AMERICA : A CULTURE OF WAR
07/09/2019 08:15 am MYT
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As we reflect on the state of the nation and the state of the world in this new volume 31 of i Capital, we have so far identified three worrying phenomena: global warming, ultra-loose monetary policy and perpetual budget deficits. This week, we identify another worrying phenomenon that has remarkably stayed the same for a prolonged period.

 


"In the annual Gatherings of our Funds, Tan Teng Boo has been repeatedly saying that the US was already at war with China - no, not just at the trade level but at all non-military levels. Some participants were shocked at his disclosure."




At the beginning of this special series of articles, we asked ourselves if we were all truly living in a different world. Human beings like to talk about change, progress and development, but one cannot help but wonder at how much has fundamentally stayed the same. In the annual Gatherings of our Funds, Tan Teng Boo has been repeatedly saying that the US was already at war with China - no, not just at the trade level but at all non-military levels. Some participants were shocked at his disclosure. There was almost instant disbelief – how could the democratic freedom-loving United States be launching a war with draconian communist China ? Is it not the other way round, as the mainstream Western media would want all to believe ? Surely the CEO of Capital Dynamics had gotten it wrong, even though back in 2018 he took the trouble to explain in detail to participants the significance of Trump announcing America’s withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

 


"Withdrawing from the INF Treaty would allow the United States to compete with China in building similar weapons previously banned under the treaty."




Well, boy do we have some news for you. Last month, the United States formally withdrew from the 1987 INF Treaty with Russia, as the US military prepared to test a new non-nuclear mobile-launched cruise missile. The US withdrawal puts an end to a landmark arms control pact that has limited the development of ground-based missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Just to remind our subscribers again, America’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty is not about Russia - it is not even about nuclear weapons. As Tan Teng Boo explained last year, America’s decision was focused squarely on her war with China in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere. Withdrawing from the INF Treaty would allow the United States to compete with China in building similar weapons previously banned under the treaty. China has been doing this as part of her self-defence strategy as she is completely encircled by US military forces, from Japan and South Korea in the North down to Guam in the centre and Australia in the South.



As we reflect on the present state of the world, what has regrettably stayed the same in the last 70 odd years is the hostile, war-like attitude of the United States towards China. i Capital wrote about this very important issue, not just for the US and China but for the rest of the world too, very extensively in 5 weekly issues, starting from the issue dated 15/3/2018 and concluding with the issue dated 12/4/2018 We even received a not so pleasant email from a subscriber on 10 Apr 2018 at 4.06 am.

 


 

Dear Mr. Tan Teng Boo,
 
For 4 weeks, under the guise of "KOREA: THEN AND NOW ", in the content, very little about Korea, but more about China and USA. It is like BN, all the media TV3, UTUSAN and all major papers have been become the propaganda of BN. i
Capital newsletter is fast becoming the propaganda of the Communist China ……………...
 
I am also a Chinese, whose father came from China. I am proud of my heritage that Civilization started in few places in the world; Mesopotamia, Ganges and Indus river basins, and of course, the Huang River basin in China. But today, China is a different animal, after the Cultural Revolution.  No doubt, it will become an economy larger than US or EU, but the Chairman is fast becoming a tyrant. You know the history that once China booted out Buddhism because it was a foreign religion, and now Xi is persecuting the minority Wen Zhou Christians by forcing them to remove anything that is Jesus, either picture or the logo ---cross! Such draconian actions will not favor the people of China. The ghost of Mao Tse Dong is returning to China. Even the Tibetans call him the living Buddha now!
 
As an economic paper, why is i
Capital not commenting on the effects of GE14 on our Malaysian economy and markets ?
 
I think I am wasting my money and time buying i
Capital!
 reader,
Tan Lee Seng



In God I trust, not Tan Teng Boo!


 


"We said that in order to answer these difficult but vital questions and understand Trump’s America, we would have to take you back to the Korean War and the Korean Situation as these two issues are all tied up with America’s long-standing adversarial and combative attitude towards China."




i Capital started that exclusive 5-part analysis by asking: what kind of president is America presently led by? And what kind of America will the rest of the world have to deal with during Trump’s presidency ? We said that in order to answer these difficult but vital questions and understand Trump’s America, we would have to take you back to the Korean War and the Korean Situation as these two issues are all tied up with America’s long-standing adversarial and combative attitude towards China (the Korean War refers to the 1950-1953 war period; the Korean Situation refers to the overall situation, including 1950-1953, in the Korean peninsula from 1945 onwards). North and South Korea are important components of the long-held US strategy of containing China; that is, preventing the rise of an alternative mindset, philosophy and culture that threatens America’s domination of the world. If possible, the US would break China up entirely, once and for all.


 




We even wrote then should our subscribers find what we were writing back in 2018 to be being pro-China, pro-Chinese Communist Party and even pro-Xi Jinping and anti-America, if this is what our subscribers think, then we have failed miserably in our mission.


 


"We assume that what America or the West does is always right, what China, the Communist Party of China or Xi Jinping does is always wrong. The scariest part is that we do not even know we have been brainwashed by these Western media and entities."




