"In that specific era and situation" - some historic perspectives

Japanese Red Army founder, Fusako Shigenobu, was recently convicted and jailed for 20 years.

In April 2001, Shigenobu announced from a Tokyo detention centre that she was disbanding the group to seek new battles within the law. In a letter to supporters, she said, "In that specific era and situation, our armed struggle represented people's demands."

What does "specific era and situation" mean? It mean when the democratic world was as brutal as the dictators, and when the communists represented the hope of the intellectuals and progressives. In that era
  • US invaded supported dictators in Vietnam, the Philippines (Marcos), Chile (Pinochet)
  • UK/France invaded Eqypt to continue its colonial interests in Suez Canal
  • KMT in Taiwan committed the crime of 2-28
  • Lee Tenghui joined the CCP
  • Hundreds of thousands of bright overseas young Chinese went to the mainland to build a new China
  • The Cambridge 5 joined KGB
  • Almost all Cubans supported Fidel Castro to overthrow Batista
Not many people are old enough to remember these, and for the younger generation (of my age or younger), not many bother to read critically. It is even becomes more confusing when some 'rather famous' column writers in HK could not understand this and did not bother to sit in history lessons.

To visualize the contradiction, look at these photos. (and one of them is shown below). You will understand why Kim Il-Sung had more followers than Rhee Syngman in 1950s. You will also understand why the North Korean were able to push the South to a corner around Pushan in a few months before the US intervened.

The picture shows the South Korean Army executing political prisoners, many are (allegedly) Nork sympathizers. The decided to kill all of the 1800 prisoners when they retreated from Daejeon in 1950, and a few hundred in Seoul and Daegu, lest they be liberated by the Norks. The man with a hat on the right is one of the 6 American advisors, who are behind these brutal crimes. Things have changed a lot today.

But let's not forget what it was in the past. We should be more lenient to people like Shigenobu, who expressed regret and changed course. We should also praise the South Korean and KMT who courageously admitted their mistake. We should also learn to not view what MSM such as CNN present to us as black and white.


Stephen Cheung's 3 points on currency

Stephen Cheung has a short essay on his Apple Daily column today, regarding the currency (and in particular, RMB exchange rate).

His 3 points summarized are
  1. The objective of a currency is to reduce transaction cost. It is not a tool for economic policy. Therefore, the central bank should focus on stabilizing the currency, and reducing the transaction costs for people who use it. It should not worry about unemployment, fiscal deficit, war, etc. Because these are not its job.
  2. It is easy to maintain stability of a currency if there is an anchor
  3. Traditional supply/demand theory implies there is an equilibrium point for each price, i.e. there is an equilibirum point for exchange rate. It is also widely regarded that RMB is under-valued. However, because it is difficult to defend an over-valued market, but effortless to defend an under-valued one, there is no 'market pressure' if RMB is undervalued.
To elaborate on his point #3, Cheung said PBoC can simply burn away the USD it received and print more RMB. In fact, that is not too far from what PBoC is doing today, investing in low yield US treasury bond, and lose if USD devaluates.

To draw a parallel to pricing theory, this is like saying I can sell you diamonds at the price of crystals, and it is not a big problem for your ablility to maintain a low price, because you own a huge diamond mine. Except that, You are not realizing the value potential of the goods you have.

Therefore, the undervaluation of RMB is a problem of China, and that of the Chinese people. It is not a problem of the US or anyone else. It is the hundreds of millions of migrant workers who are exploited, not the US factory workers. The Chinese policy makers, afraid of making mistaked, chose to sell out at a lower price, in exchange for stability and lower risk.

Cheung is famous for his arrogance, but some of his essays are very insightful.

