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Cet homme heureux est d'Haïti, circa 2010.

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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枪杆子里面出政权
POLITICAL POWER COMES OUT
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毛泽东 Mao Zedong (aka Mao Tse-tung)


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THE ASIAN AMERICAN HOUR has gotten bigger - we are now on the air weekly on public radio
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THE ASIAN AMERICAN
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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
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Pursuant to the Sixth Circuit opinion, the BIA on January 5, 2015, ordered the Immigration Court to grant asylum to Mr. Nifadev.
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Mr. Nifadev applied for permanent resident status in March, 2017.
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Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it
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                         WE MUST RESTORE RESPECT FOR AND CONFIDENCE IN OUR COURTS

At this juncture of our Nation’s history, perhaps the most urgent and largely overlooked need is the need to restore respect for
and confidence in our judiciary.   Our courts, that third branch of our government, are vital to the proper functioning of a
checked and balanced democracy. During the last four years, respect for the courts have been eroded from many sides.

The most blatant and latest example is the recent refusal to accept the findings of many courts at all levels of a fair presidential
election, one that is free of major voting irregularity.  By a recent count 62 lawsuits had been filed in various state and federal
courts alleging a “rigged” or “stolen” election, but  the judges in 61 of the cases have found the voting to be fair and reliable.  
Only one court in Pennsylvania ordered the recheck of voter IDs to cure any alleged defects.  Yet the messaging of a rigged and
stolen election continued after the courts have upheld the integrity of the election process based on the evidence presented.  
This deliberate refusal to respect the impartial and apolitical judgment of the courts directly led to the attack on the United States
Congress, our first branch of government, resulting in destruction of property and loss of life.

Since the days of partisan driven dispute between William Marbury and James Madison, the courts have labored to protect our
democracy and enhance our liberties by resolving disputes at all levels using the rule of law and application of reason.  The
fundamental benefit is that major arguments and dangerous disagreements are settled without final recourse to armed force.  

Our system of constitutional government entrusts the judiciary to stay above the political pushing and shoving to render
judgments that transcend the political divide.  Indeed, the judiciary is the last recourse for persons without political power.  While
judgments sometimes are imperfect, and inevitably not all parties can be satisfied, our social contract advises us to accept a
judge’s decision and we must remind ourselves that this the why we went to the court in the first place.  

In a nation that is founded on rugged individualism and reasoned revolution, there will be occasions when we are bedeviled by
thoughts of taking the law from the courts and into our own hands.  The consequences are always dire, tragic and regrettable.   
In the final analysis, it falls upon each and everyone of us to maintain confidence in and respect for our judges and Justices of
the third branch of our constitutional government.

Respectfully submitted.

Charleston C. K. Wang,   Updated January 25, 2021.
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WITH RENOWNED MALAYSIAN AMERICAN CHEF PAUL LIEW OF SAGO RESTURANT IN MOUNT LOOKOUT, CINCINNATI
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Makan makan sedap - just like my teenage years in Kuala Lumpur.
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TAN LINE LABOR DAY, USA
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 WHO LOST CHINA, WHO LOST VIETNAM, AND WHO LOST AFGHANISTAN?














Towards the end of  this August, 2021, the world witnessed the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan to the Taliban, and the withdrawal of the last U.S. and NATO troops along with the
unceremonious closing of the U. S. Embassy in the beleaguered city. (As a side-note one can ask what was NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization - a military organization pledged to
defend Western Europe against first Soviet communism and then Russian imperialism, doing in a land of Islam).  After 20 long years of investing treasure and lives in that landlocked
country of forbidding mountains and extremes in winter to summer climate, the hue and cry of “WHO LOST AFGHANISTAN?” may be expected to be raised against President Joe Biden
as a matter of political
de rigueur.   While the jury is still out regarding the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, I will offer, once again into the fray dear friends, my simplistic opinion –
the USA had for two decades poured our resources to create a phantom army which evaporated at our present moment in history.

Sun Tzu once remarked that most observers can see the tactics of battles being lost or won but very few can see the strategy that ensures the final outcome of War.  Did the USA
lose in China, Vietnam, and now Afghanistan?  A
cliché is to counter with the question “IS CHINA, VIETNAM, AND AFGHANISTAN FOR AMERICA TO LOSE?”   The underlying
premise in this classical and quite magnificent rebuttal is that “AMERICA NEVER OWNED CHINA, WE NEVER OWNED CHINA, VIETNAM, AND AFGHANISTAN!”  But this
tête-à-tête is between jaded warhorses.

I would like to close by revisiting with a discussion of the “Fallacy of the Domino Theory.”  This geopolitical hypothesis subscribed by some pundits during 1950s and into the 1980s'
posits that if one country in a region came under the domination of communism,  the adjoining countries would also soon fall like toppling dominoes.  

