The following two Chinese quotes are well known to Chinese scholars and peasants alike, influencing their views on patriotism to political science. Many West China Experts fail to appreciate their philosophical meaning on national politics and international relations. These two quotes will be explained as background before discussing the subject matter.
“修身，齊家，治國，平天下” is from the book, 禮記-大學， chapter 42 of 49. Meaning: One’s political aspiration should start from grooming one’s (good) character, nourishing (adequately) and managing (peacefully) one’s family, serving and governing (orderly) one’s country then harmonizing (fairly) the world. The chapter has also laid out a disciplined preparation process for grooming a good character: “欲修其身，先正其心, 欲正其心,先诚其意；欲诚其意, 先致其知，致知在格物.” Meaning: To groom one’s character, first conditions one’s heart, before that establishes sincerity, before that acquires knowledge and before that study subject matters.
“天下興亡，匹夫有責“ This was originated from Gu Yan Wu, a political philosopher in Qing Dynasty. Its original context means: A rise and fall of a government is the ruler’s responsibility but a rise and fall of a country (world) is everyone’s responsibility (Everyone has a duty). This philosophy elevates everyone’s political conscience. These two quotes have profound philosophical influence on Chinese people deeply from scholars to peasants, shaping the character of the Chinese people as a whole and placing a serious sense of responsibility on political servants and common citizens in facing civil duties, national politics and rise and fall of country.
Let’s now turn to the political scenery of the U.S. We cannot fault Harvard, Yale, the like for any problem of our political system since they are the best universities in the world in many disciplines including the political science. They are well endowed with funds, brilliant scholars and intelligent students; they produce many political scientists. However, over the past 250 years, our political system progressed with democracy only significantly in terms of the gender/racial groups and their voting population. Our government is getting bigger but less efficient and more corrupt but less effective. Our Congress is filled with higher education attainment (1.65 college degree) but less government working experience (more mediocre politicians). The quality of our President is not only inferior to their predecessors one or two century ago but also less deserving our votes. No more than 2/3 of voters bother to vote and the winner barely gets half of the 2/3. Our elections are more focused on negative attacks rather than on ‘the good character’, ‘the knowledge’, and ‘the political skills of ‘governing’ and ‘harmonizing’ the world.
In our foreign policy, we often see stubborn strategies and reckless tactics. Policy makers seem to believe that we have the best political system, others must follow. We must export our political system. We stubbornly believe that other people should welcome an imposed change. This belief often was hyped by the fact that people in poor country was envious of the American living condition. Hence, we stubbornly use regime change as a solution for relieving ‘suffering people’. But contradictorily, we also firmly believe that people (ruling elites) will never change, hence once we label a country bad, say communist, it will not change except by regime change. This contradictory belief has been the basis of our anti-communist political strategy persistent for decades and centuries.
We believed that the Soviet Union would never change, hence we had an anti-Soviet strategy since WW II. The Soviet Union collapsed ironically due to her own change; the people and their leaders changed (in political philosophy). Their change was too abrupt to pump up their economy. But we interpreted their failure as the success of our stubborn strategy. We would then apply regime change to the former Soviet Union states to convert them to 'democracy' by regime change. (Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, etc., are examples.) In fact, people do change, and they will change on their pace if there was no external threat interference. For example, Cuba would change on its own if there was no stubborn anti-Cuba strategy. Since with any dictatorship, a life span is a natural limit before self-evolution or self-change takes place.
Example two is the Taiwan government, which has changed simply because China has let Taiwan change by itself. China was too busy transforming herself to interfere with Taiwan’s democratization. But the U.S. would not let Taiwan change by herself to reunify with Mainland China to spoil her first island chain strategy. Hence, under the multi-decade anti-China policy, the Taiwan government (ruled by a new minority pro-independence party) is resisting the natural evolution toward reunification. Only 10% Taiwan citizens are openly pro-mainland because they have gained and experienced benefits from mainland. The large population especially the youth had no experience with Mainland China except being brainwashed by schooling. On the other hand, the 1.4 billion Chinese population in mainland is changing rapidly and influencing their government to keep reforming, simply because their contact with the world through travel stimulated desire for more change. But their demand of change is not what the U.S. envisioned ‘regime change’. Chinese people can appreciate what the CCP government has accomplished for them and has changed. But the U.S. stubbornly label China as an evil communist country despite of its capability of lifting a billion people out of poverty with more people in middle class than Americans. The U.S. proclaims that the CCP government must be changed to let the people live better life; the truth is that they are living better life and improving faster than Americans now. The U.S. anti-China policy only hardens the Chinese government, in turn, the Chinese people, to diminish their friendly relationship with the U.S. The stubborn U.S. anti-China strategy will eventually be realized by the Taiwan people since a 'porcupine state' is never a good idea for Taiwan.
Under a stubborn strategy, the tactics can be reckless without careful reflection, reevaluation and rational analysis. The unreasonable treatment of the Huawei Corporation is a sad example of a recklessly selected and hastily executed anti-China trade sanction case. Huawei is a truly employee-owned company doing a great business all over the world on its own, expanding rapidly following the Western rules of entrepreneurship, capitalistic reward for workers, heavy investments in R&D to acquire intellectual properties and strategic development in technology and market expansion. It became one of the fastest growing enterprise in China and in the world making all state enterprises envious of its management and employee performance.
The U.S. crudely attacked Huawei. On December 1, 2018, Huawei's board deputy chair Ms. Meng Wanzhou was detained upon arrival at Vancouver International Airport by Canada Border Services Agency officers for questioning for three hours, in connection to a Huawei’s former subsidiary’s sales to Iran. The U.S. also accused without proof that the Huawei’s global mobile network might have ‘Backdoor’ access exposing security concern. The U.S. mandated government to sanction Huawei equipment in U.S. and lobbied her Allie’s, UK and EU, to join the sanction. On Feb. 12, 2020, Huawei denied the charge, saying it's the US government that's been "covertly accessing telecom networks worldwide, spying on other countries.” Eventually Ms. Meng was released on September 24, 2021, but the case has placed a black mark on U.S. Justice.
Using entire national resources attacking one private corporation is unprecedented. Huawei took a blow and lost its cellphone business. However, Huawei struggled to survive and came back stronger. The recent report of the cyber attack through 17 nations’ servers as bridge going through Backdoor to snoop for technology secrets by the U.S. on China’s Northwest University had proven that there were no Backdoors on Huawei equipment. Huawei is vindicated and its business will keep on growing. Under the anti-China strategy, the U.S. is luring all segments of semiconductor industry to the U.S. by offering incentives to Taiwanese, South Korean and Japanese companies to move to the U.S. Such a plan violates WTO regulation and will fail simply because not enough skilled workers in the U.S.. The U.S. has 58M (2020) projected to 59.5M (2040) age 25-64 work force with tertiary degree, <18% in STEM. Correspondingly China has 48M (2020) projected to 125M (2040). From published data, China has 1.38 million engineering graduates in 2020 (~7x of U.S. = 199,790). So it is safe to say that China will have at least 14x as many engineering and STEM graduates as U.S. by 2040. Therefore, it would make sense to adopt a cooperative competition mode to carve up the semiconductor industry chain than risking China becoming totally self-sufficient to capture the entire industry.