Hillary Clinton was rubbing salt into the wound when she told Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday (May 4) that relations between their two countries were the strongest they had ever been, after the US Embassy took part in a covert operation to help a blind activist to escape. The Wang Lijun incident in Chongqing has undoubtedly provided the idea and inspiration for the US administration and Chinese dissidents to use their "safest place" in Beijing to launch the covert operation in China.
Nowadays Chinese citizens are free to travel anywhere in the world. Many Chinese students have gone to Europe, the US, Japan, Russia and other countries to study. The majority of them are top students in overseas universities with no dearth of jobs waiting for them in top international companies even before their graduation. They do not need to seek political asylum overseas as their talents are demanded everywhere. The whole world has become their land of opportunity.
However, there are still a great number of Chinese who are poor, uneducated or not so well-educated. Seeing a growing number of their countrymen travelling around in limousines and living in high-rise condominiums, they would certainly wish to join the ranks of the rich and famous in China.
Unfortunately, the name for the United States in Chinese means "The Beautiful Country" as compared to the derogatory Japanese name which means "The Rice Country". To most Chinese who have little knowledge of America, particularly its early history of genocide against the Native Americans, the US is always "The Beautiful Country" or a sort of "Paradise on Earth" or the land of opportunity where they can pursue the (dying?) American Dream.
In a speech at Beijing Foreign Studies University in September, US Ambassador Gary Locke told students of the rise of his family’s fortunes over the last 110 years in the US. According to him, his grandfather’s generation worked as coolies and now he is counselor to the US President.
The following are excerpts from his speech:
I’ve sometimes asked myself:
How did the Locke family go in just two generations from living in a small rural village in China to the governor’s mansion?
The answer is American openness – building and sustaining an open economy and an open society.
America was open to my grandfather and millions of other immigrants like him, coming to its shores to pursue a better life.
America was open to my father staking his small claim to the American dream, a small grocery store that he and my mother worked in seven days a week, 365 days a year to support our family.
And the America I was raised in was open to new ideas, where I was allowed to think what I wanted to think and say what I wanted to say…to join organizations that could question or challenge American government policy.
Our family’s story is the story of America.
Tens of millions of American families have travelled the same path as ours. They’ve found success through their own hard work and initiative, but it was only possible because:
•they lived in an open, vibrant society that rewarded individual initiative;
•allowed dissent and disagreement;
•and enabled anyone, anywhere to fully participate in our economy. (End excerpts)
Our most successful Chinese descendant in America, however, had forgotten to mention the Chinese Exclusion Act which was passed in 1882, and was a climax to more than thirty years of progressive racism.
He had also forgotten to mention that until 2001, US laws against ethnic-Chinese immigration and property ownership (Alien Land Acts) were still intact in such states as Wyoming.
When Gary Locke was nominated US Ambassador to China, I could already sense something would go terribly wrong on the way.
With the election of the first Black American President, many Chinese in China also hope an American Chinese could be elected US President one day. In my opinion, such a dream could only come true at least a few centuries later, given the hostile and suspicious attitude of the US Congress towards China, not to mention other factors such as America's deep-seated racism and the big power rivalry between the US and China.
In the current so-called Chen Guangcheng affair, photos of the US Ambassador and other US diplomats brazenly accompanying Chen were beamed around the world. In unusual scenes on Capitol Hill, Chen phoned a congressional hearing from his hospital bed in Beijing asking to go to the US and speak to Hillary Clinton. Such a brazen interference in the internal affairs of China will not be the last. There will be a long queue of Chinese asylum seekers claiming to be activists, dissidents or separatists, just for the sake of pursuing their (dying?) American Dream.
During his visit to China in 1972, Nixon was reportedly to have asked Mao to let the Chinese travel to the US. Mao's answer was: "How many Chinese you want? We can supply you with whatever quantity you require." If there is a long queue of poor and uneducated Chinese seeking asylum in the US, China should take the opportunity to flood the US with Chinese fortune seekers.
Unfortunately for China, the US could be so emboldened by the Chen Guangcheng affair that it would conduct many more such covert operations in China in the future. If such an incident is repeated by the US Embassy, I suggest the Chinese government should recall its ambassador from Washington from 6 months to one year, and demand the US to do likewise with its ambassador in Beijing. Alternatively, China could demand the US to change its ambassador in Beijing every time such an incident happens. Of course, the US would retaliate by demanding China to do likewise with its ambassador in Washington.
If such an incident is repeated in a US consulate in China, I suggest China should ask the US to close its consulate. Of course, the US would retaliate by asking China to close one of its consulates in the US.
In view of the new dimension in US-China relations, I am encouraged to make an "intelligent guess" or "prediction" that the future of the relations between the two powers is very bleak within the next 50 years.
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United States of America in Chinese / Japanese...
Ambassador Gary Locke Addresses Students and Faculty of Beijing Foreign Studies University
The Chinese Exclusion Act: A Black Legacy
Anti-Chinese USA—Racism & Discrimination from the Onset
Racism in the United States
Crime of Genocide Against Native Americans