What irritates me a lot very often these days is how frequently people on any form of media discuss the possibility of ð¨ð³ invading ð¹ð¼.
Western Media loves to paint a picture of the Other as a way to create and sustain fear.
It is a narrative that make places like ð¨ð³, ð®ð·, ð®ð¶, ð¦ð«â as foreign and as unpeaceful as possible,
against reality and against the truth.
It's the kind of click-bait narrative that generates as well as reinforces uneducated hate, fear, xenophobia, instead of inspiring a pursuit of knowledge and understanding in people.
Once you've been to and come to know people from very civilizational unique places,
you'll recognise that common narratives in the media couldn't be further from the truth.
It's all sensationalism and fear-mongering.
The popular media Loves fanning false images of the cultural Other that miseducates the general population.
In short, below are a quick summary of my reasons:
1. Contemporary ð¨ð³ has gone through consecutive traumatic turmoil in history where the scars from those times are still raw. Military war is never going be to something we will in turn inflict on another population, let alone people of our own race.
2. ð¨ð³ as it is known on the map today is dominated by the Hanï¼æ±ï¼ethnic group ï¼æï¼, an ethnic group that adores peace & health, that promotes appreciation of beauty of literature and art, enjoys gourmet and all kinds of tea - Han people aren't the horse-riding nation-conquering kind. But lean towards diplomacy, building businesses, and overseas exploration.
What does this mean though - this distinction of civilisational Chinese identity? It means that what you are referring to when you talk about ð¨ð³ you are considering an incredibly recent and limited understanding of ð¨ð³ - ð¨ð³ as the nation-state, which only started in 1949. ð¹ð¼ as a nation (recognised or not), started in 1912 - it is because of this that there are a lot of Taiwanese people who believe ð¨ð³ should be part of ð¹ð¼, because they are technically older, by logic, sure, but ð¨ð³ as a Nation-State is separate from the ð¹ð¼ state from 1912. It's just that, for us Han ð¨ð³ Chinese from the new ð¨ð³ established in 1949 - when we think about ð¨ð³ ourselves, we consider all the Chinese people in our big family, including those who went to ð¹ð¼ (this may also include the indigenous Taiwanese ethnic groups - i think, but I'm not sure.).
It is in my belief that ð¹ð¼ people are fully entitled to their own opinions and belief, however much they may be strongly influenced by the media they tend to focus on.
It is every ð¹ð¼ person's right to uphold their own thoughts about their own ness - as a ethnic Chinese, as indigenous person, and as a person that chooses to belong to a particular nation-state.
In contrast, for mainland ð¨ð³ Chinese, ð¨ð³ is multi-ethnic, non-homogenous, and civilisational - not culturally-singular.
ð¨ð³ is not limited to the ð¨ð³ that started in 1949 at all; ð¨ð³ in the Chinese mind goes as far back as the millennia before the Great Wall even began its construction.
So I think when the West talk about ð¨ð³, it's reduced ð¨ð³ to its very recent <100 years of history (when we have over 5000 years of civilisation);
whereas for the Chinese from ð¨ð³, myself for example, we go way back, way way back.
The ð¨ð³ in our hearts and minds are vast, and colourful, full of changes throughout history - so much so that the nation-state almost doesn't matter as much as the civilisational history we've had and the civilisational identity we are so very proud of.
3. Soft power over military power:
War is costly and does not reap profit the way peace can grow money at exponential rates . One Belt One Road is the best example of how ð¨ð³ wouldn't even bother to âinvadeâ ð¹ð¼.
Realistically speaking, ð¨ð³ already economically and financially invaded many many countries across the globe without weaponry.
I don't like it, nor agree with what's happening with many of those partnering countries.
Because they fall into heavy financial debt to ð¨ð³ - after all the extensive investment and large-scale construction projects such as convention centres, banks, and arenas, to renew local infrastructure and boost economic development;
ð¨ð³ in turn gains the right of entry to extract precious local resources at a rate that is not at all sustainable or wise...
The Most ð¨ð³ may do TO ð¹ð¼, if I may hazard a guess, is that the govt may decide to put its hands up and go hands-off on economic relations with ð¹ð¼.
Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing else necessary.
But to be realistic, the people of ð¨ð³ feel so close to ð¹ð¼ that we could hardly imagine such a scenario to take place.
To go into further detail on the above 3 points:
To assume ð¨ð³ is going to "invade" or "attack" ð¹ð¼ is genuinely like saying New York will decide to let Long Island go,
or Mexico is going to invade Cuba, Australia is going to attack New Zealand,
if Wellington is going to bring war to Waiheke Island...
It sounds ridiculous every time I hear it, it's something that's just not gonna happen.
My questions to you before you want to approach the subject of ð¨ð³ is:
Have you even Talked to a mainland Chinese person about this
before conjuring up such a presumption?
