in order to expand its room for maneuver in Pacific defense.
In June of 1950, President Truman declared that determination of Taiwan's future status would have to await the return of stability to the Pacific and the signing of a formal peace treaty with Japan, perhaps through deliberation by the UN. This seems to have again given Japan the right to speak on the Taiwan issue, causing Japan to still have inappropriate fantasies about Taiwan's future. Moreover, Japan provided behind-the-scenes support to pro-Japanese Taiwan independence movements in a plot to gain political and economic benefits. In 1957, an official of the Japanese Foreign Ministry clearly stated: "We can wait until the next generation, when Taiwan will have become another country. At that time, Japan can gain the maximum economic benefits from both Chinas at minimal political risk."
Taiwan's future past
The US also was secretly pursuing a "one China, one Taiwan" or "two Chinas" policy, to insure that Taiwan would remain a flag in the map of the American Pacific defense line. Chester Bowles, a former deputy US Secretary of State, ambassador to India, and close confidant of President Kennedy, advocated helping "Formosa" gain independent status in the April 1960 Foreign Affairs: "An independent Sino-Formosan nation can offer the contrast of a modernized non-Commu-nist Chinese society," he argued. He acknowledged that "It might well take some time for Formosa's position in the UN as an independent nation to become accepted," but urged that this goal be pursued. And he tied Taiwan into US regional strategy: "Formosa's future as an independent nation is tied to the future of free Asia and especially those two great geographic and political anchors, India and Japan."
The fact of the division of China definitely presented the US and Japan with many opportunities to manipulate and trade behind the scenes for their own gain. In 1879, taking advantage of the inability of the Qing court to deal with internal and external problems, Japan occupied the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa). In WWII the US occupied the islands as a military base. Ultimately, in 1972 the US-without reference to the situation of China-took it upon themselves to turn the islands over to Japan. Japan then established Okinawa Prefecture, absorbing the islands into Japanese territory.
The controversy over the Diaoyutai Islands now taking place can be traced back to this. Diaoyutai is only 180 kilometers from Taiwan's northeast coast, and lies on the edge of the East China Sea continental shelf, and is an island belonging to Taiwan. But because the US unilaterally gave the Ryukyu Islands to Japan, and because rich petroleum resources have been discovered in the seas around Diaoyutai, Japan has claimed sovereignty over Diaoyutai. Here is the proof that imperialism will take advantage of a vacuum, and if given an inch will take a mile.
This is not the only dispute that the United States has instigated near China. In order to contain and exhaust China, the US tacitly permitted China to launch a punitive war on Vietnam. Then the US moved actively to repair relations with Vietnam and instigated the argument over sovereignty in the Nansha (Spratley) Islands in order to widen the differences between China and Vietnam, and also pull ASEAN closer to the US, as part of a scheme to isolate China in Asia.
The theory of the China threat
The US Pacific strategy of the 1990s has been aimed at China. The US has spread the "China threat theory" internationally in order to manufacture justification for "containing China." Meanwhile, it has promoted "peaceful evolution," scheming to turn socialist countries into capitalist countries.
In 1991, US Deputy Secretary of Defense R.B. Zoelick, speaking to an expanded conference of ASEAN foreign ministers, clearly explained future US strategic deployments in the Asian region. Deployments would be based on a division into northern, central, and southern lines. Of these, the "northern line" indicated the US-Republic of Korea alliance; the "central line" indicated US-Japan bilateral relations and the "US-Japan Security Treaty"; and the "southern line" referred to good relations between the US and ASEAN and American security guarantees to Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia. As anyone can clearly see, this "crescent- shaped strategic line" is aimed at surrounding China.
At the end of the same year, Secretary of State James Baker, in a Foreign Affairs article entitled "The US in Asia: Emerging Architecture for a Pacific Community," described US Asia-Pacific strategy. He advised readers to "imagine a fan spread wide" with the US at the center. The spokes of the fan, extending from the US to Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia (especially the Philippines and Thailand) and Australia, represented bilateral ties, with the body of the fan representing the developing relationships within Asia itself. This "fan-shaped" strategy was clearly aimed at China. Baker elsewhere alluded to "a new containment line."
