To tackle one’s hostile neighbor one has to know the behavior pattern of the neighbor, his economic strength, his inner dynamics within his house and his culture overall. From India’s point of view China falters abysmally on all 4 counts.
- China’s behavior pattern is perhaps the worst in the world. Extremely erratic and unstable. This can be judged from its choice of friends specifically Pakistan’s and it’s zero friends across all its borders.
- Its economic strength is based on blatant Industrialization at the cost of Agriculture. So much so that, China has created new cities to sustain its Industrialization as late as just 25yrs back.
- China’s internal dynamics is in shambles where restive regions are ready to severe themselves from the Mainland given the right time and purpose. The problems in the Xinjiang Province are just for public consumption. There are a plethora of provinces mainly bordering Mongolia, India (Tibet), Russia and Myanmar who are ready to bite the separatist bullet.
- Finally, China’s culture which is a culture of social apathy and selfishness. There was a particular horrendous example where a van had run over a 6 year old playing in the street and escaped. The girl was lying there for hours with people passing by without even glancing at the bleeding and dying girl. Such examples are indeed very common in China.
I would always like to back my observations with facts.
Over the past 1 year I have been to China twice, and my experiences within China would be a precursor as to never travel to China again. Not that I had any major negative experiences. My Chinese hosts took care of me aptly. But, I always tend to touch the underbelly of anything which I’m about to experience. And the under belly of the China which was trying to impress me was actually stinking.
My trips took me to 4 Major cities spread thousands of kilometers apart during these 2 trips. They being, Hong Kong (Chinese protectorate), Shenzhen, Shanghai & Yangzhou, which is an Island City on the Yangtze around 300 kms from Shanghai.
Hong Kong was actually a transit to the Chinese Mainland. But what stroked me like a slap is that, Chinese are not allowed to enter Hong Kong without a visa. Their own administered territory. Administered by the Chinese themselves. It is easier for an Indian to get a visa to Hong Kong than a Chinese. That is the level of trust deficit between the ruler (China) and its administered territory (Hong Kong). But anyone with a Hong Kong residency or Hong Kong visa (like mine) can easily enter Chinese mainland. Even without a visa.
My next stop being Shenzhen, which is across the border from Hong Kong across the Pearl River Delta also called as Shenzhen Bay. The city of Shenzhen will stun you. Normally cities take more than Millennia to evolve. From a village to a busy trading post to a town then to a Municipality and finally to a city. The gradual metamorphosis from a village or town to a city takes hundreds if not thousands of years.
Every city in this world has a rich history. But Shenzhen is all of just 35 years old. It was no Municipality before, no town before that, no trading post and certainly no village to start with. It was designated as a market town with a population of just over 30,000 and in 1979 it was given a status of a City and became China’s 1st SEZ (Special Economic Zone). Today, just within a span of around 35 years its Metropolitan population is close to around 18 Million almost equal to that of Mumbai, Kolkata or New Delhi.
Almost a quarter of the city is owned by a Telecom Group which has its head quarters located at Shenzhen. Another glaring example of China’s high level corruption. The city is dotted with High rises, theme parks, boulevards, and the latest luxury cars speeding on its rich roads and night clubs. Absolutely no sign of Culture and tradition. Unlike every city across the world which has an old quarter and a new quarter, Shenzhen has everything new. There is nothing old in Shenzhen, including humans.
It is as if China has discarded their old completely and banned them from entering this man made concrete mass called a city. 90% of Chinese seen here are young, which could be below 30 years. And the balance 10% between 30-50. The average age of people living in Shenzhen being less than 30yrs at present.
My next trip took me to Yangzhou an island city of a Million on the Mighty Yangtze also renamed as the Brahmaputra in India. Yangzhou city is dedicated to high end Electrical Industry, with Global giants like GE & Siemens having their Manufacturing units located there. Most important Yangzhou is the HQ of a Chinese Electrical major that owns 50% of the city.
The only 5 Star Hotel in this city too is owned by this group. It goes without saying I was their guest and put up at this hotel. In China one has the unique concept of Industrial Groups owning large swathes of cities.
