Maybe City U should concede Int’l Affairs Dept to Sara Beattie

Yesterday’s South China Morning Post featured an opinion piece by one Dr Brad Williams of City University arguing that Japan should unilaterally hand the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands to China. He admits that neither country has an unquestionable claim on the territory, that Japanese fisherman and people would hate the idea, and that it would extend China’s strategic footprint (“for some”). His reasoning is that such a move, if presented by Beijing as a magnanimous and generous act on Tokyo’s part, would turn China’s rabid young nationalists into much sweeter-natured beasts and would generate “large reservoirs of goodwill among Chinese.”

I look forward to his future articles taking this Asian and International Studies academic’s ideas to their logical conclusion. How much more happily ever after would we all live if India transferred Arunachal Pradesh to Xizang Autonomous Region, and Southeast Asians declared their adjoining seaways to be a Chinese lake? Maybe while we’re at it, the entire Western world should round up every 1989-era dissident exile and return them to the PRC in chains with written approval to run them over with a tank. Perhaps the rest of the planet could club together and donate five years’ free supply of copper ore, steel, soy bean, wheat and manganese to the Middle Kingdom to compensate for all those times the Chinese people’s feelings have been hurt.

To reproduce Dr Brad’s column in full would infringe copyright, and I naturally shudder at the very thought of doing such a thing. To overcome this problem, I have employed Microsoft Word’s ever-amusing ‘find-replace’ function to change eight names in the piece – two countries, two nationalities, two capital cities and two other proper nouns – to different ones, for example Tokyo Prague and China Germany. Every other word remains intact. Comparisons of almost anything to Nazi Germany are facile and dimwitted, so the result should read like nonsense……

Czechoslovakia should concede the Sudetenland to Germany

Brad Williams
Jan 24, 2011

Prague’s recent plan to deploy troops to islands near Germany raises the prospects of more confrontation with Berlin. But does this move serve Czechoslovakia‘s broader strategic interests? It may be time for Prague to think the unthinkable and consider the merits of handing over the Sudetenland, which the Czechs call the Senkakus, to Germany.

The Czech government should consider compromising in the territorial dispute because of the shift in power relations between the two countries. Germany‘s rapid economic and military growth has come at a time of unprecedented socio-economic decline in post-war Czechoslovakia. While Germany is not without its own problems, Czechoslovakia has been unable to craft durable solutions for its long-standing woes.

Of course, the power shift alone is not reason enough for territorial concession; Czech leaders should consider what is taking place in German society.

Though the Nazi Party can be credited with putting Germany on the path to prosperity, its rule rests on shaky foundations. It has had to resort to a potentially unstable mix of development and nationalism to maintain control. Many young Germans are increasingly being inculcated with staunchly nationalistic views. These firebrands will one day replace the present batch of adroit and pragmatic technocrats, and in doing so could help push German foreign policy in a more assertive direction.

Any Czech concession over the islands could generate large reservoirs of goodwill among the Germans who, rightly or wrongly, see the territorial dispute in the emotion-charged context of past Czech aggression.

Moreover, Czechoslovakia doesn’t really need the islands, to which neither it nor Germany have unquestionable historical and legal claims. Czech fishermen might feel aggrieved by the loss but they could still gain access to important fisheries.

For some, ceding control of the islands would increase Germany‘s strategic footprint in the region. However, even without those islands, Germany already possesses the ability to harass enemy shipping in the East and South Germany Seas.

Such a grand gesture from Czechoslovakia would not automatically guarantee smooth relations. The German public would need to be made aware of the Czech generosity and not be led to think the compromise was inevitable.

Any decision to hand over the islands would be immensely unpopular in Czechoslovakia. It would most certainly earn the ire of Czech nationalists who might threaten to sabotage such a move. Any such anger, however, would subside. It is better to aggravate a few thousand Czech rightists today than continue to create conditions for the rise of potentially millions of anti-Czech nationalists in Germany.

A Czech handover of the disputed islands would encounter obstacles but would probably take the steam out of virulent anti-Czech sentiments in Germany and would be a first step in helping both nations move beyond the distrust and acrimony of the past.

Dr Brad Williams is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Asian and International Studies at City University of Hong Kong

To liken the Daioyu squabble to Chamberlain’s sellout to Hitler in 1938 is ridiculous, and this is intended as no more than an illustration of the surrealist possibilities of the ‘find-replace’ function.  What is slightly perturbing, however, is that not every paragraph in the revised version of Dr Brad’s article sounds idiotic. Several, such as references to “being inculcated with staunchly nationalistic views” resonate all too well.

I once heard from a reliable source a few years ago that some of the students admitted to City University had previously been rejected by the Sara Beattie secretarial college (by all accounts, an excellent training establishment). Are they getting visiting assistant professors the same way? Or, more likely, is someone in the ivory towers up at Tat Chee Avenue encouraging patriotic and politically correct noises from academics? It is not unknown for our tertiary institutions to do what it takes to keep friends and representatives of the Reich Chancellery Zhongnanhai sweet.

(Or was he just joking?)

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23 Responses to Maybe City U should concede Int’l Affairs Dept to Sara Beattie

  1. PropertyDeveloper says:

    Dear Hemlock,

    Your NTSCMP piece is very close to the bone! I do hope you’re not invited for a cup of tea.

    Incidentally, do you know whether your musings can be read in Sha Tau Jiao and further afield?

