Let us Understand the Chinese

RayC
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Let us Understand the Chinese

Postby RayC » 08 May 2008 22:25

Ethnic Boundaries

China is, like all large states, multiethnic; but one ethnic group--the Han Chinese --dominates the politics, government, and economy. This account focuses on the Han, and it considers the minority peoples only in relation to the Han ethnic group.

Over the centuries a great many peoples who were originally not Chinese have been assimilated into Chinese society. Entry into Han society has not demanded religious conversion or formal initiation. It has depended on command of the Chinese written language and evidence of adherence to Chinese values and customs. For the most part, what has distinguished those groups that have been assimilated from those that have not has been the suitability of their environment for Han agriculture. People living in areas where Chinese-style agriculture is feasible have either been displaced or assimilated. The consequence is that most of China's minorities inhabit extensive tracts of land unsuited for Han-style agriculture; they are not usually found as long-term inhabitants of Chinese cities or in close proximity to most Han villages. Those living on steppes, near desert oases, or in high mountains, and dependent on pastoral nomadism or shifting cultivation, have retained their ethnic distinctiveness outside Han society. The sharpest ethnic boundary has been between the Han and the steppe pastoralists, a boundary sharpened by centuries of conflict and cycles of conquest and subjugation. Reminders of these differences are the absence of dairy products from the otherwise extensive repertoire of Han cuisine and the distaste most Chinese feel for such typical steppe specialties as tea laced with butter.

Official policy recognizes the multiethnic nature of the Chinese state, within which all "nationalities" are formally equal. On the one hand, it is not state policy to force the assimilation of minority nationalities, and such nonpolitical expressions of ethnicity as native costumes and folk dances are encouraged. On the other hand, China's government is a highly centralized one that recognizes no legitimate limits to its authority, and minority peoples in far western Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region, for example, are considered Chinese citizens just as much as Han farmers on the outskirts of Beijing are.

Official attitudes toward minority peoples are inconsistent, if not contradictory. Since 1949 policies toward minorities have fluctuated between tolerance and coercive attempts to impose Han standards. Tolerant periods have been marked by subsidized material benefits intended to win loyalty, while coercive periods such as the Cultural Revolution have attempted to eradicate "superstition" and to overthrow insufficiently radical or insufficiently nationalistic local leaders.

What has not varied has been the assumption that it is the central government that decides what is best for minority peoples and that national citizenship takes precedence over ethnic identity. In fact, minority nationality is a legal status in China. The government reserves for itself the right to determine whether or not a group is a minority nationality, and the list has been revised several times since the 1950s. In the mid-1980s the state recognized 55 minority nationalities, some with as few as 1,1000 members. Minority nationalities are guaranteed special representation in the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Areas where minorities form the majority of the population may be designated "autonomous" counties, prefectures, or regions, subject to the authority of the central government in Beijing rather than to provincial or subprovincial administrations. It is expected that local administrations in such regions will be staffed at least in part by minority nationals and that application of national policies will take into account local circumstances and special needs. In the early 1980s, for example, minority peoples were exempted from the strict limitations on the number of children per family dictated to the Han population.

Most Han Chinese have no contact with members of minority groups. But in areas such as the Xizang (also known as Tibet) or Xinjiang autonomous regions, where large numbers of Han have settled since the assertion of Chinese central government authority over them in the 1950s, there is clearly some ethnic tension. The tension stems from Han dominance over such previously independent or semi-autonomous peoples as the Tibetans and Uygurs, from Cultural Revolution attacks on religious observances, and from Han disdain for and lack of sensitivity to minority cultures. In the autonomous areas the ethnic groups appear to lead largely separate lives, and most Han in those areas either work as urban-based administrators and professionals or serve in military installations or on state farms. Since the late 1970s, the central authorities have made efforts to conciliate major ethnic minorities by sponsoring the revival of religious festivals and by increasing the level of subsidies to the poorest minority regions. Because of these efforts, other moderate government policies, and the geographic distribution and relatively small size of minority groups in China, the country has not suffered widespread or severe ethnic conflict.

http://www.country-studies.com/china/et ... aries.html


I, per chance, stumbled on to some websites since I wanted to understand the Chinese mind set.

I though I should share the same with you and get a better perspective.

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Postby RayC » 08 May 2008 22:27

The Chinese concept of the Han and the non Han centres on the concept of the Middle Kingdom of Zhongguo. And the remainder world is what is called Tianxia. The system is graded in a hierarchical equation. The whole Chinese outlook is centred around the Han Chinese culture, starting from the 3rd Century. The position of the non Han centred around to what extent they resembled or assimilated the Han culture.

The same cultural arrogance can be noticed from KV Lin’s post where he exults over how the Mongols adopted the Han system and culture.

In other words, both Xinjiang and Tibet had better kowtow to the Hans and their culture or else they will make them do so! It is like saying all Pakistan better kowtow to the Punjabi culture or else and likewise the same application in India. Therefore, the rebellion in Xinjaing and Tibet is understandable since the Chinese are hell bent in Hanising the people. The problem in Tibet and Xinjiang is not so much for religion, but a back to the wall resistance to preserve their identity and culture!

It is worth noting if the non Hans showed a willingness to adopt the Han culture, they were referred to as Shu or ‘cooked’ and those who did not were Sheng or ‘raw!’

The interaction of the Han and non Han, of course, did not always take place in peaceful ways, such as through trade and commerce. For the Han Chinese, the exchange often arose from their having suffered an invasion. While confident in the superiority of their culture, Han Chinese resorted to various means to achieve a satisfactory outcome. As summarized by John Fairbank, these options "included cessation of contact; indoctrinating the foreigner in the Chinese view by cultural-ideological means; buying him off by honours or material inducements or both; using one barbarian against another through diplomatic manoeuvres; and in the final extremity accepting barbarian rulers at the apex of the Chinese world." Of course, there was no guarantee that any of these methods would work in a given situation. But this spectrum of options for the Han Chinese in designing their relation with non-Hans further reveals the fluidity and indeterminacy in the Chinese worldview. The platitudes and homilies of the Chinese in their statements indicate their ambiguity and subterfuge to disarm the adversary and at the same time, maintain their perceived moral and cultural superiority. Take any world issue and observe the Chinese smug statements, glaring being the military support to Mugabe and in the Sudan issue and the smug statements thereof!

