Islamic State Releases Song To Target Chinese Jihadis

we are mujahid

On December 7 the Islamic State (ISIS) released a song in Mandarin in an effort to recruit Chinese Muslim fighters. Most jihadi propaganda targets Muslim Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang Province, but it’s rarely done in Mandarin; rather the calls come in the Turkic Uighur language. It’s hard to say who this song is dedicated to, but there is a chance that the aim is to rouse China’s Hui Muslim minority into waging war against the Communist Party. The Hui, like ISIS, practice a Sunni form of Islam but are considered very moderate.

According to Z News, the song was made in Pakistan by Al-Hayat Media Center, an Islamic State media outlet. And according to SITE intelligence group, it was released through Twitter and the messaging app Telegram.

Interestingly, one of the lines in the song talks about “a century of slavery” that has left “shameful memories” for Chinese Muslims, which could be a reference to the “Century of Humiliation” – a Chinese government narrative used to describe the West’s treatment of China from the Opium Wars to the founding of the People’s Republic. This use of language would sound familiar to any Chinese listener.

China has come into closer focus for the Islamic State in the last year and half since ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said in a July 2014 speech that “Muslim rights are forcibly seized in China, India, Palestine…” The Hong Kong magazine Phoenix Weekly, which broke the story in China, noted that China was called out first on the list. The result was a spike in interest and outrage in China towards the Islamic State’s actions. That continued when in June of this year ISIS released a video featuring an 80 year old Uighur grandfather, said to be the oldest member of ISIS, who defected to Syria from China and brought his family with him. In September, a knife attack by Uighur separatists prompted a government crackdown in Xinjiang, including an outright ban on several Muslim names. Then in November, the Chinese government confirmed that ISIS had executed Beijing native Fan Jinghui whom they had kidnapped in Syria and put up for ransom along with a Norwegian man. Later that month, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou “urged the public not to panic” when ISIS released a video in which a display of the flags of countries fighting against them included the flag of Taiwan, which was taken to mean ISIS recognition of Taiwan as a sovereign country.

This song, “We Are Mujahid”, came out just a couple of weeks later. If you didn’t know what it was, what is said, and who made it, you might actually like it. It’s hypnotically catchy. Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for, listen here and scroll down to sing along.

There were a couple parts I wasn’t sure about, so if you want to correct a translation, please do so in the comments. 


我们是 Mujahid, 无耻的敌人会恐慌,
Wǒmen shì Mujahid, wúchǐ de dírén huì kǒnghuāng,
We are Mujahid, our shameless enemies will be stricken with fear and panic,

站死在这沙场上就是我们的梦想.
Zhàn sǐ zài zhè shāchǎng shàng jiùshì wǒmen de mèngxiǎng.
To die on this battleground is our dream.

我们是 Mujahid, 无耻的敌人会恐慌,
Wǒmen shì Mujahid, wúchǐ de dírén huì kǒnghuāng,
We are Mujahid, our shameless enemies will be stricken with fear and panic,

站死在这沙场上就是我们的梦想.
Zhàn sǐ zài zhè shāchǎng shàng jiùshì wǒmen de mèngxiǎng.
To die on this battleground is our dream.

一个世纪被奴役, 留下那耻辱的回忆,
Yīgè shìjì bèi núyì, liú xià nà chǐrǔ de huíyì,
A century of slavery, leaving that shameful memory,

无知的沉睡下去, 噩梦就会直去.
Wǒ zhǐ de chénshuì xiàqù, èmèng jiù huì zhí qù.
Deep in ignorant slumber, the nightmare continues.

一个世纪被奴役, 留下那耻辱的回忆,
Yīgè shìjì bèi núyì, liú xià nà chǐrǔ de huíyì,
A century of slavery, leaving that shameful memory,

无知的沉睡下去, 噩梦就会直去.
Wǒ zhǐ de chénshuì xiàqù, èmèng jiù huì zhí qù.
Deep in ignorant slumber, the nightmare continues.

起来吧穆斯林兄弟, 现在是觉醒的时期,
Qǐláiba mùsīlín xiōngdì, xiànzài shíjiān xǐng de shíqí,
Get up Muslim brother, now is the time to awaken,

来上信仰和勇气, 履行丢失的教义.
Lái shàng xìnyǎng hé yǒngqì, lǚxíng diūshī de jiàoyì.
Take up your faith and courage, fulfill the lost doctrine.

起来吧穆斯林兄弟, 现在是觉醒的时期,
Qǐláiba mùsīlín xiōngdì, xiànzài shíjiān xǐng de shíqí,
Get up Muslim brother, now is the time to awaken,

来上信仰和勇气, 履行丢失的教义.
Lái shàng xìnyǎng hé yǒngqì, lǚxíng diūshī de jiàoyì.
Take up your faith and courage, fulfill the lost doctrine.

我们是 Mujahid, 无耻的敌人会恐慌,
Wǒmen shì Mujahid, wúchǐ de dírén huì kǒnghuāng,
We are Mujahid, our shameless enemies will be stricken with fear and panic,

站死在这沙场上就是我们的梦想.
Zhàn sǐ zài zhè shāchǎng shàng jiùshì wǒmen de mèngxiǎng.
To die on this battleground is our dream.

我们只遵守这古兰经和圣训,
Wǒmen shì zūnshǒu zhè gǔlánjīng hé shèng xùn
We only abide by the Koran and Sunnah,

没有任何力量能阻止我们的前进.
Méiyǒu rènhé lìliàng néng zǔzhǐ wǒmen de qiánjìn.
There is no power whatsoever that can impede our progress.

我们只遵守这古兰经和圣训,
Wǒmen shì zūnshǒu zhè gǔlánjīng hé shèng xùn
We only abide by the Koran and Sunnah,

没有任何力量能阻止我们的前进.
Méiyǒu rènhé lìliàng néng zǔzhǐ wǒmen de qiánjìn.
There is no power whatsoever that can impede our progress.

为祝祷而战斗, 为大阿拉的命令,
Wèi zhùdǎo ér zhàndòu, wéi dà āla de mìnglìng
To pray and wage war, for Great Allah’s commands,

拿起武器去反抗, 权谋胜的这里. (???)
Ná qǐ wǔqì qù fǎnkàng, quánmóu shèng de zhèlǐ. (???)
Take up arms and resist, deception/trickery will lead to victory. (Not sure about the second half, WSJ translates it as “To take up weapons in rebellion is Muhammad’s order.”)

为祝祷而战斗, 为大阿拉的命令,
Wèi zhùdǎo ér zhàndòu, wéi dà āla de mìnglìng
To pray and wage war, for Great Allah’s commands,

拿起武器去反抗, 权谋胜的这里. (???)
Ná qǐ wǔqì qù fǎnkàng, quánmóu shèng de zhèlǐ. (???)
Take up arms and resist, deception/trickery will lead to victory. (Not sure about the second half, WSJ translates it as “To take up weapons in rebellion is Muhammad’s order.”)

