【Translation】Sharon, 傑喜拉雅, and Bingo
Editor: Chi Haotian, also spelled as Chih Hao-tien, is a retired general of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. He served as the former Vice Chairman of the Military Commission of the Communist Party of China from 1995 to 2002. Chi played an important role in directing the military’s enforcement of martial law in Beijing to suppress the Tiananmen Square Protests. You might find his speech disturbing but telling a lot about the mindset and strategies the CCP leaders have been held for years. This speech was estimated to be given shortly before the second report: “War is not far from us, it is the midwife of the Chinese century”.
“Hong Kong Labor Party Forum”, September 22, 2005
I wrote down this subject with a heavy heart. The process of China’s modernization has been repeatedly interrupted by external forces and direct aggressions. The most typical one is the so-called “Golden Decade” between 1927 and 1937. This so-called “Golden Decade” is not “Golden” at all. During this period, we have the fall of Northeast China on 9/18 in 1931, and the establishment of the Puppet Regime in East Hebei. Generally speaking, China’s economy developed rapidly from 1927 to 1937: we made considerable progress in construction of infrastructure. Our military had also improved, which gave China a glimpse of hope.
But that is something that Japan cannot tolerate. Japan is not satisfied with the embezzlement of the three provinces in Eastern China, so it eagerly launched a full-scale war against China. China had no choice but to fight back for eight years. Although China won, it lost outer Mongolia, the vitality was greatly injured, and the total loss was more than 600 billion dollars. After eight years of war, China which was originally poor and weak, became even more impoverished. You can say that the eight years of war with Japan has greatly delayed China’s modernization process.
Not allowing China to develop and hindering China’s modernization process has always been the unchangeable national policies of the great powers, especially Japan. We should have learned the most painful lesson from history. There is cooperation between countries, but what is more essential is competition, conflict, and the extreme form of conflict — War. Cooperation is temporary and conditional; Competition and conflict are absolute, and are the main axis of history. Therefore, the so-called peace and development as contemporary themes is completely wrong (at least, it can only be used as a stopgap measure). The statement neither has any theoretical basis that can withstand scrutiny, nor does it conform to facts and history.
Not to mention the geographical and historical rivals of China and Japan. Even the split between China and the Soviet Union in the 1960s is enough to show that any country takes the pursuit of national interests as the only code of action, without leaving any room for morality. Back then, China and the Soviet Union shared a common ideology and faced a common enemy. Moreover, China’s low level of technology made it impossible to pose a threat to the Soviet Union. However, China and the Soviet Union still split and moved towards a sharp confrontation. There are many reasons for this, but a fundamental reason is that the Soviet Union does not want to see a growing and stronger China standing side by side with it, even if this trend is far from becoming a reality.
If there is a common ideology and a common enemy, the weak China and the strong Soviet Union can be divided, then it’s so obvious that so-called peace and development are the illusions. It is completely wrong to say that peace and development are contemporary themes. It is wishful thinking, a harmful doctrine that plays a paralyzing role, and the reasons are as follows:
1. To crack down on China’s modernization process has been a consistent national policy of the great powers.
We can draw a historical law from the experience and lessons of modern Chinese history and the history of the People’s Republic of China over the past 50 years: To strike China’s modernization process (including using all-out war methods has been the consistent national policy for the great powers. This has been the case for the past 160 years, and it will continue to be the case for the next 160 years.
2. Development means danger and threat. Without the “right to war”, there is no right to development.
Development means danger and threat. This is a general rule in world history. Only in the Chinese history is there a special case. For example, after the Han Dynasty defeated all its opponents within its geographical limit of the time, It developed with its “doors closed” and even gave rise to “Tianxiaism” （Editor added: a system of thought concerning the world order, norms and ideal personality that is universal and open in nature). No matter how you measured it, either from population, military, economy, or culture, there was not any ethnic group which could compete with the Han nationality nor any ethnic group even had such potential.
During the period of Warring States, a country’s development meant it would pose a threat to another country. This is not only the general rule in world history, but also the core and cornerstone in the Western diplomacy. The originator of Western diplomacy is the French Cardinal Richelieu. He was the first person who got out of the Middle Ages “obscure” in the field of diplomacy and created modern diplomacy. He abandoned any moral and religious constraints and did everything that revolved around national interests.
The foreign policy he formulated had benefited France for more than 200 years and dominated Europe. However, the 30-year’s war he planned had divided Germany into many small states, and caused them in an everlasting turmoil until Bismarck united Germany. The process of German reunification showed that if there was no Bismarck’s “war right”, there would be no unity of the country, let alone the right to development.
3. Modernization Under The Saber Is The Only Choice For China
“The China Threat” theory is absolutely right. This is typical Western thinking. “I closed the door to develop our own economy. Who did I offend?” This Chinese way of thinking is not only stupid, neither is it “internationally aligned”. Looking back in the” Warring States Period” (in our history), when it came to national interest, there was no room for warmth and tenderness. The ones who held the slightest illusion were mercilessly punished by history at large. Of course, China’s development is a threat to Japan and others. Yet China itself should not look at it this way. It is nearly impossible for China to change the deep-rooted thinking of the Japanese and other powers, which are already “internationally aligned”. Therefore, the basis of our thinking should be and it must be that China’s development WILL pose a threat to Japan and others.
In the interest of reason, every country and nation has the right to survival and development. For example, as China’s economy develops, it must import oil. In order to protect the ecology, China has to import wood and other raw materials when closing mountains and reforestation. This is only natural. There is nothing more “reasonable”, but the big powers have the “reason” of the big powers. If oil purchases reach 100 million tons in 2010 and 200 million tons in 2020, will the super powers tolerate it?
Fighting for basic survival resources (including land and sea) is the root cause of most wars in history. There might be changes in this information age, but there will be no change in the root cause of wars. Look at Israel which is a developed, advanced, and civilized land. It’s been 50 years the Israelites are at wars with the Arabian and the Palestinian fighting for a tiny bit of land (including fighting over water) and they are still fighting nonstop till today, aren’t they?
In order to fight for the right to development, which cannot be more legitimate, China must prepare for war (unless the Chinese are forever impoverished and give up even the right to development). This is not determined by us; neither is it determined by some good people among us with good intentions. In fact this is determined by the customary “international order” and the world’s superpowers.
The strategy ensuring China’s 20 years of peace and development have come to an end. The international environment has undergone qualitative changes. That is, the superpowers are ready to interrupt China’s modernization process once again. If China wants to develop and safeguard its right to development, we must prepare for war. Only by preparing for war can there be room and time for development. The past 20 years of peaceful pastoral development has been the finale, and the next program to be staged is and can only be: modernization under the saber.
(to be continued in Part 2/2)
Chinese Original: 迟浩田: 战争正在向我们走来
Part 2 of this speech: CCP Former General Chi Haotian: The War is Coming to Us (2/2)
The other Chi Haotian’s Speech: War is not far from us, it is the midwife of the Chinese century
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