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Book Review: HENRY KISSINGER: ON CHINA.
First published in 2011 by The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

DOES HENRY REALLY UNDERSTAND CHINESE?

In a few days, it will be June 4 and the 24th Anniversary of Tienanmen.  In a week, the new Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with President Barack Obama for
the first time in California to discuss security issues.  
This is also the year of the 90th birthday of Henry Alfred Kissinger.    It is a propitious time to review the Nobel
Peace Prize Laureate's latest book,  "ON CHINA."   Dr. Henry Kissinger is a teacher, as well as, a practitioner extraordinaire of Realpolitik - in the footsteps of
Machiavelli, Richelieu, Bismark, and his contemporary, President Richard M. Nixon.   

In his book, Dr. Kissinger turns his attention from Europe and gazes further eastward towards China. Given global realities, he could have focused directly on China by
going westward, since he writes from the American national interest.   The United States of America entered the world stage in the name of democracy by exerting
power across the Atlantic Ocean but presently, prominence must also be exerted across the Pacific.  This geopolitical reality is almost unique to the United States and
may be readily inferred from the book.

It is through his analysis of the balance of power in Europe that Dr.  Kissinger made his mark as a scholar, but he is indebted to China for his renown as a statesman.  
But does Henry really understand Chinese?  Let us explore this further.

Dr.  Kissinger opens his book by calling China a "Singularity," noting that China is the only ancient civilization that does not have a founding myth, a story of how a
people began.   Reading the first few pages, one is beguiled into thinking that Dr. Kissinger's interest in writing about China is sublimely philosophical, even
theological.   This is furthest from the truth because it quickly becomes obvious that his interest firmly lies in the practical aspects of a cooperative Sino-American
relationship, notwithstanding the deep cultural and ideological divides that bedevil the liaison.

Quickly, Kissinger launches into an analysis of the ancient Chinese game of
wei qi (better known in the West as "go") and the perceptive reader can grasp that he also
has on his mind the American game of "containment" (à la George Kennan).   On matters of Chinese antiquity, Kissinger has the audacity to place Sun Tzu on an equal
plane with Confucius, this being sure to raise some Chinese eyebrows.   I count him as quoting Sun Tzu on War more often than Confucius on Ethics (whom he
merely mentions), perhaps revealing that Kissinger knows that Sino-American relations have been strained by war, such as the Vietnam and Korean Wars (where US
troops engaged Chinese).   

This takes us to the purpose of Dr. Kissinger's book - how to continue mutually beneficial and peaceful relations between two superpowers.  Dr. Kissinger waxes
nostalgic about Triangular Diplomacy (USA-USSR-China) and his pivotal but then secret role in setting up the Nixon-Mao meeting in China in 1972 and the Shanghai
Communiqué.  He shares, somewhat but not quite all pedagogically, key details of his various intimate conversations with Chinese leaders such as Chairman Mao,
Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaopeng (dubbed "The Indestructible Deng"), Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao. These colorful dialogues which transpired over many decades, span  
humorously earthy quips (e.g. "touching the tiger's buttocks"), fearsome saber-rattling, and other calculated tantrums (e.g. Mao's diatribes on his lack of fear of atomic
weapons when China still was without the Bomb) - all of which promise to be a good hearty read.   Kissinger in his polished fashion is gentle, even generous in
describing friend and foe, domestic or foreign; when necessary he resorts to adjectives such as "prolix" and "mordant."

None can write a book on modern China without coming to grips with the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre.  Dr. Kissinger's account has drawn criticism from many
quarters,   The penchant of the former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State for secrecy is legendary.  His perceived disdain for imposing democracy and
the knee-jerk advancement of human rights (such as the little triangle between China-Vietnam-Khmer Rouge) have also earned him many critics.  

The New York Times has noted that "the severest test of the quasi alliance, of course, was the brutal suppression of democratic strivings in Tiananmen Square in
1989," and "that violent crackdown also tested Kissinger’s tolerance for the assertion of American values in foreign relations."  In his defense, it must be said that
Kissinger, at all times, gives priority to the perpetuation of cooperation between China and the USA.  His highest values, perhaps as a result of infantry combat
experience during the Allied advance on Berlin and subsequent civilian work for nuclear arms control during the Cold War, are found ultimately in the effort to avoid
tensions that may precipitate war.   

Kissinger must be somberly read in all the chapters for anyone to come to any conclusion on this complex balancing of values, but perhaps this quote from the book
can get the inquiry started:  “The best outcome in the American debate would be to combine the two approaches: for the idealists to recognize that principles need to be
implemented over time and hence must be occasionally adjusted to circumstance; and for the ‘realists’ to accept that values have their own reality and must be built
into operational policies.”

