Senator Marsha Blackburn and American Lies About China

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Senator Blackburn needs to brush up on world history 101. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

On December 3, 2020, Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee tweeted, “China has a 5,000 year history of cheating and stealing. Some things will never change…” 

But the historical record shows the opposite. Clearly, she failed history class and needs to brush up. For the record, 5,000 years of Chinese culture demonstrates a pattern of continuous innovation and improvement. China was forward looking, prosperous, and peaceful while Europe was still in the dark Middle Ages. At one time, the Europeans desperately tried to spy on the Chinese to steal the secret of making silk and porcelain.

The late British scholar Joseph Needham (1900-1995) researched and edited a large volume of Chinese history entitled “Science and Civilization in China.” This listed Chinese inventions such as: paper making, gun powder, the printing press, and the compass.  He checked out the Chinese techniques of metallurgy, the mechanical clock, belt transmission, the arch bridge, deep well drilling, paddle steamers, mast sails, watertight compartments and stern rudders for sailing. In all, Needham wrote 26 books on remarkably advanced Chinese technology in seven volumes covering such areas as: science; mathematics, astronomy, earth science, physics, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, navigation; alchemy, military technology, ceramic technology, botany, agriculture, biotechnology, medicine, and the like. 

From British history, we learn that the notoriety of Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) was largely due to his role as a Royal pirate. For the British Crown he plundered the new territories of the Atlantic Ocean and numerous Spanish ships loaded with silver exploited from the Natives of the Americas, which added greatly to the loot acquired by the Royal treasury. With this unjust enrichment, Britain had the capital to start the Industrial Revolution, all the time fostering the worst of both Colonialism and Imperialism. In short, the modern British Empire was enriched by the accumulation of pirate booty from China and other parts of the world, including Africa.

In contrast, during the Ming Dynasty, between the years 1405-33, the Chinese navigator Zhang He, a Eunuch  of the court, led seven sea expeditions to western oceans. He visited places from the Persian Gulf to East Africa and sailed his fleets all the way to the Cape of Good Hope. Throughout his travels, he did not occupy or colonize any place, engage in human trafficking, nor plunder native treasures like the immoral and infamous Sir Francis Drake.

Later, American merchants set forth in clipper ships to China seeking trade and profit. The families of Astor, Forbes, Russell, Delano (the grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Perkins were instrumental in this endeavor including fostering what was called “The opium trade.” As opium smugglers they helped push this foreign “mud,” a bloodless killer, onto the Chinese people, and then sarcastically accused the addicts so created as the “sick man of Asia.” Most Ivy League Universities have the shadow of Chinese “black gold,” as mentioned in the book, “China Mirage.” In short, American merchants made their fortunes at the expense of the Chinese.

By the mid-Nineteenth Century, America had become an industrial and technologically advanced country, exporting its wares, and developing amnesia to its own history of theft. With time it mutated into a modern world police force, hypocritically designed to protect “corporate intellectual property.” 

In a like manner many of the treaties made between the U.S. government and Native Americans were signed by tricks and cheating. China was cheated in the Paris Peace Conference after WWI. In the 1945 Yalta Conference, China was lied to and then cheated by a Western international conspiracy. In 1982, America signed three declarations with China on the issue to reduce arms sales to Taiwan, but now the U.S. has increased its arms sales there. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at Texas A & M last year: "I was the CIA director, we lied, we cheated, we stole..." 

China's five thousand years of development comes from the hard work and wisdom of its people. The Chinese nation has enjoyed the world's most prosperous and advanced civilization for thousands of years, and its contribution to the world is indelible. Throughout history the world has enthusiastically beat the door to China’s vast market for trade and wealth. Senator Blackburn needs a course in history. That would be the beginning of wisdom. 

Mr. Ko, a resident of  SF Bay area, is a contributor to Singtao Daily, and a Chinese American Forum Associate editor since 1997. He's also a regular guest on Chinese radio talk shows. 

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