In the 19th century, under the leadership of Ambassador Anson Burlingame and Secretary of State William Seward, the U.S. for a brief period changed its foreign policy toward China from one based on “unequal treaties” to one based on “equality of nations.” Are there lessons that we can learn from the 19th century that can be applied to U.S.-China relationship in the 21st century?
This talk was based on Don’s article published in March 2017 in the China-U.S. Focus Digest with the title “U.S.-China Relationship Can Use Another Anson Burlingame”
Don talked about the forgotten holocaust of WWII. He talked about the massive and inhuman atrocities in Asia, especially in China, during WWII. He emphasized that there were many eye witnesses, foreigners and Chinese, who recorded what they saw and experienced in diaries, film, photos, and articles. He read several of the quotes from these eye witnesses.
Mr. Chang recalled his own experience as a 14th year old Nanking Massacre victim and survivor, and the tragedy his family experienced when his mother, 80-year-old great grandmother, and 11-year-old sister were raped, and his great grandmother was also killed. He ended his talk with the remark “In spite of the atrocities committed by the Japanese soldiers against my family, I am not seeking any revenge, and do not hold any animosity against the Japanese people. The fact that I have become a Christian has helped me to forgive the Japanese. I tell my three children and nine grandchildren that they must not hate, but they must never forget this part of history. I don’t want this kind of things to happen again to anyone else in the future.”
You can read the transcript of a similar earlier talk by Mr. Chang at: https://www.nj-alpha.org/Reference_Information_Articles/HTML_Articles/Chang_Chu_Yeh_English.html
or you can see another similar earlier talk by Mr. Chang at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlSxKO5Da2Y
Don received 99 thank you notes from the approximately 200 students and teachers who attended the program. Mr. Chang also received a similar box of thank you notes.
Why 70 years have elapsed since the end of WWII and Japan still has not acknowledged or apologized for her massive and inhumane atrocities that she committed all over Asia during WWII? Various reasons have been offered, but I think one important reason is due to the U.S.’s policy toward China since the latter part of the 1940s when the Chinese Communist Party was winning the civil war in China. For most of the past 70 years, U.S. has been adopting a policy that tries to surround, isolate, and weaken China, and at the same time it tries to use Japan as her frontline pawn to help implement that policy.
One needs to analyze the various actions that the U.S. has taken relative to China, including:
- Not recognizing the People’s Republic of China for about 30 years
- Orchestrating the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty which was the official treaty ending WWII with Japan, but not inviting China (who suffered the most under the Japanese) to participate, even though 50+ other countries were invited to participate
- Unilaterally including the Diaoyu Islands in the map of the Ryukyu Islands
- Adopting inconsistent policy that could lead the U.S. to a war in the East China Sea with no moral or legal justification
- Surround China with military bases and her massive 7th Fleet patrolling the seas all around China
- Taking aggressive military actions in the South China Sea while making false accusations against China
At the same time, one must analyze the various actions that the U.S. has taken relative to Japan, including:
- Did not prosecute Emperor Hirohito even though he was very much hands on and approved all major decisions during the war
- Did not prosecute any of the leaders of Unit 731 that unleased horrific biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction against the Chinese while signing a secret agreement with Japan in exchange to obtain Japan’s knowledge and data
- On several occasions intentionally twisted history to the detriment of China and to the advantage of Japan which planted seeds of controversy in the East China Sea and the South China Sea
- While exercising strong influence in how Japan would conduct her affairs after WWII, yet basically condoning how Japan should face its WWII responsibility; U.S. is basically cultivating Japan to be its junior partner in the strategy to surround, isolate, and weaken China
For a more detailed discussion of the above, see the article “How to Understand Japan’s Intransigent Policy Toward Her WWII Atrocities?”: https://www.dontow.com/2017/06/how-to-understand-japans-intransigent-policy-toward-her-wwii-atrocities/