我们是 Mujahid, 无耻的敌人会恐慌,
Wǒmen shì Mujahid, wúchǐ de dírén huì kǒnghuāng,
We are Mujahid, our shameless enemies will be stricken with fear and panic,

站死在这沙场上就是我们的梦想.
Zhàn sǐ zài zhè shāchǎng shàng jiùshì wǒmen de mèngxiǎng.
To die on this battleground is our dream.

伊斯兰的辉煌在那里史上,
Yīsīlán de huīhuáng yíliú zài nàlǐ shǐshàng,
The brilliance of Islam is handed down through history,

让它重返光芒, 是奋斗的方向.
Ràng tā chóng fǎn guāngmáng, shì fèndòu de fāngxiàng.
To have a return to radiance, that is the direction of the struggle.

伊斯兰的辉煌在那里史上,
Yīsīlán de huīhuáng yíliú zài nàlǐ shǐshàng,
The brilliance of Islam is handed down through history,

让它重返光芒, 是奋斗的方向.
Ràng tā chóng fǎn guāngmáng, shì fèndòu de fāngxiàng.
To have a return to radiance, that is the direction of the struggle.

起来吧穆斯林兄弟, 现在是觉醒的时期,
Qǐláiba mùsīlín xiōngdì, xiànzài shíjiān xǐng de shíqí,
Get up Muslim brother, now is the time to awaken,

来上信仰和勇气, 履行丢失的教义.
Lái shàng xìnyǎng hé yǒngqì, lǚxíng diūshī de jiàoyì.
Take up your faith and courage, fulfill the lost doctrine.

起来吧穆斯林兄弟, 现在是觉醒的时期,
Qǐláiba mùsīlín xiōngdì, xiànzài shíjiān xǐng de shíqí,
Get up Muslim brother, now is the time to awaken,

来上信仰和勇气, 履行丢失的教义.
Lái shàng xìnyǎng hé yǒngqì, lǚxíng diūshī de jiàoyì.
Take up your faith and courage, fulfill the lost doctrine.

我们是 Mujahid, 无耻的敌人会恐慌,
Wǒmen shì Mujahid, wúchǐ de dírén huì kǒnghuāng,
We are Mujahid, our shameless enemies will be stricken with fear and panic,

站死在这沙场上就是我们的梦想.
Zhàn sǐ zài zhè shāchǎng shàng jiùshì wǒmen de mèngxiǎng.
To die on this battleground is our dream.

China Is Playing The West At The Paris Climate Conference

serve the people

The Illuminati-One World Order-One World Government guys may be on to something this time. Well, it looks like it on the surface anyway what with words like “International Tribunal of Climate Justice” and sentences like UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s “The business community is asking for a clear signal from governments that the low emissions economy is inevitable” being spoken. Nearly 200 countries are in the middle of negotiations at the Paris climate conference, with the prospect of a legally binding grand bargain among the nations being hammered out.

As Shikha Dalmia recalls in The Week:

“Every major climate change initiative to date has gone up in smoke. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which sought to cut emissions 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, was doomed from the start. India and China, even then among the world’s top five polluters, refused to even participate. Meanwhile, President Bill Clinton supported the treaty, but he didn’t have a prayer of getting it past the U.S. Congress, so he didn’t even try. Canada ratified the deal but blew its target cuts by 25 percent and eventually quit. Japan and New Zealand similarly faced a compliance gap. Europe met its target but not because its cap-and-trade program was a roaring success, as environmentalists would have you believe. Rather, it was because the industrial emissions of former Soviet bloc countries were so awful in 1990 that minor access to better Western technology produced major gains. Also, Europe’s 2007 recession helped!

“The 2009 Copenhagen conference to hammer out a Kyoto sequel was an even bigger debacle. India and China participated — but only to play spoilsports. They rejected America’s proposed emission cuts as small potatoes that didn’t even come close to atoning for America’s historic role in causing the problem in the first place. The whole thing ended on a sour note with global leaders unable to muster anything beyond a statement noting the need to keep global temperatures 2 degrees centigrade below industrial levels.”

But as Ronald Bailey reports at Reasonthe atmosphere of this conference is a bit warmer than in the past:

“Paris, France – I’ve reported from so many U.N. climate change conferences that I’ve lost count (11 or 12, I think), but I have never before experienced what is happening in the slapped-together particle board hallways of the Le Bourget exposition site: Optimism. Even a bit of giddiness on the part of the diplomats, and even among the always dour environmentalist groups. At earlier meetings the set ritual has been for activists during the second week to issue a constant stream of urgent denunciations. Sure, one still hears here that there is only 24 hours to get this or that deal done, but the upbeat tone is nevertheless widespread…

“There is another reason for a feeling of serenity at the conference: the absence of mobs of protestors. The commotion produced by of masses of demonstrators inside and outside the climate conferences contributed significantly to the fraught atmosphere that pervaded previous meetings. The French government has used the terrorist atrocities in November as a justification to ban all public protests and marches. This seems to have taken the heart out of lot of would-be climate agitators. Yes, the occasional campaigner dressed in a polar bear costume does wander by, but participants are not being hectored by throngs of doomsters constantly crying climate calamity from their various soapboxes. The result is that the conference venue is imbued with an unaccustomed sense of orderly calm.”

That order and optimism should be worrying for the United States and anyone in any country who values free enterprise and national sovereignty.

One of the linchpins of the conference is funding for various climate change related initiatives, organized by the Obama administration at the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference, in which rich countries have pledged to contribute $100 billion a year by 2020. President Xi Jinping said in Paris, “Developed countries should honor their commitment of mobilizing $100 billion each year before 2020 and provide stronger support to developing countries afterward.”

G77 Chairwoman Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko said, “We repeatedly call on developed countries to provide the necessary support to enable the members of the Group to take on their fair share of the global effort…many of these INDCs [intended nationally determined contributions] include a component on adaptation and action which we have to take as a result mostly of the historical emissions by developed countries…This was done without any concrete reassurances from our partners that post-2020 support will be available.”

The G77 Chairwoman added that these climate initiatives must be “supported by finance, technology development and transfer and capacity-building by developed country parties…The outcome regarding finance must provide clarity on the level of financial support that will be provided by developed country parties to developing country parties to allow for enhanced implementation of the Convention in the post-2020 period, as well as existing commitment on pre-2020 finance,” she stressed.

India is also a wrench in the gears. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the threats posed by climate change are the result of “the prosperity and progress of an industrial age powered by fossil fuel. But we in India face its consequences today.” One of India’s negotiators proclaimed in a press conference that the financing is “not a donation, but is an obligation on the part of developed countries” and that there is “an entitlement to receive finance on part of developing countries.”