Our purpose then and now is very straightforward and simple. We, meaning not just the Chinese but Asians in general, have been brainwashed by Western propaganda and media for far too long. The brainwashing is so serious and downright destructive that we always take whatever BBC or CNN reports or whatever The Economist or the New York Times writes as the gospel truth. We assume that what America or the West does is always right, what China, the Communist Party of China or Xi Jinping does is always wrong. The scariest part is that we do not even know we have been brainwashed by these Western media and entities. Horror of horrors.



These assumptions obviously do not reflect reality and a one-sided “the West is good, Communist China is bad” mindset is dangerous as we would never be able to achieve sustainable world peace. When someone like Tan Teng Boo writes about how ugly and nasty the US, the UK, et al can be, or how good or correct China, the Communist Party of China or Xi Jinping can be, they are accused of being a communist mouthpiece. Does the West have a monopoly on what is right ?



In our 2018 series, we showed an innocent sounding extract from Trump’s National Security Strategy : “For decades, U.S. policy was rooted in the belief that support for China’s rise and for its integration into the post-war international order would liberalize China. Contrary to our hopes, China expanded its power at the expense of the sovereignty of others. China gathers and exploits data on an unrivaled scale and spreads features of its authoritarian system, including corruption and the use of surveillance. It is building the most capable and well-funded military in the world, after our own. Its nuclear arsenal is growing and diversifying. Part of China’s military modernization and economic expansion is due to its access to the U.S. innovation economy, including America’s world-class universities.”



First, anyone who knows China’s history well enough would know that the first part of the statement about “support for China’s rise” is a cruel joke, but for someone who does not, it sounds so innocent and portrays the US as a true friend and supporter of China. What has China done in return? As Trump and his many other American politicians are fond of fabricating to the whole world, China has in return exploited America and cheated and stole from the US. Trump wants China to be “grateful” and open up her whole market to American companies.     


 


"The truth of the matter is that for decades the United States has been rooting against the rise of China and the integration of China with the global economy meant forcing her to operate under America’s sphere of influence and command."




The truth of the matter is that for decades the United States has been rooting against the rise of China and the integration of China with the global economy meant forcing her to operate under America’s sphere of influence and command. The truth of the matter is that China is still a developing country and America’s sole foreign policy objective was and is to contain China from rising above her dire poverty. General McArthur and president Truman even wanted to drop atomic bombs on China after World War 2. Where was America’s “support for China’s rise ?In the Korean War ? The Vietnam War ? China’s admission to the United Nations ? Hong Kong’s handover to the mainland or in the current Hong Kong protests ? When they openly and actively supported Taiwan and hypocritically said they adhere to the One China policy ? When China set up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ? Or in implementing the Belt and Road Initiative ?



Even the current trade war launched against China is not about trade; it is part of Trump’s overarching aim of making sure the United States stay the single supreme superpower. While countries like Germany and Japan have benefitted from China’s sustained rising import appetite, America has miserably failed to benefit from China’s huge import needs and is instead complaining non-stop (in Hokkien, we call it kow peh kow boh – that is, complaining non-stop ungratefully and when there are no valid reasons to do so) about China’s trade practices. China’s imports have exploded from only around US$160 bln in 2000 to more than US$2.1 trillion in 2018, making China the world’s second largest importer after the US. China has to import from someone – where were the American exports ? China may still be a closed economy in some senses, but she is an open economy in many other aspects.



More fundamentally, one needs to consider whether the current quarrel between America and China is only about trade. As i Capital has been arguing ever since Trump got into office, America’s intention towards China is much more devious than that. It is obviously very much tied up with America’s foreign policy towards a strategic competitor - that is, China.



In a very recent interview with South China Morning Post, Kishore Mahbubani expressed the same opinion as Tan Teng Boo’s. The former Singapore diplomat said that the ultimate goal of the United States trade war with China is to prevent her emerging rival from overtaking America as the world’s greatest economic power. “I think it’s now becoming clear that it’s not just a trade war … If it was purely a trade war, and if the US’ goal was to only reduce trade deficits with China, I think that problem could have been solved easily, because clearly China wants to have a constructive relationship with the US,” said Kishore Mahbubani.


 


"The team that Trump has been assembling is not one that will be used just for a trade war, otherwise Gary Cohn and Rex Tillerson should still be on board."




The team that Trump has been assembling is not one that will be used just for a trade war, otherwise Gary Cohn and Rex Tillerson should still be on board. Trump and his team are gearing for a lot more than trade and his ulterior motive is much more ambitious, much more comprehensive than just modifying the trade patterns with China and overhauling her trade practises. You do not need war-loving people like Bolton or Pompeo. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was a major witness during Bolton’s Senate UN ambassadorship hearing in 2005, has described Bolton as “the most dangerous American” for US foreign security policy and as someone who has extremely militaristic views. Pompeo, 54, is also known to be a China-basher. By now, it should be very clear to anyone with a thinking mind that Trump wants to tear up China.



