A History Lesson from Mao on How to Win the War on Drugs in 24 Hours

June 8, 2016

From The Opium Monopoly by Ellen N. La Motte, we learn how opium addiction became an epidemic in China. Although The Chinese knew about opium for more than a thousand years, it wasn’t until the Portuguese arrived in the 18th century that the Chinese used it as a drug by smoking it. Merchants from Britain, France, Portugal, America and other nations became the drug cartels that plagued China into the 20th century.

In 1729, the emperor issued the first anti-opium edict, but the supply of opium flooding China went from 220 chests in 1729 to 70,000 in 1858.

It is estimated that before 1950, as many as 20 million Chinese were drug addicts. To solve this problem, Mao had the People’s Liberation Army execute the drug dealers and forced millions of addicts into compulsory treatment in a twenty-four hour period. — How Maoist Revolution Wiped Out Drug Addiction in China

Opium growers, who did not want to comply, fled into the Golden Triangle Region of Southeast Asia where many of Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist troops had gone to escape defeat. Those generals also did business with the CIA, and American soldiers in Vietnam became the new customers. It is estimated that at least 20% of the almost nine million American troops that served in Vietnam became addicted.

China remained free of drugs until Deng Xiaoping declared, “Getting Rich is Glorious” and opened China to world trade. In 2003, it was estimated that China had four million regular drug users—even with China’s strict laws concerning illegal drug use.

And in America, where human rights are king and fear of Communism by Capitalists is supreme, drug users and sellers often end up in prison costing taxpayers an average of $47,000 annually explaining why America has more people serving time in prisons than any other country on the planet; that price tag is more than $90-billion a year. Where are the protests and the accusations? Instead, the U.S. has a presidential candidate, a billionaire called Donald who wants to build the Great Wall of Trump between the United States and Mexico.

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 unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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Predictions about China 50 Years ago that are True Today

June 7, 2016

Pearl S. Buck appeared on the Merv Griffin Show in 1966 and made a few predictions. That’s when Buck said China will be what we make it to be. She meant that the United States will either make China its enemy or its friend. Buck said the Chinese are marvelous friends and frightful enemies. If this is true, why are so many Americans and the US media demonizing China instead of cultivating friendship?

The Chinese have a marvelous sense of humor, Buck said. The Asian people are very human.

Buck said China will moderate and modernize in time. She saw Communism arrive in China in 1921, and said it was an impractical, impossible scheme of life. She was right. China has changed and is now a hybrid, socialist-capitalist country with a market economy and an authoritarian, one-party government, a political party with more than 80-million members compared to 46.6 million registered Democrats and 33.5 million registered Republicans in the United States.

In fact, there isn’t much difference between China and the United States when it comes to politics. “If one studies the Chinese leadership long enough and carefully enough, one will come to recognize that China’s decision-makers are by no means a monolithic group of elites who share the same views, values and visions. But instead, I believe that two factions coexist in the Chinese leadership. Members of these two factions often contrast sharply in terms of their personal backgrounds, professional expertise, and political careers. These two factions compete against each other for power, influence and policy initiatives.” – One Party, Two Factions: Chinese Bipartisanship in the Making

During her career as an author, Buck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the novel The Good Earth in 1932 and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1938.

Only seven American authors have been awarded both the Pulitzer and the Nobel: Sinclair Lewis; Eugene O’Neill; Pearl S. Buck; William Faulkner; Ernest Hemingway; John Steinbeck; Saul Bellow, and Toni Morrison—five men and two women.

Pearl S. Buck was born in America (1892 – 1973), and at the age of three months went to China. Except for attending college in the United States 1911 – 1914, she lived in China until she was forty

Meet Pearl S. Buck in the following mini-documentary that runs 2:14 minutes.

“She was a builder of bridges between China and the rest of the world,” says Edgar Walsh of his mother, Pearl S. Buck.

In this mini-documentary, Walsh describes how his mother was “ideally positioned to write about China.” Buck was the daughter of missionaries and spent much of the first half of her life in China, where many of her books are set.

Pearl S. Buck’s page on Amazon

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 unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

A1 on March 13 - 2016 Cover Image with BLurbs to promote novel

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What was Mao doing in Broadway’s Metropolitan Opera House?