As Bailey also reports, “In Paris, poor countries are insisting that $100 billion is a floor and that climate finance should be substantially scaled up from there. The poor countries are also insisting that the accord adopt mechanisms that track and verify the amounts of climate finance flowing from rich countries.” (Italics mine.)

In other words, pay up or shut up.

Western leaders in those “developed” countries (as if development has an end) will play along because most of them believe in this guilt narrative. If you can stomach it, here’s Al Gore who “likened the fight against climate change to earlier great moral crusades such as the abolition of slavery and apartheid, the right of women to vote and civil rights for all. Just like them, Gore said, the climate change struggle has a simple ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. ‘The right choice is to safeguard the future for the next generation and for the generations to come.’” President Francois Hollande struck a similar tone, “so many people and future generations will be very strict when they judge what was done by heads of state and government, especially when it comes to those who did not assume their responsibilities, who did not opt for a universal, legally binding, differentiated agreement.”

This is especially sad coming from the French president, when only a few weeks ago the ugly reality of the real global threat – radical Islamic terrorism – hit right in the face the very city where this conference to fight a highly questionable global threat is being held. As radio talk show host Dennis Prager often says, those who don’t fight evil hate those who do. Climate change is the one area where world leaders who have failed to deal with global jihad can feel like they are doing something good together.

***

In November 2014 during President Obama’s visit to Beijing, he announced alongside President Xi that the US and China had reached an agreement in which “The United States intends to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its emissions by 26%-28% below its 2005 level in 2025 and to make best efforts to reduce its emissions by 28%. China intends to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030 and to make best efforts to peak early and intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030.” That’s right, the US will commit to meeting these targets by 2025, and China will commit to start thinking about reducing carbon emissions, which is not pollution, by 2030. Classic Obamadeal.

The entire reason behind it was to signal to all the countries now gathered in Paris that the two biggest economies in the world were on the same page, therefore everyone else should get on board.

That China has gone from climate conference foil to enthusiastic cheerleader (or Bali to 巴黎 ) is touted by President Obama as a victory for the cause. But an examination of China’s domestic energy policy points to another conclusion: China is doing what it would be doing anyway because of internal public pressure to deal with air pollution, and they have repackaged that policy to fit with the UN climate change agenda.

The Communist Party truly does want to improve the pollution situation in China, but it’s because dealing with that problem has become an internal legitimacy question, not because they want to “combat climate change.” Such questions are above all others for the Party. And, with good historical reason, the Chinese are very wary of jeopardizing their sovereignty to Western led institutions. In a report released last month by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Patricia Adams examines China’s positions and opens with this insight:

“The apparent contradiction between what the West wants and what China’s leadership needs is easily resolved. China’s leadership knows that what China says to the West is more important than what China does, absolving it of the need to make any binding commitment to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions. China also knows that Western leaders’ have no firm expectation of concrete commitments in Paris. Rather, their paramount goal is to maintain face at the Paris talks, which would collapse without China’s presence.

“China is deftly preparing the stage in Paris to position itself as the Third World’s defender and also as a recipient of the billions in climate aid that it is demanding from the West. We can expect more announcements, agreements, and soaring rhetoric from global politicians at the Paris Conference, along with an agreement to meet again next year. What we cannot expect are reforms designed to reduce China’s carbon emissions.”

The Chinese have simply observed the scene and caught on to the game. They have also had more time since the last two climate conferences to observe the Obama administration and how willing it is to give away massive concessions, such as the November 2014 carbon emissions agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. Who can blame them really? They are just taking advantage of an opportunity to forward their national interests, an opportunity served on a silver platter by inept Western leadership making impossible demands on China. Adams puts it like this:

“The Chinese government communicates via slogans. Whether it is Premier Li’s ‘war on pollution’ or President Xi’s ‘energy revolution’, slogans represent the Communist Party’s operating principles. As such, they are both a signal to economic actors of how to justify their actions and a statement of best intentions that provides cover when the plan doesn’t work out. China’s Communist Party has realised that the UN war on global warming can legitimise its goals as well as extract concessions and cash from the West while establishing China as a ‘responsible world power’. Most of all, as a centralised, top-down mechanism that conditions investments globally, the UN climate negotiations speak the language of the Communist Party of China and entrench the Party’s role.”

Beijing is also bluntly calling Obama’s bluff. The Boston Herald reports,

“China’s chief negotiator at climate talks outside Paris says that any agreement adopted in the negotiations should be legally binding in its entirety, not just parts of it.

“Su Wei told reporters Saturday that if a treaty is adopted at the end of the Paris negotiations, then ‘all the provisions, starting from the preamble to the final clauses would be legally binding.’

“That contrasts with the U.S. position which is for some parts to be legally binding, but not countries’ pledges to limit the greenhouse gas emissions. Binding emissions cuts would likely require the Obama administration to send the deal to the Republican-controlled Congress, where it would likely be struck down.

“‘We cannot just identify one sentence or one provision or article as not legally binding,’ Su said. ‘That’s a general rule of international treaty laws. There’s no doubt about that.’

“After the news conference he indicated the issue was still up for negotiation.”

Beijing gets to claim “see, we’re all for this fighting climate change thing” knowing full well Obama can’t commit America to anything legally binding, absolving them from any such commitments as well. CNN quotes China’s vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission Xie Zhenhua, “As China gradually completes its industrialization, carbon emissions from industries may reach their peak earlier than expected — but the country still has a long way to go when it comes to urbanization. So emissions from construction, transportation and service sectors will keep rising. Looking at the broader picture, we feel the goal of having emissions peak around 2030 is a scientific one.”

Echoing Su Wei, Xie also said, “I’m actually worried that, after the next U.S. presidential election, if a Republican wins, will the United States keep its commitment to the climate change issue? You don’t have to worry about China’s commitment. It’s the United States that you should be concerned about — will it keep its current policy intact? That’s what worries me.”

***

France and the US, the two world leaders in nuclear power technology, could be selling that technology and know how to the developing world which would benefit their economies, help to keep the environment clean, and help poor countries advance all at the same time. Not to mention that being an incomparably easier and more accountable process than trying to get just under 200 countries to agree to emissions standards. Instead they are allowing themselves to be morally blackmailed into giving up the guilt money.

Progressivism is a luxury good, and “combating climate change” is the most expensive progressive luxury good. It’s one the Chinese can’t afford – the only luxury goods they are interested in are Gucci bags and Lamborghinis.