At times when all these methods failed to work, or when the Han Chinese failed to fend off non-Han invasion, the effort to preserve China's cultural superiority was continued in the form of sinicization. In other words, as argued by both traditional and modern scholars who believed in the theory of sinicization, while the Han Chinese lost their battles, their culture and lifestyle could captivate their conquerors. As the Chinese worldview was based on a sense of cultural superiority, the military success of a non-Han ruler often failed to shake this basic belief, so long as he chose to adopt Han Chinese culture--namely, the Confucian ideology, the bureaucratic system, the civil service examination (after the Tang dynasty), the sedentary lifestyle, and agricultural economy. However, as pointed out recently by Evelyn Rawski and shared, to some degree, by her opponent Ping-ti Ho, the sinicization thesis can be simplistic in attempting to describe the often rich and complex relationship between the Han and the non-Han in China's long history. While Rawski attempts to draw attention to the efforts made by the non-Hans to preserve their own cultures, Ho defends the validity of the thesis. But Ho also devotes a large portion of his article to discussing the phases and facets of the Han and non-Han relations in various historical periods and notices that sometimes "sinicization" was achieved through practices of "barbarianization."

The Chinese view of China, as summarized by Fairbank, three zones was formed, according to these neighbours' cultural affinities to and geographical distances from China. The first was known as the "Sinic Zone" and consisted of Korea, Vietnam, and, at brief times, Japan. The second was the "Inner Asian Zone," to which most non-Han ethnic groups of nomadic tribes belonged. And the third was the "Outer Zone," which included regions in Southeast and South Asia, as well as Europe in later ages.

The difference among the states in these three zones could be seen in nomenclature: most states in the Sinic Zone were given a name, such as Chaoxian (Korea) or Riben (Japan), whose derogatory meaning was either nonexistent or eventually lost. States in the Inner Asian and Outer Zones were simply referred to by names such as yi, fan, and man, all terms used to designate "barbarians" in the Chinese language. The continuous use of these contemptuous terms by the Chinese to refer to their neighbours inevitably suggests their ethnocentrism. But it also shows the limited success of Confucian culture with regard to its power of assimilation. Although the Han Chinese made many efforts to spread their culture among their neighbours, they also encountered various challenges and failures. In the span of two millennia, only a few peoples who entered China proper and established dynasties were regarded by the Han people as successful examples of cultural assimilation. In other words, in the Chinese perception of the world, there was always a center-periphery consideration that helped situate the zhongguo in the known world, the tianxia.

This center-periphery thinking was essential to the formation of the Chinese worldview. An early attempt by the Chinese to conceive the world is shown in the Yugong (Yu's Tribute), traditionally attributed to Da Yu, a legendary hero whose deeds were comparable to Noah's in the Judeo-Christian tradition. The Yugong perceived the world in "five zones" (wufu), centering on the Yellow River region, or China proper, which was divided into "nine states" (jiuzhou). Based on these ideas, the first diagram of the world was drawn by the Chinese. The criteria for dividing the five zones were based on the distance of each zone from the center, which, in turn, affected the level of civilization of its inhabitants. Indeed, the farthest zone was named the "desert zone" (huangfu), suggesting a remote and hence uncivilized culture. But the "desert zone" was not the end of the world. In the Yugong, the term "four ends" (sizhi) was used to indicate the four utmost ends of the world, located respectively in the east, west, north, and south. At these "four ends" one could find nothing but vast oceans or great deserts.

While the Yugong showed a limited knowledge of the world, it largely shaped the Chinese worldview. For example, the terms zhongguo and tianxia were both already used, although the latter was more like a cosmographical term referring to the universe. The universe was made up of heaven, earth, and everything in between; heaven was not only larger but covered the earth, as suggested by the term "all under heaven." Thus, the cosmographical theory known as the "covering heaven theory" (gaitian shuo) was developed. According to the theory, heaven was like a bowler hat covering the earth, and the earth was like a dinner plate placed upside down under the heaven. The "covering heaven theory," of course, had an obvious deficiency: it implied that the universe was flat. During the Han dynasty some scholars replaced it with a new one, known as the "organic heaven theory" (huntian shuo), in which the universe was likened to an egg: earth was its yolk, hanging in the middle and surrounded by the white, which was heaven. Despite their difference, both theories consider the universe in a holistic manner.

This holism, however, did not mean that every component in the universe played an equal role. Rather, the universe was characterized by heaven's domination and earth's subordination. This cosmography, therefore, presented a preconceived political order in the universe. Moreover, it was employed by the Chinese to support the center/ periphery relationship between themselves and their neighbors. China's superiority, for example, derived from its proximity to heaven. Considering their country as the celestial empire (tianguo) and their emperor as the son of heaven (tianzi), the Chinese believed that it was only natural for them to become the center of the world and carry out the mission of civilizing the rest, just as heaven was superior to the subordinated earth. Thus the self-image of China, or the "central kingdom," had a base in the cosmography of heaven and earth.

In the early imperial period, when Chinese historians produced some model texts in historiography, they basically followed the center/periphery approach to configuring the world. Ban Gu (A.D. 32-92), a historian of the Han dynasty, is famous for his composition of the Hanshu (Han History), a text that paralleled the influence of Sima Qian's (145-86 B.C.) Shiji (Historical Records) in Chinese historiography. In comparison with Sima Qian, one of Ban's novel contributions was a chapter on geography, called Dilizhi (Treatise of Geography), in which he gave a general description of the territorial topography of the known world. Ban Gu used both terms, tianxia and zhongguo; the latter, read according to the connotation, referred to the capital of Ban's perceived world empire. According to Ban, after Yu successfully controlled the great flood, the world was divided into five zones (wufu), in which nine states (jiuzhou) were established. The distance of each from the capital affected the level of civilization of the inhabitants. Those who lived closer to the zhongguo enjoyed a higher level of civilization than those who lived far away.