May 17, 2016

I arrived early at the local library to attend a lecture called the Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln, but first I stopped by the library’s used bookstore and found a three-dollar DVD of Hao Jiang Tian’s From Mao to the Met. My wife said she had been looking for that DVD, and she invited her sister and father to join us and watch it.

Funded by the Committee of 100, this one-man show features Metropolitan Opera basso Hao Jiang Tian weaving song and story into a compelling tale of growing up in China under Chairman Mao, based on his autobiography (with co-author Lois B. Morris) “Along the Roaring River: My Wild Ride from Mao to the Met“.

What I enjoyed most about the one-man show was that Tian never condemned Mao, the CCP or China for his bitter-sweet journey.

Instead, this fantastic opera singer says it was fate that led him from Mao to the Met. When you stop to think about it, fate is the river-of-life known later as history—the current that carries all of us through life often without much say in what is happening to us.

As a child, Tian hated his piano lessons. Then with the arrival of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Tian said, “So one happiest day came when I heard an announcement from the loudspeakers: My piano teacher was arrested as a counterrevolutionary. And then I was so happy. And so immediately I ran to the courtyard, screaming and jumping with joy.”

Thirty years later, Tian returned to Beijing and visited his piano teacher, who said, “Well, that was a crazy period, and it was so hard to figure out who was right and who was wrong.”

In his one man show, Tian performs songs of the Cultural Revolution, American standards such as “Some Enchanted Evening”, Irish song “Danny Boy” and operatic arias from his favorite roles; Tian tells the story of the music – and the woman – that changed his life.

NPR reports, “For more than 20 years, the basso voice of Hao Jiang Tian has filled major American opera houses. As one of the few Chinese stars in opera, his life story is as remarkable as his work. … Tian is one of the few opera singers to emerge from China.” –  NPR.org

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 unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

A1 on March 13 - 2016 Cover Image with BLurbs to promote novel

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The World’s Largest Political Party is in China

May 11, 2016

In late 2015, the South China Morning Post reported that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had almost 88 million members, a figure greater than the population of Germany and 217 other countries. In fact, out of 233 countries listed by worldometers, only 15 had populations greater then the CCP’s membership.

The South China Morning Post report said, “Membership is coveted and can bring benefits in terms of connections in business and academia as well as the prestige associated with being part of the country’s ruling class.”

For a comparison to the United States, there are four major political parties that rule America: 46.6-million are registered Democrats, 33.5-million are Republicans, and 65.5 million are independents, that do not belong to any political party (because they are so disgusted with extremists and corruption).

The Libertarian Party has 411,250 members with 143 members holding elected offices in the U.S. but this party has more political power than its size because of support from the Koch brothers and several other American billionaires (click the link to learn how devious they are). The Green Party, the smallest of the four with 134 elected Greens across the U.S., has 250,000 registered voters.

How does a Chinese citizen become a member of the CCP?

One source for CCP members may come from the Communist Youth League of China that has 89-million members. China’s Youth League, although overseen by the CCP, is a separate organization. The two are not necessarily one and the same, and not all Youth League members go on to join the CCP.

The China Daily says, “It (the Youth League) is a school where a large number of people learn about socialism with Chinese characteristics and about communism through practice. It is the Party’s assistant and reserve force.”

However, “Many of today’s party members are culled from the top ranks of high schools and colleges: top students are invited to join the party, and it is the sort of invitation that can’t be refused. Others can be nominated by friends who are party members, or apply on their own initiative if they have the support of other party members. During the past two decades, the ranks of the party have been expanded to include businessmen (who were previously not allowed to join) as well as more ethnic minorities, who currently account for 7 per cent of party members.” – Beyond Bricks

There are also factions within the CCP—just like the United States—that have different political opinions and agendas that balance each other. Political theorists have identified two groups within the Communist Party, a structure that has been called “one party, two factions”. The first is the “elitist coalition” or Shanghai clique which is composed mainly of officials who have risen from the more prosperous provinces. The second is the populist coalition, the core of which are the tuanpai, or the Youth League faction which consists mainly of officials who have risen from the rural interior, through the Communist Youth League.

Within his “one party, two factions” model, Li Cheng has noted that one should avoid labeling these two groupings with simplistic ideological labels, and that these two groupings do not act in a zero-sum, winner take all fashion. Neither group has the ability or will to dominate the other completely.

