Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
Frank Bernheisel
Posted 08.29.14
Just Outside Washington


Watching China Watch

The Washington Post recently included a six-page advertising section that had the heading: CHINAWATCH. This cannot be cheap.

Above the banner is a box that says: 'China Watch; published monthly by China Daily, brings you information and diverse stories about contemporary China's dynamic development.' I have read it before and it is a mix of propaganda and information.

Today's above-the-fold front-page story is about the 'Comfort Women' that were captured and forced to provide sex to the Japanese army during World War II. Estimates of the number of Comfort Women ranges between 100,000 and 400,000 and included women from Korea, China, the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, and elsewhere.

China Watch says there are twenty-three alive in China currently. The point of the article is that the Japanese were bad and should apologize and pay reparations. Wikipedia has an article on Japanese apologies for WWII.

The below-the-fold front-page article is a very negative one about the Yushukani Shrine to the Japanese war dead, some 2.5 million listed by name. They include 1,068 war criminals, 14 of which are considered A-Class.

The shrine was established in 1869 by the by order of the Meiji Emperor. A number of Japanese politicians, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, have visited the shrine causing outrage among those that do not believe that Japan has been contrite enough about WWII. Wikipedia also has an article on the Yushukani Shrine.

So, why does China Watch bring up these two subjects that fill the front page and half an interior page? Clearly, not to present information about 'contemporary China's dynamic development.'

Could it be to shift American public opinion about Japan in a negative direction? Could it be to block Japan's move to a more aggressive defense posture? Inquiring minds want to know.

Now, maybe Japan has not apologized sufficiently for its WWII behavior and many hold that opinion. However, China should be a bit circumspect about calling out other countries on their past human rights abuses. I will highlight five reasons:

    1. Chinese Civil War between 1927 and 1936, 2 million casualties including 100,000 on the Long March;
    2. Chinese Civil War between 1945 and 1949, 6 million casualties;
    3. Invasion of Tibet in 1950, only about 300 casualties;
    4. Great Leap Forward from 1958 to 1961, the estimated death toll range from 18 million to 45 million;
    5. Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the shooting of several hundred or possibly thousands of unarmed civilians by soldiers.
Let the apologies begin! Or as John said, Christ said: 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.'