Dr. Kissinger closes his tome with that well worn Question, "Does History Repeat Itself?"  Well versed in the peace protocols attempted at Westphalia onwards to
Yalta (-Potsdam), he seeks to extend the lessons of 20th century Europe, including a presentation of the Eyre Crowe Memorandum on pre-World War I Germany to
interactions with China in the 21st.  China now as the newest superpower will more and more bring her understanding of "Bringing Peace Under Heaven" (平天下 -
ping tian xia) to bear on affairs of the world.   So, we come full circle to that first question - does Henry really understand Chinese?  

This question has fascinated me for a while.  Even after reading "On China" a few times over, it is not very apparent or clear that Henry does understand Chinese.  All
the salient conversations he recounts in the book were conducted through English-Chinese interpreters.  He never incorporated Chinese script in his book.  In the
Preface, he acknowledged that the lawyer Schuyler Schouten assisted with translations of Chinese documents.  Nonetheless, it will not surprise me that over the years
Dr. Kissinger indeed has mastered a working command of a difficult language, but in the best traditions of the land of Crouching Tigers and Hidden Dragons, he has,
perhaps out of  modesty, or more likely, pragmatism, never professed his competence.
1


1
Unlike President Jiang Zemin, who according to Kissinger, "with non-Chinese visitors, ...
regularly incorporated English or Russian or even Romanian expressions into his presentations
to emphasize a point  - shifting without warning between a rich sense of Chinese classical
idioms and such American colloquialisms as 'it takes two to tango.'"
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A WIN IN THE U.S.  SIXTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS. On August 18, 2014 in Nifadev v. Holder, (Case No. 13-3704/4222
6th Cir. 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that Mikheil B. Nifadev has proven his claim that he
had suffered persecution by reason of his Russian ethnicity at the hands of the security and regular police of Uzbekistan.   The
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and the Court remanded the case with additional instructions to the United States Attorney General, including that the BIA should
determine whether the BIA should also reconsider its denial of Nifadev’s application for withholding of removal and protection
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Uzbekistan security officials, we find that Nifadev has made out a credible case of being a refugee under the definitions of
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found Mr.  Nifadev and his witnesses to be credible but declined to grant asylum because it erroneously determined that
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THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR has gotten bigger - we are now on the air weekly on public radio
WAIF-CINCINNATI 88.3 FM and our broadcast time has moved to prime-time  
THE ASIAN AMERICAN
HOUR
CONTINUES 23 YEARS ON THE AIR WITH WAIF 88.3 FM - Date of First Broadcast: 6/7/2001
THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR will continue to feature talk, and music, and other good things with a discernable slant
towards Asian American affairs, immigration, and many other issues of interest to our community-at-large.
 
THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR is produced and hosted by Charleston Wang, Esq. with John G. O'Neill.
as co-host, together with our distinguished guests.

So, tune in to
THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR on WAIF-CINCINNATI 88.3 FM. every Monday 5-6 PM. Get the latest on
the Asian American community in Cincinnati, the fast growing & mobile community in the Tri-state.   

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Celebrating Henry Kissinger: "The Unexpected Harmony of Ping Pong Diplomacy."

In paying tribute to the remarkable Henry Kissinger, let's journey back to an era where international relations took an unexpected twist—the fascinating chapter of "Ping
Pong Diplomacy." Picture this: the click-clack of ping pong balls echoing in the diplomatic corridors, setting the stage for a profound transformation in global affairs.

In April 1971, the American ping pong team, led by the spirited Glenn Cowan, received a surprise invitation to China. What unfolded was more than a sporting event; it
was a cultural exchange that defied political norms. Amidst the back-and-forth of rallies, friendships blossomed, breaking down barriers in a way only sports can.

Enter Henry Kissinger, the mastermind behind many strategic moves. Recognizing the unique synergy generated by Ping Pong Diplomacy, Kissinger turned the sporting
camaraderie into a diplomatic triumph. Secret talks unfolded, leading to the groundbreaking moment when President Nixon set foot on Chinese soil in 1972.

Yet, behind the scenes, there were intriguing anecdotes—late-night ping pong matches between diplomats, cultural exchanges that went beyond the planned agenda, and
the sharing of stories over meals. These moments, often overshadowed by formal talks, added a rich layer to the diplomacy of the time.

As we reflect on Henry Kissinger's legacy, let's uncover the human side of Ping Pong Diplomacy. Beyond the political playbook, there were genuine connections formed
on the ping pong table. The universal language of sport became a bridge, transcending political divides and fostering genuine understanding.