Then there is a study from the China Quarterly that explains why we find so many of China’s wealthy as members/supporters of the CCP.

“This article presents original survey data from 1999 and 2005 to evaluate the Communist Party’s strategy towards the private sector. The CCP is increasingly integrating itself with the private sector both by co-opting entrepreneurs into the Party and encouraging current Party members to go into business. It has opened the political system to private entrepreneurs, but still screens which ones are allowed to play political roles. Because of their close personal and professional ties, and because of their shared interests in promoting economic growth, China’s capitalist and communist officials share similar viewpoints on a range of political, economic and social issues. Rather than promote democratic governance, China’s capitalists have a stake in preserving the political system that has allowed them to prosper, and they are among the Party’s most important bases of support.” — The China Quarterly, 192, December 2007, pp.827-854

In addition, the President of China, who is limited to two, five-year terms, does not hold total dictatorial power and cannot be labeled a dictator. In fact, Bloomberg reports that China’s president has far less power than the President of the U.S. For a better understanding of who holds power in China and how that power works, I suggest clicking the Bloomberg link in this paragraph.

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 unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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Does water reveal how a country takes care of its citizens – China versus India

February 3, 2016

This post explores which country is doing a better job of supplying water to its people—China or India.  When you finish reading and watching the two videos, you decide which country you would rather live in if you had to make a choice between them.

Is freedom of expression and of religion more important than water—what would be your answer if you had to make a choice?

The choices of world religions are many. According to Religious Tolerance.org, “There are 19 major world religions which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many smaller ones. 34,000 separate Christian groups have been identified in the world.”

One of the most common complains outside China is that its citizens do not have the abstract freedom of expression and all of those religions to choose from, because China only offers seven approved religions to choose from and freedom of public political expression is severely limited.

The National Geographic special issue, “Water, Our Thirsty World” (April 2007) compared the world’s largest democracy, India, with China. In “The Big Melt” by Brook Larmer, we see a convincing reason why China’s mix of socialism and capitalism may be the world’s answer to avoid future calamities. Where Western style democracies fail to act due to partisanship, special interests, religious beliefs and political agendas, China’s government, ruled by engineers and scientists, appears to be planning decades ahead.

The claims of Tibetan separatists—the 1% that lives in voluntary exile in India—and their supporters that China rules over Tibet with an iron fist also appears to be wrong when Larmer visits a family of Tibetan nomads. He writes, “There is no sign of human life on the 14,000 foot high prairie that seems to extend to the end of the world.” Larmer sees “the NOMADS’ tent as a pinprick of white against a canvas of brown.”

We meet Ba O, a Tibetan nomad. In Ba O’s tent, “there is a small Buddhist Shrine: a red prayer wheel and a couple of smudged Tibetan texts…” A few years earlier, Ba O had several hundred sheep and the grass was plentiful. Now the Tibetan nomad has about a hundred left and fears this way of life is ending.

Ba O says, “This is the way we’ve always done things. And we don’t want that to change.”

But no matter what Ba O wants, change is coming, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. The change is not from China’s government. It is coming from global warming. Because of drought, the Tibetan grasslands are dying and a way of life that has existed for thousands of years may be dying too.

To insure that the Tibetan nomads will have a place to live, China’s government has been building resettlement villages. The “solid built” houses are subsidized. When the Tibetan nomads can no longer survive on the open Tibetan prairie, it is the nomad’s choice to move into the new villages. The government does not force them to give up their old way of life. Nature does that.

Along with the house comes a small annual stipend for each family so they can eat as they find another way to earn a living. The home Larmer visited in one of these resettlement villages had a Buddhist shrine and a free satellite dish for a TV and maybe an Internet connection. In addition, the one child policy does not apply to the Tibetan people since they are a minority in China.

To make sure there will continue to be water to drink, China is planning to build 59 reservoirs in Tibet to capture and save glacial runoff.

In India, by comparison, the young wife of a fortuneteller spends hours each day searching for water. She lives with her husband and five children in Delhi, India‘s capital. There are fights over water. In a nearby slum, a teenage boy was beaten to death for cutting into a water line. The demand for water in Delhi exceeds the supply by more than 300 million gallons a day.

Here are a few other factors that reveal how a country treats its citizens.