Have you studied thoroughly the civilisational identity of ð¨ð³ before talking about ð¨ð³ ?
If I may explain the above key points from a æ± Chinese perspective:
1st of all:
The Last thing ð¨ð³ will ever do is to be the Aggressor - the shooter of guns & missiles at another country, or any other declared nation, sovereign nation, or territory, recognised or otherwise.
We have been butchered several times in our recent history,
the scar is still raw from the trauma of those times.
The generations that suffered through those awful periods of history carried forth their pains,
so much so that my own generation was brought up with the shadows of those political past.
For this reason alone,
the LAST thing a Chinese person / the ð¨ð³ government wants is to have is War.
We don't want war for ourselves, nor do we wish to inflict the pain on other peoples.
It's also -- incredibly, intellectually and strategically -- stupid to have war.
So on this point,
to assume ð¨ð³ would invade ð¹ð¼ is basically like saying the living generation of Germans may start bringing havoc on the Jewish people again.
It won't happen.
This should bring us to the second point:
War is an inferior pathway that reaps no benefit.
There are a lot of economic expansion projects that ð¨ð³ has been conducting that I don't particularly agree with.
One example of them is the one and only thing ð¨ð³ does do and will likely continue to do is
The ever extensive reach of the One Belt One Road (O.B.O.R.) a.k.a. âThe New Silk Road" project has led to resource extraction schemes on a scale that has drastic impact on the environment,
with intrinsic devastation on the economic and financial sovereignty of the countries in partnerships with the O.B.O.R. Project.
Countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands are some examples.
I am not happy with the ever increasing liability these countries now have towards ð¨ð³.
But THIS is how ð¨ð³ does things - through Soft Power and building economic relations.
We don't care for war - a costly way of making money.
ð¨ð³ does it all without guns and steel.
æ±people are all about money:
so the O.B.O.R. project helps ð¨ð³ reap huge economic and resource gains by offering immediate benefits to its economic partner countries in the form of infrastructure investments and resource purchase.
ð¨ð³ may 100% "invade" by economic partnership, but ð¨ð³ will Never invade by military means.
Why form enemies when you can make friends?
If you want to counter this with the Southern Seas situation,
that seriously has some Historic significance driven by an entirely emotive strong-hold ð¨ð³ has on those waters.
ð¨ð³ is not there to militarise the region,
it is really just there to establish a physical presence i.e. occupation on those waters.
It's illegal against International Water Law, and pretty laughable everytime I think about it,
as it's very adolescent for a country with such a deep history:
like a grown adult looking at an old toy that had already been donated to a museum, and still wanting to reclaim it.
I know it's attracting endless criticism and hate from neighboring nations,
but there is no declaration of war there. It's purely ð¨ð³ being defiantly ð¨ð³, rooting on a historical past that had been written over with laws created by the U.N. in the 70s, and ð¨ð³ is not going to let go.
ð¨ð³ is holding on to the old map, while the rest of the world had moved on with the newly created international waters.
I'm not supporting this.
I'm just explaining the Why from the Chinese perspective & the sentiments ð¨ð³ has towards the Southern China Sea.
I guess ð¨ð³ may never budge until the U.N. actually change the name of that ocean and remove the name ð¨ð³ from it...
Nothing I am writing about here negates what's been happening in the contemporary Chinese political areana:
the cracking down on non-Han regions, the propagandic materials surrounding Tibet,
and occupation of islands outside the mainland.
I will never attempt to justify what ð¨ð³ does.
I don't live in ð¨ð³ and can voice my disagreement with what ð¨ð³ does from a distance.
Just as there are many conspiracy theorists around the world, there are huge populations throughout China and outside China that are very critical of the Communist Government.
There are Chinese that don't mind if Taiwan gets officially recognised as a nation-state;
there are Chinese that don't like what China has been doing with all the expansion projects. There are also many people in the world who don't care for nationalism, or agree with visas and borders, because they know what tragedies, injustice and prejudice often come with geopolitics.
I myself certainly wish my own country was perfect, but it certainly isnât. No country is.
At the same time, one canât expect a Communist nation-state to become 100% democratic.
And today there is growing communist actions taken on Western online platforms, which is totally not okay.
There are so many things in need of improvement and deep reflection everywhere.
how to draw the line and when to know to stand corrected, and to change for the better
is up to the country & the individual who can be they change they wish to see in the world.
3rd point :
Political Commentators and Policy-Makers and students of any nation really need to have some actual Civilisational understanding of ð¨ð³.
With over 50 ethnicities in ð¨ð³, the biggest and most domineering group is the Han.
I Am Han.
Us Han people aren't Violent aggressors with talls builds strong muscles and superior in the most sporty manners.
We are the scenery-appreciating family-loving bookworms, traditional medicine-scholars, gourmet-makers, tea-siappreciataors, mathematicians, university-professors, waterpaint with a soft-brush painters, å¤ç´ players, riddle-guessers and è¯è¯ composers.
