UNDERSTANDING CHINA FROM A DISTANCE

chinese

Historically, China, unlike countries in the West like France, Spain, Germany, has not figured in any colonizing initiative.  China’s approach is always conducted more along commercial lines.  While invading armies of the West were continuously in search of territories to append to their mother country, China is even ahead in the exploration, reaching other countries through its enterprising merchants.  Even during the height of Roman conquest, the Chinese hardware was already a significant spot.  It has been said that those who sent the Lord Christ to the cross bought the steel nails from a Chinese stockpile in the area!

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Indeed, China’s civilization is superior to most advanced countries during the early times.  It has been said further that at a time when Europeans discovered wool and spoon, China’s ruling class was already clothed in flowing silk and eating on porcelain bowls and drinking from mineral studded gold chalices!  European naval military designers even copied their warships from China’s floating junks!

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China is an oriental country and its worldview different from its counterparts in the West.  Its great men, honored and held sacred were never the explorers or the warring kind.  They were the mystics, the philosophers, the contemplative kind.  They held the Buddha as its spiritual guide and Confucius as their ethical master.  If they were threatened, they would rather withdraw and check whether it is wise to indulge from the standpoint of economy and not from the standpoint of braggadocio.  It is better to lose face than money, as they say.

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The past was instructive for China.  They once were imported to fill manpower requirements of an aggressive colonizing and exploring countries.  The term “china man” was coined and derived to equate as dirt, poor and cheap labor.   The idiomatic expression “china man’s chance” means little or no chance at all.  If at all they would be forced to raise arms it is directed more against their local opponents, remember the factional dynasties in China, the Xia, the Shang, Zhou, Qin and not against other nations.  Big as their country was, there was even a period when Japan, a mere islet compared with vast China, was almost overtaken by the latter.  There are no records, current and extant which could point to an aggressive China.

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Even at a time when China has progressed and gained some opportunity to increase its strength through military industry and space science, it is not for them to use it that matters but on how they could sell and make something out of it that matters more.

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I am not a fan of China even if Chinese blood runs through the veins of the Philippine national hero.  Even if the progress of the country depended largely on the initiative of the local Chinese migrants.  China is strictly for Chinese only and the only influence that is worth appreciating is their culturally molded patience.  Collectively, they think in terms of generation than current events.  They think of long term plans than sudden perks.    They conduct commerce with a view of enlarging its sphere rather than concentrate on instant profit.  They would rather count cents on a consistent spread than count on a bagful of return if only to fizzle out in a jiffy.  I know of a  Chinese kid who was a child of a Chinese migrant in the country who bought empty bottles and used newspapers for a living and who eventually became a tycoon, owner of a chain of department stores, a score of industries including an airline!  He is John Gokongwei.

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During Martial Law, there was capital flight.  Local capitalists would rather ship their fortunes elsewhere than gamble it in a country torn almost into factions and about to explode in a civil war.  A Chinese merchant did not leave and instead went into full commercial gear.  There was a Chinese saying, “If there is blood on the street, buy properties.”  So there, this Chinaman did just that.  After the military rule, he was the richest man in the country.  His name is Henry Sy, owner of SM chains of superstores and a lot more.

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We can learn more about Chinese qualities but at most, we cannot proximate their tenacity.  At least, from our end we should never indulge or challenge them, but surely we can only appreciate.  They are fellow Orientals in the first place.

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About vjtesoro

A perpetual student of Corrections

Posted on June 27, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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