China – Population 1.357 billion (2013) with one political party

  • 27.24% or 369.6 million live on less than $3.10 a day
  • illiteracy = 3.6% or 48.8 million
  • life expectancy = 75 today. It was 35 in 1949.
  • According to worldhunger.org, “Progress in poverty reduction has been concentrated in Asia, and especially, East Asia, with the major improvement occurring in China.”
  • Transparency.org ranks China #27 on the bribe payers index.

The Bribe Payers Index ranks the world’s wealthiest and most economically influential countries according to the likelihood of their firms to bribe abroad, and the United States is ranked #10.

India – Population 1.252 billion (2013) with six national political parties and 49 state parties

  • 58.1% or 727.4 million live on less than $3.10 a day
  • illiteracy = 27.9% or 338 million
  • life expectancy = 66 today. It was 36 in 1949.
  • According to bhookh.com, “Over 7000 Indians die of hunger every day.”
  • Transparency.org list ranks India #19 on its bribe payers index.

Patrick Henry (1736 – 1799), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, is credited with saying “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

What happens to the pursuit of life, liberty, freedom of expression—the right to publicly complain about the government but nothing changes anyway—and the exploration of spiritual beliefs when there isn’t enough food to eat or safe water to drink?

______________________________

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 unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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What is the Real Cause of Most Riots?

December 9, 2015

When the Western media reports that a riot happened in China don’t mistake this unrest as a demand for a Western style democracy as the media did when the Tiananmen Square protests took place in 1989. Just because a few young people were captured on camera in China saying they want a democracy doesn’t mean the majority of Chinese do.

For example, CNN reported a June 10, 2011 riot in Xintang located in southern China.  Witnesses and media reports said local officials beat up a pregnant migrant worker and her husband, pushing the woman to the ground. Mass protests ensued, quickly spiraling to violent clashes with government forces that spread to other parts of Xintang, a city of 400,000 residents, almost half of them migrant workers.

The result was the arrest of 19 men, which included nine teenagers.

If you read the CNN report, you’ll discover that a slowdown in economic growth (caused by the 2008 global financial crises, which started in the U.S. due to greed and lax laws) in China caused social tensions between rural versus urban, ethnic minority against majority, and haves versus have-nots, which caused several riots in different areas of China.

The same thing happened in 1947 when General (and dictator) Chiang Kai-shek ordered his army to quell a riot in Taiwan. The result was the 2/28 Massacre in Taiwan where 30,000 civilians were killed by the military.

The reasons for riots around the world seldom have to do with a demand for a Western style democracy. Even in the Middle East where there have been riots and calls for democracy, according to the Western media, most of the people involved don’t know what a democracy is or how to set one up. They just want some form of social justice.

In 1992, in Los Angeles, there was the Rodney King riot caused by ethnic strife, which ended with about $1 billion in property damages in addition to 53 people killed and thousands injured. The U.S. Marines and Army had to be called in to regain control and there were shootings between the military and civilians.

In Oakland, California there were several riots caused by the 2009 killing of an unarmed black man that took place at a BART station.  Hundreds took to the streets to protest while looters broke into stores and set cars on fire.

In 2001, England had riots in three cities due to tensions in the South Asian Islamic community. It was estimated that the riot in Bradford, England involved about a thousand youths and eventually it took a thousand police to end it.

A 2011, a riot in Vancouver erupted after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup.  After the game, many teenagers went on a rampage attempting to shatter windows and loot stores.  When one man tried to stop them, he was jumped by no fewer than 15 people, who beat and kicked him until he was left a bloodied heap on the ground.

Wikipedia lists many of the reasons for riots, which may stem from the unlawful use of force by a group of police against civilians, prison riots, race riots, religious riots, student riots, urban riots, sports riots, and food/bread riots that have taken place all over the world no matter what form of government a country has.

However, when the Western media reports about riots in China, it’s almost always mentioned that China’s central government is challenged to prevent widespread grievances from taking place as if riots in China are different than riots in other countries.

According to the history of riots, this challenge of an unruly civilian population is a problem all governments eventually face and the job of governments the world over is to end the killing and damage as soon as possible by whatever means to restore order.