We are the most life-loving war-hating kinda folks,
epicurean to the bones, peace-loving at the maximum end of the scale.
I know we also have had records of having to stand our ground and fighting back, cracking down on the invading enemies,
but throughout Chinese civilisation we aren't the conquering kind.
For the dynasties when the Chinese empire did expand at fast speed,
the Chinese empire was overtaken by the Khan and the Mongolians,
they weren't ruled by the boring soft-spoken Han.
Even though the Communist government manifests in quite some criticism-wanting ways,
I dare guarantee you,
ð¨ð³ won't invade ð¹ð¼.
Even in the case of ðð°, the Chinese central govt has already taken presence with a physical office in the city centre.
No matter what may come in the future, ð¨ð³ is not war-motivated.
We don't fancy war and we do not find war appealing to our ethnic spirit.
Last but not Least:
It is intellectually patronising to think of another cultural or civilizational group from the perspective of your own culture.
That is to say, don't consider things about ð¨ð³ from your own country's political/cultural perspective.
First, Chinese are Asians, and then we are East Asians,
and then we are Chinese.
There is so much to what makes "Chinese" unique
and a Chinese govt that is pretty much ethnically Han,
you have to go and learn to understand what all that means,
what goes on in the minds of a Chinese, to be able to understand Chinese political philosophy.
The least you CAN do I guess, is to read ä¸åå è®¡, The Art of War, for starters.
Without going into it further,
I just want to point out that China is not Chinese in a singular way,
we are Civilisationally Chinese .
There's a Lot that comes to that.
If you want to know how ð¨ð³ acts in the political arena,
try to approach ð¨ð³ at least from a rough Chinese stance.
The same goes for all other international political exchanges and ethnographic studies,
Don't think about the Persian matters from an Australia perspective,
Don't approach te ao Maori from a Pakeha stance.
That's the most Basic of basics, isn't it?
If you want to understand a Little bit about how Chinese Civilisational Culture,
how the civilisational culture influences Chinese economic and political behaviours,
Read When China Rules the World,
listen to Mr. Martin Jacques' honest self-reflective talk about the West's "mountain of ignorance" about ð¨ð³ and the importance of understanding the Civilisational History of ð¨ð³ here.
Go make friends with Chinese people,
go heart to heart with your Chinese friends,
have open discussions about things you may have doubts and questions about,
instead of taking wild guesses and making such ridiculous assumptions.
Ask whether a Chinese Govt will invade its own people...
What caught my attention about nhow hotels
is the architectural design of the hotel buildings.
The 1st nhow I booked
was actually the 2nd stop of my trip -
nhow Amsterdam Rai.
After I booked with nhow Amsterdam,
I decided to search for other nhow chains.
That's how I found nhow Berlin.
my 1st stay on this trip
became a brilliant 4-night stay in a River-View Room
which sits right by the beautiful, serene Spree,
that offers a gorgeous sight of Oberbaum Bruicke right from my bedroom window.
The hotel is only a 1-2min stroll to the Berlin Wall.
Its direct neighbor is the Universal Music Studio office.
There are endless choices of restaurangs and food stalls near the metro station,
which is 10min walk away from nhow.
It took me a 20min or so walk to see the Molecule Man sculpture
which sits on the other side of the Spree.
And as a health-food fan,
the nearest natural foods store Bio Company is but a 10-15min stroll from nhow,
it is on Skalitzer StraÃe.
You'd get to walk through a very lively neighborhood in Schelsisches Tor.
My favourite things about nhow Berlin were:
- there is a professional recording studio in the building;
- you can borrow electric guitars during your stay;
- I can take granny smith apples from the shelf opposite the reception;
- there is an enormous adult-sized candy dispensor ball at the lobby;
- the self-serve store is also at the lobby, you can grab cool drinks and snacks, and salads and sanitary products there;
- the elevators are all differently themed by music genre, which has a playlist in each elevator stall according to the assigned genre;
- The river-front entrance way comes with a silver chrome food-truck;
- There is a concert stage in the lobby;
- the Bar is circular, Star-Wars style, has a very plasticy film-set look;
- the gym is fully equipped and has a fridge filled with water for you to use;
I used the gym every night, and no one was there.
nhow Berlin has a retro rock n roll vibe in its design,
it gives off a I'm-super-cool vibe.
I always felt the design made me feel out-of-place when I walked in and out of there.
But I eventually ignored that feeling, and felt quite at home with being there after a few days.
It was definitely fun people watching there,
some people dressed in outrageous costumes, probably had just left a stage performance or about to get on stage for a gig or a TV show that was shot there.
This nhow hotel kicked off my trip with the coolest bang.
I will 100% come back and stay here on my next trip.
The location is prime and unbeatable as well!
âAnd the view is fantastic!
I took 4 taxi rides in and around Singapore.
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