As for the American "peaceful evolution" theory, one can take a speech by former President Bush as representative. In November of 1991, in a speech before the Asia Society in New York, Bush cited North Korea, Burma, and China as three countries resisting the "global trend" of political pluralism, and also made accusations of proliferating dangerous weaponry. In his remarks on China, Bush especially emphasized that American policy was to sustain contacts in order to encourage positive change, which is to say "peaceful evolution."
Clinton has, even more than Bush, emphasized the significance of "economic security," and his strategy for stimulating "peaceful evolution" of the Chinese Communist regime has been divided into three levels: (1) Blocking the spread of nuclear weapons and controlling conventional weapons, limiting the expansion of Chinese Communist military power. (2) Utilizing the treaties and regulations of multi-national bodies like GATT and the WTO, as well as bilateral policies like most favored nation status and the "301 provisions," to force China to undertake reform of its economic structure. (3) By making a top consideration out of political democratization and human rights diplomacy, deliberately publicizing Taiwan's status and the special nature of the Tibet problem, causing China to "fragment" under internal political pressure and differences in the characteristics of regional development, weakening its overall strength as a unified nation.
Overthrowing the Chinese regime
Stated somewhat baldly, what Americans call "peaceful evolution" is in fact aimed at overthrowing the Chinese Communist regime and restructuring political forms in a direction desired by the US. In fact, since beginning reforms and opening to the outside world in 1978, the Chinese Communists have at all times and in all ways been adjusting internal and external policies. On the one hand they have been making up for some of the damage caused by the closed, ultra-left policies of the past; on the other they have been adapting to the new global politico- economic situation and striving to get fully on track with international society.
The PRC's leaders hope that through planned policy implementation they can raise the quality of life of citizens and liberate the people's productivity and creativity. China is not opposed to "change," but given China's huge territory and the pressures of an enormous population, they deeply fear that "change" will become "chaos," and that amidst "change" order will be lost.
Despite this, the US, using standards it has set itself, demands that China follow a specific direction of "evolution," without any regard for China's own wishes. This attitude is perhaps a result of America's hegemonic habits, but in any case it certainly is neglectful of the respect and courtesy for others any civilized country should have in its foreign relations.
In fact, moreover, one may be highly skeptical of the US' own behavior with regards to the three levels of "peaceful evolution" noted above. First, in terms of weapons, the US has refused to sign any agreement forswearing first use of nuclear weapons, and the number of warheads it possesses far exceeds that of all other nuclear countries. So what right does the US have to demand that China restrict nuclear testing?
Second, with regard to international organizations, the US demands that China accept the regulations and treaty obligations of international organizations. Yet the US has made every effort to block China from winning the right to host the Olympic Games in 2000, has always refused to give China GATT or WTO membership, and periodically pulls out MFN (most-favored nation status) and Section 301 provisions as threats. Under these terms, how can China interact with other nations in international society on an equal basis?
Human rights as a tool
As for the third element, the US frequently raises the human rights issue, but in fact is only using it as a bargaining chip in negotiations. This distorts human rights into a tool and a mere formality. As examples, The China That Can Say No points to the Harry Wu issue and the orphanage problem, both clearly under the shadow of manipulation by the CIA or the mainstream media. Further, US advocacy of human rights is too often "selective enforcement." Russian President Boris Yeltsin bombed the Russian Parliament and has suppressed Chechnya, causing tens or hundreds of times as many deaths as the "Tiananmen Incident," which has become the totem of US human rights. Yet the US unreservedly supports the strongman Yeltsin, and considers his actions "unavoidable choices." This is because, given Russia's current situation, if democracy were truly implemented, anarchy would result. America's tolerance toward its former arch-enemy Russia frequently amazes China, which has had its fill of criticism.
In 1995, the Pentagon staged two model exercises of a Sino-US military confrontation. The conclusions were: Based on the current pace of Chinese military modernization and economic growth, by the year 2010, if the US Navy and Air Force take on China in the Western Pacific, the US will lose. The People's Liberation Army of the PRC has done similar models, reaching the same conclusions.