The original essay in Chinese is here
還 斂 集 : 貨 幣 問 題 的 三 個 淺 見


關 於 人 民 幣 與 貨 幣 制 度 的 話 題 , 我 花 了 長 時 日 , 用 心 兼 用 腦 。 不 是 深 問 題 , 而 是 自 己 的 想 法 太 淺 , 不 相 信 , 要 翻 來 覆 去 找 錯 處 。 總 結 起 來 有 三 點 , 奇 怪 傳 統 的 分 析 不 那 樣 看 。
第 一 點 是 貨 幣 的 基 本 用 途 是 減 低 交 易 費 用 , 不 是 調 控 經 濟 的 工 具 。 貨 幣 制 度 出 現 了 問 題 , 要 用 貨 幣 政 策 調 控 , 是 迫 不 得 已 。 然 而 , 貨 幣 政 策 用 將 起 來 , 往 往 伸 展 到 經 濟 的 其 他 事 項 去 。 這 是 左 右 了 貨 幣 的 基 本 用 途 , 往 往 弄 巧 反 拙 。 淺 見 說 , 貨 幣 政 策 應 該 限 於 穩 定 貨 幣 的 價 值 , 提 升 減 低 交 易 費 用 的 功 能 , 其 他 不 要 管 。 失 業 、 不 景 、 財 赤 、 戰 爭 等 , 要 用 貨 幣 政 策 之 外 的 其 他 方 法 處 理 , 與 央 行 無 干 。 同 時 兼 顧 經 濟 的 其 他 事 項 , 不 容 易 穩 定 幣 值 。
第 二 點 , fiat money 是 指 沒 有 本 位 的 貨 幣 。 有 本 位 是 說 持 鈔 的 人 可 以 到 銀 行 或 銀 行 可 以 到 政 府 按 鈔 值 取 金 、 取 銀 、 取 物 品 、 或 取 外 幣 , 指 定 的 , 又 或 者 貨 幣 的 本 身 是 金 或 銀 。 有 本 位 的 貨 幣 當 然 有 固 定 的 錨 。 淺 見 說 , 沒 有 本 位 的 fiat money 也 可 以 有 固 定 的 錨 , 只 要 貨 幣 政 策 限 於 穩 定 幣 值 , 守 錨 容 易 , 而 沒 有 固 定 的 錨 幣 值 不 容 易 穩 定 。
第 三 , 淺 見 說 , 一 個 國 家 的 貨 幣 在 國 際 上 偏 高 或 偏 低 是 不 對 稱 的 。 偏 高 有 壓 力 的 困 擾 , 要 有 外 匯 儲 備 救 急 , 但 偏 低 則 半 點 壓 力 也 沒 有 。 後 者 , 多 印 銀 紙 易 過 借 火 , 而 收 回 來 的 外 匯 有 多 種 處 理 辦 法 。 兩 年 多 來 我 老 是 不 明 白 為 什 麼 那 麼 多 人 說 人 民 幣 偏 低 , 壓 力 大 , 匯 率 不 調 高 早 晚 守 不 住 。 一 年 前 跟 阿 康 鬥 氣 , 他 堅 持 人 民 幣 的 上 升 壓 力 守 不 住 , 我 要 說 把 收 回 來 的 外 匯 燒 掉 他 才 認 輸 ! 那 是 什 麼 智 商 了 ? 價 格 理 論 說 , 供 求 決 定 價 格 , 價 格 被 管 制 在 市 價 之 上 或 之 下 都 有 壓 力 , 不 到 均 衡 點 守 不 住 , 或 要 引 進 其 他 分 配 物 品 的 準 則 。 我 同 意 , 但 認 為 幣 值 的 偏 高 或 偏 低 是 另 一 回 事 , 壓 力 不 對 稱 , 因 為 收 取 外 匯 容 易 , 付 出 外 匯 可 以 有 不 足 的 困 難 。 淺 得 小 孩 子 也 明 白 , 不 知 是 個 人 獨 醉 , 還 是 眾 人 皆 醉 我 獨 醒 。