In modern context, the first and biggest domino to fall was China and the Dominoed fear of all Asia succumbing to the hegemony of Chinese communism was the prime reason for the
USA to take over the game from the French in Vietnam after their route at Dien Bien Phu.  Indeed, after the fall of Saigon in 1975 to communist Hanoi, the Khmer Rouge (Red Khmer)
began their takeover of Cambodia.  Pol Pot seized Phnom Penh and then started a genocide against his own people, driving out and systematically killing the educated city dwellers
of that small country.  

The senseless brutality of the Khmer Rouge proved too much even for battle hardened Hanoi.   In 1978, Hanoi invaded and drove their communist cousins from power and for a while
it appeared that Hanoi had the wherewithal also to conquer Laos and then Thailand, a feat which would vindicate the Domino Theorists.  However, the Domino Theory itself fell flat
in the dust when in 1979, the People’s Republic of China turned on their communist cousins by invading Vietnam.  History records that the Vietnamese veterans stopped the drive of
unseasoned Chinese troops towards Hanoi.  After just one month of fighting Deng Xiaoping's War at great cost, Beijing withdrew.  Both countries then claimed victory.  Before we
leave behind 1979, I will remind you that it was on Christmas Eve of 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, precipitating nearly 10 years of brutal guerilla warfare.

But Hanoi had taken note of China’s signal and restrained themselves -  Laos and Thailand were left unmolested, notwithstanding sporadic border skirmishes aimed at refugee
camps.  After tens years of “peace-keeping” or perhaps even “nation-building” in Cambodia, Hanoi officially withdrew its troops and the Kingdom of Kampuchea was restored.
A remarkable unintended consequence of the little triangle conflict between China-Vietnam-Cambodia was the fall and destruction of the “Domino Theory.”  

Of greater world stage import was the revealing of fissure and actual armed conflict between the two great communist countries of China and the now defunct USSR.  More astute
U. S. practitioners of great triangle geopolitics, namely President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, then first normalized and next re-opened full diplomatic
relations with China.  The Chinese counterpart and master of this game of
wei qi was Premier Zhou Enlai (formerly spelled Chou En-lai), quite likely China's greatest statesman.   This
grand rapprochement toppled the Soviet Union in 1991.   The fall of the Berlin wall symbolized the end of the Cold War which started in 1945 and greatly lessened the threat of
global nuclear war.  For aforesaid reasons, and in my humble opinion, we must never ask aloud today “WHO LOST CHINA, WHO LOST VIETNAM, AND WHO LOST AFGHANISTAN!”

Charleston C. K. Wang, September 2, 2021.
ADVOCATING FOR THE AFGHAN COMMUNITY IN GREATER CINCINNATI
Shafaq Hassan  & Natalie Fair-Albright at WAIF 88.3 FM Stepchild Radio FM Studios, 9/6/2021.
Asian American Hour Prime Time Every Monday 5-6 PM WAIF 88.3 FM
I largely agree with your assessment.  The U. S. mis-read the world situation in China, Vietnam, Iraq, Granada, Afghanistan, and many other examples.  Our inability to see other than
"good guys and bad guys" has cost us trillions of dollars and untold lives spent doing nothing but fighting wars that have led to, arguably, nothing constructive.  Soft power may have
been our most important "weapon" against forces that seek to destroy democracy, but we don't seem to generally employ them well.  The Marshall Plan and the idea of constructive
engagement would seem to be a preferential response to the many global situations we find ourselves in where we attempt to define  "good guys and bad guys".  A more nuanced
and discerning foreign policy might result in a more thoughtful and constructive way to approach global peace.  At least this is my humble opinion.  