______________________________

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 lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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I hope China is NOT Learning from the U.S. Playbook

October 13, 2015

I laughed when I finished reading China Takes a Page from U.S. Playbook on The Heritage Foundation Blog.

It seems that China has launched a PR campaign similar to Voice of America, and The Heritage Foundation was bothered by the size of China’s effort.

The Voice of America, according to The Heritage Foundation, broadcasts in 32 languages from short-wave radio stations on 200 frequencies, while China Radio International now broadcasts in 45 languages using 284 frequencies.

The Heritage Foundation said the problem is China’s authoritarianism with a capitalist economic overlay, which reminded me of imperial governments such as the British Empire during the 19th and early 20th century.

What if America were an authoritarian state too? The facts make a strong case that the U.S. is a global authoritarian power.

I’ve always believed that if you want to learn what a person or nation is really like, pay attention to what they do and not what they say.

THE FACTS

  • The United States has the most people in prison – about 751 for every 100,000 people, while China has 119 per 100,000 with more than four times the population of the U.S.
  • Of 218 nations, China was 115 on the list and the U.S. was number one. Source: List of countries by incarceration rate
  • The US operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases worldwide in about 63 countries, while China has no military bases outside of China. Source: Global Research
  • China has about 1,900 combat aircraft and 760 naval ships compared to the U.S. that has about 18,000 combat aircraft and more than 1,500 naval ships.
  • China has about 240 nuclear warheads, while the U.S. that has more than 5,000. Source: Global Fire Power

The PRC was founded in 1949 and the United States in 1776. How many wars has each nation fought since achieving independence?

China’s Wars
(I did not list China’s problems with Tibetan and Islamic separatists or the Falun Gong)

  • Korean War (1950-53) China entered the war in support of North Korea
  • Sino-Indian War (1962) The cause of this war was a dispute over the sovereignty of a border region. In 1959, India sent troops and border patrols into the disputed areas. This created both skirmishes and deteriorating relations between India and China. After the war started, when Chinese troops reached the border that China claimed, the PLA stopped advancing, and China declared a unilateral cease-fire.  India still has border disputes with China, Pakistan and Nepal that have not been resolved. Source: International Boundary Consultants
  • A border-war with Vietnam (1979), which I covered in another post.

America’s Wars
(This list represents only wars. I left out the military operations that were not considered wars because there were too many to list)

  • Second Cherokee War (1776-1777)
  • Chickamauga Wars (1776-1794)
  • Northwest Indian Wars (1785-1795)
    Note: The complete list of wars against Native Americans was too long to list.
  • Shay’s Rebellion (1786-1787)
    Note: Most of Shays’ compatriots were poor farmers angered by crushing debt and taxes. Failure to repay such debts often resulted in imprisonment in debtor’s prisons or the claiming of property by the government.
  • A Quasi-War with France (1798-1800)
  • First Barbary War (1801-1805) Tripoli declared war on the United States
  • The War of 1812 (lasted two years – the U.S. Declared War on Great Britain)
  • Second Barbary War, which is also known as the Algerian War (1815)
  • First Seminole War (1816-1818) The U.S. started it.
  • Mexican American War (1846-1848) Mexico attacked after the U.S. annexed Texas in 1845.
  • Utah War (1857-1858)
  • American Civil War (1861-1865)
  • An American led revolution in the Kingdom of Hawaii (1888-1889)
  • The Spanish-American War (1898) The U.S. declared war on Spain
  • The Second Samoan Civil War (1898-1899)
  • Philippine-American War (1899-1913)
  • World War I (1917-1918) the United States Declared War on Germany
  • World War II (1941-1945) Japan attacked the United States
  • The Korean War (1953-1953) The U.S. responded to a North Korean invasion of South Korea, which was also ruled by a dictator.
  • The Vietnam War (1959-1975) The United States declared war to protect the freedom of South Vietnam, which was ruled by a dictator
  • Persian Gulf War – Operation Desert Storm (1991) Started by the U.S.
  • War in Afghanistan & the war on terror (2001 – ) The U.S. invaded in response to 9/11
  • Invasion of Iraq (2003 – ) The U.S. invaded due to suspicions of WMD that were never found.
    – Timeline of United States Military Operations

What happens if China does copy the U.S. in all things global?
Do you really want that to happen?

__________________________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

99 Cent Graphic for Promomtion OCT 2015

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