A captivating story of Shanghai and China set in the early 20th century

April 8, 2014

Night in Shanghai by Nicole Mones kept me reading late into the night until I finished the book in record time. It’s all there: love, intrigue, suspense, drama, music and history masterly woven through the story.

Thomas Greene is an African American classical pianist who is recruited by Lin Ming—the illegitimate son of the powerful leader of Shanghai’s Green Gang, Du Yue-Sheng—to leave the United States and lead a jazz band of fellow African-Americans in Shanghai. It’s in Shanghai where Thomas discovers a life that isn’t plagued by the poverty and the racial discrimination he knew in America, and he falls in love with the city and people with no intention of going home.

Thomas has a lusty affair with a beautiful Russian refugee and makes friends with Jews fleeing the madness of Hitler’s Germany. Then Thomas meets the woman who will fill his life with passion and love. Her name is Song Yuhua, but she is the property of Du Yeu-Sheng. Song’s father gave her to the gangster to pay off a gambling debt.

In addition, you’ll discover the story of the Chinese Schindler, who risked his life while working in Europe as a Chinese diplomat to save more Jews than the real Schindler did—there should be a film about his courage but at least we now have this novel.

You’ll also discover the efforts by both some Chinese and China’s Japanese invaders to protect the Jews who escaped to China. Hitler pressured both Chiang Kai-shek and Japan’s leaders to kill all the Jews in China, but they refused. Instead, they did something no other country on the earth—even the United States—did. Chinese leaders and Japan’s military leaders in China protected the Jews and offered them a safe haven during the horrors of World War II.

And I learned something new—that Chiang Kai-shek admired Adolf Hitler. This kicked my curiosity into high gear and I did some Google research to discover that Chiang Kai-shek and Hitler were friends who admired each other. The two first met in 1912. In 1913, they even rented a room together in Munich. After Japan invaded China, Chiang asked Hitler’s for help with the Japanese but he didn’t know that Hitler was already forming a military alliance with Japan. In fact, The Nationalist Chinese led by Chiang Kai-shek cooperated with the Nazis from the late 1920s until the late 1930s.

“Night in Shanghai” also makes it clear that the Chinese Communists under Mao were nationalists first and communists second. In my Google research I discovered that the communists proclaimed: “There is the ‘patriotism’ of the Japanese aggressors and of Hitler, and there is our patriotism. Communists must resolutely oppose the ‘patriotism’ of the Japanese aggressors and of Hitler.”

The first character we meet in the novel is Song Yuhua. Near the end of the story, as the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is imminent, she must choose between her loyalty to the Chinese Communists and her love for Thomas Greene. You’ll have to read the book to discover her choice.

I received an advanced reading copy of this novel through Amazon Vine and this review is my own opinion of the novel.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


One Bogus, Erotic Offer

November 19, 2013

During World War II, The Japanese murdered millions of Chinese civilians and forced Chinese and Korean women to become sex slaves for the Japanese military.  A good book on this topic is The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang.

The Chinese feel that Japan has not apologized properly for what Japanese troops did in China and Korea in the 1930 – 1940s, and many Chinese are still angry.  I’ve read that Japanese textbooks don’t even mention what Japanese troops did in China or admit that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor bringing America into the war leading to the dropping of atomic bombs on Japanese cities to end the war.

Is this a case of national denial by Japan’s modern-day leaders—the inability to admit that Japan’s leaders during World War II were war criminals?

Well, back in June 2010, a hot-and-sexy Japanese porn star, Anri Suzuki, was reported to have made an offer that would be difficult to refuse.  Click on the following link to discover what she allegedly offered as a way to say she was sorry for what Japan did. Source: TheSunCo.UK

After reading the report and seeing her photo, it might be easy to imagine millions of Chinese college students applying to attend Japanese universities to get closer to Anri.

Then there was the denial. Soon after The Sun Co. report in June, 2010, Anri Suzuki made it clear that she was not offering sex as reparations for the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Nippon Cinema.com reported, “Suzuki posted an in-depth blog entry in which she refuted the claims made in the article one by one. For instance, she’s never even been to Taiwan and has certainly never given any interviews there. The fake article also states that Suzuki has a doctorate in Sino-Japanese history. However, Suzuki points out that she’s a high school graduate and has never even attended university, let alone earned a doctorate. The only part of the story she seems to agree with is the fact that she’s appeared in adult videos.”

Discover You’ve Come a Long Ways, Babe

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


The Republic that Wasn’t

October 23, 2013

Taiwan was a republic in name only until its first open democratic election in 1996; Chiang Kai-shek [1887 - 1975], the president-for-life that the United States supported, was a brutal dictator and a mass murderer.

I knew about Chiang Kai-shek being responsible for the Shanghai massacre of 1927—also known as the White Terror. It was this atrocity that launched the Civil War [1927 - 1936; 1946 - 1950] between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Nationalist Party. Before then, both parties were part of Sun Yat-sen’s Chinese republic. Sun Yat-sen died in 1925, and it was his death that marked the beginning of the end of the republic he was building with several political parties.

