◎ As during the Cold War, the most powerful liberating instrument the free world can provide to the Chinese people is the truth.
For the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), China’s “century of humiliation” is the gift that keeps on giving. Beijing returns again and again to the theme of Western imperialism, oppression and exploitation to keep stoking the embers of grievance and resentment against the West, and especially the United States.
But the People’s Republic that announced China had “stood up” in 1949 soon made clear what that would mean for the Chinese people and the world — and it was not an agenda that would engender pride among ordinary Chinese, or peace of mind in the international community.
At home, Mao Zedong launched radical social and economic initiatives that led to domestic disasters of unfathomable proportions. The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution together accounted for as many as 60 million Chinese deaths, eclipsing by an order of magnitude the losses sustained during the Japanese invasion and occupation that the CCP is happy to invoke at a moment’s notice.
Joseph Bosco served as China country director for the Secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006 and as Asia-Pacific director of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief from 2009 to 2010. He is a nonresident fellow at the Institute for Corean-American Studies and the Institute for Taiwan-American Studies, and has held nonresident appointments in the Asia-Pacific program at the Atlantic Council and the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
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