It has been more than one year since we last wrote about the hostile, war-like attitude of the United States towards China. Since then, that attitude has worsened. We all know that the US Apprentice president lacks the knowledge, experience and temperament to manage America’s powerful foreign policy. As peace-loving people, we should be extremely worried over the make-up of Trump’s team. Our purpose in writing the exclusive 2018 5-part series in i Capital was to alert and warn all peace-loving people that America under Trump and his team of hawks is dangerous. In the first 2 parts of that unique series, we explained how America, her politicians, advisers and military figures reacted with the most unjustified paranoia, especially towards new, war-devastated China. That mad obsession led to the Korean War and the Vietnam War where millions of innocent Asians were massacred and their nations devastated. Are we now going to allow the United States to repeat the same inhumane mistakes against the same China ?



Thanks to McCarthyism, many Asian and China experts were kicked out in the Nineteen Fifties. McCarthyism made America completely ignorant of China. Regrettably, America in 2019 is still the same even though thousands of US companies are operating in China. Nowadays, anyone speaking favourably of China, or the Communist Party or Xi Jinping in any Western country is ostracised or not reported by the mainstream Western media. Even Kevin Rudd, Australia’s former prime minister has recently warned that his own country is heading towards McCarthyism when it comes to Australia’s relations with China. For those who love “freedom” and know what it really entails, McCarthyism is the precise opposite of that. McCarthyism resulted in many tragedies in the Fifties and Sixties and millions of innocent people in Asia being killed.




"The United States under Trump is on a global Chinese witch-hunt."

 



McCarthyism via Trump’s tweets is no less destructive. In his reply to senator Marco Rubio in a Feb 2018 hearing, FBI chief Christopher Wray said : “One of the things we’re trying to do is view the China threat as not just a whole-of-government threat, but a whole-of-society threat on their end ………..But when we open investigations into economic espionage, time and time again, they keep leading back to China.” Wray added: “And I think it’s going to take a whole-of-society response by us.” Yes, the US is attacking the entirety of Chinese society. The United States under Trump is on a global Chinese witch-hunt. The US is targeting Chinese companies, Chinese products, Chinese students, Chinese academicians and scientists, Chinese culture and anything and everything that is Chinese.

 



"President Coolidge said: “America should be kept American…Biological laws show that Nordics deteriorate when mixed with other races.” Trump is like a re-incarnation of Coolidge."





As i Capital wrote in the issue dated 29 Mar 2018, the past American presidents have been racist, horrible people even though all of them have been portrayed in a positive manner. President Coolidge said: “America should be kept American…Biological laws show that Nordics deteriorate when mixed with other races.” Trump is like a re-incarnation of Coolidge. Thomas Jefferson was supposed to have articulated the idea that all men are created equal and this phrase has been quoted by so many without them knowing the real meaning. At that time he owned 150 to 175 slaves, and by the time he died, he had 200 slaves. All men are created equal, except for those only worthy to be your slaves ? Andrew Jackson, the father of America’s modern Democratic Party, and the supposed champion of the common man (apparently only those of a certain colour), is infamously known as the Indian Killer. One year into presidency, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, forcing more than 46,000 Native Americans out of their homelands and sent them marching westward in order to create space for white settlements. The journey, known as the Trail of Tears, left thousands dead along the way due to cold, hunger, and disease. A Georgia soldier who was involved in the transfer shared: “I fought through the War Between the States and have seen many men shot, but the Cherokee Removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.”

 





Andrew Johnson supported the end of slavery but, unfortunately, was still a white supremacist. He wrote in 1866, “This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men.” The Chinese Exclusion Act was signed by President Chester Arthur on 6 May 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese.



Adding to his racism, Calvin Coolidge also signed the Immigration Act of 1924, limiting immigrants from countries believed to have “inferior” stock – particularly southern Europe and Asia. Coolidge like many other racist American presidents before and after him stated that, “America should be kept American………Biological laws show that Nordics deteriorate when mixed with other races.

 



"China’s political system and model and cultural values are different from the West. This does not mean it is a threat to anyone, although the Western politicians and media would want you to think so."




Trump is another one in the long line of White Supremacist American presidents. When the white-skinned stop compelling the yellow-skinned (and many others too) to be like them, only then will we all get to enjoy the rich diversity of humanity. China’s political system and model and cultural values are different from the West. This does not mean it is a threat to anyone, although the Western politicians and media would want you to think so. Western democracies like Great Britain, the USA, and France have committed some of the worst atrocities in human history. Queen Victoria of Britain stands out in particular.



Professor Daniel Bell wrote “No corporation or university would pick a top leader without substantial leadership experience of some sort, preferably in the same field. Yet political power is an exception: it’s fine to pick a leader with no prior political experience, so long as he or she has been chosen on the basis of one person, one vote.” In 2016, America has elected a president who has had sex with porn actress Stormy Daniels, who has to be paid US$130,000 in settlement for non-disclosure. The FBI had to raid the office of president Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen. In 2020, Trump wants to be re-elected as America’s president. No wonder Trump dare not read the moral philosophy of Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, and many more ancient Chinese philosophers. President Trump would be totally disqualified as a “Fit and Proper” person. The election nominating process and campaigns are only meant as platforms from which candidates can shout as loudly as they can and to bluff as convincingly as many voters as possible. The US Constitution lists only four requirements that make it very easy for one to qualify for presidency: be a natural-born citizen, be at least 35-years old, have lived in the United States for 14 years, and win a majority of votes in the Electoral College.  


