I realize there are xenophobes and exoticists who will always view China, and Chinese people who stay too Chinese, as a threat or a hindrance to progress. Do not lump me together with people who have “turned white” and view China as something foreign. China is far from foreign to me. I also happen to hold much-maligned but classically notable views of China’s future.
So mainlanders continue to support the legitimacy of the sham government that holds them captive, not opening their mouths against the regime’s policies. This is, I think, understandable when there really are people who are more opposed to China than to the regime’s abuses, though I also think it’s a knee-jerk reaction and rejection of truth because of its vehicle. On the other side, those who support Taiwanese independence think it’s just a mainland problem and that China, from which they exclude themselves, should be left to its own devices. Consequently they look down on all mainlanders and think they themselves are the chosen people.
Then there are Kuomintang people, who by and large have lost their centre. Thus, in their desire to distance themselves from Taiwan independence supporters and capitalize on the wave of opinion that rides on the desire for money, their unprincipled politicians get cosy with Beijing’s despots for “economic” reasons. As expected, the despicable pragmatists from Hong Kong follow suit.
So on both sides of the Strait, and in the diaspora too, people take sides irrationally and become more committed to developments on their side than to principle, feeding it with their pride. Since few are left then to care about China as a nation to live not for profit but for virtue, small wonder that my ancestors’ homeland remains to this day the sick man of Asia, beset with pettiness and corruption. Small wonder too that people have become disillusioned with the study of man and reoriented themselves to mammon, calling upon their commitments to the point of irrationality when the occasion does arise.
This polarization is useless and extremely childish. It will not make a better life for the Chinese people, and it will not lead to contemplation of what is worth keeping in this world. Everywhere I see statements purportedly defending China but actually only promoting the communist regime, claiming that the regime “works” without saying for what it works. If I may put in a word: your pragmatism doesn’t work, nor does your stubborn adherence to your chosen entity more out of pride than out of love. Think instead about benevolence and righteousness, and maybe we’ll actually get somewhere.