Toughts, news and small talk mainly concerning China from a berlin perspective


The quest for historical truth

ESWN has two great posts about the conflict about history between China and Japan. First one is about the strategy of the Japanese rightists. He compares them with the one the Creationists (another link) and promoters of Intelligent Design (ID) in the USA use to attack evolution theory:

"If historical revisionism has always been around, then why is there an apparent rise in anti-Japanese sentiments among the Chinese today. That is because the Japanese ultra-rightists have finally figured out a way to push their agenda through. If they used to be an embarrassing bunch of kooks thirty or forty years ago, they are now using the contemporary art of issue-based triangulation to their advantage. If they needed a casebook paradigm to follow, they only have to look at the teaching of Intelligent Design (ID) in American schools as a 'scientific' theory on the same basis as Darwinian evolution."

A lot of broadcasts about the recent Anti-Japan demonstrations in China mentioned, that the schoolbooks the whole hubbub is about are only used in a small number of schools. His response:

"It is true that the textbook offered by Japan's Society for History Textbook Reform in 2001 was adopted by only 0.39% of the schools, and the 2005 edition will probably not do very well either. But just look at what is happening to the other books! And how far will the books move the next time? They disappeared the Unit 731 bacterial weapons division in 2001; in 2005, they disappeared the "comfort women" too; what next? How long before every history book in Japan say that the whole war was about liberating the "Asian nations from the western imperialists"? If you believe that this is a non-issue due to the low adoption rate of one textbook, then you are quite wrong about the real intent and the practical results."

In the second one he has some excerpts of an article by Liu Xiaobo dealing with the selective view of the Chinese Communists on history:

... "When it comes to viewpoints about warfare and nationalism, the Chinese people are not better than the Japanese. "The winner becomes the emperor while the loser is just a bandit" is an age-old concept of warfare in China. The arrogance of the Han tribe about owning everything under heaven continues to live on today as nationalism. More particularly, the way in which the Chinese Communists have fabricated history and used lies to rule since seizing power is much worse than how the Japanese rightists are revising their history of invasion; the way in which the Chinese Communists have beautify their totalitarian rule is much worse than how the Japanese rightists have beautify militarism. The way by which the Chinese Communists have ruled with lies has created a basis by which Japan can revise its history in order to fool the new generation of Japanese." ...

The Standard also has an article about the Communists view on history.