 


"The United States remains a nation with an institutionalised culture of war. China is still a nation with a deeply ingrained culture of civilisation and peace."




The situation facing America and China nowadays is vastly different from the Fifties and Sixties. A few decades ago, the United States was primarily using military methods and strategies and crude propaganda to fight against China. America has now substantially widened her arsenal in her never-ending war against China, by using a sophisticated combination of economics, trade, education, culture, diplomacy and of course still retaining her propaganda and military strategies. At the same time, China now is more developed, wealthier, more open and promoting multilateralism across all fronts. Yet, the fundamentals have remained the same since 70 years ago. The United States remains a nation with an institutionalised culture of war. China is still a nation with a deeply ingrained culture of civilisation and peace.    



Although not commonly termed such, the United States is an empire and meets all qualifications to be considered as one, specifically an empire seeking economic, political, and cultural control of the world. As Anthony J. Marsella explained in “The United States of America: “A culture of war”, the US has “a worldwide system of military bases, an extensive military–industrial–congressional complex that shapes domestic and foreign policies and actions, and an extensive national security system that now endangers and threatens the legal rights of its own citizens.”



At the core of the brutal US Empire is a historic commitment to the beliefs of her “Manifest Destiny” and American “Exceptionalism.” Anthony J. Marsella believes that “the process and consequences of much of this are rooted in the existence of a U.S. ‘culture of war’ that dominates U.S. domestic and foreign policies, and their destructive implementation across the world.” Marsella explained that a culture of war is “an interlocking system of national meanings, beliefs, behaviors, institutions, and identities that consider violence and war necessary and justifiable in the pursuit of U.S. hegemonic global interests.” Trump and his team continue to build this culture of war in a country that has been continuously at war since the earliest days of its formation as a nation.



In his interesting book “Anatomy of Failure: Why America loses Every War It Starts”, Harlan Ullman wrote insightfully: “Few Americans are even aware of or concerned over how long this nation has been engaged in armed conflict over recent decades. It is quite a staggering length of time for a country that prides itself on its “exceptionalism” and its “peaceful” efforts to spread democracy around the globe. The most worrying possibility is that this propensity to start wars and use force for the wrong reasons may now be deeply embedded in the nation’s DNA.


 



 



He added: “In identifying and dissecting reasons for these failures, we ask: Why over the past decades have successive administrations of both parties, despite asserting that force was a last resort, too often turned to force as the first resort of policy, ignoring or marginalizing other tools of government ?



“If there is no intention to go to war, does deterrence have any meaning ?” asked Harlan Ullman. America works on the presumption that every country wants to go to war, that every country is looking for a fight, that every communist party is an anachronistic stooge of the former Soviet Union. The world has changed since Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. One can safely say there is no 100% communist country in existence now, not even North Korea. Maybe it is the unique American gun-slinging or cowboy heritage that is to blame but such a ridiculous presumption can only arise from the fact that “America has been plagued by an absence of cultural intelligence.” To the Vietnamese, the Vietnam War was never about democracy versus communism. The Korean War was also not about democracy versus communism. It was about nationalism, about the people of a once united nation wanting to be one again. Why would the Communist Party of Vietnam or North Korea care whether communism succeeds all over the world or not ? They are only interested in reuniting and rebuilding their devastated nation. The same applies to the Communist Party of China. Mao Zedong was only focused on rebuilding a strong and united China.



America extrapolates the progress China has made in the last 40 years. At this rate, by 2050 or 2060, China will be equal to the US or even surpass her as a global power. After arriving at that conclusion, America, and one can safely say all the other Western countries too, does another simple and totally naïve extrapolation – that is, when China’s economy gets to be bigger than America, communist China will behave in ways that are similar or most likely much worse than what the United States has done in the last century. America and the other Western countries visualise all kinds of horrors: imagine a global power larger than the United States, a non-Western, non-Christian nation governed by the authoritarian China’s Communist Party.


 


"If the world during the time of the booming Silk Road had followed Lighthizer’s brazenly anti-China policy, Europe and the US would still be living in the dark ages."




US officials said they would take aim at 10 key sectors identified by China in the “Made in China 2025” plan. These include robotics, aerospace, maritime and modern rail equipment, electric vehicles and more. In addition to tariffs, America under Trump has imposed new restrictions on Chinese investment in similar sectors. Lighthizer warned that the US cannot afford a situation where China can go out and buy US technology in a variety of ways that are troubling to America. Mr Anti-China Lighthizer told a congressional hearing that “These are things that if China dominates, it’s bad for the world.” How can this be ? China has dominated so many technologies in her long history and she has never invaded other countries. If the world during the time of the booming Silk Road had followed Lighthizer’s brazenly anti-China policy, Europe and the US would still be living in the dark ages. China at that time was the world’s largest economy with advanced science and technology as well as superior and proven public governance. Europe and, later on, the US, immensely benefitted from the sharing of China’s material, educational, political and cultural wealth.