In the grand tapestry of history, Ping Pong Diplomacy remains a vibrant thread, weaving together politics, sports, and human connections.
It's a reminder that, sometimes, the most unexpected avenues lead to the most profound transformations. Henry Kissinger's legacy,
intertwined with the click-clack of ping pong balls, invites us to appreciate the beauty of diplomacy in its most unexpected forms.
                                                                 Kubat Kubanaliev,  December 1, 2023.
Editor's Note:  Does Henry Know How to Play Ping Pong?
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A WIN IN THE U.S.  SIXTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS. On August 18, 2014 in Nifadev v. Holder, (Case No. 13-3704/4222
6th Cir. 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that Mikheil B. Nifadev has proven his claim that he
had suffered persecution by reason of his Russian ethnicity at the hands of the security and regular police of Uzbekistan.   The
Court vacated the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in Washington, D.C. which had denied Mr. Nifadev asylum,
and the Court remanded the case with additional instructions to the United States Attorney General, including that the BIA should
determine whether the BIA should also reconsider its denial of Nifadev’s application for withholding of removal and protection
under Convention Against Torture (abbreviated CAT for Convention Against Torture And Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment of the United Nations) in light of the opinion of the Court.  The Sixth Circuit opinion essentially and
explicitly held that
"[b]ecause the IJ [Immigration Judge] appears to have erred in her determination that Nifadev did not suffer
past persecution and because the IJ clearly misinterpreted Nifadev’s credible testimony regarding the ethnic animus of the
Uzbekistan security officials, we find that Nifadev has made out a credible case of being a refugee under the definitions of
8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(A)."
 [Emphasis added].   The United States Immigration Court in Cleveland, Ohio, had initially
found Mr.  Nifadev and his witnesses to be credible but declined to grant asylum because it erroneously determined that
Mr. Nifadev had NOT suffered persecution.   Shown in photograph on the right is Mr. Mikheil B. Nifadev with Charleston
C. K. Wang, Esq.  who represented Mr. Nifadev during trial and both appeals. To read complete opinion, please
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Four Elders from Uzbekistan in their many colored coats
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Working the Tan Lines by the
Aegean of the Mediterranen
Beyond in the mist rises
fabled Patmos, May 2012
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"Pilgrimage to
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Birthplace
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To read
"Descending
to the Dead Sea
and Ascending
to Qumran,"  
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D-Day, Normandy France
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Charge of Light Brigade-Lord Alfred Tennyson
Last of Light Brigade-Rudyard Kipling
Recessional (Victorian Ode)-Rudyard Kipling
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Wilderness
of Abraham,
Jesus &
Israel-
Palestine,"
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"In The
Upper
Room"
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for Jericho,"  
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D-Day, Normandy France
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Road to
Emmaus,"  
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"Confession of a
Gentile in
Jerusalem:  The
Paradox of the Five
Sheklim Blessing,"  
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Acropolis Athens
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Attending Athens
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IN THE COMPANY OF
THE EMPEROR ZHENZONG OF SONG
October 12, 2023

STOPOVER
Times Square
New York City
September 28, 2023
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IN MEMORIAM OF DR. HENRY ALFRED KISSINGER
May 27, 1923 - November 29, 2023:
ACCOMPLISHED STATESMAN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY WHOSE ViSION OF CORDIAL
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF
CHINA REMAINS THE
SINE QUA NON OF WORLD PEACE IN THE TWENTY-FIRST.
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WELCOMING
Juan Jose
from
Quito
ECUADOR
April 20, 2024
Charleston Wang
Recognized by Hamilton County Commissioners
Asian American Pacific Islander Month May 21, 2024
Stephanie Summerow Dumas, Commissioner  - Alicia Reece, President  - Denise Driehaus, VP
INFOCUS:
UNIVERSAL
EDUCATION
IN THE
WORLD -
Example of
Malala
Yousafzai
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Santorini Greece
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"For everything there is a season  ……

And a time for every matter in international trade relations.  Is now the season to seriously consider disengaging with China and reengaging with our closer neighbors?  
And are there reasons to do so?

Since Mr. Xi Jinping became President of China in 2013, he has been expanding China’s military muscle around the Pacific.  Smaller neighbors such as Taiwan and the
Philippines have to contend daily with Chinese show of strength.  Mr. Xi is able to project this kind of
tour de force because China today has the second biggest economy
in the world.  The two world wars of the last century have proven beyond doubt that actual wars are won or lost according to the size of the belligerents’ economy.

China’s economy is where it today primarily because of trade with the United States for the last half century beginning with the visit by President Richard Nixon in 1972
and the reciprocal trip by Mr. Deng Xiaoping in 1979.  Trade boomed after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.   

Since the United States reached out to normalize relations with the most populous nation in the world, albeit to balance the power of the Soviet Union in those days,
America has been steadfast in seeking friendship through trade with China.  Notwithstanding the bitter lesson of the Opium Wars when China resisted trade with the West
and was forced to open her ports by British gunboats and foreign armies, commercial relations with the United States have to date benefited both nations with little or no
unpleasantness.