今 天 關 於 人 民 幣 的 話 題 , 重 要 是 上 述 的 第 二 點 。 從 金 本 位 說 起 吧 。 這 制 度 是 以 黃 金 作 為 一 個 固 定 的 錨 , 困 難 是 黃 金 可 能 不 足 夠 , 或 產 出 太 多 , 或 大 量 外 流 , 或 金 價 暴 升 暴 跌 , 導 致 一 個 國 家 的 幣 值 不 穩 定 , 是 以 為 難 。 但 一 國 之 內 , 真 的 需 要 有 黃 金 存 在 嗎 ? 為 什 麼 一 個 國 家 不 可 以 指 明 幣 值 是 以 國 際 金 價 為 依 歸 , 一 千 元 可 以 購 買 多 少 金 , 作 為 一 個 固 定 的 錨 , 政 府 或 銀 行 不 提 供 金 , 只 擔 保 幣 值 可 以 在 市 場 買 到 一 個 金 量 , 貴 客 自 理 ? 淺 見 說 , 當 然 可 以 , 但 政 府 要 調 控 貨 幣 量 來 維 護 金 錨 , 短 暫 調 控 不 夠 快 要 有 外 匯 儲 備 支 持 , 而 政 府 不 能 手 癢 , 把 貨 幣 政 策 調 控 經 濟 的 其 他 事 項 。 只 為 堅 守 自 己 沒 有 黃 金 的 貨 幣 金 錨 , 單 是 調 控 幣 量 可 以 辦 到 , 因 為 任 何 國 家 都 有 可 以 產 出 的 人 力 支 持 。
撇 開 沙 石 , 以 調 整 幣 量 而 堅 守 一 個 價 就 是 朱 鎔 基 時 代 的 中 國 貨 幣 制 度 。 守 美 元 , 美 元 就 是 人 民 幣 的 固 定 之 錨 。 重 要 是 此 錨 可 以 在 市 場 直 接 成 交 , 貴 客 自 理 , 政 府 只 靠 調 控 幣 量 與 一 些 短 暫 可 能 需 要 的 外 匯 儲 備 來 擔 保 貴 客 可 以 在 市 場 上 以 人 民 幣 買 到 指 定 的 美 元 ( 管 制 這 交 易 是 沙 石 ) 。 價 格 是 一 個 指 數 , 可 以 在 市 場 成 交 就 是 我 說 的 tradable index 了 。 採 用 「 指 數 」 一 詞 , 因 為 在 市 場 成 交 的 可 以 是 一 籃 子 貨 幣 , 或 一 籃 子 物 品 , 或 一 些 什 麼 組 合 , 組 合 之 內 各 有 各 的 價 , 整 組 所 值 以 指 數 計 算 稱 呼 最 適 當 。
三 年 前 寫 《 貨 幣 戰 略 論 》 , 我 指 出 , 要 安 全 地 守 錨 , 外 匯 儲 備 不 足 , 國 家 的 幣 值 要 略 為 偏 低 , 而 如 果 政 府 手 癢 , 要 用 貨 幣 政 策 管 到 幣 值 之 外 的 經 濟 事 項 , 幣 值 偏 低 要 加 大 。 說 自 己 想 了 長 時 日 , 有 「 古 」 文 為 證 。


Chen Shui Bian's next step

Enough has been said about CSB's announcemnet yesterday, that the NUC will "cease to function", and NUG "cease to apply". The move is a symbolic one which does not yield to any change in reality. In fact, as jujuflop pointed out, it is even a 'reversible' one.

The controversy generated is the concern that CSB's move to 'creeping independence', which even the Bush administration does not "approve".

The most valid attack on CSB is that he broke his promise of "4 No's and 1 without". DPP (and its apologists) has provided various defense, including pulling out the Anti-Secession Law almost a year ago. But these are very lame explanations (e.g. NUC should "cease to function" a year earlier if so). However, if you read into the words, it is not really a breaking of promise. I guess in terms of "common interpretation" he did break his promise. But if we read into his original text of "1 without", we can only say that he deliberately misled everybody in 2000.

Here is the "1 without"
Yes, the common inference from everybody who understand the Chinese language is that "no question" means he would not touch the issue. But it could also be interpreted as "no question" from CSB's own perspective (that "it would be abolished some day"). If one interprets it this way, CSB's recent move is premediated. In fact, planned from 2000. Otherwise, it would have been "5 No's", instead of "4+1".

If one takes such reasoning (I am not saying this is logically correct, I am just trying to follow CSB's own twisted logic, which is more logically than that offered by some of the DPP apologists), it is worthwhile to re-examine the room of interpretation allowed for by the "4 No's", that CSB will NOT
  • 1)不會宣佈臺灣獨立;declare Taiwan independence
  • 2) 不會更改國號,(把“中華民國”改爲“臺灣共和國”);change the name of the nation (from ROC to ROT)
  • 3)不會推動‘兩國論入憲’ (把“特殊的國與國的關係”的說法包含到中華民國憲法中) or push for including the notion of "special nation-to-nation relationship" into the ROC constitution
  • 4)不會推動有關統獨的公投;push for referendum regarding the issue of unification or independece
If someone else (e.g. TSU) pushes for the referendum, and CSB supports it passively, does he break his promise? In fact, CSB has pushed for a referedum in 2004, on some 'pointless topics' (quoting David's comment at jujuflop). What about 'not pushing for', but 'quieting supporting' the amendment of constitution? In other word, CSB could play word games with himself. He could still be legally infallible, in parallel to Clinton's "did not have sex defense".

We will have to wait and see. CSB's next speech could be, "We will considering supporting, even if we will not push for..."