China Bans The Names Bin Laden, Saddam, Hussein, Arafat And More In Xinjiang

uyghur-list-banning-muslim-names-sept-2015.jpgThe posted list of banned names. Photo: Sina Weibo

Radio Free Asia reported Thursday (Sept. 24. 2015) that “Chinese authorities have issued a ban on 22 Muslim names in Hoten [Hetian] prefecture in northwestern China’s troubled Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in an apparent bid to discourage extremism among the region’s Uyghur residents, threatening to forbid children with such names from attending school unless their parents change them, according to local police and residents.”

It may sound like a dark joke to American readers, but RFA reports, “The banned male names are Bin Laden, Saddam, Hussein, Arafat, Mujahid, Mujahidulla, Asadulla, Abdul’aziz, Seyfulla, Guldulla, Seyfiddin, Zikrulla, Nesrulla, Shemshiddin and Pakhirdin. The banned female names are Amanet, Muslime, Mukhlise, Munise, Aishe, Fatima, Khadicha.”

Just two days earlier there was a mass stabbing near Akesu, Xinjiang by suspected Uyghur separatists which killed at least 5 police officers and injured up to 40. It is the latest in a string of violent outbursts since the Urumqi riots in 2009, but it’s unclear how much the ban on Muslim names has to do with the attack.

After reading this story, and with President Xi’s visit to the US this week, I was thinking about how China and America have been dealing with Islamic terrorism. How would America react to a similar mass stabbing? Well, it would only be a matter of time before the assailants got tenure at UC Berkeley. And how would China react to the Ahmed Mohammed clock scandal/hoax? An invite to the Great Hall of the People? The last time the boy was seen, the giant hand of a policeman was pushing his hooded head into the back of a car. Jokes aside, the situations are not really comparable so perhaps it’s not right to draw conclusions from them. But I think it’s fair to say that the US government and media are overly sensitive to the feelings of Muslims, while the Chinese government and media, propaganda about the harmony among the 56 nationalities notwithstanding, are largely indifferent to them.

For example, when the Chechen Muslim Tsarnaev brothers bombed the Boston Marathon, the younger brother was sympathetically portrayed in many media outlets – most notoriously on the cover of Rolling Stone. More recently, the misreporting of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s remarks about a Muslim as president is meant to paint him as a bigot. The American media and some politicians bend over backwards to make sure no one has any unacceptable thoughts about Muslims or Islam. Not so in China. “Islamophobia” isn’t a thing there. On the flip side, nothing as harsh as outright banning Muslim names would happen in the US.

To be fair, Chinese authorities do make exceptions for Uyghurs. There is what you might call “affirmative action” in Xinjiang that in certain cases gives special treatment to Uyghurs in hiring them for governmental or other positions. Also, knife crafting is a big part of Uyghur culture and the passing of family knives from father to son is a Uyghur tradition. Out of respect for this tradition, Uyghurs are allowed, until recent years anyway, to carry traditional knives – which is illegal for Han Chinese. It’s a big exception given that all non-kitchen knives must be registered with police, and that as recently as 2012 supermarkets in Beijing were forced to stop selling knives during the lead up to the 18th Party Congress.

Capture

***

A RESTIVE HISTORY

Now one of Xinjiang’s top tourism destinations, Hetian (aka Hotan and Hoten) is an oasis town at the confluence of the Karakash and White Jade Rivers on the southern rim of the Taklamakan Desert. It was a major stop on what was called the southern route of the old Silk Road and has been mostly populated by Turkic Muslim peoples since the 11th century, with documented history of the area going back a thousand years further. The area’s relationship with Chinese rule began in the mid 1700’s when the expansionist Qing Dynasty absorbed it into vassalage. Han migration and Uyghur resettlement didn’t begin in earnest until the mid to late 1800’s after a series of revolts by locals against the Chinese. Xinjiang officially became a Chinese province in 1884. 28 years later, Xinjiang joined the new Republic of China in the wake of the fall of the Qing Empire.

After more revolts by competing local powers, the Uyghurs declared in 1933 the establishment of The Islamic Republic of East Turkestan, with Hetian on its eastern border. Some also called it Uyghurstan. It lasted less than a year, having been crushed by Kuomintang forces and Hui Muslim warlords. Control of the vast and sparsely populated area was precarious, and in 1934 Xinjiang became subject to Soviet influence through puppet leaders. A second East Turkestan Republic – which did not include Hetian – was established with Soviet backing in 1944 which lasted until the Chinese Communists retook control of the province in 1949 and reincorporated it into the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

That’s leaving out a lot, but suffice it to say that the region around Hetian has a very complex history, and the current tension between the Uyghurs and the Chinese goes back a long way. Indeed, the region has been a point of contest between great powers for nearly 2,000 years. You can get a better feel for it if you think of it as East Turkestan, or Uyghurstan, in the neighborhood of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan rather than China.

AMERICA AND CHINA IN THE WAR ON TERROR

In April 2001 a US Navy plane and a PLA Navy plane crashed in mid air near the island of Hainan off of China’s southern coast. 1 Chinese pilot was killed and the American crew of 24 was detained in China for 10 days.

Exactly 5 months after their release the attacks of September 2001 happened.

This presented an opportunity for the two countries to move on from the incident and both countries seized it. The official Chinese response was sympathetic. President Jiang Zemin called President Bush the next day to offer condolences and cooperation, and on the same day China signed United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368 in a rare instance of Security Council unanimity. At least 15 Chinese citizens are known to have died in the attacks.

A year later China agreed to allow the US to open an FBI liason office in Beijing, and half a year after that signed on to the Container Security Initiative which would have US officials in Shanghai and Shenzhen inspecting US bound ship cargo. In 2002 the US designated the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which the Chinese government claimed had ties to Al Qaeda in neighboring Afghanistan, a terrorist organization.

China was already committed to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – an organization through which the member countries deal with their domestic separatist movements and terrorist groups (ETIM among others in China). China is accommodating of the American led War on Terror insofar as it is in line with its domestic security concerns, its improving relationship with the US, and its goals of greater international recognition as a major player on the world stage.

China has expressed objections to the War on Terror relating to violations of national sovereignty – Iraq – and the advancement of US interests that are detrimental to China. Many Chinese officials worried that as the US became more involved in Southeast Asia with its enormous Muslim population, the mechanisms of containing China are simultaneously put in place. The US and other Western countries worried that China would use its involvement in the War on Terror to further crackdown on ethnic minorities and government critics. Thus, the US did not send Uyghur militants captured in Afghanistan and held in Guantanamo Bay back to China for fear that they would be treated inhumanely upon arrival.

Throughout the years since 9/11, China has acted as something like the Good Cop to the American Bad Cop. In 2001, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan announced to the Organization of the Islamic Conference that China wanted to improve “consultation and cooperation with Islamic countries in fighting terrorism [because] Islamic countries are also the victims of terrorism” and that China “opposed…associating terrorism with any nationality or religion.”

How times have changed. Terrorism can’t be associated with any religion, but just in case, don’t name your son Saddam Hussein Arafat bin Laden.