It is an official form of corruption. I had the privilege (as I was made to understand) of having dinner with the President of the Group, a Han Chinese. The President spoke excellent English, but he deliberately chose to address me and my team (who were all Arab) in Chinese. I was the technocrat of the group and my Chinese hosts were specifically advised by my Arab friends who had their own interests to be served that, if the deal (which was in Millions of Dollars) was to be through, I was the person who had to be convinced by any means.
What followed was Moral Debauchery of the highest level, which convinced me that this country was not a country to be dealt with let alone to come back. Mid way through the meal a toast was proposed by the President. The toast as was explained to me was mandatory as part of their ‘Culture’ and was to be consumed single gulp ‘on the rocks’.
The toast was a Chinese local spirit served in cups known as ‘Baiju’ which is perhaps the strongest spirit in the world with the alcohol percentage touching 60% by volume. In comparison Malt Whiskey or Blended Malt Whiskey has 40-50% Alcohol by Volume (abv) but they are always consumed with a mixture of soda or cola stirred with ice. I was subtly sounded by the British Manager of the Company that refusing the toast would be considered an insult to their Culture.
Within a span of 30 minutes I was coaxed into a minimum of 6-7 cups. If that was the case it left me wondering how it was not considered an insult when my Muslim Arab colleagues could refuse the toast under the pretext of their culture.
By the 5th gulp the sketch was pretty clear to me as to what was going on, when eventually one of the Chinese engineers was conveyed a signal and he subsequently came and sat on my laps (he too being high on Baiju). He whispered silently into my ear that they have something very special waiting for me after dinner.
It did not take more than a few milliseconds to understand what that ‘special’ was. In fact, I had encountered that special (in fact 3 specials) in the lobby where we all met prior to our dinner. These specials brought into the hotel (their own hotel) in plush Benz SUVs. After my 6th Baiju where I was close to passing out, I instructed my sober team in Arabic (I speak fluent Arabic) with whatever little sense left in me, to inform our hosts that we had to attend to a conference call with our Chairman in the next 15 mins, and that we had to take their leave. By the time this was conveyed not a single Chinese in the room was in his senses. One of them had started to strip.
So much so for a cultural drink. If that was really part of their culture than their bodies and nervous system should be used to it. I was comparatively more sober than each of them. It was clear that it was a clear case of Honey Trapping, which did not go as per their plan. I went to my room and passed out.
I was later on informed the next day by my team who were staying in the same floor that, 2 of the young Chinese Engineers were banging on my door almost whole night. The next day I made it clear to my team that I wasn’t amused by the happenings of the previous night and made it clear that things might not be on expected lines. Though personally I was highly impressed by their technical set-up.
This in a brief was Chinese Culture. Extremely Corrupt, obnoxious, ruthless, devoid of Human values and extremely paranoid.
My final stop was Shanghai during both my trips. A city of concrete. Complete concrete. I always used to wonder the rising LMEs (London Metal Exchange) price of Copper, Aluminum & Steel, over the past 25 years.
I have personally overseen the LME of Copper increase from around $500 per tonne to close to $9,000.00 per ton within 10 years. LME is the price fixed at 9.00am London Time for metals traded on the London Metal Exchange.
This price is fixed throughout the world for the 24 hour period until the next day. I have heard every International Supplier of Copper, Aluminum & Steel which we purchase in reasonable quantities lay the blame of rising LMEs at China’s door step. My twin trips to China affirmed this reason. The entire world payed the price due to China’s insatiable appetite for these 3 metals, which had a ripple effect on Oil Prices.
Specifically India, which is perhaps the largest consumer of Crude Oil after China in the World. In the same time Crude Oil too jumped from $20 a barrel to $150 a barrel.
I am still reeling under the fact that, after seeing and visiting 3 major cities in China with a combined population of 50 Million almost equal to the population of any major Indian State, I could not see even one Individual house standing on its own, occupied by a single family in any of these 3 cities. In comparison India is a land of Individual houses.
Even in cities. It is everyone’s dream in India to have his own house with a small yard. I have my own house. Not inherited but built with my own sweat and blood. So, will my children. My land and my country offers me that luxury. But, in China, buildings, buildings and more buildings. Concrete, concrete & more concrete. Steel, steel & more steel. But now, many of these buildings lying unfinished and if finished, unsold.