Sun Yat-sen believed that three different political systems could co-exist: Nationalism, Democracy and Socialism.

Then by accident, I stumbled on a Blog about the “228 Massacre” in Taiwan in 1947 when Kuomintang soldiers under orders from Cheng Kai-shek slaughtered 30,000 Taiwanese citizens. It was the first time I’d heard of this incident. Source Blog: Patrick Cowsill

In comparison, when I Googled “Tiananmen Square protests”—about the so-called 1989 Massacre in Tiananmen Square—I discovered that, “Several hundred civilians have been shot dead by the Chinese army during a bloody military operation to crush a democratic protest in Peking’s (Beijing) Tiananmen Square. Source: BBC

However, the Tiananmen Square protests did not start as a democracy protest—democracy was not a subject of the incident until college students joined the protests a few weeks into the incident started by Chinese workers protesting corruption in the government.

The “228 Massacre” was also a protest about government corruption in Taiwan.

Here’s what the BBC had to say about the Taiwan incident, “The event was an uprising sparked by the beating of a female vendor by authorities for selling untaxed cigarettes. Between 18,000 and 28,000 people are said to have been killed in riots and a subsequent crackdown.” Source: BBC

Compare the language.  When it was about the Communists, it was a “bloody military operation to crush a democratic protest” but when the killings were committed by an American ally ruled by a brutal dictator, it was “an uprising…sparked by the beating of a female vendor by authorities.”

Of course, we will always remember the man standing in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square. Have you forgotten what happened in Taiwan yet?  If that man had stepped in front of a tank in Taiwan, he would have been road kill.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


Looking at Corruption: China vs. the United States

September 24, 2013

During National Library Week a few years ago, I attended the Golden Leaves event at Cal Poly Pomona’s University Library. Afterwards, I joined a conversation about China, and one American citizen who had never been to China mentioned the corruption in China and how flawed their legal system was. He was adamant that China had to change and become more democratic. He also said there were a lot of angry people in China who wanted change—how did he know that?

However, there are two sides to every story, and “While the true extent and cost of white-collar crime (in the United States) are unknown, it is estimated to cost the United States more than $300 billion annually, according to the FBI.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Wall Street corruption and greed in America that caused the 2007/08 global financial crises may have led to global losses of at least $15 Trillion.

In addition, a United Nations report says that by the end of 2009, the global increase in jobless persons was 27 million more than in 2007 before the financial crises hit—should we say, “Thank you, America?”

What about China?

The Economist’s View says, “For one thing, the Chinese trust their government more. According to a recent World Values Survey, 96.7 percent of Chinese expressed confidence in their government, compared to only 37.3 percent of Americans.

“Likewise, 83.5 percent of Chinese thought their country is run for all the people, rather than for a few big interest groups, whereas only 36.7 percent of Americans thought the same of their country. With this relatively higher trust, China’s government and enterprises are better able to enact and implement strict policies that promote saving and growth.”

I wonder if all the greed and corruption in China will ever threaten the global economy and cost millions of people jobs.

And what about corruption in India, the democracy next door to China? We seldom if ever hear anyone criticizing India for corruption. However, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranks India as more corrupt than China. In fact, there are 108 countries of 183 listed as more corrupt than China.

Why does the Western media focus so much attention on China when it comes to the topic of corruption while mostly ignoring the 108 countries worse than China? I mean, even Thailand—a staunch US ally—is more corrupt than China, and Mexico is worse than Thailand and India!

Discover China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


A World of Cyber Spies & Crooks

September 12, 2013

The internet is a crowded battleground and no one is safe. On April 7, 2010, it was reported that the Yahoo email accounts of 10 Beijing-based foreign journalists and the IFJ’s Hong Kong-based coordinator were infiltrated. Source: Scoop

China is not the only player in the cyber-spy game. The German Police and Intelligence Agencies hired a company to create Trojans capable of capturing traffic from Skype and SSL, and the recording industry wants the right to hack into your computer and delete stolen MP3s.

After a Chinese fighter collided with an American surveillance plane in April 2001, Chinese hacker groups cyber-attacked American businesses causing millions of dollars in damage.

The Carders“, cyber-criminals that specialize in using a sophisticated and automated process to steal information from credit cards, have made off with billions.

When the “Cult of the Dead Cow” gains access to a computer, they spy on you through your own webcam and microphone. Imagine what the “Dead Cows” see if that webcam is in your bedroom. Good thing they consider themselves “Dead”.

The American National Security Administration’s (NSA) Red Team is suspected of distributing malicious software across the web acting as illegal hackers, but they do it under the protection of the law.  In 2008, an elite U.S. Military Unit shut down a Saudi-CIA Website that was seen as a threat to US security. Source: CBS News

America’s NSA has the ability to listen to the phone calls of US citizens and capture e-mails, and the US is not alone because Britain’s NSA [the GCHQ] listens its citizen’s phone calls too. Source: Mother Jones

China isn’t alone on this battlefield where a mix of authoritarianism and anarchy wages war, so why does China get more than its share of media attention?

Discover China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,835 other followers