***

Would it be wise for American leaders to condemn the name ban in the name of religious liberty? Given that the US government has basically zero moral authority anymore, not really. Bigger things are at stake. The Chinese are looking at the FUBAR situation in Syria and Iraq and have suddenly become very worried about America’s looming military withdrawal from their neighbor Afghanistan. Chinese diplomats have sprung into action in Pakistan and Afghanistan in cooperation with the US to forge an agreement between those countries’ governments and the Taliban in an effort to get ahead of any potential Iraq-like collapse on their border.

There are also rumblings of China joining Russia and Iran in breathing new life into the Assad government in Syria, though not much is known yet and Chinese ground troops in Syria is unlikely. America and its coalition are being edged out in part because of their self-imposed rules of engagement – rules that will not be followed by Russia, Iran and China. As evidenced by the banning of Muslim names, the Chinese government appears to understand the brutality required for dealing with much of the Muslim world.

Rose, Rose I Love You: The Story Of One Of China’s Greatest Hits

The Guinness Book of World Records once awarded Wilfrid Thomas’ radio show with the title of longest running broadcast in radio history (though someone else may have that honor now). Born in Britain and raised in Australia, Wilfrid began his international music career as a teenager singing baritone and touring the world with The Westminster Glee Singers in the 1930s.

He moved on to a gig with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s New York bureau where he gained experience  singing, acting, announcing, writing and radio broadcasting. In 1940 the ABC commissioned him to go on a singing tour to entertain Allied troops stationed all around the world. During his travels he began a lifelong hobby of collecting strange and obscure records everywhere he went.

In 1946, his touring took him to Hong Kong where they were to put on a show for the Australian Navy. “Wow! Isn’t it just great?” He beamed. “C’mon fellas, we just got in and we don’t have to set up ’til tomorrow, who’s wants to take a stroll with Willy? …Yeah, I know it’s hotter than hell, not much worse than back home in Oz is it? Just look at this place! ….All right you sticks in the mud, I’ll go out myself.”

HK

Wilfrid stepped out of his hotel door and was hit by a wall of sound, smell and heat. “Hong Kong: The Pearl of the Orient.” He marveled. “Well, I don’t know if I’d call this a pearl…Say, how many ‘Pearls of the Orient’ are there anyway?” He worked his way into the traffic, dodging people and bikes left and right. He saw chickens hanging in windows. A million fruits, vegetables, shoes, belts, hats and things being peddled on the street. All those squiggly wiggly characters floating and flapping on banners and hanging on signs, “aren’t they something!” Wilfrid thought to himself.

He zigged and zagged and took a sudden hard right down a random backstreet. “Wait a minute…what was that?” He took a few steps back while trying not to run into the people coming past him. Yes, that was a record in the window. “Well, well, well. Let’s have a look-see shall we?” He ducked into the shop and the noise from outside became muffled. The shop was cramped with records and books. An old man was sleeping on a chair in between two of the piles. Wilfrid smiled. He began to dig. Dust rose into his nose as he flipped along. He sneezed. He couldn’t read most of the titles, so anything with a cool cover he put under his arm. He came across one with a vaguely familiar name. “Yao Lee…Yao Lee…Hm, yeah I know her.” He put it under his arm. He left money on the counter next to the sleeping man and walked back to his hotel. There was no time or way to listen to the records now, so he forgot about them until he went back to London.

***

Ok, even if I invented the details, that really is how Wilfrid Thomas found Yao Lee’s Rose, Rose I Love You (she also became known in the West as Hue Lee). He just picked it up by chance. He got the tune broadcast in Britain and something about it caught people’s attention. Maybe it was the way it seamlessly slides from jaunty, chin up, optimistic theme song for some leftenant arriving in one of Her Majesty’s far-flung colonies, to a minor-key dip of the toes into the Oriental bazaar. That, and the fact that it came from the farthest colony of all must have made it irresistible to British ears of that time. And who can blame them?

The radio station began receiving numerous inquiries (enquiries?) into the name and origin of the song, about which no one seemed to know – it was just a cool thing that Wilfrid brought back. Thus, Columbia Records set out on an epic crate-digging mission across Asia to find a master copy of the record to reproduce. It was discovered in India, who knows why or how (perhaps because the guy who wrote the music had a grandfather from India, more on him later), and the master was brought to London.

Naturally, the song had to be translated into English and recorded by the big stars, and Wilfrid was commissioned to do just that. The first order of business was to translate the Chinese to get a feel for what the song meant:

Rose, rose, the most dainty. Rose, rose, the most brightly colored and gorgeous.

Ever blooming summer on a branch. Rose, rose I love you.

Rose, rose with heavy affections. Rose, rose with thick/condensed/strong affections.

Ever blooming in the thistles and thorns. Rose, rose I love you.

The heart’s vow’s, the heart’s affections, holy and pure radiance illuminate the Earth.

Rose, rose, with your thin branches. Rose, rose, with your sharp thorns.

The present wind and rain/trials/hardships come to wreck the injured, tender branches and lovely pistils.

Rose, rose, with your solid heart. Rose, rose, with your pointed thorns.

The coming wind and rain comes to destroy the indestructible trees with branches interlocked.

“Well, that’s a bit boring,” Wilfrid must’ve thought, so he got busy jazzing it up. In the translation process, two versions came to be. Both were released in 1951. The one released in the UK was the rather cartoonish and cheesy version sung by Petula Clark (John Turner and Chris Langdon also got writing credit on this one). It reached #16 on the UK songbook charts:

In the US it was sung by Frankie Laine and the Norman Luboff Choir. It was much closer to the spirit of the original and, in my opinion, it’s the better arrangement (also with Chris Langdon). He worked in a clever tribute to the original Chinese lyrics. Verse 2 begins “Make way, oh make way for my eastern rose…” “Make way” sounds like the Chinese word for rose, “mei gui.” The setting of Petula Clark’s version stays in China (note the title May Kway), but in Frankie’s our wayward lover finds himself further south in Malaya. (For those not familiar, these two were among the biggest names of the day.) It peaked at #3 on the US Billboard charts:

There are many more recordings by many more artists, but these three are the important ones. It was always a beloved hit in China, and Wilfrid’s versions made it a classic in the West. It makes sense why a more direct translation doesn’t work: the meter is off, it doesn’t rhyme and the words are admittedly a bit dull. But, a Western audience would be missing all the context – and thus wouldn’t know that the original words are not dull at all.

Nor did the original words or music come from Hong Kong. It was a Shanghai anthem, and Shanghai was having a hell of time when this song came out in 1940. A newfangled music from America called “jazz” kept the clubs pulsing through the night. Just 3 years earlier, in 1937, Japan had launched a full-scale invasion of China and Shanghai was one of the main battlegrounds. The year of the invasion, about a hundred miles away in what was then the capital, Japanese troops committed the Rape of Nanking in which some 300,000 civilians were tortured and massacred.

