Friday, September 10, 2010

The enigma that China is - Part I

To be able to deal with China effectively one has to know that country well. How much do I know of China - let me see. 

I know that China with 1.35 billion people is the most populous country in the world, that the Han race makes up for about 92 per cent of the population, that its land area is over 3 million square miles but it is largely desert or semi-desert except the eastern one third of the country, that till the 18th century contributing about one-fourth to the world's GDP China was the richest country in the world, that it was the world's leading technological power before the industrial revolution in west Europe having invented silk, paper and gun powder, that it had a truly blue-ocean navy in the 17th century that could have dominated the world had a navel gazing emperor not ordered it back to the home ports and then to burn down all its ships, that China suffered great humiliation in the 19th and early 20th centuries because of the European powers' gun boat diplomacy, that the Japanese raped and ravaged the country before and during the World War II, that it became free in 1949 after a prolonged armed struggle by the Mao-tse Tung led Chinese Communists against the forces of the Kuomitang, that Mao ruled the country with an iron hand as his and the communist Party's dictatorship, that he tried to industrialise the country rapidly sacrificing agriculture leading to millions dying due to the man-made famine, that through the Cultural Revolution of the late 'sixties he struck at the intelligentsia sending them to the villages to do hard physical labour, that after Mao's death in 1976 Deng Xiao Ping gave the farmers the rights to the land tilled by them, that by saying "Do not see the colour of the cat as long as it catches mice" Deng reduced the ideology's importance, that in 1980 he opened Shenzen special economic zone with liberal labour and tax laws, that with Shenzen started the golden era of China's manufactured exports, that the Chinese GDP has been growing at an average of 10% per year from 1980 to the present day, that its GDP is now next only to the U.S.', that China now has forex reserve of US$3 trillion and it is increasing at the rate of hundreds of billions every year, that it is known as the world's factory, that China is scouring the rest of the world for raw materials and fuels to feed its factories and galloping economy, that in the process of re-industrialising as if with a vengeance China neglected and abused its natural environment, that it is the world's biggest producer of global warming gases, that the China has the world's largest standing army, that for 46 years it has been a hydrogen bomb power, that it has a large number of ICBMs and IRBMs aimed at the U.S., west Europe, India, Japan and some others, that it has a modern blue-ocean navy including nuclear powered and armed submarines, that it has been a nuclear proliferator for long having helped Pakistan and North Korea become nuclear powers, that China considers India its rival in Asia and won't mind humiliating it again as it did in 1962 by giving it a sound military defeat, that China has surrounded India on all sides by having military or military-capable bases in Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Srilanka and Pakistan, that it considers Jammu and Kashmir as an internationally disputed territory but Gilgit, Baltistan and the Pak-occupied Kashmir as Pakistan's, that it regards Indian state Arunachal Pradesh as southern Tibet and hence a part of China, that four of the Chinese universities have been adjudged among the world's best fifty this year, that the Chinese civil, electrical and telecom engineering capabilities can be considered among the world's best, that the Chinese are a very homogeneous and most determined people and they are extremely proud of their country calling it the middle country, that the Chinese have some respect for India as the home of the Buddha.

The rest in the next post!


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