Ethnic Autonomous Units in China, and the ethnic compositions

China has 5 Autonomous Regions at provincial level (Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, Ningxia, Guangxi), 30 Autonomous Zhou (under a province/region but larger than a county), 120 Autonomous Counties. i.e. 155 Autonomous Regions in total. (More details here, and here)

This article below has some interesting insights, about the population composition and speculations on the political motivation behind the demarcation.
  • Most of them were established prior to 1958, only 2 Zhou's and a few counties were established after 1978
  • There is no clear cooreltion between the setting up of such regions and the ethnic composition. minorities comprise 20.76%/34.53%/38.34% in IM/NX/GX regions, while in Yunnan and Guizhou they represent 33.41% and 37.85% of the population. The reason is that there is no dominant ethnic groups in Yunnan and Guizhou
  • Han is the largest group in NX/IM/GX (and almost as large in XJ). It was speculated that there are various political motiovation behind such set up. An example is Inner Mongolia, the region was enlarged to include the Han region of Chahaer and Rehe. It gave the Mongolian Autnomonous Region more land to control, but also diluted the minority %. (This AFP article made an ignorant comment on the population composition, saying "The Mongolians themselves, now a small minority accounting for about 20 percent of the total population in their own region". The truth is, if you look at the history of the demarcation of the region, you would see Han areas have been incorporated to ensure 'stability'. Mao seemed to have foreseen the lessons of the breakdown of the USSR, and moved early to make sure that separatist cannot vote the areas out of China) The other example is the inclusion of the Han-dominant Xining city into Qinghai province.
  • Similar considerations were given in the demarcation of Zhou's. In 16 of the 30 Zhous Han is the dominant people, and Han is #2 in other 7 Zhou's.
  • Another consideration is "balancing". e.g., in Kezilesu Kirghik AZ in Xinjiang, Kirghiks represent only 29% of the popluation but were given the dominant position, while the Uighur represents 64%. In this case, Uighur is taking Han's position in IM AR.
In officially released population stats, we only see the breakdown of Xinjiang and Yunnan. I have posted earlier the table for all counties in Xinjang and a qualitative map for Yunnan. The table below is the ethnic composition of 30 Autonomous Zhou's, showing that in some Zhou's Han is the majority, and in some others the dominant ethnic group has a low as only 1/4 of the population.



















近代的不少忧国人物,从大汉族主义的角度来看,他们都是非常优秀的边疆事务管理者,但他们通常却都有一种相同的出发点:即认为国家要巩固边疆以御外侮,根本手段之一是同化当地少数民族。晚清治藏的张荫棠就是最著名的例子。这一点在民国人物中也常是共识。如1927年访问新疆的徐旭生,对汉族教育无法同化缠回(维吾尔族),深感忧虑。在这一意识下,出现一种Owen Lattimore所说的“次帝国主义”——即遭受帝国主义巨大压力的汉族,为巩固边疆,又对蒙古族等大力实行同化政策。











美国记者Hedrick Smith在《俄国人》中,提到远东的“犹太自治州”,这个1934年指定成立的自治州,到1970年左右,人口中只有18%是犹太人,“多数犹太人认为这是一出生拼硬凑的滑稽戏”。到1998年,犹太人口更下降至仅4.2%(考虑一下,2004年新疆巴音郭楞州蒙古族也只有4%),去年该州已经在改革倡议把“自治”两字从州名中删除掉。






















Light viewing: Matrix IV: China's train system over spring festival

This is a hilarious spoof on the train transport system of China during Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)
  • Carrie-Ann Moss and Laurence Fishburne are Yellow Cows (those who hoard train tickets illegally), Kenau Reeve as reporter
  • The "Matrix" clones represent the police fighting Yellow Cows
  • Stephen Chow as a migrant worker trying to buy his ticket home
  • Bonus at the end (please continue to watch after Emperor Qin stops): ad spoof for Yellow Cow Corporation Group (9:20)
  • The crowded situation inside the train cabin (7:25) is actually very close to reality. I had seen people sleeping under the chair or over the lugguage racks all the time


The most un-original names in China

Source: Wenxuecity

The most un-original name in China is Liu Bo. Over 1.30M people has that name! This is the equivalent of John Smith in English.

I do not know any Liu Bo myself. But I know a few Wang Yong(#6), Wang Jun(#5), Li Yong, Wang Wei(#9), Li Wei(#10), Li Jun.