For the next decade, China was at war all over: with the Japanese on multiple fronts, the Russians in Xinjiang and a civil war between the Nationalists and Communists. Against that backdrop, it seems impossible that a song like Rose, Rose I Love You could have come out of all that. But, in Shanghai, there was what is known as the “isolated island period” (孤岛时期). When the Japanese invaded Shanghai, they left the foreign concessions somewhat untouched. Thus, a semblance of freedom could continue in the midst of the occupation, and that part of town remained unusually prosperous. (The concessions would end up falling to the Japanese later.)

Many people fled from Shanghai to Hong Kong to get away from the Japanese, but the British colony fell in 1941 to Japan, too, and life became extremely hard. A rationing system led to starvation. Currency devaluation wiped out people’s savings. Martial law was enacted as the Japanese took over all the hospitals, factories and airports. An education campaign attempted to make Japanese the official language. Streets and buildings were given Japanese names. Wilfrid Thomas passed through on his tour and picked up Yao Lee’s record only one year after the Japanese had surrendered at the end of World War II – and just as Hong Kong began to recover. He visited the same summer that the general who led the invasion of Hong Kong, General Takashi Sakai, was tried and executed by firing squad as a war criminal.

There was another arrival to Hong Kong that year. None other than the man who wrote the music to Rose – Chen Gexin. Chen was born in 1914 in the Nanhui district of Shanghai. His family, which included an Indian grandfather, was well-to-do and from an early age he studied music. His biggest early influences were German-Jewish composers, some of whom probably ended up in Shanghai as refugees as they fled Nazi persecution in Europe. His early career was similar to Wilfrid Thomas’. He wrote music for productions here and there and began to make a name for himself when he formed the Experimental Music Society. He married Jin Jiaoli, against her family’s wishes, at 20. He was 23 when Japan invaded and occupied Shanghai, and like any pissed off 23 year old whose country has just been invaded would, he used his organization to rehearse and perform revolutionary Soviet songs, and he began writing his own anti-Japanese resistance anthems. The most well known being 1939’s “Through This Cold Winter.” Like Rose, it doesn’t look like much at first glance, but its meaning would have been clear to listeners at the time:

Through this cold winter,

Spring will come again to the world.

Don’t despair because of those withered branches,

Spring flowers will open.

Through this cold winter,

Spring will come again to the world.

Don’t have any doubts,

Spring is ours.

The next year, spring did seem to come with the release of Rose which brought him not a small amount of fame. But, things got cold yet again just a year after that. On December 16, 1941 – a week after Pearl Harbor and the invasion of Hong Kong (which both happened on the same day) – Chen was imprisoned by the Japanese occupational forces for his songs. That fame had turned against him. He was brought to “Number 76,” a detention center run by collaborator and Shanghai gangster Li Shiqun.

While Rose was an instant hit and remains a classic favorite, Chen Gexin’s reputation is not so clear. After 3 years in No. 76, he was given an opportunity for release by declaring his allegiance to Japan and support for the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere – a Japanese led initiative to create an East Asian economic and military bloc. Life in No. 76 was brutal. He took the offer. He was made to organize a show where he sang tributes to Japan and a group of kamikaze pilots called the Condors. For this, the Left in China calls him a traitor. However, this is somewhat of a fringe opinion. He is still widely loved and most people see it as him doing what he had to do to get free from the occupying Japanese. After his release, he took a job as a songwriter at the Lianhua Film Company – one of the biggest and most important studios in Chinese cinema.

But Chen needed a change. The civil war was still on and his surroundings brought on bad memories of his recent experiences. So, not long after the Japanese surrender in 1945, Chen and his wife Jin Jiaoli made plans to head to Hong Kong, where they arrived in 1946. Chen continued to write music for movies, including the song Shanghai Nights. They stayed until 1950. Persuaded by Xia Yan, a co-founder of the League of Left-Wing Writers and the Left-Wing Dramatists League and eventual Deputy Minister of Culture of China, they decided to return to the mainland. With the wars ended, the country consolidated and the People’s Republic founded, Xia Yan had convinced Chen that it was a “New China” and he could rebuild his life in Shanghai. A lot of other Lianhua talent had also fled Shanghai for Hong Kong and other cities, and many of them were also returning. The Lianhua Film Company had since become the Kunlun Film Company and was enjoying a renaissance, and Chen continued his songwriting there upon his return.

Back in his hometown, a new set of troubles awaited him. When the Communists “liberated” Shanghai, they were not pleased with what they found going on in the clubs. The music and dress were degenerate and politically incorrect. Anyone involved in that scene was ideologically suspect. The Communists knew very well who Chen was and they kept their eyes on him. In an attempt to demonstrate his revolutionary devotion, Chen is reputed to have said “if the Americans call me over so I can collect my royalties, I’ll donate them to the homeland to make airplanes!” (Publishers in the US and UK had set aside royalties for him and Yao Lee because in 1951 China was closing itself off to the world and no one knew their status or whereabouts.)

He was able to keep up appearances for almost a decade. In 1956 Chairman Mao Zedong launched the “Hundred Flowers Campaign” during which people were encouraged to speak openly about the Communist Party. It was a bait-and-switch move that was followed by the “Anti-Rightist Campaign” which sought to purge society of anyone who was not in with the Party line. Chen got swept up in it all and was labeled a “rightist.” In August 1957 he was arrested and sent to Baimaoling Farm – a re-education-through-labor camp a little over 100 miles from Shanghai in neighboring Anhui Province.

The second to last line in Rose is:

来日风雨来摧毁 毁不了并蒂枝连理.
Lái rì fēngyǔ lái cuīhuǐ huǐ bùliǎo bìng dì zhī liánlǐ.

It’s hard to know if it was intentional, and it’s admittedly a stretch, but there is some double entendre here:
连理 liánlǐ means “two trees that grow together as one” or “a conjugal union.”
连理枝 liánlǐzhī means “two trees with branches interlocked”, or, “a loving couple.”
并蒂莲 bìngdìlián means “twin lotus flowers on one stalk,” or, “a devoted married couple.”
枝 zhī has the same pronunciation as 之 zhī – the more poetic version of the possessive article 的de.

So, the direct translation is “the coming wind and rain comes to destroy the indestructible trees with branches interlocked.” But, if we write the homophonous sentence …毁不了并蒂之连理, it can be heard as “the coming trials and tribulations are coming to destroy the union/bonds of the indestructible devoted couple.” Or, “风雨摧不毁并蒂连理.” If we want to really read deep into it, 来日风雨来摧毁 could be read as “ever since the troubles under the Japanese came and destroyed…” But that’s probably stretching it too far.