My conclusion, something is wrong with this country. Something seriously wrong. The way it conducts its politics, international affairs, business, religion or culture. This is a nation heading towards anarchy.
A country which hangs out the entire carcass of an animal on the abattoir windows, eyes, nose and tongue included as meat display. Even on display windows of a restaurant in an International Airport. A country which has no hesitation in eating any animal available. A country which has no idea of nationalism let alone the meaning of the word. Yes!! It’s true!! You wont come across a Chinese patriot. There are in fact no Chinese patriots. The only known Chinese Nationalists or patriots were kicked away to present day province of Taiwan by Mao and his gang during the Cultural Revolution.
Later on Taiwan was proclaimed as a separate country by these Nationalists, and now become 100% Christian under the influence of foreign businesses. A country (China) which has lived always under the might of the Japanese & Koreans. A country whose knowledge of Imperialism has always been to be ruled rather than rule. When a country has many ethnicities and nationalities there should be a common thread which binds them together. That thread is Religion.
China & India are similar in more than one way. Many cultures, many ethnicities and many languages. But India is bound together by a common religion (the great Hindu Religion), a common binding overall Hindu culture (though there are many individual sub-cultures of different states) and most important, a common sense of Patriotism.
China by shunning and discouraging religion as a State Policy has shot itself in its foot and tries to wash its bleeding feet in the mighty Yangtze each time so as not to remind itself of its great peril.
Consequently, foreign companies who invaded China for the lure of cheap manufacturing options have also lured the brainless Chinese into their religion which is Christianity. Unconfirmed facts portray that almost 40% of Chinese have embraced Christianity.
A percentage, which by the turn of the 20th Century was in its single digits. Conversely Indian though being ruled by the British for over 350 years and in spite a massive State sponsored encouragement towards the spread of Christianity since 60yrs after Independence has never allowed Christianity to cross more then 2-3%.
The Cultural Revolution initiated by Mao and his sidekicks brought in a sense of Nationalism by purging Millions & Millions of Chinese. That was his way of inducing Nationalism. This was by fear. It is that fear which is still evident in their lean eyes and lean frame.
It was the stupidity of a certain over confident Jawaharlal Lal Nehru and his equally stupid Defense Minister Krishna Menon who gave the Chinese a taste of Military success. Otherwise the Chinese have always been defeated. There is no record, absolutely no record of any Chinese Military success anytime, anywhere in history.
The Chinese themselves might be amused at the attention Pakistan gives it which they themselves are aware that they don’t deserve. Pakistan depending on China for its Military Support is akin to a snake which has slithered into a backyard and seeing the dog (India) guarding the yard went up to the cat (China) for its support. For all we know the cat itself might chew off the snake’s head when left alone with the snake in the yard.
A risk which the brain dead Pakistanis are not aware of. Come what may, China will never risk another Military action against India. Any Military action against India will definitely cost them many lives. The damage to their huge economy notwithstanding. This will spell doom for the Communist Party in China.
The Political arrangement in China is so fragile and akin to stacked up logs of wood. The entire stack would seem so tough from the exterior, but a small heave at the bottom would bring all the logs crashing down. The only way the Chinese decided to control their huge population with its immense diversity was by opening up its economy to the west.
The west fear China not because of its Military might but because of the Trillions they have invested in China. If anything happens to China, the economy of the World collapses. This is precisely the fear which the West has which has emboldened China and which it seems to be playing on repeatedly.
There was an interesting conversation on Martial Arts in China initiated by my Arab Colleagues. And invariably the discussion hovered around as to how and when was Kung Fu which was made so popular by Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan invented?
My Chinese host who was the Vice President (the President had not yet arrived) was trying to convey with pleasure about King Fu. It was when I intervened and confirmed that Kung Fu was not invented in China but was brought to China by an Indian Prince who was visiting the Shaolin.
There was absolute pin drop silence among my almost 10 Chinese hosts as if they had just witnessed a massive snake just slither into the room. After about a massive time gap of a minute the VP broke his silence and said ‘Ah Yes!!! You are right!!!’