 



 



Tan Teng Boo says again that there are no valid reasons for America or any country to fear China, even communist China. We should in fact restrain the United States, a country with an entrenched culture of war, instead of China, a peaceful civilisation that had to build the Great Wall, the world’s greatest infrastructure, purely for defensive purposes. America has to be restrained because she is the most powerful country and has no qualms whatsoever about using force for whatever reason. America has to be restrained because she has time and again mistakenly viewed China as her number one threat and has been proven wrong time and again as well. Listen to Robert McNamara and learn from past mistakes:



“The irony of this gap was that it existed largely because the top East Asian and China experts in the State Department - John Paton Davies, Jr., John Stewart Service, and John Carter Vincent [and Edmund Clubb] - had been purged during the McCarthy hysteria of the 1950s. Without men like these to provide sophisticated, nuanced insights, we - certainly I - badly misread China's objectives and mistook its bellicose rhetoric to imply a drive for regional hegemony (our emphasis). We also totally underestimated the nationalist aspect of Ho Chi Minh's movement. We saw him first as a Communist and only second as a Vietnamese nationalist....”



“Such ill-founded judgments were accepted without debate by the Kennedy Administration, as they had been by its Democratic and Republic predecessors. We failed to analyze our assumptions critically, then or later. The foundations of our decision making were gravely flawed.”

 

[Source: http://www.writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/50s/mcnamara-on-china.html].

 

Trump and team do not realise it or may be do not believe in it but the political, economic, cultural, and moral costs of her culture of war have diminished the moral authority of the US. The Trump administration cannot simply go out and invent the pretext for another war in someone else’s country again. With the now openly declared war against China and nearly everything Chinese, the risk of this happening is very high unless the US addresses a critical defect – they do not have “China capability, linguistic capability, understanding of Chinese contemporary politics and history."  And as i Capital rightly advised in 2018, we would add to this critical list of defects an accurate understanding of ancient Chinese philosophy and culture. To put in Anthony J. Marsella’s words, “The USA must establish itself as a “culture of peace” by pursuing a new set of cultural ethos.” How can the United States achieve this reformation ?



The United States can transform her culture of war to a culture of peace by understanding and learning from China, yes, even communist china.


 


"This justification of ignorance is seen not only in Trump and his team but across most American politicians, from Pelosi to Rubio to McConnell to Schumer and a lot more. They do not even know what they do not know."




First, the dominant academic culture in the US traces back to the Britain and Europe, and due to cultural ignorance and arrogance, the ancient Chinese philosophers were not taught to, and thus not read by, the succeeding American generations. As professor Eric Schwitzgebelexplained: “Ignorance thus apparently justifies ignorance: Because we don't know their work, they have little impact on our philosophy. Because they have little impact on our philosophy, we believe we are justified in remaining ignorant about their work.” This justification of ignorance is seen not only in Trump and his team but across most American politicians, from Pelosi to Rubio to McConnell to Schumer and a lot more. They do not even know what they do not know.



As i Capital shared in 2018, the ignorance even amongst so-called learned Americans is atrocious. The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia expressed a common misconception about Chinese philosophy, dismissing it as the “mystical aphorisms of fortune cookies". Scalia went on to denigrate Chinese philosophy as nothing but “poetry or inspirational pop-philosophy” that lacks “logic and precision.” (Scalia was one of the most influential conservative justices in US history and was the longest-serving justice on the US Supreme Court). Scalia uses his abysmal ignorance to pass judgement on something that he cannot even begin to understand. Scalia is essentially telling us that Chinese people are empty-headed. Scalia does not even know “fortune cookies” are not Chinese. What an idiot. Chinese philosophy is actually rich in persuasive argumentation and careful analysis – it just presents its theories and conclusions using a framework alien to the West.



So, here we are. We have in America, who calls herself the world’s most advanced country, one that prides herself on being democratic, creative, open and freedom loving, contemptuously ignoring China’s best minds for some 3,000 years and then continuously accusing China of being the aggressor. The US needs more people like Charlie Munger. In the USC Law Commencement speech, Munger shared: “In all my life I’ve admired Confucius.”


 


"Some think that China invented a unique and distinctive moral code without theological foundations two times: in classical China under Confucianism, then again under communism in 1949. This would show that there are ways of being human and living in successful and harmonious communities that do not require theism."




