China's historical grand strategy: defensive or offensive?


Max Demian

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  • #112
Any Chinese history book written by a Chinese guy in Chinese.... There are about 1000 of them.

No one here is going to read your book, because they just don't care what some random white guy thinks about Chinese history that based on your description is pretty shallow.
The random white guy is Yuan-kang Wang:
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Phoenix_Rising

Junior Member
There is a meme in China called "过于离谱,宛如反串" "the demonstration is so ridiculous that looks like taunting his own statement", a folks version of "not even wrong".

The core of Confucianism is not about interest, we can view it as "rite makes right". Under the guidence, the political order of Sinosphere was that everyone within the known world was ruled by China's Emperor, just in different form of entity, different authority of governing, and different level of rite.

Take a sentence out of context will lead to wrong meaning. Educated people should avoid doing so, unless in purpose.
Cut a clip of ancient Chinese history, then use those "sovereignty", "national country", "international relation" etc. Westphalian mechanism to comprehend it. It is also pointless to study Chinese history without the context of Chinese culture.
Such so-called research could only lead to ridiculous result. Actually, the entire thing was started by some creepy agenda.

Imperial Japan had used it to deny China as a constant and united political body, to help justify their invasion and dispel the will of resistance of Chinese.
US continued to play the dirty trick during and after the cold war, to destablize the ethnic regions of China.

To anyone who want to study Liao-Song relation, he need to go through the background of "Five Dynasties and Ten States" period, where Liao and Song was originated (In fact, it was only 20km away between 2 places where the founding emperor of Liao and Song got crowned).
To study 5D10S period, one need have some basic sense about the super duper militaristic bloody politics in late Tang Dynasty.
That goes back to the setup of the title "节度使 military commissioner/governor" by the 5th Emperor of Tang, which followed by the An-Shi Rebellion to the next Emperor.

That is your basic preparation before having some conclusion from the Liao-Song War.
 

Max Demian

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That is common practice actually along both northern and southern border of China Nomadic people attracted to Chinese culture and decide to become Chinese people talk about the pull of Chinese culture So Chinese is not a race never was but it is culture And anybody can join in if they adopt the Chinese culture and way of life.
How old is this concept of "Chineseness"? Is this the same as the ancient concept of Huaxia?

Others have said that the Liao qualified as Chinese because they were a sinified people, regardless of the fact that they had a unique language, culture and writing system. Yet, at that time, Song always called them barbarians and foreigners. I've read somewhere that to the old Confucian society of the Song, you were either Han (or was it Hua?) or you were not, no matter how sinified you were and regardless of whether you lived within the borders of Song or outside.

Famous historians, like Fairbank, have described the Liao state as dual: the occupied sixteen prefectures were governed in Chinese style, while the remaining 90+% of their territory was governed in the traditional nomadic Khitan style.
1603361710421.png

What are your thoughts on this?

A article on Wikipedia on the Hua-Yi distinction, as it regards the Song-Liao relationship:
The Song Dynasty saw both an economic boom and invasion by alien states. States like the
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(遼) and
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(西夏) began to take territories inhabited by large numbers of Chinese and asserted that they too were Chinese and successors to the Tang, and posed legitimacy issues for Song rule.

In response to rising concerns from citizenry and claims from Yi states such as the Western Xia, Song scholars stipulated that groups like the
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(whom the Song largely succeeded and who largely continued the rule of the Tang) were not barbarian or "Yi" but Chinese or "Hua" and that the Song had only descended from ruling groups that were Hua. Secondly, the Song asserted that the Liao and Western Xia, and later the
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(金), were barbarian states despite their control of large areas of Chinese territory because they had not inherited any mandate from a legitimate, "Hua" dynasty.
 
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Max Demian

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So written by a Taiwanese traitor that works for Brookings. So you think he is unbiased?
Instead, I should have full faith in the CCP sponsored history textbooks? Is this where you learned your Chinese history from?

The authors basic premise regarding the Song dynasties wars with Liao and Jin is pretty much in line with how Chinese history is (or used to, since after the latest reforms it seems to be heavily trimmed) taught in Taiwan.

Here is a confession I found on Quora from a Taiwanese student posted in 2017:

A Taiwanese Quoran said:
As an ethnic Han Chinese in Taiwan, I have to disagree with the answers that affirm to the idea of China being historically a “peaceful power.” The majority in China probably learned the “alternative version.” I don’t know how mainland China teaches it, but I can give you a summary of what we learned in Taiwan.

The Shang people were a militant nation, they raided “barbarians” and mutilated them, even offered them to Di (帝). In the end, the Shang were overthrown by the Zhou people, who brought in a different culture and beliefs though they spoke a similar language (both Sinitic). The King of Zhou divided lands among his subjects, elevating their status to feudal lords. However, the Zhou continued the practice of raiding southern “barbarians” outside of the realm who, unlike the nomadic raiders in the north, were the receiver of foreign pillaging. These “southern barbarians” mixed with the Chu state, who was also looked down upon by the other states of Zhou for being affiliated with barbarian cultures and for having an “impure” noble lineage. The Chu rebelled and declared their own King in the South, but was crushed by the Qin in the end. The Qin was highly militant. With a warrior ideology and Legalist philosophy, the Qin standardized military equipments and prepared for endless battles. As the Qin launched counterattacks to the North, it simultaneously began to campaign in the South to gain more “living space.”

The Qin general Zhao Tuo later completed the task, and began the Chinese colonization of the South. Yet again, the South gained its independence as it became disconnected with the North when the Han overthrew the Qin. But the Han, too, began a journey to recapture the Southern Kingdom, then proceeded to further colonization by launching many more. To the North, the Han merely retaliated against the Xiongnu, who continuously raided the Han border. Centuries later, the Han collapsed into a blood civil war known as the Three Kingdoms period. Alas, the Wei had reunified China, but quickly it was usurped by the House of Sima Yi, founding the Jin dynasty.