The level of civilization of the peoples in different areas was determined in the Han dynasty by cultural and geographical proximity to China, as well as by ethnic differences. As Richard Smith has noted, while most Chinese believed that "people outside the pale of Chinese civilization could be culturally transformed," there were others who thought that the ethnic difference was destiny. As a result, Han rulers held different expectations for the behaviors of the peoples and took a hierarchical approach in their perception of the world. They hoped that their neighbors would adopt Han culture, but they did not expect everyone to become as civilized as they were. As a result, the ethnic distinction between the hua (brightness) and the yi (barbarian) remained intact during the early imperial period. This distinction suggests that even though the Han people made a claim of universalism about their culture, they were also aware that this universalism not only worked in a center-periphery context but also reflected ethnic differences.


A post I wrote in a different forum.

But I thought it would be interesting to hear your views too!

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Postby Ananth » 08 May 2008 23:04

This might be helpful here: http://www.c3sindia.org/

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Postby shiv » 09 May 2008 05:20

This thread may be better off in the other forum - but hey what a coincidence. I was in the middle of a detailed discussion in a mailing list about the need for more Indians to learn Chinese.

For ages Indians have been surprised by Chinese speaking in Hindus. I have recently read two reports - one of Chinese border guards, and another of a Chinese immigration official speaking Chinese.

There are many reports of China taking the English language very seriously. The stress on learning foreign languages becomes a strategic strength when your academics can translate every work of literature (or scientific paper) that appears in a foreign language.

I have believed that India was lucky in having the right language at the right time - i.e. India had English while English was the language of world power. I believe that this will change - which Chinese and possibly Spanish gaining more importance. There is no move within India to increase the ease with which Chinese can be studies. I believe India is in the process of making another strategic error.

JMT.

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Postby uddu » 09 May 2008 09:05

I will request the title be changed to Understanding the Chinese communists. The people are just praja with no power. All decision in China is taken by the communists. So it is necessary to understand the Chinese communists rather than the ordinary people, who is under the maya of the ruling communist elite.

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Postby shiv » 09 May 2008 09:24

uddu wrote:I will request the title be changed to Understanding the Chinese communists. The people are just praja with no power. All decision in China is taken by the communists. So it is necessary to understand the Chinese communists rather than the ordinary people, who is under the maya of the ruling communist elite.


No - let the title be as it is.

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The racial makeup of the Han Chinese

Postby G Subramaniam » 09 May 2008 09:53

There are the following main races in China
Pure Han - found north of the yangtze
The Yue

Han chronicles circa 100AD ,speak of the Yue people
Yunnan = Yue-nan
The Yue are referred to as the 100 Yue
The Yue inhabited the land south of the Yangtze river

NanYu = Southern Yue, later became Vietnam

DNA testing of the Yue shows that their Paternal DNA is the same as the Northern Han, but the maternal DNA is of the Yue
Meaning that during Han times, the Hans invaded the Yue lands and killed off most of the Yue men and raped the Yue women
Rather like the mestizo race in Mexico


Most of the Yue now call themselves Han, for political purposes
and most have assimilated

The Yue complex includes ,Vietnamese , Khmer, Thai, Hmong, Lao, and even the Ahom People of Assam who emigrated from Yunnan in 1200AD to escape Han colonialism

Per RC.Majumdar, until 1400AD, there were hindu kingdoms in Yunan

Tang chroniclers report finding 'Shendu" ( Hindu ) colonies in Yunan circa 800AD

Yunan is the region just north of Myanmar

The Yue mix-breeds are perhaps 35% of the chinese population
Yue areas include, Shanghai, Hongkong, Canton, etc

Inside current Yunan province, 40% of the populace is non-Han

Then we have mongoloid pastoralists
Tibetans, Mongols and Manchus
Mongols and Manchus adopted Tibetan Lamaism as their religion
Tibetan Lamaism, is a late version of Mahayanism and is very close to hinduism

Xinjiang
The ancient language of this is Tocharian, a sanskritic language
There were hindu kingdoms here until 700AD, which got destroyed by Han and islamic invaders
The Uighers are a mix of muslim pastoralists, consisting of Tajik ( persian ), Turks etc

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The real religion of the Chinese

Postby G Subramaniam » 09 May 2008 09:58

The real religion of the Chinese , Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese is Confucianism
On top of this there is an overlay of Mahayanist buddhism

Buddhists in china are about 10% only
Japan has an overlay of shintoism and buddhism

The political aspect of confucianism is called Legalism
The legalist books are like chanakya, in short how to expand the borders

In both korea and china, there have been several persecutions of buddhists in historic times

Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia on the other hand have Theravada buddhism

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Postby surinder » 09 May 2008 10:27

I am glad to see this thread. I had always thought and argued that on BRF we have thrashed out the Pakistani psyche to the point of becoming a solved problem in chapter one. Their actions go according to the script which every toddler on BRF knows. It is time for our intellectual strength to be applied to the Chinese.

Good job. Let us collect more wisdom.

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Re: The real religion of the Chinese

Postby surinder » 09 May 2008 10:29

G Subramaniam wrote:The real religion of the Chinese , Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese is Confucianism


The real religion of China is China.

Chinese do not have a passion for religion as Indians have. God, moh, maya, liberation are not concepts that entice and enrapture the Chinese mind. In the absence of a real religion, the Chinese are passionate about China itself. This is in marked contrast to India. In fact, they find Indian zeal for religion amusing, if not downright foolish.

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 09 May 2008 10:34

I was thinking of starting such a thread but from a different point of chinese thinking.


For Chinese all agreements are just an "understanding" which is subject to change with time, space and context. It is uncouth of a weaker party to even insist on letter or spirit of the agreeement.


Unlike Indians "Jaan Jayee par vachhan na jayee"

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Postby svinayak » 09 May 2008 10:48

http://www.svabhinava.org/IndoChina/Ala ... -frame.php
To simplify, China is adopting a strategy of encircling India and penetrating South Asia and its periphery, while never making this known and even denying any such intentions. Confronted with this offensive policy, carried out in a peaceful way, India is obliged to recognize its relative impotence, without ever acknowledging it. This confrontation will actually result in agreement on the essential points. The consequences for the developed countries of today will be negative. This is the outline of this chapter.
I. A peaceful Chinese strategy of surrounding India, penetrating South Asia and its periphery


It is logical for Chinese dynamism to manifest first of all within the circle of countries that surround it, in particular in South Asia.