In any case, those troubled times did not break apart Chen Gexin and Jin Jiaoli. Nor did his imprisonment under the Communists. Jiaoli took trips out to Baimaoling Farm when she could. Each time she did she saw a more and more frail, malnourished and ill Gexin. His arrest did do damage to the relationship with his children. It was dangerous to associate with him, so they became estranged. They did, however, continue to send small food gifts with Jiaoli. Gexin’s oldest son, Chen Gang, had entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 1955 and had to distance himself from his father to stay out of trouble. This gave him great pain as his father was also his first music teacher and lifelong mentor.

In 1958, a year into Chen Gexin’s incarceration, Chen Gang and He Zhanhao released the magnificent violin concerto The Butterfly Lovers (梁祝 liangzhu) – a musical interpretation of the classical Chinese drama about star-crossed lovers, commonly known as the Romeo and Juliet of China.

Sometime in 1959, Chen Gexin managed to hear a recording of The Butterfly Lovers and that the composer was Chen Gang. “Could it be? Is that my son?” former fellow inmates say he asked, suddenly alive with excitement. He sent off a letter to Jiaoli in Shanghai telling her to bring him a copy of the score signed by Chen Gang. Gexin said he also wanted to give some advice to his successful son. Jiaoli brought the score, but she couldn’t bring herself to pass along the advice, knowing that any contact between the two could jeopardize Chen Gang’s career. The Butterfly Lovers brought Chen Gang worldwide acclaim. Knowing that Chen Gang was writing the concerto while suffering with the thought of his father wasting away in the labor camp makes the music shine even brighter.

Upon his arrival at Baimaoling, Chen Gexin became friends with writer and journalist Ai Yi who had also been labeled a “rightist” and would end up spending 21 years at the Farm. In a 2010 essay titled “The Last Years of Musician Chen Gexin” Ai Yi wrote,

By 1961, farm rations dropped…a strange disease was prevalent on the farm, no obvious symptoms at the outset, just a feeling of weakness and slow, daily wasting away. This quickly led to pernicious anemia, and near the time of death, a sudden swelling of the entire body and the skin became shiny. Incidence of the disease, and the mortality rate, was high.

At the farm, all of us “sinners” lived in thatched huts, slept side by side in the tens, sometimes hundreds. Indeed, it had become our home. We would eat, sleep, rest, study and labor outdoors all day long together…One morning we all got up, right on time, but no sign of activity was coming from Mr. Chen. One of the “students” in a neighboring bed called on him to get up, but there was no reaction. The student pushed him, still no reaction.

There was an anxious moment. The student lifted the cover. Something was wrong. I only saw his pale face. He wasn’t breathing. I don’t know what time he passed away. That day was January 25, 1961. The celebrated musician of a whole generation, Mr. Chen Gexin, left his mortal frame without a sound or word.

***

Through this cold winter,

Spring will come again to the world.

Don’t have any doubts,

Spring is ours.

***

Ever blooming summer on a branch. Rose, rose I love you.

Rose, rose with heavy affections. Rose, rose with strong affections.

Ever blooming in the thistles and thorns. Rose, rose I love you.

China was going through the Great Famine when Chen Gexin died at 46 years old in Baimaoling. Some 40-70 million people are estimated to have perished. Ai Yi writes that Chen was buried in a mass grave in the hills by the farm. According to Ai Yi, Jin Jiaoli brought a box to Baimaoling and searched through piles of bones in a vain effort to collect Gexin’s remains.

The star-crossed butterfly lovers. 毁不了并蒂之连理 – the indestructible bonds of the devoted pair.

Chen Gexin and Jin Jiaoli


It’s tempting to imagine that Wilfrid and Chen bumped into each other on the street in Hong Kong in 1946. Or that Chen came to watch Wilfrid’s show and approached him after to talk shop. I would believe it. (In Hong Kong I once ran into a guy who lived in my building in Beijing. We hadn’t spoken for a while, and we had no idea the other was going to be in town. We were two guys from different continents who moved to another continent into the same building. Then we met by chance in a speck of an island a thousand miles away…and I was on a 6 hour layover! It could happen.) Chen was just entering a kind of exile when Wilfrid found his record in a backstreet shop, later to be made into a huge hit in the UK and America. Both men had a huge impact on the life of the other, yet they never met or spoke. They devoted their lives to their passion for music, and they would and should have been great friends.

In the early 1980s when Chen Dong – Chen Gexin’s youngest son who, like Wilfrid Thomas, was a travelling baritone singer – was performing in the US he got to meet Frankie Laine and introduce himself as the son of the man who wrote Rose, Rose I Love You. Laine was overjoyed at this, and from then until 2004 he sent Chen Dong a Christmas card every year.

***

Wilfrid Thomas found Rose, Rose I Love You by chance. I did, too. I was having dinner one night after work at California Beef Noodle King USA near my apartment in Beijing. A song came on and I couldn’t help but pay attention to the bright, happy sound coming out of the small speaker above me. I asked the waiter what the song was. He didn’t know. He disappeared into the kitchen to ask around. He came back out and wrote the name down on a napkin. I looked it up later, and this version by Taipei-born, LA-raised Joanna Wang remains my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I love the old ones, but this one carries with it some very good memories.

 ***

玫瑰玫瑰我爱你 – méiguī méiguī wǒ ài nǐ – Rose, Rose I Love You

玫瑰玫瑰最娇美 玫瑰玫瑰最艳丽
Méiguī méiguī zuì jiāo měi méiguī méiguī zuì yànlì
Rose, rose, the most dainty. Rose, rose, the most brightly colored and gorgeous.

常夏开在枝头上 玫瑰玫瑰我爱你
Chángxià kāi zài zhī tóu shàng méiguī méiguī wǒ ài nǐ
Ever blooming summer on a branch. Rose, rose I love you.

玫瑰玫瑰情意重 玫瑰玫瑰情意浓
Méiguī méiguī qíngyì zhòng méiguī méiguī qíngyì nóng
Rose, rose with heavy affections. Rose, rose with thick/condensed/strong affections.

常夏开在荆棘里 玫瑰玫瑰我爱你
Chángxià kāi zài jīngjí lǐ méiguī méiguī wǒ ài nǐ
Ever blooming in the thistles and thorns. Rose, rose I love you.

心的誓约新的情意圣洁的光辉照大地
Xīn de shìyuē xīn de qíngyì shèngjié de guānghuī zhào dàdì
The heart’s vow’s, the heart’s affections, holy and pure radiance illuminate the Earth.

心的誓约 心的情意 圣洁的光辉照大地
Xīn de shìyuē xīn de qíngyì shèngjié de guānghuī zhào dàdì
The heart’s vow’s, the heart’s affections, holy and pure radiance illuminate the Earth.