___Number __ Name

  1306508 __刘波   
  1055504 __李刚   
  910694 ___李海   
  907476 ___张勇   
  810936 ___王军   
  765884 ___王勇   
  762666 ___张伟   
  717614 ___刘伟   
  704742 ___王伟   
  695088 ___李伟

There are more creative people, such as 3 brothers called Wang Ai Guo, Wang Ai Min, Wai Ai Dang, meaning Love Country, Love People and Love (the) Party respectively. Unfortunately such creavitivy wer persecuted during Cultural Revolution, because one can also interpret the 3 brothers as Love Guo Min Dang, i.e., Love KMT.

Hanja (Chinese characters) in Korean language

Below is an essay from Wenxuecity titled "Why (South) Korea adopted Hanja again". It has also discussed a lot more interesting information about the role of Hanja in Korea and the history of the written language of Korea.
  • Modern Korean alpahbets (Hangul) were created by King Sejong the Great during the 15th century. Before its creation, only a relatively small percentage of the population could master the Chinese characters due to their difficulty
  • Although Hangul is a more practical (in a way, more superior) form for Koreans to learn, it was not widely used until 20th century. One of the main reasons for the delay was elitism (in other words, the elites to maintain its social class)
  • DPRK has exclusively used Hangul today. ROK (South Korea) has only used Hanja in very rare occassions for the last 100 years (unlike Japan, which only replace Kanji when it is more convenient). The main drawback of the pure Hangul system is confusion due to multiple words/terms of the same pronounciation, and hence Hangul representation (e.g. Kang=姜/康/江). Recently, the ROK government finally go for pragmtism. It has decided that Hanja is useful to avoid confusion and will revive the use of Hanja.
  • One of the bonus of reviving Hanja is convenience for Chinese and Japanese tourists in Korea.
I suspect had Korean language been invented before Hanja was used, the pronunciation for these confusion words and terms would have been differentiated as the language evolves. However, over 1000 years of Hanja usage has created too many terms in the language which are hard to be totally replaced by Hangul, because there was no such need to make them sound different when there was Hanja. (plus continuous straight import of abstract terms from China). This is the same case for Japan, and probably for Vietnam as well.

Japan has been most pragmatic regarding the use of Kanji, maximizing Hiragana and Katagan as much as possible but retaining Kanji in case there is confusion. Korea is taking this appraoch now, after 100 years of using pure Hangul.

I wonder if there is similar issue in Vietnamese language? It would be great service for tourist from NE Asia if Vietnam and DPRK also list Chinese characters in signs on the street.

p.s. the last paragraph below contains some chauvinistic remarks which I do not fully agree with.

Original essay below. (please also see similar discussion in English here)
文章来源: 别无选择 于 2006-01-24 06:50:05


  世宗在发明朝鲜文字时,受到音乐和北方游牧民族拼音文字的启发,了解到简单的音乐符号(1 2 3 4 5 6 7)就能够记录世界上所有的音乐,那么,相对简单的拼音字符也应该可以记录全部的朝鲜语音,从而拼写出朝鲜的文字。所以世宗组织起当时包括他本人在内的许多朝鲜“集贤殿”的优秀学者,还特意派遣一位朝鲜知名学者,前后十几次到中国来学习、研究汉字精髓,历时达三十年之久,才最终在1446年发明创造了朝鲜文字,于是朝鲜在使用了近千年的中国汉字以后,终于有了自己的民族文字。
  创造韩文表音字母的世宗大王和集贤殿的学士们认为人类的发音不仅仅是单纯的生理现象,还有一股虽然人们看不到,但实际上更强大的力量在支配着这一行为。他们认为人类的发音和文字的笔画,以及所有的宇宙现象均与中国道教的阴阳、五行密不可分,并由此推测声音与季节变化以及音乐是必然相通的。韩语的音节分为3个部分,分别是辅音、元音、尾音,这是世宗大王和集贤殿的学士们创旌淖值幕 N惨舨皇堑ザ来唇ǖ模歉莞ㄒ舻闹馗炊矗虼撕锸浅浞钟行У亟岷显艉透ㄒ舳傻模Ω盟凳遣淮淼钠匆粑淖帧?br>  
  虽然1446年意味着朝鲜韩文的正式诞生,但是并不意味朝鲜拼音文字的真正使用,由于中国汉字在朝鲜的强大文化影响力,朝鲜拼音文字一直作为“韩语拼音” 而存在,被朝鲜妇女和没受过良好教育的朝鲜人使用,被称为二流文字的“谚文”,而朝鲜的贵族、官员还是继续使用汉字“吏读文字”。朝鲜拼音文字的广泛使用是从二十世纪初才开始的,比世宗颁布“训民正音”晚了450年,为什么?
  由于汉字是朝鲜语的古老载体,所以学习韩语时必须先充分掌握汉字,必须知道所要标记的原中国文字的意义,否则就要去按约定的意思去理解,去猜测。那当然不可能做到非常准确,也不可能成其为准确、高雅的朝鲜语言。所以一直到六十年代汉语汉字都是韩国学校中学生的必修课,但是到了七、八十年代以后,政府逐渐 ‘废除’了中国汉字,现在韩国政府又要求全面恢复汉字,累不累?