When dealing with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Maldives, China always considers the possible impact on India. The same holds in its relations with Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Burma [1]. China has worked out a clear political, economic, and military strategy that it endeavors to implement peacefully.

Beijing first wants to solve the problems that remain with India. That of the borders is one. China shares a common frontier with four South Asian countries: Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bhutan. The borders were delineated with Pakistan and Nepal. They are not so with India and Bhutan but negotiations are going on. In 2020, the border problems between Bhutan and China will be probably be resolved with some compromises advantageous for the latter, in spite of the underhand pressures exerted by New Delhi on Thimphu. Thus the Chinese will be in a position of force, even more than today, in the Chumbi valley which plunges southwards between the Indian State of Sikkim (recognized after years of dispute by Beijing, more or less officially, in 2005 as pertaining to India) and Bhutan and in measure to divide India militarily in two, separating the North-East from the rest of the country.

China will not seek, aggressively, to detach the North-Eastern states from the rest of India, but will endeavor to isolate them by a strengthening its relations with Bhutan and Bangladesh. These two countries, if they were friendly of China, would constitute a pincer around Assam, with its tea plantations and especially its oil wells and neighboring provinces. Beijing could partially succeed, especially with Bangladesh. It would thus ensure an indirect control of the Brahmaputra valley and could invade the west of Arunachal Pradesh, where the possession by India of the Tawang monastery, highly symbolic of Tibetan Buddhism, is irritating for China. Its dream, unrealizable before 2020, would be to create to the east of India, a vast Islamized state, made possible by a clandestine and massive Bangladeshi immigration, currently in progress, another Pakistan as it were, but moderate and not presenting any risk for its Moslem populations in Xinjiang, which is moreover extremely far away from Bangladesh. China would find three advantages in this. Initially, the territory forming the current Arunachal Pradesh could no longer be used for hostile actions in Tibet, as had been the case at the time of American support to the Khampa insurgents [2] (the impulse to intervene could arise if there is the beginning of a Tibetan uprising at the time of the Dalai Lama's demise and the designation of his successor). Then, an access to the Bangladeshi port of Chittagong would be possible for China. Lastly, India would no longer have access by land to Southeast Asia.

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Postby Brando » 09 May 2008 11:06

My 2 cents:

Most other Far East races like the Japanese, Koreans etc see the Chinese as primitive and greedy people. Even recently I read an article in a Japanese english blog about how Chinese fascination for material wealth consumes them and they see it as the be all and end all of their existence. I've read some discussions on Chinese forums about India and the predominant theme seems to be how much more wealthy they collectively are compared to India and by and large the average Chinese seems to be blissfully ignorant of India. Even more so than people in the West.

I think extrapolating more on how their value systems work also will be enlightening and worth exploring as it will let us understand how they think.

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Postby svinayak » 09 May 2008 11:08

http://www.svabhinava.org/IndoChina/index.php

Chindia, Russia, Europe: the peaceful rise of Eurasia

From the 3rd millennium BC into the 3rd millennium AD

[This svAbhinava Chindia home-page has been visited 392 times since 25 March 2007]

[Please read the Introductory notes to svAbhinava Friends all of which apply to these Outreach sites]

[Coined recently to capture the growing synergy between China and India, driven now by the rapid convergence of their expanding economies and the simultaneous rise to world-power status of these two modernizing nation-states, the term 'Chindia' is based on mutual perceptions that draw increasingly upon millennial religio-cultural exchanges and profound civilizational complementarities. Though both these ancient worldviews had been inward-looking and convinced of their ethnocentric superiority over the barbarians, they profoundly influenced their neighboring peoples, reshaping their diverse cultures so as to make the label 'Indo-China' an appropriate shorthand designation for the whole of (pre-Islamic) Asia. Imperial China often expanded her borders to counter threats from the north and west, assimilated successive conquerors (Qin, Yuan, Qing, etc., dynasties) into her universalizing Confucian outlook, was acknowledged benign suzerain through regular tribute from vassals as faraway as South-East Asia, and spread her contagious civilizational ethos through the Sinified vehicle of Mahâyâna Buddhism all across East Asia to Japan. Despite her time-tested indigenous socio-political framework held together by the unified state and (its bureaucratic elite sharing a) common written language, China's openness to foreign sources of spiritual inspiration and the accompanying intellectual ferment is best exemplified by her receptivity to and transformation by/of Buddhism. The dazzling success of the Dharma across the whole of Asia contributed as much to the prestige of Buddhism within South Asia as to the efflorescence of Sanskritic culture abroad. India's genius has consisted not so much in proselytizing an intransigent religio-cultural ideology through the force of arms or subtler modes of politico-economic coercion but in repeatedly coming up with creative solutions to her own internal problems of managing and celebrating the proliferation of diversity, paradigms that were universal enough in design, scope, and applicability to be eagerly adopted and adapted by her neighbors as guiding principles for the evolution of their native traditions. Whereas the ideological debate between Buddhism and Brahmanism remained wide-ranging and intense within Indian culture, the otherwise antithetical images of the universalizing renouncer and the ethnocentric intellectual fused abroad to become hardly distinguishable in the figure of composite the Indian sage. That the 'Sanskritization' of so much of South-East Asia occurred without even the knowledge, much less the complicity, of the vast majority of the Indian elite is evidenced by the fact that these foreign lands hardly figured within the Hindu geopolitical imagination (bharata-varSa). Far from resisting Chinese or Indian hegemony, these autonomous centers, exemplified above all by Buddhist Tibet, developed highly original syntheses that served (as more than just two-way conduits) to facilitate the (re-) emerging Chindian matrix. Even as late as the 18th century, when China was at the widest extent of its imperial power, this inter-civilizational dynamic was brilliantly embodied by the Qianlong Emperor, an 'alien' who hailed from shamanistic Manchu tribes that looked up rather towards the Mongols of Central Asia, became wholly steeped in Mandarin culture, owed personal religious allegiance to the Panchen Lama, was revered as a bodhisattva by Buddhists beyond China's borders, accommodated the Muslim sensibilities of his newly acquired Turkish subjects, and was eventually entombed per his wishes in a coffin engraved with Sanskrit prayers.