Many scholars think that Chinese philosophy represents proof of a successful moral society sustained without a belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in a personal god as creator which is found in the Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This idea that the Chinese are morally resolute but non-theistic goes back to the turn of the 17th century, when Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit scholar, reached Beijing. Eventually the idea of morality without religious foundations was cited approvingly in the writings of Voltaire and many other Enlightenment thinkers. Some think that China invented a unique and distinctive moral code without theological foundations two times: in classical China under Confucianism, then again under communism in 1949. This would show that there are ways of being human and living in successful and harmonious communities that do not require theism. [Source: The Philosophical Challenge from China – Brian Bruya]. Despite international scholars admiring and respecting the Chinese’s long established distinctive moral philosophy, the shallow American politicians keep spreading lies to the world about China.



Mencius said, “A true king uses virtue and benevolence, a hegemon uses force under the pretext of benevolence.” Let us first consider the idea of the hegemon. According to Mencius’s saying, a hegemon uses force to attack others in the name of benevolent justice. This kind of war is an unjust war. [Source: Confucian Political Ethics]. Trump’s Make America Great Again is in reality a hegemon using force to attack others in the name of benevolent justice.



Confucius said: “You are here to govern; what need is there to kill ? If you desire the good, the people will be good. The moral power of the exemplary person is the wind, the virtue of the common person is grass. Under the wind, the grass must bend.” [Source: Confucian Political Ethics]. Likewise, Mao Zedong said: “We Communists are like seeds, and the people are like the soil. Wherever we go, we must unite with the people, take root and blossom among them.” [Source: The Governance of China, Xi Jinping, Volume 1]. Frankly, would a tweeting president ever understand such profound sayings ? He would in all likelihood spell Confucius as confusion.



In the said interview, Kishore Mabubani pointed this fact out. China is the only great power today that has not fired a single bullet across its borders in 30 years and not fought an inter-state war in 40 years. By contrast, even under the peaceful American presidency of Barack Obama, the United States dropped 26,000 bombs on seven countries in 2016. In addition, Kishore wryly commented that the US in the late 19th century, especially under president Theodore Roosevelt, was already bullying and conquering countries and declaring countless wars. In contrast, China has a culture of peace that is deeply embedded in her people, ingrained in them more than 2,500 years ago.  



The backdrop is eerie. America’s institutionalised discrimination, worsening US-China trade relations, a declining America led by a jingoistic Apprentice, facing a China that is fast improving and winning more friends and allies. Is America embarking on World War 3 with China ?



It started with the Korean Situation and the Korean War. From 1950 to 1954, the United States embarked on the creation of an unparalleled series of massive military bases and strategic alliances across the world, in particular Asia - motivated by rising communism worldwide and the humiliating defeat in the Korean Situation. Treaty after treaty was signed and alliances made with all kinds of governments, many of which were sponsored by the CIA. It did not matter that they were authoritarian, undemocratic, as long they were pro-America. A Jan 1965 memorandum by US defense secretary Robert McNamara to president Johnson stated that the aim of the Vietnam War was "not to help a friend, but to contain China".


 



 



On 3 Nov 1965, McNamara sent another memorandum to president Johnson explaining the rationale behind the bombing of North Vietnam in Feb 1965 - it was to support a long-established United States policy to contain China. McNamara accused China of harbouring imperial aspirations like those of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan (do these not sound similar to the current war cries against China from the Trump administration ?) According to this American war-lover, the Chinese were conspiring to "organize all of Asia" against the United States. China in the Fifties and Sixties was a very poor and backward country. She was even militarily dependent on the Soviet Union. If China had the might, power and lunacy of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan at that time, America would have been devastated. The religious myopia of America blinded them from seeing China wanting to progress and develop peacefully instead of a communist country out to challenge America and change the world. The same applies to China under president Xi Jinping.



The American Century, as announced by the pro-Taiwan Henry Luce in 1941, has seen a never-ending increase in America’s defence spending – uncontrolled, spiralling upwards, with president Trump proposing to go further still. Trump has declared that ‘a strong military is more important than a balanced budget’ and that defence is not a budget item. Short of an actual war, you cannot be more aggressive than this.



We are told endlessly that the United States is a land of freedom, a nation of democracy where human rights are protected. Why then is America so war-like ? Why is America so frightened of being attacked? A Malaysian told the CEO of Capital Dynamics that it is because the US has many enemies. How observant. Kishore Mahbubani shared this story: “In several regions I have visited, including the Middle East and Africa, local observers marvel at the linguistic skills of the Chinese diplomats sent to their countries. While Chinese diplomats walk around freely without escort, American diplomats live and work in fortress-like compounds, and venturing outside only rarely and with great care in many countries.”



In 1949, America wanted to destroy a weak and poor but still-proud China. Be it through Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Kennedy, Ford, Clinton, the 2 Bushes, Obama or today’s Trump, America’s foreign policy has always been anti-China. Has any American or anyone else for that matter ever asked why this is so? Has China ever attacked the US? Did China ever invade America or any of her far flung islands? China has never even invaded Japan, which is much smaller and nearer. Now that China is stronger, America uses the excuse of the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea to encircle China and to do that, we all need to gang up together against China (and spineless Britain, France, Australia, and Japan quickly fall in line). America, why do you want to destroy China all the time?