There are two main views in the US regarding these conclusions. The first says that it is inevitable that China will be a global power in the next century. Thus the US should as early as possible rationally recognize and accept this fact. The US should take the initiative to talk with China on major international problems, and the two countries can cooperate to maintain world peace. The other view says: Within 15 years the US will be unable to militarily defeat China. Therefore, within the next 15 years the US should find every high-sounding pretext to contain China, block China's outward expansion, and even find an opportunity to start a war against China, in order to prevent China from becoming another superpower.
Imperialism vs. fanatic nationalism
The latter is a classic example of the imperialist way of thinking of blindly trying to change objective reality through subjective will. The former represents rational forces within the US. We should, through effective communication, clearly inform the American people that China has a cultural tradition that is peace-loving and benevolent, in order to strengthen this rational pro-China force. Otherwise, if we just allow the angry emotions and vengeful thinking of The China That Can Say No to run rampant, then arrogant American imperialism will have even more excuses to fan the flames and create incidents.
Unrestrained nationalism has often been the source of tragedy in history. I believe that China, with its ancient history and culture, has the strength of reason, and can avoid going from one extreme to the other, and will not waver unstably between moods of looking favorably at the outside world and looking angrily at that same world.
In 1990, the right-wing Japanese politician Ishihara Shintaro and Sony Corporation head Morita Akio cooperated to write the book The Japan That Can Say No. The book argues throughout that Japan's aggressive war against neighboring countries was to enable those countries to escape from the control of Caucasians. It argues that the neighboring countries that Japan invaded should take responsibility for their own historical failures, and that Japan has no moral responsibility at all. As for Japan's invasion of China, it uses the term "a large scale advance into China."
The Japan That Can Say No reveals the nature of Japanese imperialism and tragedy of the lack of an ability to reflect on the past. Recently Japanese prime minister Hashimoto Ryutaro went to pay his respects at Yasukuni Shrine where Japanese war criminals are buried. From this we can see that in Japan the retrogressive current of arrogant and inflammatory nationalist chauvinism is still busily preparing for future action.
We can understand the anger expressed in The China That Can Say No toward American and Japanese imperialism. Ever since the Opium War, China has suffered repression and insults from stronger nations. Anything suppressed for a long time must find an outlet of expression, and The China That Can Say No is one form of outlet. This is one reason why it has sold so well. The United States and Japan must accept most of the responsibility for the collective anger of the Chinese people.
However, anger is fleeting; only peace and hope are long-lasting. After anger, we must rationally look at China's future.
From the point of view of developmental psychology, children learn to say "no" at roughly two-and-a-half to three years of age. In this stage, self-consciousness has just begun to take shape, and children will often say "no" just because of their mood. They will deliberately be contradictory in order to demonstrate their own existence. If the only thing the parents know is to assert authority and strengthen controls, if they don't understand how to provide guidance at appropriate times, the children's sense of self will not develop, but will be transformed into sub conscious rebellion.
Similarly, in the past China had its fill of being victimized by the powers, and economically could not stop foreigners from doing whatever they wanted. Today, after the determined implementation of reform and opening to the outside world, initial results have already been achieved in the economic realm. As a result, a sense of self has taken shape, and China has--without anyone being fully aware of it--entered the phase of saying "no." If this phase is not handled appropriately, and well-meaning guidance provided, this will unfortunately have a negative impact on the psychological development of the whole nation and society.
From "no" to "I will"
In fact, not knowing how to say "no" means not knowing how to say "I will." Saying "no" is the prerequisite to saying "I will." This touches on the problem of "free will." The English word "will," as a verb, expresses a willingness or plan to do something. As a noun it suggests self-assertion or desire. The will is free insofar as people can order their desires according to general principles. People thus differ from animals, which want without limit. Precisely because people's desires can be ordered according to reasoned principles, and can be structured so that they do not clash, each individual's will is not internally contradictory, and desires can be harmonized and co-exist. And it is out of individual desires (I will) that the general will of a complete society develops. That is how a rational national order is constructed.
And why should a rational international order be any different? Every country is like an individual, and their wills can co-exist without conflicting with the general will of international society. The China that can say "no" is the prerequisite for the China that can say "I will."
