|The Hong Kong Flag|
Perhaps one person at a time.
So my procrastination about writing about readers of this blog from the People's Republic of China and The Republic of China ended today, when I had a reader from Hong Kong.
If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that we Americans don't really understand cultures older than ours, and world histories, so I'm reticent to write about them. Trying to be a journalist and be even-handed, that means keeping an American perspective out of world events, and it's not really possible. But I try.
I grew up when "Red China" was one of the evil empires threatening the U.S., and bent on destroying freedom. The Republic of China on Formosa was the democracy and Hong Kong was a British colony. There's no doubt in my mind that the current People's Republic of China is still a threat of the U.S., now primarily economically, and it is a foe of freedom of expression. But I've also learned that money and capitalism between countries, called "markets," overrules ideology most of the time, and that affects the three of the flags in this post. And that I wasn't told the whole story of Hong Kong and Formosa.
In the 1920s with the rise of Chiang Kai-Shek the nationalist party couldn't negotiate with the communist party and a civil war started. A truce was declared when the Japanese invaded and slaughtered hundreds of thousands. (America's Flying Tigers operated with the Kuomintang, the nationalist party, against the Japanese).
|Flag of the People's Republic of China|
Hong Kong operates under the saying, "one country, two systems." Its regional flag shows that. It carries the festive red of Chinese people. The Bauhinia flower, discovered in Hong Kong, is the main symbol, but it has five petals and stars to coincide the stars of the flag of the People's Republic of China.
The flag of China carries five golden stars, one large and four smaller ones. The red is for the Communist revolution, the large star is for the Communist party and the others for the four classes, proletarian workers, agricultural peasants, bourgeoisie, and capitalists.
Across the straight of Formosa another Chinese flag flies, this one also red, but with the blue and white symbol of the Chinese Republic before WWII.
I have had students from both Chinese countries, and in sort of a wake up to me, when I was working on my doctorate at OSU many years ago, one of my fellow students was from "Red" China. Her father had flown Migs in the Korean War.
With the death of Mao and of Chiang, both countries have changed. The Republic of China is now truly democratic and an economic dynamo, and The People's Republic of China, while still communist, is adjusting to the practical constraints of a world economic power. That includes allowing Hong Kong to be capitalist.
I find it fascinating, that the communist state, with control of so much media, and in the news for hacking US computers, has citizens who read this blog. The world is small.
China is complicated, and will be a force in America for a long time, including most recently, in putting pressure on its not-so subservient North Korean rogue state.