President Trump is now raising the ratchet in America’s long embedded anti-China strategy. Under president Trump, America’s culture of war has become cruder, blunter, bolder and even more dangerous than before. Trump is targeting China, a country that has never invaded or attacked the United States. President Xi Jinping recently advised the West: “The Chinese people’s sincere wish and practical action to contribute to the peace and development of humanity should not be misinterpreted, nor should it be distorted.” No one is threatening America’s security or interest. President Xi Jinping is right in saying: “Only those who are used to threatening others will see others as a threat to them.”



It was not just Mao Zedong who wanted China’s development and rejuvenation to be a peaceful and harmonious one. China under Deng Xiaoping had no intention to go to war either. The same applies to Xi Jinping. America’s foreign policy aim in containing or deterring “communist” China was and is totally meaningless. The American politicians do not understand the Chinese psyche. The Chinese do not blame America or Japan or Europe for being strong; the Chinese blame themselves for being weak and want to make sure they do not repeat such mistakes ever again. To do that, they need to re-unite, re-build and re-juvenate China and the Chinese people. A strong China in this context does not translate into an aggressive and expansionist China. This is where the American politicians and advisers got China totally wrong, either out of sheer ignorance or intentionally or both.



The United States has not changed. She is still led by racist, war loving presidents. Trump epitomises the worst of America and he has his like-minded team to back him up. As i Capital wrote in 2018, the United States of America has a clear strategy to destroy China, either in an outright manner or by converting her to a Western democracy, a Christian country or, better yet, both.



The People’s Republic of China was only formed in 1949 and the Communist Party of China was desperately trying to stabilise the conflict-stricken nation and lay the foundation for recovery. China was exhausted, mired in abject poverty and in no state for any kind of conflict. The US air force already boasted advanced F-86 Sabre jet fighters and its long-range B-29 bombers were ubiquitous - the B-29 bomber was used to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. China’s People’s Liberation Army’s first organised air unit was formed in Jul 1949 – it was very poorly equipped as it only consisted of six P-51s, two Mosquitoes, and two PT-19s (all pathetic propeller-driven, American-made). The People's Liberation Army Navy was only formed in Sep 1950.



Despite massive support from the people in China, president Truman simply would not take Mao Zedong seriously, referring to him disparagingly as ‘Mousie Dung’. Truman, Acheson and the Joint Chiefs “simply thought - mistakenly and imprudently - that China was engaging in a poker game; that it was bluffing; that it was weak; that it was ‘barely a working state’.” [Source: Michael Pembroke]. American historian William Stueck was right on the dot when he wrote that their attitude was of “combined arrogance, condescension and naiveté”, a list to which Michael Pembroke added ‘racism’.



The United States refused to accept the legitimacy of China. The United States denigrated the People’s Republic of China and refused to recognise her status. “When Zhou Enlai extended his hand to US Secretary of State Dulles, the latter turned his back, refused to shake it and walked away. It was an astonishing display of disrespect by Dulles.” [Source: Michael Pembroke].



Despite all the above obstacles, China has transformed, progressed and developed. Trump’s attitude towards China shows that the obsolete policy of the US towards China has remained the same over the last 70 years.




"China’s successful transformation has been due to the hard work, creativity and determination of the Chinese people and government. In the last 70 years, the US has never failed to treat China as an enemy – the only question was whether it was an enemy to be tolerated or an enemy to be de-capacitated."

 



The narrative from Washington on US-China relations has always been that the US has benevolently been helping China over the decades to grow and develop successfully. Without US support in this process, China would not be where she is now. This pro-US narrative is obviously based on America’s creative fiction and with the assistance of the mainstream Western media. The truth of the matter is totally different. China’s successful transformation has been due to the hard work, creativity and determination of the Chinese people and government. In the last 70 years, the US has never failed to treat China as an enemy – the only question was whether it was an enemy to be tolerated or an enemy to be de-capacitated. We need to remember that over the last 70 years, China was for the main part, a big but weak country. In the 2018 5-part series on “Korea: Then and Now”, we said that in order to understand Trump’s America, Tan Teng Boo will have to take you back to the Korean War and the Korean Situation as these two issues are all tied up with America’s long-standing adversarial and combative attitude towards China. For subscribers who want to have a better and deeper understanding of America’s current hostile policy towards China, it is necessary to read that very long 5-part series. Hopefully, one will have a better insight into why the US would want to break China up entirely, once and for all.


 



 



Now, the US has to deal with a China that is strong enough to be more than a mere nuisance to the world’s only super power. In the coming years, China’s economy will continue to grow and develop. Her scientific capabilities technological advances and military force will strengthen further. China is already a leading high-tech country. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, China filed only one patent application in 1993; last year it filed 53,345 applications, second only to US-based filings of 56,142. In addition, Shenzhen University and South China University of Technology surpassed Harvard University in 2018 in terms of the number of patent applications. Hardly anyone outside China has heard of these two universities. China has also been quietly dealing with her environmental situation and her approach has been implemented across all fronts, not half-heartedly. While China’s emphasis on electric cars and solar and wind energy are pretty well-known, she is doing a lot more than this. For example, the planting of trees and successful greening of the country has gone unnoticed as the net change in leaf area shows (figure 1). Few mainstream Western media report this progress by China.