The Jin marked the start of another chaotic era, as the barbarians to the North unified as a confederation and successfully invaded China Proper. The barbarians pushed the legitimate Chinese state to the south, then split again into many states occupying Northern China. Finally, one of the Northern states grew powerful and swallowed the South, leaving the Northern and Southern dynasties period to the Sui dynasty.

The Sui was founded by a general who “usurped” the throne, and the dynasty too maintained aggressive policies against the giant in the North, Goguryeo. However, the Chinese defeat became one of the factors which led to the downfall of Sui. The Tang resumed the failed legacy of the Sui and regained Chinese glory by successfully conquering Goguryeo, which completely annihilated them.

So why do so many Chinese in China believe Ancient China was peaceful when no ancient state was? One word, politics. The People’s Republic of China claims to be disconnected from its feudal past. Furthermore, the state ideology is founded on the principle that it is a state of multiple ethnicities. Hence, the historical view of the PRC is that all of these invasions in the past were “internal affairs” of the 55+1 ethnic groups, such as civil war, local rebellion, and pacification.

But this is pure bullshit. Historical revisionism in mainland China is so far deviated from the actual facts, to the extent that they categorize the Khitan and Jurchen invasions of Song China as a matter of civil war. But Chinese history must appear to be “peaceful” at all cost, because the truth that tells otherwise is an obstacle to the so-called “ethnic harmony” promoted by the Communist Party of China. The fact that one ethnic group had been a historical enemy of another in a certain period of time is the inconvenient truth in mainland Chinese politics. Did the Mongols invade the Song dynasty? No. It was just a dynastic transition, and Mongols are Chinese too. Did the Manchus invade the Ming? No, again. It was just a transition, and Manchus are now Chinese so no need to bring this up. Do you see the pattern?
 

jimmyjames30x30

Junior Member
Registered Member
There is a meme in China called "过于离谱,宛如反串" "the demonstration is so ridiculous that looks like taunting his own statement", a folks version of "not even wrong".

The core of Confucianism is not about interest, we can view it as "rite makes right". Under the guidence, the political order of Sinosphere was that everyone within the known world was ruled by China's Emperor, just in different form of entity, different authority of governing, and different level of rite.

Take a sentence out of context will lead to wrong meaning. Educated people should avoid doing so, unless in purpose.
Cut a clip of ancient Chinese history, then use those "sovereignty", "national country", "international relation" etc. Westphalian mechanism to comprehend it. It is also pointless to study Chinese history without the context of Chinese culture.
Such so-called research could only lead to ridiculous result. Actually, the entire thing was started by some creepy agenda.

Imperial Japan had used it to deny China as a constant and united political body, to help justify their invasion and dispel the will of resistance of Chinese.
US continued to play the dirty trick during and after the cold war, to destablize the ethnic regions of China.

To anyone who want to study Liao-Song relation, he need to go through the background of "Five Dynasties and Ten States" period, where Liao and Song was originated (In fact, it was only 20km away between 2 places where the founding emperor of Liao and Song got crowned).
To study 5D10S period, one need have some basic sense about the super duper militaristic bloody politics in late Tang Dynasty.
That goes back to the setup of the title "节度使 military commissioner/governor" by the 5th Emperor of Tang, which followed by the An-Shi Rebellion to the next Emperor.

That is your basic preparation before having some conclusion from the Liao-Song War.
Are you talking about Confucius and Mencius's Confucianism, or are you talking about Confucianism reinvented by Dong Zhongshu (董仲舒)of Han Dynasty and afterwards?

When you use the word "Emperor", are you referring to “天子” as in "周天子“, or "皇帝” as in "秦始皇帝"?This question is extremely important and fundamental, if we are to discuss about Chinese history.

This is a very important question, because the original Confucianism was born in a true feudalistic Chinese world, back in the Eastern Zhou dynasty. After the establishment of the Qin dynasty, China is not longer truly feudalistic, it is a centralized imperial system based on "郡县制". You simply can not have a true feudalism when there are no longer any feudal establishments and control structure, Qin China and onward is no longer ruled and controlled by hundreds of different feudal lords dividing China into tens, hundreds and even thousands of fiefdoms.

《周礼》(Rites of Zhou) is a system that is specifically established for the sake of coordinating the many different levels of local feudal lords in a feudalistic China. History didn't take that route. China went through Legalism (法家) reform and became an "郡县制" (note: don't have the proper English translation of this term) centralized imperial system. Fiefs were no longer relevant in the control structure of China ever since the Qin Dynasty. Without the fiefs as a central element of China, 《周礼》is no longer politically relevant as it used to be in Zhou Dynasty. The only reason Confucianism was revered was first because it became a symbol of the unified identity and China. 《周礼》was a shared culture among all the former kingdoms that morphed into Han China. To revere Confucianism and the 《周礼》is to celebrate the Chinese cultural identity. This is because 郡县制 China was a new thing.

However, even today there are many feudal remnant of the Zhou dynasty alive. Chinese people still love their long past history of feudal identity. The people of Yangtze River Delta still love to say that their 吴越 culture is unique amount all Chinese. The people of Hubei and Wuhan still says "不服周“ as part of their slang, as if they are still the citizens of the long perished Chu Kingdom. The people of Sichuan and Chongqing still love their 巴蜀 culture, enjoying their uniqueness and deeply rooted in the long past 巴、蜀 kingdoms way back in the Zhou dynasty and even earlier. This is the beauty of China, in which the Han Chinese are both of the same identity AND of each of their own much older culture identity before the idea of "Han" (汉) was born.
 

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