China Threat and China's "intention"

Two articles for those interested in China

1. The myth of China threat, (originally from Japan Focus) by former Australian diplomat Gregory Clark through his own first hand experience.
  • bonus: interesting discussion of other international cases related to the East China Sea dispute.
2. "What Does China Want?" by Ross Terrill, listed 6 goals China's current leadership seeks. They are in fact sub-goals of one simple goal: to feed its 1.3bn people and let them live better lives. (Update: or to sustain the legitimacy of the CCP regime) This is a problematic essay and the theme is sort of stupid. Terril said, "Unlike the United States, which trumpets its goals, China does seem to keep its intentions under wraps" China proclaimed these goals very clearly internally and externally. It is the distrust from the West that has led to the illusion that there are some hidden goals, which may or maybe be in the mind of China's leadership, but Terrill probably got the 6 goals right for the near to medium term (i.e. next 30-50 years)
  • Terrill's 6 goals are: 1) internal stability; 2)sustain economic growth; 3)foreign policy to support #2; 4) "to replace US influence in East Asia" in Terrill's words, I would paraphrase it as "expand its regional role", as expanding one's influence does not neccessarily mean drive the other totally away. China knows it is impossible to replace US; 5) 'foster a perception as equal to US; 6) "to 'regain' territories that Beijing feels rightfully belong within the PRC"
  • #1-3 are clearly sub-goals of #2. As Terrill said, #2 is also a way to enhance the 'legitimatcy' of CCP's rule.
  • #4 also supports #2. More influence in the examples Terrill provided (such as 6-party talk reguading DPRK nuke) will help China negotiate with US on trade issues. In fact, the tough appraoch by US only encouraged (or forced) China to take DPRK as a bargaining chip.
  • #5 is not really a goal, it is more an obsession. But international status does help to support the 'legitimacy of the CCP regime'
  • #6 is not really a goal. And it is really about Taiwan. (Outer Manchuria/etc were formally relinquished, even though on could argue that new treaties in future could nullify treaties signed today, as Russia had done that in the 19th century) China's goal on Taiwan (for next 20-30 years) is more like to "prevent a formal independence" than "push for re-unification". A formal breakaway of Taiwan will imply losing face and legitimacy of the CCP regime.
  • As the 88s commented below: aren't these the basic goal of every government/nation in the world? well, maybe except that of the US and a few others nations, who would like to pursue a grander goal than that.
What does China want? A nation comprise of 1.3bn wants 1.3bn different goals, which might be similar or diametrically different, and each goal might well change and evolve over time. Furthermore, if Terrill is talking about the goals of the 7 engineers in the politburo, they would all pass away before the aformentioned goal is achieved, even if CCP is still in power then.

The essay is full of Western ignorance and uncritical tale copying, which I am not going to waste time to nitpick. I will just provide an example here.
  • Terrill said, "Communist China, astonishingly, inherited the borders of the Qing empire at its grandest, including Tibet, southern Mongolia, and the Muslim west that was once East Turkestan." As a matter of fact, the old dynasties prior Qing might not have controlled all of Xinjiang other than during Han, Tang and some other short periods (about 1200-1300 years out of the past 2200 years), "East Turkestan" only existed for two years throughout the whole of history (1932-34, 6 years in total if you count the Soviet puppet from 1945-49). These 2 ETA controlled only a small portion (less than 10% in area) of current Xinjiang. Before Qing's conquest, Xinjiang was under (Mongolian Dzungars Khanate and a number of smaller Khanates, none of them were called Turkestan. Before and during Ming, it was part of the Mongolian Chagatai Khanate. Before that, it was under (Tungus) Khitan Khanate (aka Western Liao).