Let’s make friends, not enemies, of the mainland Chinese
THE CHINESE WHO really count, in spite of all the propaganda the western world has endured in recent years, are the seven hundred million mainland Chinese, not the twelve million people on the island of Formosa. The mainland Chinese, again in spite of the propaganda, are not all slaves wading around in rice paddies, their backs scarred by bullwhips. If few have bicycles — let alone cars — and some still starve to death, they are probably better off and better educated than ever before in their thousands of years of history.
And, since the Chinese invented gunpowder, it should not surprise us that they were able, on their own, to unlock the secret of the atom. The U.S. and Canada, which has a spineless tendency to put ditto marks under U.S. statements, belittled the nuclear and space achievements of Russia, to their subsequent embarrassment. The theory seemed to be that a people who didn’t speak English couldn't possibly gain the lead, although the U.S., in particular, had leaned heavily on German talent.
It’s to be hoped that the mistakes in appraising the Soviet Union have sunk in, for not only do the Chinese have the bomb, but, what’s worse, their political development is in a crude and primitive stage. The political development of the Chinese Communists is in a fanatical and ignorant stage—about the same stage Christians were in when they massacred thousands who disagreed with them, burned Joan of Arc and hanged Salem’s “witches.”
In short, the Chinese have the bomb, without the sense not to use it. So what do we do?
From 1950 to 1960 Canada, echoing the U.S., supported in the United Nations ! resolution that was approved each year and that ruled out even a discussion of whether mainland China should be seated in the UN. Since then, Canada has voted against resolutions that would either have seated Peking in the UN in the place of Formosa, or seated delegates from both Chinas.
Last May, External Affairs Minister Paul Martin said bluntly: “We could face a particularly difficult situation at the next session of the UN General Assembly . . . The realities . . . may require some modification of our position.”
In other words, we may have to start trying to talk with the mainland Chinese, win their trust, explain to them the facts of nuclear life and death, and stop being misguided by a handful of American hate merchants who call themselves the Committee of One Million, a gross exaggeration.
We have our choice. We can perpetuate the hypocrisy of recognizing the discredited Chiang Kai-shek as the ruler of China, when all he actually rules is little Formosa, and this solely because he is propped up by the U.S. and has killed, jailed or exiled his Formosan opponents. If we do this we align ourselves with the Uncle Toms of Asia, who are inevitably doomed. Or we can recognize the men who rule the third world power, and align ourselves with the Asians who will inevitably prevail.
But we have to decide now, not later, because we will not have the same chance to gain the goodwill of the Chinese or solidify their ill-will. So let us use whatever influence we have to get seven hundred million Chinese into the UN and to cancel Chiang’s UN veto privileges. And let us have a foreign policy that doesn’t consist of saying “me too” whenever the U.S. lays down the law. Let us be in step with most of the world and courageous enough to act, for a change, in our own self-interest. Above all, let us act in a way that will, if anything can, convince the mainland Chinese that there are no victors in a nuclear war.
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