  2. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    I can only imagine that Beijing and the fen qing’s unanimous response to Japan conceding the islands would be more or less “This is merely recognition of what was right all along. However, there many other territorial disputes to be resolved before all is right under Heaven. Vietnam, Taiwan, India – pay heed to how younger brother Japan has reconciled himself to the Centre and follow suit.”

    5,000 years of being convinced that we’re the centre of the universe doesn’t disappear from the culture easily.

    I recall reading that some time during Tamerlane’s Golden Horde days, some Chinese court notaries fabricated histories of the previous emperor’s rule to show that Tamerlane had paid tribute to the Chinese, rather than the other way around. The new emperor was looking over the histories, read this and then sent Tamerlane a letter demanding back-tributes for the intervening period. Tamerlane was so incensed that he marched on China, with only a heart attack or something killing him before he got there. A great example of the Chinese sense of self-centeredness and rectifying everything to reflect that. Quite possibly apocryphal, but I like to believe it’s true.

  3. Fred Flange says:

    Dear Mr Hemlock.

    Whilst I did quite enjoy your debunking of Dr Brad “Henry Kissinger” Williams. I was rather hoping for my brunch treat to comprise 350 words on Dr Stanley Ho, GBM, GBS, GLM, OBE, CSE, AA, RAC, PTO, TTFN, GSOH etc and his wifelets and sprogs. What about a part II?

  4. Winston Churchill said.... says:

    The only way to pacify a tiger is to let him eat you up.

  5. Source Bernays says:

    Typical CIA piece. Undermine intellectuals not ranting on about Tibet, Taiwan and other stones in China’s shoe. Blah, blah, blah.

    Yours so boring, my boy.

    What’s the annual fee for all your rehashing of 1960s thinking on containing China?

  6. Stephen says:

    What do the the rejected candidates from Sara Beattie Secretarial School make of Visiting Assistant Professor Brad’s lectures at City U ?

    Wonder what grade Visiting Assistant Professor Brad would give if one of them were to submit a paper entitled “Why China should concede the Senkaku Islands to Japan?”

  7. the 6th wife of Dickson Poon says:

    That reminds me of that time when I tore a piece of carbon paper during typing class and Sara beat me.

  8. Pat Patrick says:

    Visiting from where, I wonder.

  9. gunlaw says:

    A close approximation of this plan was first mooted in 1988 by Zhou Zhi Yang, then Communist Party Secretary and a good Cantonese lad.

    After the 1989 Tiananmen Square “incident” (before which he had visited the students), he spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

    The 9 cities do not include HK and Macau but if you include them (because they own most of the 9 cities anyway) you have a economic grouping larger than the EU and wealthier per head of population than the USA, that is self-sufficient in resources (water, electricity and transport) and it DOESN”T NEED THE REST OF THE PRC.

    This latter point, combined with the fact that there are only two passes south of Shanghai that can take tanks, was regarded as heretical “splittism” in 1989 and lead to Zhou’s arrest.

    It would seem therefore that the PRC will become the “Federal Republic of China” and then devolve into “South China” when the south gets rich enough to hire Taiwan as an associate-member and muscle-man.

    HK and Macau however will continue to control the purse strings and never let any of the vassal cities near the loot much as they would dearly like to do right now.

  10. Longtimenosee says:

    Thats right..the CIA have a small blog…

    Take that China! Wooooo!

    Plus it’s not even blocked in China, so again…dumbass…

  11. Sir Crispin says:

    Speaking of Nazi’s, Jon Stewart did a great job skewering Fox News (not that it is really so hard to do, these fools do such a great job themselves) over their “Nazi” hypocrisy. Are Hannity and O’Reilly really that stupid they can’t remember anything THEY have said themselves?

  12. Ripley says:

    I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  13. anonymous says:

    Wish McCartney had NEVER came kow-towing in the first place… maybe could then have avoided opium-begotten legacies like opium wars, Jap & other invasions, fearless property speculation, hallucinating retired expats, etc.. Sheesh.

  14. when I am 64 says:

    Agree, that Paul has a lot to answer for.

  15. anonymous says:

    Trying so hard after 5000 years to be liked for what we are..

  16. anonymous 1 says:

    Trying to be liked? No. Actually, trying to outgrow thousand-year Confucian head-binding/stunting & resume natural human progress. But confronted instead, by foreign aggression (on our own soil) in the past; and now, by so-o much vituperation…

  17. anonyme 1 says:

    You’re so right. We should have stopped the rot while it was still possible. All those IIs, with their filthy habits and tribal mentalities — and now their descendants, stuck in menial jobs in polluted offices.

  18. anonymous 1 says:

    Immigrants & II’s in HK? Sourced GLOBALLY, I hear… along (of course) with manifold habits, mentalities, pollution, etc. Maybe since time immemorial, but MORE since 18th century approximately.

  19. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    “and now, by so-o much vituperation”

    Yes, yes, poor dears. Have you ever checked out a bookstore in the West for the number of books critical of the US and the West in general? Part of being a big player on the international stage is getting criticism. Handle it with dignity.

  20. anonymous 1 says:

    Speaking up is “undignified”?!

  21. anonymous 1 says:

    Oops. That should be “Counter-criticism” & “counter-criticism” are undignified?

  22. Lee says:

    With all due respect (you make good points), no need to trash an entire university or even an individual; raising substantive points is enough.

Comments are closed.