Beginning after the Opium War in 1840, a variety of ideas have been advocated in China, including Western learning, learning the strong points of the barbarians to check the barbarians (powerful countries), adopting Western knowledge for its practical uses while keeping Chinese values as the core, complete Westernization, and so on. After the overthrow of the imperial system, a number of forces appeared in China, each with its own agenda. The Communist Party learned from the USSR, some around Chiang Kai-shek learned from Nazi Germany, and people like Hu Shih and Chiang Ting-fu adulated only the US and UK.
In the proposed strategies for modernization, which were divergent and based on individual experience, there was yet to appear any path to modernization that could win a consensus among Chinese. Fortunately, in l978 the policy of reform and opening to the outside world was set, and in 1992 the "socialist market economy" was set as the focal point of reform. The Chinese people have finally groped their way to a path to modernization.
The Opium War was the starting point of the history of Chinese modernization. Over the past 150 years, externally China has suffered from foreign imperialism, while internally there have been a series of dramatic cataclysms--the Taiping rebellion, the Nian rebellion, the Muslim insurrection, the Boxers, the Republican revolution, the warlord period, the Civil War, and the ten years of the Cultural Revolution.
In this time the only periods that can be called tranquil are the "golden decade" of the late 1920s and early 1930s, the early period after liberation from 1949- 1957, and the era of reform and opening to the outside world that began in 1978. In particular, the period from 1978 to the present has been the longest continuous period of stability in the past 150 years--there has been a clear improvement in the living standards of the people, and a major increase in the nation's overall power. This uninterrupted 18-year-period of reform and opening could be said to be the most successful model of peaceful reform in Chinese history since the changing of the laws by Shang Yang in ancient times.
Building cultural consciousness
The success of the reforms has inspired hope toward the future among Chinese. It has also rebuilt the national self-confidence of the Chinese, which had been eradicated by the long period of internal and external disasters. Consequently, there is finally an opportunity for traditional cultural values to once again be emphasized. Looking over the course of human history, in the entire world not a single nation has been able to thoroughly repudiate its own cultural tradition and still complete modernization.
I feel that, in this period of the recovery of national self-confidence, this is the time when we should rebuild a "consciousness of cultural subjectivity." The rebuilding of such a consciousness will not only be decisive in the success or failure of mainland China's economic reforms, it will be even more decisive in whether or not the goal of comprehensive modernization can be achieved.
But what does this "consciousness of cultural subjectivity" entail? The first step is to call on the whole Chinese people to consciously accept and acknowledge the 8000 years of traditional culture as properly ours, originally ours and uniquely ours. Then we must understand tradition, critique tradition, transcend tradition, and reinvent tradition. Facing modernization, many unprecedented problems will surface. Only a people with such a "consciousness of cultural subjectivity" can, when facing such problems, know how to balance objective conditions with subjective strengths, seize opportunities, react dexterously, and finally resolve these problems.
The China That Can Say No sincerely expresses the thinking of contemporary young Chinese, and concretely expresses China's determination to pursue national dignity. Some reviewers have been critical of the emotional way in which it lays out its nationalism, but this is an over-reaction. After all, look at the current situation around the world: There are calls for "re-Asianization" in Japan; there is a tide of "re-Islamization" in the Arab world; and in India there is a "Hindi renaissance movement." Even in Europe, as the European community has expanded, the problem of national identity has become a focus of debate and controversy. Clearly the revival of "consciousness of cultural subjectivity" is the global trend. The China That Can Say No merely is part of this trend.
However, introspective rebuilding of a cultural consciousness is much more long-lasting, and more profound, than simply passionately venting feelings. One of the tragedies of Chinese history is that there have been too many cataclysms, with the country jumping from one extreme to the other.
Feeling for stones in a river
Today, China has confirmed that the "socialist market economy" will be the framework for economic reform. This is a path to modernization "that can effectively harmonize capitalism and socialism" that was worked out only with great difficulty. Periodic grand shifts are not as good as constant "adjustments." "Adjusting" means standing on firm ground to stably take the next step, with readiness to adapt and react at any moment; it is different from either holding on to established rules or advancing rashly with hopes of immense short-term gain. It is, as Deng Xiaoping says, like "crossing a river by feeling for stones," a passage in which "the only criterion of truth is practice."