Sino-Indian reconciliation today amidst lingering tensions from the colonial era has been greatly facilitated and encouraged by the post-Soviet re-emergence of Russia as the key player in the geostrategic equations of Central Asia. Culminating by the dawn of the 20th century, the Slavic pacification of Central and East Asia had already eliminated the threat of invasion by (subsequently Islamized) nomadic Turkic-Mongolian tribes to which Iran, South Asia, and China had always been subject.

While emerging from their common devastation by colonial force of arms, the two nations have had to come to terms with and embrace globalizing modernity through divergent, even diametrically opposed, survival strategies, dictated by their distinctive pre-existent civilization paradigms. Forced to break out of her civilizational isolation

Central Asia, once the perennial home of nomadic threats to the rich sedentary civilizations to the south, was completely pacified by the end of the 19th century by Russia, the (re-) emerging Eurasian power, that now plays a crucial strategic role in providing a security umbrella to the self-determination of India and China, to the extent of becoming a willing facilitator, and beneficiary, in the reassertion of Chindia as constructive force in the creation of a more equitable, multipolar, world-order. [paragraph here on Russia's identity-crisis being torn between the West and Eurasianism]

An overall dynamics of regional confrontation based on seemingly well-founded suspicions of the Other could result in the mutually reinforcing ideological blocs along the following lines: an increasingly xenophobic, militaristic, and expansionist (Han) China, even more oppressive of her own peoples, that would feel obliged to chart out a counter-imperial course against yet modeled upon (its current encirclement by) a unilateral American power that has few scruples about using her neighbors (including Taiwan and Japan) as proxies; a dominating made-in-USA strain of Hindutva pitted against Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and other 'minorities' only to resemble its Abrahamic nemesis all the more, thereby provoking a million mutinies that spread like wildfire to engulf her neighboring multiethnic and multi-confessional states, and where the celebrated diversity of the 'Hindu' past translates into the irremediable contemporary chaos; a disillusioned post-Soviet Russia that throws in her lot with an encroaching Europe Union in an attempt to survive by steering a mid-course between the trans-Atlantic alliance and the growing conflicts in Asia; in sum an intransigently nationalistic parting of ways that would oblige their Muslim populations to fall back even more uncompromisingly on fundamentalist fervor and make violent common cause with the world-wide Umma; alienated from each other, all three societies will tend to fall apart caught in the indiscriminate crossfire of the "War of Terror" between the West and Islam for global supremacy.

Even while simultaneously ensuring her own geo-strategic security and access to (increasingly scarce) world-resources by systematically courting India's contentious neighbors and extending her reach towards the Indian ocean, China has been actively promoting burgeoning bilateral trade, mutual and joint investments (even elsewhere in the 'Third' World), and the renaissance of shared civilizational memory (such as funding and re-founding the international Buddhist university at Nalanda). Just as a globally re-assertive 'Orthodox' Russia is instrumental in bringing the two rising continental giants closer together within a common Asian security framework, so has 'Confucian' China begun nudging 'Islamic' Pakistan towards a rapprochement over religio-culturally hybrid Kashmir with her fraternal 'Hindu' twin. As the shared (otherwise top-down) political will towards cultural rapprochement, buttressed by economic-cum-security needs, rapidly extends (despite barriers of language, culture and history) to their populations-at-large, the following regional developments may be surmised. Deliberate transformation of an otherwise depopulating (Slavic) Russia under concerted Sino-Indian influence into a beneficent Asian power, a techno-military bulwark against further Western encroachment. Planetary reach of the Chinese dragon's economic-cum-diplomatic clout, both actively facilitated and moderated by Indo-Russian cooperation into a powerhouse for uplifting the material conditions of all subaltern peoples who have yet to free themselves from the 'globalizing' yoke of (neo-) colonialism. Wooing the Indian elephant, with its footprints among the increasingly affluent and assertive Hindu-American diaspora, from a culturally subaltern role in furthering neo-imperial interests into ...

A concerted attempt by this triumvirate of world-powers to peacefully integrate their otherwise recalcitrant Muslim subjects and thereby building and consolidating religio-cultural ties to the Islamic world


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Postby derkonig » 09 May 2008 11:18

Foremost things for us to remember about the Chinese:

1. They are our enemy no. 1. Period. They desire no peace with us.
2. 1962
3. Arunachal & border issues, Tibet.
4. Nuke prolif. to Puki.
5. Arming neighbours, meddling in their affairs, aggressive posturing against them (SL, BD, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar)
6. String of pearls.
7. Numerous anti-India resolutions in intl. fora.


The Chinese psyche is that of a student, they keep learning things from everywhere, but they have mostly picked up the wrong things.
Ex: They are master copiers & specialize in doing all IP violations.

From the Soviets they learnt nuke prolif., genocide & gulag culture, destruction & denial of heritage.

Their "industrialization" resembles the Industrial Rev. of the 18/19th Cent.
The same wanton destruction of environment, slave labour, mad hunger for resources, colonization..mind you im no luddite, but its well known that the Chicom industrial miracle will only destroy han land in the long run.
Last edited by derkonig on 09 May 2008 12:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The real religion of the Chinese

Postby yx » 09 May 2008 11:47

G Subramaniam wrote:There are the following main races in China
Pure Han - found north of the yangtze
The Yue


G Subramaniam wrote:The real religion of the Chinese , Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese is Confucianism



G Subramaniam,

80% information from your posts is incorrect. I just read a few of your other posts and have similar feeling. I have no idea what you are thinking, but I hope you can stop misleading other people at least in this thread, since it is called "understand the Chinese".

Back to your posts:

First, Yue is NOT a race. Yue is a kingdom during Warring States Period (574BC -221BC). So people in that area was called Yue people (usually WuYue) during Chinese History. In addition, at that time, there was no such Chinese called Han Chinese. The word Han was derived from Han dynasty 200 years later.