But sages say that every dinner party must come to an end.  Mr. Xi Jinping has revealed an undeniable shift towards Putin especially after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in
2022.  And he has escalated his threats against Taiwan.  In 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong lost Taiwan because of the cold war posture of the United States, and I respectfully
suggest that Mr. Xi Jinping may believe it is incumbent for him to retrieve that wayward island for the glory of China.  As even the mightiest dictator cannot dictate forever
(Chairman Mao died in 1976 aged 82), the danger here is that Mr. Xi Jinping may feel pressure to outdo the great helmsman by repossessing Taiwan in the next decade or so.

China is able, by going back in history to the waning days of the Qing dynasty in the nineteenth century, to assemble a somewhat formidable legal brief for having Taiwan,
but does it have a good reason to play the bully against the Philippines?   Or raising tension around islands claimed by Japan and Vietnam?

China is now undergoing a crippling implosion in her real property market and this may infect other Chinese capital and equity markets.  This economic retreat may be
explained by the aftershock of a draconian response against COVID-19, but another explanation may be slowdown in resumption of international business due to the
concern to China’s shift towards militarism and Mr. Xi Jinping’s miscalculations, many of which are now becoming apparent.

Therefore, now is the season for the United States to seriously discuss, as a matter of national policy, gradually disengaging with China (call it decoupling if you wish)
and at the same time, as a matter of well-defined national policy to gradually reengage our supply needs with our closer neighbors, especially our neighbors to the south.

Because of the closeness over land, tremendous saving in shipping time and cost is immediate.  On the other side of the border, Mexico and all the other countries in
Central and South America must organize to develop national strategies to take advantage of this emerging opportunity that will increase the welfare of their citizens.

This realignment will yield two great benefits: first, discourage China from further going down road of militarism, and second, solve our own immigration crisis now
perceived as rampant along our southwest border.  The United States has ignored the economies of our Latin neighbors for much too long and this is one reason for the
current immigration crisis.  It took fifty years for China of hard work and international trade to become the second largest economy in the world; it will take many decades
of consistent trade policy to build up the economics of our neighbors, but we are already moving in that direction because of policy shifts caused by Mr. Xi Jinping.

We need to develop an intentional but gradual long term policy shift to preserving peace through international trade and discouraging militarism in the world through
economic forces.  For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.

Charleston C K Wang, May 1, 2024
.
BALLET FLOCLORICO XOCHIHUA 5/5/2024
CINCY-CINCO
2024
CINCY-CINCO 2024
With Alfonso Cornejo
President Hispanic Cincinnati
Chamber of Commerce USA
May 5, 2024
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Moo Moo Secret Diet Revealed
Sushi Tempura Combo
MEI JAPANESE RESTAURANT
Montgomery, Ohio - May 18, 2024

CINCINNATI PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION
2024 Summer Karaoake Tostado's Grill May 20, 2024
Photo Courtesy of J P Leong

SYCAMORE HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS
AWARDS NIGHT 5/23/2024

CONGRATULATIONS!
I-Tsen Wang Arts Scholarship:  Yoshie Vinton
Shirley & Charleston Wang ESL Scholarship:  Fars Almgherbi
Shakespeare for our times to think about:  
"When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions."
"With Ate by his side come hot from hell, Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war.
Blood and destruction shall be so in use, And dreadful objects so familiar, mothers shall but smile when they behold their infants quartered with the hands of war."
Thus I demonstrate for you the power and anguish of our English language - Charleston Wang 5/23/2024

TASTE OF CINCINNATI May 25-26, 2024
MEMORIAL DAY USA 5/27/2024
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
1890-1969
Supreme Commander
Allied Expeditionary
Forces European
Theatre War Against Nazi
Germany (SHAEF)
1944-45
Army Chief of Staff
1945-48
President
Columbia University
1948-1953
Supreme Allied
Commander
North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO)
1950-52
PRESIDENT OF USA
(REPUBLICAN)
1953-1961
General
of the
Army
1961
MEMORIAL DAY USA 5/27/2024
REMEMBERING D-DAY UTAH BEACH JUNE 6, 1944
Allied Landing at Normandy, Liberation of France & Defeat of Nazi Germany
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Sainte-Mère-Église D-Day June 6, 1944
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Gold Beach at Arromane D-Day June 6, 1944
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REMEMBERING D-DAY OMAHA BEACH JUNE 6, 1944
Allied Landing at Normandy, Liberation of France & Defeat of Nazi Germany
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Moo Moo Secret Diet Revealed
Duck Red Curry & Thai Tea
BANGKOK STREET
Kenwood, Ohio - June 6, 2024