 




 



 


 

When China’s GDP per capita reaches US$50,000, China’s economy will have a size of around US$70 trillion. This will be bigger than the entire global economy of 2016. That is enormous. In absolute terms, America’s military spending is presently more than 3 times that of China. On a per capita basis, America’s military spending is 12-13 times higher than that of China. If China’s military spending reaches the same per capita level as the US, China will be spending more than US$2.5 trillion. China will have 76 aircraft carriers roaming the oceans and seas.


 



 



The CEO of Capital Dynamics conducted a one-day seminar on the i Capital Long Boom in 2007. In this unusual seminar where he explained his long-term bullishness on China, Tan Teng Boo also presented the major obstacles facing China’s growth and development. He cited the US, Europe and Japan as very major obstacles. He said they are “very strong, powerful and smart competitors” and that they deploy very powerful Western propaganda to block China’s progress at every step, at every possible opportunity. These have all unfolded and will continue to do so for a long time.


 



 



Tan Teng Boo also explained that China faces complex globalisation and with internal and external pressures at the same time, she hardly has any breathing space. As we all can now see with the Trump administration’s hard line approach towards China, there is no margin for error at all in China’s journey of rejuvenation. With Trump’s tariffs launching an attack on leading Chinese companies and Chinese scientists, “complex globalisation” is an understatement.


 


"On the other hand, if the US wakes up and reforms and starts to build a culture of peace, the global economy will boom and the global community will be able to live in peace forever."




In the next 70 years, not only will the US have to co-exist peacefully with a much stronger China, she will also have to play second fiddle to an economy that will be much bigger than the US, with a nation boasting scientific and technological achievements that will bring back China’s glorious past as the world’s science and technology leader and a military that is world class. If the US maintains her culture of war, the global community will be threatened endlessly with military conflicts and will have to choose sides. As the US and China decouple, what kind of turbulent world will we live in? On the other hand, if the US wakes up and reforms and starts to build a culture of peace, the global economy will boom and the global community will be able to live in peace forever. The Americans do not have to listen to China; the Americans just have to follow the advice of the former US president John Adams, who wisely said:


 


 



“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”


 


"China has gone through the different stages John Adams described and has reached the stage where the children will paint, study poetry, etc a very, very long time ago."




China has gone through the different stages John Adams described and has reached the stage where the children will paint, study poetry, etc a very, very long time ago. If the US wakes up and reforms and starts to build a culture of peace, then, the coming generation of Americans will have “a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.” With this latter positive outcome most unlikely to happen in the US anytime soon, the next 70 years will, at best, see a testy and confrontational relationship between the US and China.



At the beginning of this special series, we wrote about how amazing it is that so much has stayed the same since i Capital was started in 1989. We also observed that it is no less amazing that so much has fundamentally changed. We have been asking ourselves if we are all living in a different world. In the coming issues of Volume 31, we will continue to reflect on the state of the nation and the state of the world as we explore disruptions and technological changes, and changes in investing, economy and society.



THE KLSE



The local and global economic data has been mixed and confusing. For every positive, there is a negative. The resumption of trade talks between China and the US is positive; the continued political mayhem in Britain over Brexit is a negative. i Capital retains its immediate-term outlook of the KLCI at a range of 1,500 to 1,650 and repeats its warning that the KLCI risks plunging further. i Capital retains its bearish short-term outlook at a range of 1,300 to 1,500. The bearish medium-term outlook of i Capital is preserved with a target of 700/800. As i Capital has continuously warned, Malaysia faces a fluid and uncertain political landscape for the next 5 to 10 years. Based on Malaysia‘s political developments after the 2018 general election, we are even more convinced now that the next 5 to 10 years will be a difficult but crucial phase for Malaysia’s development. i Capital is retaining its long-term outlook as highly uncertain.


 

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Note from Publisher
i Capital will not be published for the issue dated 19 – 25 Sep, 2019. However, during this period, www.icapital.biz will be updated as usual. Our office’s operating hours will not be affected. Volume 31, number 6 of i Capital will hence be dated 26 Sep – 2 Oct, 2019.

The haze is back. According to the Department of Environment’s Air Pollutant Index (API), the API readings have reached unhealthy levels in many parts of Malaysia; some have even reached “very unhealthy” levels. This health hazard has plagued Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore for decades. Although forest fires caused by extreme dry weather play a part in the problem, the habit of Indonesian farmers using fire to clear land has been the main culprit. While the Amazon rainforest fires have caught global attention and the Brazilian government was under heavy criticism from the global community, the Indonesian government has received much kinder treatments from her neighbours and indiffercne from the global community. Apart from apologising, the Indonesian government really needs to put a stop to this perennial health and safety hazards that have been affecting millions of people.

Meanwhile, shareowners of icapital.biz Bhd are reminded to attend the 15th AGM on 21 Sep at the Sime Darby Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
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