Second, Confucianism is NOT a religion. It is more like an ideology.

So the basis of your arguments was wrong.


Last, thanks OP for opening this thread. Even I came here just a few days ago and only read a few threads, I think most Indians know very little about China and Chinese (possibly because of the language).


----
Btw, off topic. I don't know where I can ask such questions. Sorry.
I just found this website a few days ago, and decide to register. But two of my frequently used email addresses were banned, it is weird.

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Re: The real religion of the Chinese

Postby niran » 09 May 2008 12:17

yx wrote:There are the following main races in China
Second, Confucianism is NOT a religion. It is more like an ideology.



Methinks you got the meaning wrong.

First define religion according to you.
AFAIK Chinese follow Confucianism religiously,
it makes them follower of Confu. religion.

You will be surprised by the wealth of knowledge here.

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Postby sauravjha » 09 May 2008 13:05

Second, Confucianism is NOT a religion. It is more like an ideology
.

Actually, it's more like a philosophy.

Maoism is an ideology.

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Re: The real religion of the Chinese

Postby G Subramaniam » 09 May 2008 16:18

surinder wrote:
G Subramaniam wrote:The real religion of the Chinese , Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese is Confucianism


The real religion of China is China.

Chinese do not have a passion for religion as Indians have. God, moh, maya, liberation are not concepts that entice and enrapture the Chinese mind. In the absence of a real religion, the Chinese are passionate about China itself. This is in marked contrast to India. In fact, they find Indian zeal for religion amusing, if not downright foolish.


Their real religion is ethnicism, as explained in the Legalism books of Confucius

Hindus have read the koran and at least on BRF we understand the islamic mind

We have not read the confucian books

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Postby Brando » 09 May 2008 16:24

I think what the poster was trying to say is that Confusionism isnt a religion as one would consider it in a conventional sense, as in it has no gods or ritual practices.

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Han rape of the Yue

Postby G Subramaniam » 09 May 2008 16:25

http://pmsol3.wordpress.com/2008/01/24/chinese-y-chromosome-testing/

The early genetic research (The History and Geography of Human Genes, 1996) of Dr. Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza showed that Northern Chinese could be grouped with other Northeast Asians (Koreans, Tungusic groups, Japanese) and that Southern Chinese grouped more with Southeast Asians, making the Han Chinese aggregate an intermediate population between the two, which matches their location geographic location. This new report gives us some detail as to the way this population cline occurred.

Based on what I know of Chinese history, Southern China was settled by the Han much later than the North and the people in the South were considered “barbarianâ€

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Re: The real religion of the Chinese

Postby Brando » 09 May 2008 16:28

yx wrote:I think most Indians know very little about China and Chinese (possibly because of the language).



I would submit that most Chinese know even less of India than vice versa. :)

I've met Chinese who didnt know who Gandhi was or could name even a single Indian city.

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Postby Lalmohan » 09 May 2008 16:28

the han have an innate belief in their own superiority - perhaps only a cultural one, or perhaps more. everyone else is a barbarian - literally.

the han civilisation is at the root of all of the far eastern civilisations, the koreans and the japanese used to be in awe of it. in the 20th century, japan overtook china in terms of world power and re-adjusted its lenses - that balance point is slowly tipping back... perhaps

the mongols bequeathed to the chinese throne the 'moral right to rule all lands from sunrise to sunset' - something that i believe is part of their superiority psyche

we indians also have a sense of cultural superiority, but its largely passive, unlike the more assertive chinese variety

in modern times, our world view has been idealistic, theirs much more pragmatic and based on the desire to acquire and maintain hard power. we believe we have soft power with our bollywood and IPL, they are going around asserting their hard power with arms, aid and oil deals.

watch the new scramble for africa between india and china. who is winning?

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Postby G Subramaniam » 09 May 2008 16:29

Brando wrote:I think what the poster was trying to say is that Confusionism isnt a religion as one would consider it in a conventional sense, as in it has no gods or ritual practices.


Islam is a political doctrine disguised as a religion
Confucianism is a pure political doctrine

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Postby Brando » 09 May 2008 16:34

Lalmohan wrote:
watch the new scramble for africa between india and china. who is winning?


The Chinese for now, as long as there are dictators and tyrants to appease.

Also in Africa in some countries there is an anti-Indian bias due to perceived Indian aloofness to the locals.

However, Indians have been there on the ground longer and it is easier for India to acheive support from democratic governments in Africa.

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Postby sauravjha » 09 May 2008 16:41

Some buddhist inspired chinese texts do describe India as the "western Heaven" , however. while they regraded themselves as the Central Heaven. everything beyond India and china was regarded as the realm of barbarians.
[b]
“Obtaining Truth from the Western Heavenâ€

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Re: The real religion of the Chinese

Postby shiv » 09 May 2008 18:15

yx wrote:But two of my frequently used email addresses were banned, it is weird.


The most frequent cyber attacks on the server that this website is based in come from the IP addresses that are banned.

Chinese server operators do not respond to requests to locate the people who mount these attacks.

yes we know very little about China, but what we find out indirectly from this sort of Chinese behavior is not flattering to the Chinese. Most Chinese who come on this forum are very reluctant to hear anything bad about China. this is the exact opposite of Indians who do not mind being openly critical about India.

Most Chinese who come on this forum get very angry with what they read here, but Indians are not automatically anti-China. Indians see certain reactions and certain behavior from China that they see as wrong - such as cyber attacks on a c site like this and no response to complaints.

China and the Chinese love to describe the world as they see it. That is fine. But they do not take kindly to being told how the world seed them, unless the information is flattering.

This may be a Chinese weakness. But we will only talk about it - only the Chinese can correct their own weaknesses.

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Re: The real religion of the Chinese

Postby yx » 09 May 2008 20:27

Brando wrote:
I would submit that most Chinese know even less of India than vice versa. :)

I've met Chinese who didnt know who Gandhi was or could name even a single Indian city.


Totally agree, you are right. But we also rarely talk about India in Chinese forums. My point is don't pretend to be an expert and spread wrong information if you don't know.

