October 1 commemorations are now in the rear-view mirror, but there remains much excavation left to perform on the event and China’s self-interpretation.
One very important aspect of the celebrations and Xinhua/CCTV’s emphasis therein was on unity and harmony with Taiwan. Major goals of CCP foreign policy since the inception of the state — should nto be suprising. Xinhua outlets excitedly reported on their cooperation in broadcasting the celebration to Taiwan television and internet media. Comments on this story on the Huanqiu Shibao BBS included a combination of scary and cute things, for instance, this comment:
台湾,妈妈60大寿了。你快回来吃饭吧！[Taiwan, mama has now reached her grand age of 60. Why don’t you quickly come home and eat!]
and the rather stirring, almost classical/statesmanlike comment:
六十冬夏与春秋，共渡时艰并喜忧，今朝神州庆华诞，明日中国傲全球。[For 60 winters and summers, and spring and autumns, we have together traversed both love and melancholy. In this era, we Chinese celebrate the birth of the Shenzhou rocket, and tomorrow’s China gives pride to all the world.]
– Note: One of the last characters in this comment, 傲 (proud / ao 4), can also mean “overbearing and arrogant” — I haven’t seen it used before as a verb; would welcome criticism or direction from other readers of the blog such as the Sinophone Beijing Sounds, who, come to think of it, might recommend that I add a splash of 儿 to 傲, making the Northern orientation of the Huanqiu editors plain.
What is surprising is how much Taiwan has been internalizing and channeling this vision of a great China. For instance, television commentators on Taiwan were simply oozing triumphalism recently, describing how Taiwan-China harmony makes South Korea really jealous. In the hot market for superconductors and flat screen TVs, they argue, Taiwan’s increased access to the mainland market gives ROK companies fits. Moreover, in comparing states divided by the Cold War, the PRC has thrived as a trading partner, while South Korea is saddled with the toxic bag of sharp irons that is North Korea.
And not only does Taiwan reject a visa for Xinjiang independence activist Ribiya Khadeer, they now backpedal from having invited the Dalai Lama (sorry, Beijing!) and now reject Li Hongzhi’s visa application to come to visit his many Falun Gong adherents on the isle of Taiwan. And the reason is explicitly stated that “we don’t want to anger China.”
I’m not crazy about Li Hongzhi and have even translated for a group of anti-cult scholars who came to learn about deprogramming with the amazing Paul Martin at Wellspring in Ohio, but is he really that dangerous? What is the Epoch Times going to do if they have to denounce both China and Taiwan?
(“By the way,” the followers whisper to me at the Michigan truck stop,” have you heard of the “Eight Commentaries on the Communist Party? Would you care for some literature on CCP organ harvesting of our followers?” No, thanks! But I’m glad you can be counted on to meditate outside of the PRC consulate in Manhattan, because it means we still mostly have freedom of speech. Anyway…)
And so, with reference to Taiwan, the PRC fuels the pride, saying, for instance, these really complementary things about Taiwan’s commitment to Confucius studies. No wonder we don’t want to discuss our destruction of the Four Olds these days! It might interfere with the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.
Meanwhile, the Chinese press has been on the warpath with India; relations have been not so good of late. Just before October 1, Huanqiu Shibao filed this report on India’s grand vision to outstrip the U.S. and China in nuclear energy by 2050. Then Huanqiu ran an extensive photo retrospective on the 1962 Sino-Indian border war. Comments on the latter story included 流亡藏人真悲哀，土地被阿三占了，现在还沦为阿三的帮凶！ and 我们不是光西藏的师上去了，是丁盛丁大胆带队上的．丁盛后来任广州军区司令员，八大军区对调后任南京军区司令员 and 我国只出动了西藏小小的几个师就把印度吓到举国武装…
Forget the Chinese civil war! We need to protect the Himalayas from the BJP! (cue CCP rhetoric on India, as per JustRecently recently)…
Which requires that I take drastic countermeasures on this Himalayan blog post, staying out of the reach of the Zarathustrans
….and DROP A BEAT on it…
CCP and BJP get tangled in the ether
14,000 meters, it’s getting clearer
the struggle in the Himalayas knows no prophylactic
it’s hacked beyond the ventricles of altitude and ski wax
Do you really want to refight your version of the Afghan war?
the Finland-Soviet winter conundrum you’ve been dying for?
organize the troops to defend a line named McMahon
this ain’t the Super Bowl shuffle, it’s a n Aksai Chin rumble in a icy garbage can
in 1962, you neither were atom-splitters
your GDP was non-aligned, not much for foreign givers
East Pakistan was hanging on by a sea-borne thread
but you had to clash, Nehru bashed against the red
the non-aligned in time would find a split, and Chengdu mobilized
the Dalai Lama, Dharamsala, goal to tantalize
the documents of this jumble not to full release
unlike the mortars celestial, 西游记 increase
cos when the BJP and Congress get themselves all full aflutter
the CCP gets sour, the mouth lined with stale yak butter
it’s fodder for imperialists, it’s fodder for your peeps
McMahon line increase the peace? better beep imperial digits:
[Beat stops. Sound of a door open, bicycle whizzing by, a street. The strong warbling voice of an elderly lady, Cockney accent, emerges:] O Gordon! Gordon Brown! Time to come home! Mummy’s calling! It’s dinnertime! And, Gordon, bring your Sharpie! Your friends brought a map and daddy’s at his cirrhosis treatment!
[Outro with record skratch, a scitar scale, and a Dalai Lama byte on forgiveness overlaid by Nehru pontificating with a vertical wash of Mao proclaiming the republic 成立了.]