JT.  
John T. Spence, PhD, AICP, Professor, Political Science, Thomas More University.  Thanks for sharing.   September 4, 2021.
Caveat:  This Response is the viewpoint of the reader only and does not reflect that of Thomas More University on any issue discussed.  
FOUR UZBEKI ELDERS IN MULTI-COLORED COATS:
UZBEKISTAN NOW SEPARATES RUSSIA FROM AFGHANISTAN AND EACH WILL AFFECT THE DESTINY OF THE OTHER.
On February  15, 1989, the former Soviet Union (USSR) ended the 10 year invasion of Afghanistan
by withdrawing across the Amu Darya River via the Hairatan (Friendship) Bridge into Uzbek SSR.
Photocredit:  Boris Yusupov.
TOMMY GUN>>>
WINSTON CHURCHILL>>>
Violence and war do not show strength of a nation, still less engenders respect and/or earn hearts and mind with people.  If that is the case, why do USA repeatedly use violence and
war as a foreign service tool, with little consideration of the pain and suffering, destruction and killing in other countries and people!?
KC Wong,, Ph.D, J.D.  Professor Emeritus, Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, September 7, 2021.
Author's Post Script:  I would like to defer to Sun Tzu once again.  Over 2500 years ago, the ancient Master in the Art of War 孫子兵法 once said:
Chapter 2 - What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged fighting.  There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.  故兵貴勝,不貴久。兵久而國利者,未之有也。
Chapter 3 -  For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the pinnacle of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the pinnacle of skill. 是故百戰百勝,非善之善者
也;不戰而屈人之兵,善之善者也.  C K September 11, 2021.
WELCOME DEAN OWEN C. THOMPSON
CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL, CINCINNATI, OHIO, USA, September 12, 2021.
RUSSIAN FEST 2021
St. George Orthodox Church, Loveland, Ohio, 9/18/2021
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HAPPY AFGHAN FAMILIES IN CINCINNATI, DAYS OF JOY 2011.
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HAPPY PEOPLE FROM REPUBLIC OF
GEORGIA
AT WANGLAW,
October 1, 2021.

In 1949, the United States of America was compelled to withdraw from China Ambassador John Leighton Stuart, a man TIME magazine
had called "perhaps the most respected American in China.”  Mao Zedong (then referred to as Mao Tse-tung) had completed the
armed takeover of that vast country and the USA was in no mood to continue diplomatic relations with the Chinese communists.  Back
home in Washington, D.C. the hue and cry of “WHO LOST CHINA?” soon increased to hurricane force.  Senator Joe McCarhy presided
over a terror against the U. S. State Department and other officials suspected of being soft on communism.  McCarthyism finally spent
itself after that Senator began to look for scapegoats inside the U. S. Army.  General Dwight Eisenhower, now the first Republican
president in 20 years, publicly criticized the Senator’s over-reach in his soft-spoken yet powerful style.

In retrospect, that question “WHO LOST CHINA?” lingers.  In my opinion, Mao won China because the USA backed the regime of Chiang
Kai-shek, who took massive amounts of U. S. dollars and created phantom armies which either did not exist or turned themselves and
their equipment at the critical moment to the Eighth Route Army.  It was not until 1979 when Leonard Woodcock presented diplomatic
credentials as ambassador once again to the People’s Republic of China.

In 1975, disaster struck in Saigon, South Vietnam, when North Vietnamese regulars drove their Russian vintage tanks into the
presidential palace and U. S. Ambassador Graham Anderson Martin was obliged to vacate in haste.   In the aftermath of that
humiliating debacle, the hue and cry over “WHO LOST VIETNAM?” was a weak
doppelgänger to the storm raised by McCarthy.   
A state of diplomatic void existed until 1997 when Pete Petersen returned to Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam as U. S.
Ambassador.   To this day, the question of “WHO LOST VIETNAM?” lingers.  My simplistic opinion is that South Vietnam was overrun
by the North because after the withdrawal of U. S. troops in 1973, the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (shortened to ARVN) had
become,
from internal corruption, another phantom force .  Soon enough, that army threw down their rifles, doffed their uniforms,
and turned over the heavier equipment to their adversaries.
Oil Painting by Elizabeth Thompson, Lady Butler,
"REMNANTS OF AN ARMY"
showing Assistant British Army Surgeon William
Brydon arriving at Jellalabad after surviving the
disastrous retreat from Kabul in 1842.
JOHNNY CHAN'S RESTAURANT  - HARPER'S  POINT, MONTGOMERY, OHIO.
Best Guangdong Chaomian 广东炒面 - Authentic Cantonese Pan Fried Noodles in Town
CITY OF MONTGOMERY DIVERSITY DINNER
Swaim Park, Montgomery, Ohio, October 2, 2021.
Click on Photo to see more.

Very good argument. Let’s go even further. Why has US been in the state of perpetual war? Because, I think, it has the power and money to spend with whatever excuse it can come up
with such as anticommunism or antiterrorism. Who makes money over the dead bodies of soldiers and civilians? War industry. They made billions at tax payers’ money and soldiers’
lives and limbs. If peace prevails, they can’t pay good money and dividends to their executives and stockholders.. What a sad economy and we call it patriotism.  Anonymous.  9/3/2021.
ASIAN FOOD FEST
Downtown Cincinnati
10/10/2021

Angie Tee Pang
serving Chicken Rendang
and other Malaysian favorites
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INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SUNDAY
CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL IN THE CITY OF CINCINNATI 10/10/2021
With the Rev. Canon Mary Crist of the Blackfeet Nation.