玫瑰玫瑰枝儿细 玫瑰玫瑰刺儿锐
Méiguī méiguī zhī er xì méiguī méiguī cì er ruì
Rose, rose, with your thin branches. Rose, rose, with your sharp thorns.

今朝风雨来摧残 伤了嫩枝和娇蕊
Jīnzhāo fēngyǔ lái cuīcán shāngle nèn zhī hé jiāo ruǐ
The present wind and rain/trials/hardships come to wreck the injured, tender branches and lovely pistils.

玫瑰玫瑰心儿坚 玫瑰玫瑰刺儿尖
Méiguī méiguī xin er jiān méiguī méiguī cì er jiān
Rose, rose, with your solid heart. Rose, rose, with your pointed thorns.

来日风雨来摧毁 毁不了并蒂枝连理
Lái rì fēngyǔ lái cuīhuǐ huǐ bùliǎo bìng dì zhī liánlǐ
The wind and rain/trials/hardships of the coming days come to destroy the indestructible trees with branches interlocked.

玫瑰玫瑰我爱你
méiguī méiguī wǒ ài nǐ
Rose, rose I love you.

Taiwan

Taiwan…Would that all of China was you. I spent only a week there but what a place, and what I time I had. My friend Lin Yanting, my roommate in Pyongyang when we ran a half marathon there, is from Taipei – the city I spent most of my week in with lovely Lisa. He studies at Waseda University in Japan and unfortunately, we missed him by one day. But fortunately, I got to have dinner with his beautiful sister and mother, who are great. And his friend Harold Lu, who is also great. And Farrah from California, who put us up for a couple of nights, showed us some cool spots around town. I know this means nothing to you dear reader, so what I’m trying to say is, Taiwan is great. An island of hard won goodness, decency, consideration, conscientiousness and freedom in a crazy ass world. It pains me to know that my government does not officially recognize this country’s sovereignty. Such is the give and take of The Great Game. In any case, all the best to Taiwan.

***

From the second to last meeting between Mao Zedong and the American delegation on October 21, 1975:

MAO: It’s better for (Taiwan) to be in your hands. And if you were to send it back to me now, I would not want it, because it’s not wantable. There are a huge bunch of counter-revolutionaries there. A hundred years hence we will want it [gesturing with his hand], and we are going to fight for it.

KISSINGER: Not a hundred years.

MAO: [Counting with his hand] It is hard to say. Five years, ten, twenty, a hundred years. It’s hard to say. [Points toward the ceiling] And when I go to heaven to see God, I’ll tell him it’s better to have Taiwan under the care of the United States now.

KISSINGER: He will be very astonished to hear that from the Chairman.

MAO: No, because God blesses you, not us. God does not like us [waves his hands] because I am a militant warlord, also a communist. That’s why he doesn’t like me. [Pointing at the three Americans] He likes you and you and you.

毁三观!

***

On a side note, I want to comment on one thing. When we returned to Beijing, we had a long layover in Hong Kong. In one day I was in Taipei, Hong Kong and Beijing. As you know there is some tension between these cities. If you’ve been to all three, you know the differences and what I’m about to say. Hong Kong to me has become a special life treat. A place I couldn’t live in because that would ruin it, but a place I could die in, and that I like to daydream about. Taipei has taken on a similar role in my mind. All I’ll say is it will break my heart if Beijing wins out over these other cities. Not that I don’t like Beijing but…ah forget it. Here are some photos I got from a week in Taiwan.

***

Flag

Taipei 101 wideBy Lisa Holm

Palms and T101

Sun Yat Sen Memorial and Taipei 101Taipei 101 from the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall

Taipei 101 and flagTaipei 101

Tapei 101 and clouds

Women and dragonsLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Small guys with swordsLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Man flying on somethingLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺 Check out that detail. Imagine trying to make that.

Man at LongshanLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺叔叔

Man prayingLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Longshan closeupLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Longshan silhouetteLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Longshan silhouette 2Longshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Guys flying on dog thingsLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

Close up LongshanLongshan Temple  *  龍山寺

3 Lamps closeTaipei – lantern town

Lamps up close

Night market stall

night market intersection

Woman and lamp

Women laughing at stand

Genie billboard

Jesus Loves You“Jesus loves you.”

Hanging flags

Guards at Sun memorialSun Yat Sen Memorial Hall  *  孫中山紀念堂 By Lisa Holm
 

Lincoln and Sun Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall  *  孫中山紀念堂

Sun and LincolnSun Yat Sen Memorial Hall  *  孫中山紀念堂

Taiwan bannerSun Yat Sen Memorial Hall  *  孫中山紀念堂 By Lisa Holm

Taiwan 1臺灣  *  Taiwan

Taiwan 2Couldn’t decide which one I liked best…

Taiwan 3

Taiwan 5

Taiwan 6

Taiwan 7

Taiwan 8

Taiwan 9

Degree of Freedom

Dalai Lama

Falun dafa is good banner“Falun Dafa is good.”

FLG signs

FLG sign

Lady with FLG sign

FLGers

Doing FLG

Gunchu taiwan“Evil cult Falun Gong: get out of Taiwan.”


Fake democracy

Man and fake democracy

Free and colorful world

Man and banner“Ma Yingjiu (President of Taiwan) step down from office.”

Man with duli banner

People are masters

Taiwanese are not Chinese

Taiwan nationalism

Banners crossing

Banners guoing ma lu

Banners crossing street

Banners waiting to cross

Banners lined up

Bao

Window characters

Certificate close

Certificate close up

Cigarettes

CKS wideChiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall  *  蒋中正紀念堂  By Lisa Holm

Chiang Kai Shek memorial

Chiang statue

Chiang and soldier

DemocracyDemocracy

ReasonEthics

ScienceScience

Taiwan sun

Selfie stickI understand this is something called a “selfie stick” and that grown men are known to use these contraptions…

Soldier saluting…That’s more like it.

Soldier face close up

Soldier close up

Soldier saluting back

Soldiers and Guns

Soldiers facing

Soldiers saluting

Soldiers facing each other

Soldier standing

Chiang and MacArthurChiang and MacArthur.

Chiang and ReaganChiang and Governor Reagan.

Generals Caddy frontThe General’s Caddy.

Generals Caddy side

Generals Caddy back

Chris and  Caddy

Lan JiaLan Jia Restaurant for your guabaos.

Roosevelt Ave

ScooterTaipei – scooter city

Scooters from above

Scooters ready

Night market street

Keelung 2014

Keelung Station

Keelung

Jiufen 1

Jiufen 3

Jiufen 2

Jiufen 5

Jiufen 6

Jiufen 7

Jiufen 8

Jiufen 9

Jiufen 10

Jiufen 11

Jiufen 13

Jiufen 14

Jiufen 15

Jiufen 16

May Peace Prevail