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For China, Trump’s Rise And
| HONG KONG-SHENZHEN - I trained across the boundary for dinner with
Chinese friends celebrating their wedding anniversary and spent most
of the evening responding to a barrage of questions about Donald
Trump. That was on the day that The Donald in Chief tweeted: “China
steals United States Navy drone in international waters, rips it out
of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act.”
After slurping down an oyster on a half shell followed by a glass of white wine, husband Bing gurgled: “Trump got one thing right: It was unpresidented.”
I corrected the misspelled adjective: “Unprecedented, as in it’s never happened before.”
Bing insisted: “Trump was right, it was unpresidented because President Xi Jingping did not give the order to take the drone. The navy captain did it on his own.”
OK, with that novel interpretation of a non-word, lame duck Barack Obama should seize on this Donaldism, for instance “The failed CIA coup in Turkey was an unpresidented act, and so was the European refugee crisis. And don’t you bloggers dare link my advisers to the molesting of minors because Pizzagate was unpresidented, too.”
If Nixon had any linguistic acumen, he would never have blurted: “I am not a crook.” His reputation would now be completely respectable had he declared, “The Watergate break-in was unpresidented. It’s not my fault.”
Despite a slight hangover on the following morning’s train back, I read China Daily, which offered the Chinese side of the underwater drone story:
“A Chinese naval vessel discovered an ‘unknown device’ in the waters where it was sailing and conducted investigation and verification to prevent it from endangering the safety of passing ships in the area. After identifying the drone as a U.S. asset, they decided to return it in an appropriate manner. The two sides were in communication all along;”
How many Americans have ever heard about the USN’s fleet of drone mini-submarines? So how can the Chinese be blamed for being just a little bit suspicious?
Let’s trade places. What if the sonar operator aboard a U.S. Coast Guard cutter detects a unmarked mini-sub on the shallow seafloor between Florida and Cuba. The Coast Guard captain could say to his crew: “Oh, who knows what it might be? It could be a Colombian cartel cocaine shipment or an ISIS human-guided torpedo transporting a dirty bomb to Mobile on the Gulf Coast, or just a rising mine to blow up one of our aircraft carriers. Under freedom of navigation laws, our rules are to let it be. So let’s just head back for a beer in Miami.”
After the court martial of that captain for allowing the mushroom cloud over the navy base in Alabama, President Obama could speak solemnly on CNN: “The failure to intercept the crude nuclear bomb was an unpresidented act.”
The hard question should be: Who let the drones out? Why is a mini-submarine needed to survey a marine area thousands of miles from the U.S. coastline? What was it really doing down in the deep? And why didn’t any American media outlets explain what China Daily just did? That both navies are constantly in contact, which is more than the two presidents Obama and Xi are doing.
The Oxford Dictionary can add a versatile new word for this year’s update of the English lexicon, thanks to Donald.
Hillary’s Cultural Revolution
After the laughter over that tweet and another toast, the dinner party moved on to a more serious topic of conversation: What the heck’s going on in America?
That question made me realize I had been invited as court jester for the evening’s entertainment. How can the excitement of election year be summarized in a nutshell? Here I am in China and have to come up with an analogy from their own experience to explain the surprise outcome on November 9. I delayed by raising a toast, sipped slowly. Then it came to me.
“Hillary Clinton is the Jiang Jing of America.” The Chinese dropped their jaws and then burst out in laughter and clapped their hands at that gem from the bottom of a bottle of Australian chardonnay. The next toast was followed with pleased nods because they finally got it, why the voters slapped down Hillary.
Jiang Jing was the estranged wife and then widow of Chairman Mao. An ultra-leftist sourpuss, she was the supreme leader of the Cultural Revolution. A diehard feminist, her ideal of feminine beauty was to stage uniformed girls in pigtails with AK-47s high-kicking over the joys of bushwhacking reactionaries. Jiang Jing and her Gang of Four preached permanent world revolution at any cost with the export of Red Books and weapons to Southeast Asia. Movies about romance between boy and girl were banned in favor of propaganda films hailing the sacrifice one’s life for the greater cause of class struggle.
Her anti-family message was drilled into the heads of impressionable youths known as the Red Guards. Marriage is a bourgeois patriarchal institution, out of step with the brilliant future. Your glory comes from crushing every superstitious belief of your elders and ancestors. Teachers, the politicians, your foreman are exploitative bosses to be assaulted. Shut down the factories and schools! The old books preach reaction, so burn them. Destroy the temples and churches, down with Confucius! Liberate this backward rotten society with violent protests. The enemy is inside your mind, and it must be overthrown.
Does any of this resemble Secretary of State Clinton’s Arab Spring, Jasmine Revolution and Twitter Revolt? Or the International Festival of Youth Movements in New York led by Google Ideas’ Jared Cohen? And the Alinsky-modeled brainwashing of gullible teenagers in cult-like training camps funded by Gene Sharp’s Albert Einstein Institute and CANVAS? And how George Sorosp-funded activists were incited to million-man marches for regime change, and when that failed miserably joined jihadist terror groups?
And, closer to home, those “cultural” events where the crazed Marina Abramovic and avant-garde artists promoted by James Alefantis inspired young people to break all the rules? Ideologically, pedophilia is all about rejection of the traditional roles and responsibilities that come with belonging to a family.
Instead of ushering in the progressive ideals of equality and justice, the Cultural Revolution created fear, hatred, resentment, despair, poverty, bloodshed and chaos. Jiang Jing’s drive for unchallenged power was finally stopped in its tracks by a wiser, more patient advocate of doing business instead of political activism, economic growth rather than social divisiveness, and back-to-basics traditional values, a reformer by the name of Deng Xiaoping.
A veteran of military battles to liberate China from colonialism and foreign occupation, Deng understood that you cannot mold people like pretzels, but can only encourage self-motivation through the incentives of inventing new products, running a business, marketing, doing smart deals and then having the financial wherewithal to realize one’s dreams. Confucianism was revived because there’s nothing fundamentally wrong about teaching that parents should care for children, and the next generation in turn provide for their elders. From a collapsed society tearing itself apart with evermore extreme social experiments, Deng’s reforms propelled China into becoming a confident and secure world power and a nation reconnected with its genuine culture.
To follow through with the comparison, I asked: “If Hillary is a replica of Jiang Jing, then who is the Deng Xiaoping of the USA?” My Chinese friends cheerfully shouted: “Donald Trump!”
They got it. No more confusion about the American revival. Although the two nations have different systems and these events are four decades apart, both follow the same storyline: Citizens’ lives will improve when we make our country great again.
Whatever happened to Jiang Jing? She was arrested on charges of treason and shot to death by a firing squad. Millions of Trump supporters are eager for similar retribution against Hillary Clinton. The difference from China’s stern and swift justice system, however, is that the United States is a society with constitutional protections for individuals and traditional Christian values of mercy and kindness. So lock her up instead, and throw away the key.
Yoichi Shimatsu, former editor with the Japan Times group who formerly worked in San Francisco and New York, is a Hong Kong-based investigative journalist.