The Chinese – should we fear them?

A friend of mine confided that he feared the Chinese. Should he be regarded as bigoted?

I replied that I thought his fears were well justified. I referred to the history of the late 19th and early 20th Century history as a parallel.

After the death of Bismarck, who created modern Germany, the tinpot Kaiser went helterskelter into competition with Britain. He envied Britain her huge empire and massive naval fleet. Secrets were ruthlessly stolen, the Prussian military strengthened even further, and a naval building programme put into top gear. Not content with Schleswig Holstein, Alsace and Lorraine; he wanted dominance in Europe and an empire to rival that of Britain. We have just “celebrated” the end of the outcome of the Kaiser’s ambitions.

Now, fast forward, we have another megalomaniac, this time in China, set upon total control over his people and an effective empire in South East Asia, right through the old Stans of South Asia to the borders of Turkey, and down into Africa. He is arguably smarter than the Kaiser, and has modern electronics to help control the behaviour and loyalty of his huge population in minute detail, and, as we can see with the Uighers, uses it ruthlessly in the manner of Mao before him. The Chinese attitude is also informed by the way China was humiliated in the 19th Century. Revenge lurks in the shadows.

Now we are back again in the old atmosphere of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. We are carelessly playing baby politics, led by a man whose ignorance matches that of the old Kaiser, while the sinister Chinese expansion roars ahead at fearful speed. Indians should be particularly fearful, along with all South and South East Asia. I know a number of charming individual Chinese, but, in general, to fear the Chinese government and its intentions is quite as rational as it was for Brits to fear a rising Germany.

No, my friend is not bigoted, he is a realist, and way ahead of the poorly educated and informed people who think tariffs on Chinese goods are going to make China humbly kowtow to people they probably laugh at and despise.

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