BTW, Believe it or not, India is portrayed as a friend of China in many Chinese books. Ask some other Chinese what they learned from their history textbooks. Only recently, perhaps due to the network, many of us realize that some Indians don't like China at all. Maybe we were brainwashed in the past.

shiv wrote:Most Chinese who come on this forum are very reluctant to hear anything bad about China. this is the exact opposite of Indians who do not mind being openly critical about India.


You are right, we don't want to hear bad about China. But there are reasons.

First, did you hear anything good about the communist government of China? Just read the mainstream western media. One example is the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy. A Korean guy killed more than 20 students. But Foxs news used the whole afternoon in that day to prove why he is a Chinese and why Chinese have such a twisted mind. additionally, do you know, according to data released by US FDA, Chinese food is indeed safer than India food and food from many other countries in terms of percentage (not absolute volume).

So if you heard so many bad things, many of them are wrong or biased, about China and Chinese, you just don't want to hear anymore.

Second, I have to sorry, that is probably our philosophy. A Chinese proverb says "please clean the snow in your own backyard, don't watch the frost on other people roof." Chinese government was indeed heavily criticized in many aspects in Chinese forums. Surprise? Check www.tianya.cn or www.unknownspace.org if any of you can read Chinese, they are two very large Chinese forums. For example, the Chinese news forum here:
http://www.unknownspace.org/bbsdoc/ChinaNews.html
if you know anyone who can read Chinese, let him tell you how many bad things about China in just one page.

BTW, I think those cyber attacks on India websites, if from China, should be launched by some hack organizations, they just want to prove their technique, I guess, like hackers in other countries. Some of you guys said those attacks were from Chinese government. While I have no idea, I think it is just simply stupid to do such things -- you gain nothing but only create bad image of own. Why not wait until it is necessary.


sauravjha wrote:
Second, Confucianism is NOT a religion. It is more like an ideology
.
Actually, it's more like a philosophy.
Maoism is an ideology.


Agree. Thanks for correction. Sometime, I can't find a good word to match what I am thinking.

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Re: The racial makeup of the Han Chinese

Postby ParGha » 09 May 2008 21:30

G Subramaniam wrote:Tang chroniclers report finding 'Shendu" ( Hindu ) colonies in Yunan circa 800AD


Almost all Roman transliterations of Chinese word for India is "Yin" and for Hinduism it is "Yin Du".

G Subramaniam wrote:The ancient language of this is Tocharian, a sanskritic language


Do you consider Iranian languages to be "Sanskritic"? If so, you are right. If not, then you are not: Tocharian is closest to Sogdinian - which is usually classed as an Iranian language under the larger Indo-Iranian family, which in turn comes under Indo-European language family.

G Subramaniam wrote:There were hindu kingdoms here until 700AD, which got destroyed by Han and islamic invaders


Hindus hadn't ventured out that far since the 4th Century C.E. The people of those areas followed the Bactrian variety of Buddhism, even when invaded by the T'ang (Han had been dead and buried for centuries by then). The T'ang Chinese settlers and government was destroyed and exterminated by the Islamic invaders; the Bactrian Buddhists were converted.

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Re: The real religion of the Chinese

Postby pradeepe » 09 May 2008 21:34

yx wrote:BTW, Believe it or not, India is portrayed as a friend of China in many Chinese books. Ask some other Chinese what they learned from their history textbooks. Only recently, perhaps due to the network, many of us realize that some Indians don't like China at all. Maybe we were brainwashed in the past.


Please. Try it somewhere else. Sure, there hasnt been much verbiage
coming from the CPC, but thats just the way China has operated.
China since 1948 has been continually looking to provoke and mess with
India. Look around the board boss, if you have been brainwashed you will
see the light.

The best you can try is to atleast show a dichotomy between official policy
and the views of the common chinese. But is that allowed, please be careful.

"many of us realise that some Indians dont like China at all"


How profound and sad. So you were brainwashed into believing that ALL
Indians loved china :). What else were you brainwashed into believing?

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Postby ramana » 09 May 2008 21:47

A few links:

Interesting slideshow on PRC after Mao to present times:

http://www.slideshare.net/sirmartin/fal ... -of-china/

and

An Internet Archive book by Benoy Kumar Sarkar (1916)

Chinese Religion through Hindu eyes

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Re: The real religion of the Chinese

Postby shiv » 09 May 2008 21:48

yx wrote:
First, did you hear anything good about the communist government of China? Just read the mainstream western media. One example is the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy. A Korean guy killed more than 20 students. But Foxs news used the whole afternoon in that day to prove why he is a Chinese and why Chinese have such a twisted mind. additionally, do you know, according to data released by US FDA, Chinese food is indeed safer than India food and food from many other countries in terms of percentage (not absolute volume).

So if you heard so many bad things, many of them are wrong or biased, about China and Chinese, you just don't want to hear anymore..


I am not trying to prove that Chinese are good or bad, but how does a Chinese person who is upset about people saying bad things about China react?

Does he believe that the others should be punished? That they should feel the same pain that he feels?

Or does he believe that the other person is misinformed and should be re-educated about China.

Or does he feel they should be ignored because they are stupid.

There is widespread knowledge that very recently (just about 60 years ago) in the cultural revolution, millions of Chinese were forcibly re-educated. This forcible re-education was described in China as "necessary and desirable", but most nations (outside of China) who call themselves "free" disagree with this Chinese method of re-education. OK this was an "internal matter" of China.

But don;t you think that Chinese who get angry with the rest of the world for saying bad things, act as if they can forcibly re-educate the world about China by getting angry? That makes angry Chinese reactions look stupid.

With respect, i don't; mean to insult you. The US may be the worst nation on Earth. Korea may be scum. India may be dung. But these facts do not make China good. Saying that bad things happen in the US or other places may be perfectly true, but that does not make things in China appear more rosy.

Is it possible that you (and other Chinese) are misinterpreting your own proverb: "please clean the snow in your own backyard, don't watch the frost on other people roof."

Why worry about the bad things that other nations say?. Why worry about shootings in the US or bad food in India. Why not keep on clearing the snow in your backyard without worrying about the frost on US, India or Korean rooves?

No use speaking of philosophy that you are not following.

