via Ed Driscoll
Hong Kong action movie legend Jackie Chan is keen to satisfy a “longing” to join the Communist Party of China (CPC) and bask in its “greatness,” according to a report Sunday in the Global Times state news outlet.
It remarked he joined a symposium on Thursday in Beijing, “which invited Chinese film insiders to speak and share their thoughts regarding the keynote speech delivered by the top Chinese leader on July 1, the centennial of the founding of the CPC.”
The Global Times said Chan, also the vice chairman of the China Film Association, not only expressed his “proud feeling of being a Chinese,” but also showed his longing for the CPC.
“I can see the greatness of the CPC, and it will deliver what it says, and what it promises in less than 100 years, but only a few decades,” Chan said.
“I want to become a CPC member” he continued before lavishing praise on the Chinese Communist fighters who took on Japan during World War II.
It’s a pitiful thing to see a strong man cry. It’s a sickening thing to see a man body-slam himself, then twist his own arm behind his back and make himself tap out.
Wrestler turned actor John Cena may look like the Rock, but when it comes to China he’s Pee-Wee Herman. Doing an interview for his upcoming film “F9” in Taiwan, he referred to that free and thriving democratic island, which has had a separate government since 1949, as a “country” instead of as a province of China.
When this led to an “outcry,” meaning it displeased the Communist Party of China, alleged tough guy Cena mewled and groveled and begged for forgiveness.
It would have been an embarrassing display of cowardice for an asthmatic muskrat. But for Cena, whose brand is brawn? Really, what is the point of having muscles carved out of granite if your moral fortitude rates at the same level as overcooked linguine? Is the point of muscles to look better than the weaklings while you’re surrendering? If the concept of strength means anything, it isn’t the ability to move metal doughnuts on a bar. It’s the quality of standing up for your values, opposing bullying, defending the truth. If Cena had been in Tiananmen Square in 1989, he would have strode up to the row of tanks, picked up the guy standing in front of them, and deposited him directly in the nearest police station for questioning.
Related: A Slow Kowtow to China.
Demanding obeisance has a rich history in Chinese culture. In 1793, British envoy Lord George Macartney was charged with opening permanent trade relations with China. The Chinese still clung to the old feudal demand of the kowtow. In the old days, the Chinese believed that the emperor literally ruled the world, which meant foreign rulers were more like vassals. And all vassals must acknowledge the supremacy of the emperor, the Son of Heaven. The problem was that Macartney was essentially a stand-in for the British crown, and he couldn’t in good conscience recognize the emperor as his sovereign.
Kowtowing requires three kneelings and nine prostrations—meaning the supplicant actually lies face down on the floor—in order to demonstrate total inferiority. Macartney agreed to kneel out of respect, but he wouldn’t put his head to the ground nine times.
The Chinese were offended and Britain and China didn’t get the trade deal. I bring up this anecdote for three reasons. First, it’s worth recognizing that the trade deal was in the interests of both countries. Lots of “realists” think that countries do things solely out of raw self-interest. That’s arguably true. But the definition realists use for self-interest is way too narrow. Notions of national pride and honor are also forms of self-interest.
Which brings me to the second reason. America should have some notion of honor. We don’t have a crown, but we do have certain ideas and ideals that we like to claim similar loyalty to. We also like to claim that these ideas and ideals are universal. When we figuratively kowtow to China, we are openly admitting to China that both claims are untrue—or at least negotiable. You can’t claim to believe human rights are universal and inviolable while simultaneously excusing or ignoring the mass violation of human rights that defines China under CCP rule.
Last, none of this is in our interest. It’s not like the Chinese respect us for our groveling. They enjoy watching us bend to their demands and mock our obsequious desire to gain favor as proof of their superior system. They use our self-flagellation over race as a cudgel in their propaganda and diplomacy. Such appeasement only buys greater demands and worse moral and strategic compromises.
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I whiggishly believe that one day China will be a free country. And when it is, the Chinese will not look back on America today as a spiritual ally the way those who were slaughtered at Tiananmen Square did. They will see us as a country that sought approval from the regime that persecuted their ancestors for the cheap at any price of Fast and Furious 9 ticket sales.
As Jim Geraghty wrote in October of 2019, when the CCP-NBA connection exposed for millions of Americans to see: We’re Not Exporting Our Values to China — We’re Importing Theirs.