In Mencius there is a passage which reads: "Tzu-mo was a middle-roader [between egoism and universal love]; and that approximates the ideal. But the middle-roader [who takes no decisive action] is unadaptable just like the panaceist [who sticks to thing only as a cure for all ills]. What I dislike about the panaceist is the way he seems to be doing some thing, but while he exalts one thing, he lets a hundred lie useless." This instructs us as to the importance of timing, balance, and adaptability. In the final analysis, in governing the greatest fear is to lack adaptability, or to "exalt one thing while letting a hundred lie useless."
The intense anti-Americanism of The China That Can Say No should be a warning signal to the US. The US may very well be a country that needs an enemy, but its setting up of China as the primary hypothetical enemy will create irreparable damage to Sino-American relations.
The China That Can Say No can also be seen as a warning signal to Taiwan. In the book the authors describe Taiwan as "China's private parts," a metaphor which indicates how sensitive it is. As powerful nationalism raises its head in Communist China, advocacy of Taiwan independence will just provoke an explosion of emotionalism. Between Taiwan and mainland China, both stand to benefit from cooperation, but deliberately creating confrontation can only result in a historic tragedy in the Taiwan Strait. The mainland side should comprehend that the Taiwan independence problem is the result of a complex economic, political, social, historical, and cultural background. To use nothing but threats and crushing force will not be as effective as offering sympathetic understanding, and using the greatest possible patience and wisdom.
At the same time, the mainland should not avoid addressing the issue of political reform. If the mainland can successfully implement political reform, not only would this solidify the successes in economic reform, it would be of the greatest benefit in resolving the Taiwan independence problem. On the Taiwan side, Taiwan should maintain the highest wariness of US and Japanese expansion in the Asia-Pacific region; Taiwan must not seek outside help to intervene in the Taiwan Strait issue. As descendants of the Chinese people, Taiwanese must make every effort to avoid becoming the pawns for imperialism to encroach on China.
Political and economic change
In fact, the mainland's economic reforms, begun in 1978, and Taiwan's political reforms, begun in 1986, are the most revolutionary results of modernization in Chinese history. Taiwan's political reform has shattered the myth that Chinese are not suited for democracy. And the mainland's reform and opening up--and especially the elucidation of the goal of the "socialist market economy" in 1992--is a way to effectively handle problems of emancipating citizens' productivity forces while balancing the distribution of income, a model of successful reform.
These glittering achievements are enough to make all Chinese people feel proud. This is the opportunity for China to emerge from pain and humiliation. Amidst the international political and economic environment of the post-Cold War era, we are charged with the transmillenial mission to bring China out from 150 years of suffering and humiliation, to achieve the national goal of creating a modern Chinese nation. And the prerequisite for this transmillenial mission is that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have mutual respect, develop positive interactions, and expand the foundations of trust.
The China That Can Say No Authors: Song Qiang, Zhang Zangzang, Qiao Bian, et. al. Publisher: Jen-chien Price: NT$360 404 pages
The tearing down of the Berlin Wall symbolized the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, leaving mainland China as the sole remaining socialist great power. Is this why it has replaced the USSR as the "Evil Empire" in the eyes of many in the West? (photo by Luo Hsu-kuang)
China wants to say "no" to the West. But can Tibet say "no" to China? The photo shows a protest demonstration held by Tibetans in exile in India on March 10 this year, the day marking the fall of Tibet. (photo by Jenny Hu)
Wasn't Mao's 30-year policy of autarky saying "no" to the West? What cam e of it? (photo courtesy of Agence France Presse)
In Spring of 1989, when the mainland student movement was just starting, the mood was hopeful. After the Tiananmen massacre, many Chinese intellectuals became dispirited. Does The China That Can Say No represent a shift to the left among post-Tiananmen intellectuals? (photo courtesy of Agence France Presse)
The "Protect Diaoyutai" demon strations in Taipei are concrete actions by which Chinese have said "no" to Japan. (photo by Hsueh Chi-kuang)
The China That Can Say No is a product of history, yet ignores the historically based feelings of Taiwan's people; it blames the US for the Taiwan problem. Given that mainland readers have no access to outside information, this misrepresentation is very dangerous. When will substantive talks resume between the two sides? (photo by Vincent Chang)