Know about China's three 'nos'
Just before I began my first broadcast in Wuhan, on Zhejiang Radio, I was given three nos — not unlike the infamous "Three Nos" of the Arafatian Palestinian Authority or the earlier PLO.
The persons who had hired me to have a three-hour once-a-week radio program I called "Conversations With..." told me explicitly I could say "what [I] wanted" except:
I could not mention the Falun Gong in my broadcasts. The Falun Gong seemed innocuous to me and other expats in China, a minor religious cum performance group that somehow existed as a huge irritant to Beijing, which considers them a resistance sect and passes around the rumor that the Falun gong harvest human organs for their rituals. Wok calling the kettle black...
Tibet, which the Chinese consider theirs, end of story, and not a break-off nation of its own. Subsuming the gentle, hardy Tibetans, in the foothills of the Himalayas, was achieved the way the Han Chinese have long '"conquered' a region: they ship in hundreds or thousands of "volunteer" local Chinese into a territory, where they find local women, marry, procreate, and establish essentially a facts-on-the-ground extension of Beijing — thereby extinguishing the local culture in a few short years, without a chopstick being broken.
And Taiwan, a term as verboten in mainland China as the freighted proper noun "Rhodesia" is in present-day Zimbabwe, regarded as a wayward but undisciplined family member who will, soon, someday, be brought to heel and reincorporated into the PRC.
Taiwan, a thriving democracy of some 23.6 million souls, which established its existence and independence a century ago, is neutered in the U.N. and disappeared in the WHO, and anywhere international relations confer legitimacy on the People's Republic.
Because China swings an über-most-powerful financial club, few nations dare to thwart the country seat, the governing body, or president-for-life Xi Jinping. Land that trade bond!
Nauseating evidence of this forced hegemony over foreign bodies was recently demonstrated when Canadian national Bruce Aylward, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) public health official, was interviewed on the subject of Taiwan and its status in relation to the coronavirus pandemic currently scything 171 countries at last count.
The WHO, it should be understood, is funded most by the United States. But fair-haired Aylward, more than once, feigned deafness when asked about this nation to the right of mainland Red China.
Working the sonic cement twice did not discourage the interviewer from repeating her question about Taiwan, so Aylward did what all pols try to do, some with greater effectiveness, some with less. In Aylward's case, his hesitant dismissal came a few microsecs after the reiterated question about COVID-19's incidence in Taiwan. Aylward pivoted.
"Ah, that's OK, I couldn't hear, but let's go on to a different question, shall we?" As glaring an example to serving Xi's diminuendo goals as one could imagine, too obvious to have anyone actually buy his feint and deflection follow-through.
As with Brad Pitt's rough invocation to men spoiling for a muscle match in the 1999 film Fight Club,
"You don't talk about Fight Club," in the same way, evidently, serious servitors of Beijing do not talk about Taiwan.
On my radio program, interviewing guests and occasional minor celebrities, even though I wanted to break the ban, I managed to sneak in a few mentions of Tibet, sociologically analyzing the topography and agriculture and whatever I could smuggle into our dialogues in English and Mandarin, and I made mention of the talent demonstrated by the flexible dance-dervishes of the Falun Gong. But I demurred at the last in clandestine discussion of the island a few kilometers offshore. It would have ended my tenure as radio host.
We never knew which officials were listening to our broadcasts — or if, because English is still not the lingua franca of the leadership echelons of the Chinese, they bothered to listen at all. I was all too aware of the cordon solitaire censoring the films I showed once a week to hundreds of collegians from nearby colleges.
So Aylward's brazen pretense of deafness in regard to Taiwan brought me back to the stone-cold threat I recall from my days as a radio host in Hubei Province. More important, it is crystalline that the WHO is under the dirty yellowed cigarette-stained thumb of Xi and the PRC's economic hungry or thirsty battalions.
Yet as any halfway observant world citizen knows now, China makes no guarantees. China makes no promises. But if it does, peradventure, no one expects it to actually hold to its routinely meretricious promises. So Canada can dance to China's tinny abacus music, but fools the Canadians would be to actually wrest any benefit from their pretzelized postures in denying the obvious.
As some know, the Mandarin word for crisis — weiji — has, hidden in its brush-stroke ideograph depths, the character for "opportunity," as dashing President John F. Kennedy once noted in a speech. The Chinese leadership, bent on eventual surpassing of the United States in its GNP and dominant political pre-eminence within the next at-most 30 years. Judging by the mulligatawny the rest of the globe is now simmering in, without the benefit of meat, onions, or potatoes, they are right on schedule.
You heard it here.
Hear no challenge. Speak no truth. See no endgame.
Photo credit: YouTube screen grab.