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Postby surinder » 09 May 2008 21:59

He is showing the classic sinica sign: an open in-your-face display of injured victimhood. This is designed to provide an a-priori justification for subsequent questionable acts of the chinese themselves.

We should not stray from the main of this thread. We want to study the entire Chinese minds, not just the mind of one or two posters here. Let us not allow them to take the thread down.

Has anyone read the "Art of War" by Sun Tzu? I did. Fascinating book. I am not quite sure if there is an Indian equivalent of such book. Am I right on this?

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Re: The real religion of the Chinese

Postby ParGha » 09 May 2008 22:05

surinder wrote:
G Subramaniam wrote:The real religion of the Chinese , Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese is Confucianism


The real religion of China is China.

Chinese do not have a passion for religion as Indians have. God, moh, maya, liberation are not concepts that entice and enrapture the Chinese mind. In the absence of a real religion, the Chinese are passionate about China itself. This is in marked contrast to India. In fact, they find Indian zeal for religion amusing, if not downright foolish.


Within the last two centuries we have seen the Chinese go absolutely bonkers over both defined religion (ex Taiping Rebellion) and de facto religion (ex Cultural Revolution, where Maoism became a de facto religious cult). Surely the passion with with they killed approximately 20 million of their fellow Chinese in the Taiping Rebellion counts as the single most horrific religious war in history of mankind?

The reason the Chinese in authoritative positions constantly try to downplay and marginalize religion is because they know the power it has on the passions of the people they lord over. The reason it is not apparent to foreigners is because it a characteristic that is completely indigenously developed (as opposed to the imported and mutated pseudo-secularism sported by certain well known worthies). Just because they don't drink stronger spirits doesn't mean that they never get drunk; in fact when they do drink their alcohol tolerance is much lower so they get uproariously drunk on very little (both figuratively and literally, as we sometimes find out with our East Asian fiends).

The "real" religion that is seen in Chinese rural areas is a mixed form of animism and ancestor worship, coated with liberal doses of Buddhism and Taoism near the more sophisticated area. The fundamental beliefs and practices of the old people in areas that escaped the marauding Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, is remarkably similar to those of the tribal people seen all over India. The middle aged people are closest to real atheism. For the younger ones, born after DXP's reforms, it can be anything from straightforward worship of God of Money to new religions like Falun Gong... and of course evangelic Christianity.

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Postby ramana » 09 May 2008 22:10

While SunTzu's book deals with the Art of War, Kautilya's Arthsashtra deals with before and after War as War is only one part of the process. Many Western scholars are studying and quoting Kautilya.

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Postby surinder » 09 May 2008 22:20

ramana wrote:While SunTzu's book deals with the Art of War, Kautilya's Arthsashtra deals with before and after War as War is only one part of the process. Many Western scholars are studying and quoting Kautilya.


Can I find Arthashastra on the web?

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Postby ParGha » 09 May 2008 22:24

surinder wrote:Has anyone read the "Art of War" by Sun Tzu? I did. Fascinating book. I am not quite sure if there is an Indian equivalent of such book. Am I right on this?


Yes, I did manage to read it through after many starts-and-stops. Indians never developed such a book because the political conditions in India never quite came down to the internecine yet totalized internal wars it was written for (Note: I did not use the words "civil war"). Indian political entities fought three kinds of wars, none of which came close to imitating the politico-military conditions of China - so none approach it the manner Sun Tzu or other Chinese generals and advisers did. Indian authors did come up with many manuals for the types of war they faced - Arthashastra (Treatise on Worldly Wealth) and Dhanurvidya (Knowledge of the War Bow) being the most famous ones.

The Chinese "Art of War" (there are others' too; even within China Sun Tzu is not held to be the only author of the whole treatise) - as a whole - is for those who are willing to play by certain rules. In totality it wouldn't last past the first series of contact with an enemy that is intent on changing the whole paradigm of war.

My question: Have any of you read "Romance of the Three Kingdoms"?

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Postby ParGha » 09 May 2008 22:26

surinder wrote:
ramana wrote:While SunTzu's book deals with the Art of War, Kautilya's Arthsashtra deals with before and after War as War is only one part of the process. Many Western scholars are studying and quoting Kautilya.


Can I find Arthashastra on the web?


IIRC manybooks.net had a free copy. It is not the best translation though. The best translation and contextual presentation was by a former Indian Foreign Service veteran, L. N. Rangarajan, in the popular Penguin series.

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Postby ParGha » 09 May 2008 22:48

ramana wrote:While SunTzu's book deals with the Art of War, Kautilya's Arthsashtra deals with before and after War as War is only one part of the process. Many Western scholars are studying and quoting Kautilya.


Kautilya's Arthashatra deals with only one specific type of war (according to classic Indian thought there are three types), with incidental commentaries on the other two. It is quite ironic because the good professor is best remembered as the practitioner of the other two types to great effect in history (I guess he felt the need to have instructions for the other war written down, because he had already taught his pupils about the first and the third types by example).

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Postby yx » 09 May 2008 23:32

shiv wrote:Why worry about the bad things that other nations say?.

We have to. China is not isolated nation, we need to do business with others. If they only talk bad things in China, their people will hate China and Chinese. I am a Chinese, I don't want others to hate me.

shiv wrote:Why worry about shootings in the US


We have to. Because they labeled this killer as a Chinese, and used him to prove that Chinese have a twisted mind. He is just an isolated example, nothing to with the rest Chinese or Korean. But if he were a Chinese, the story is different.

shiv wrote:Why not keep on clearing the snow in your backyard without worrying about the frost on US, India or Korean rooves?

No use speaking of philosophy that you are not following.


Am I worrying about US India and Korean? I couldn't care less if nothing related to me and China. I am just trying to give you some examples to let you know why I think it is unfair for Chinese. Maybe I should mask the country names. So I think I am following my own philosophy.

Btw, I have two questions for you.

First, Did you ever hear anything good about Chinese government?

Second, what's your feeling when you hear this?
Merkel blames India for rising food prices not BioFuel.
http://www.reuters.com/article/environm ... 3520080417
If you feel angry, you should understand our feelings. There are far more biased news on China. Do we Chinese have the right to feel angry on such kind of news?


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