Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jha on the Chinese Worldview

Interesting thoughts from an article in Tehelka - "Confronting China - How could ancient China’s worldview pose a threat to modern India? " by Prem Shankar Jha

The European nation state came into being under the spur of capitalism. Borders were first hardened by the capitalists to keep out competing products and later by labour to restrict the sharing of the gains in productivity to the nationals of the country. Education was homogenised to meet the technical and managerial skill-requirements of an increasingly nation-wide market and production system....

...In China, the hard state developed out of a very different compulsion. This was the need to ensure the safety of the realm in a land that had no natural barriers to ingress. This required the State to ensure rapid mobility for troops and supplies and freedom from political obstacles inside the country.

...An anguished Han Chinese woman in Urumqi told the BBC (in a change of policy Beijing allowed foreign journalists into Xinjiang), “We have turned this place into a heaven. Why are these people destroying it?”

...In the Confucian scheme of things, individuals and, by implication, states that are not “reasonable” and do not respond to “kindness” are not ruled by “virtue.” They are, therefore, fit subjects for “persuasion.”

After reading article I wonder if Jha is any different from the Chinese blogger who created this huge furure with his sweeping, simplistic generalizations.

Other Articles:

Why India Fears China - Jeremy Kahn, Newsweek, 10 Oct., 2009

"...All these moves are best understood in the context of China's recent
troubles in Tibet, with Beijing increasingly concerned that any acceptance of
the 1914 border will amount to an implicit acknowledgment that Tibet was once
independent of China—a serious blow to the legitimacy of China's control over
the region and potentially other minority areas as well."