Our President at His Best!


Observations by a Citizen

Hal Rounds



Thoughts About China


Hong Kong is daily in the news.  The people are rebelling against the growing insistence by Communist China that Hong Kong must submit to communist control.   We need to learn more about China, because of its growing demands of submission over ever widening territories.


China is an ancient civilization, of course.  Their beautifully detailed arts, inventions like gunpowder, noodles, and porcelain have enriched world culture.  It began when the Silk Road crossed the Himalayas centuries ago.  Marco Polo expanded Europe’s view and interest in China in the 1200’s.  The Silk Road connected China and Europe, until the Muslim Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople in 1453.  The end of that trade is why Columbus sailed - to find a route to China.  Genghis Khan, the Hun invasions, and epidemics, like the Black Plague in the 1300’s, the Influenza repeatedly since 1743, and other interesting things have originated in China. 


The era of European colonialism began in the 1500’s, and Holland established a colony in Macau.  About 300 years later, British merchants gained use of land across the bay, which we now know as Hong Kong.  Increasing their presence, the British colony blossomed, and, with civil conflict on the mainland, Chinese found Hong Kong, with stable and prosperous British governing policies, a safe haven.  Hong Kong was a model of British colonial governance, and became one of the most prosperous places in history.  At the edge of the South China Sea, Hong Kong has a little over half as much land area as Fayette County - and 7 million inhabitants. 


China wraps around Hong Kong like a cat that has cornered a mouse.  The British “lease” of Hong Kong ended in 1997, and the Brits conceded sovereignty to China, on the condition that the Communist government would protect the benefits that the people had enjoyed under British protection.


Communist China, however, stems from a completely different set of values.  My Grandfather was sent to China by the YMCA in 1917, to set up a YMCA in Changsha.  As a result, my father was born there in 1921.  The rebellions that began to drive out foreigners in the 1920’s forced them to find refuge in Shanghai, where my aunt was born.  A night march evacuating the family was among my father’s earliest memories.   In the 1930’s, Japan began their conquest of Asia, and China suffered epic slaughters.  American volunteers helped resist the invasion, making history as the “Flying Tigers.”


Shanghai fell early on - but my family had already moved to Poland.  I once had a boss, Roy Webb, whose family didn’t make it out of Shanghai, and spent the war as captives.  Roy told me of his childhood memories, watching American planes raiding a Japanese installation within sight of his compound.


After the war, in 1947, my grandfather flew across the Pacific to assess the opportunities for reviving the YMCA.  I have his report, but it came to nothing, as Mao Tse-Tung’s conquest in 1949 established the communist regime that killed millions of Chinese, while Hong Kong prospered under British governance.  One of my best friends in Junior High school, George Huang, was among the Chinese who escaped the communists, and found refuge and opportunity in America.  In metal shop he showed me how to forge a large nail into a throwing knife.


In the 1970’s, Nixon worked to reopen diplomacy and commerce with China.  Their government has used it like a siphon, sucking our industries and money, stealing patent rights, and spying to gain our technology (I was at part of a trial of one spy, and it was ominously fascinating.)  They are suppressing and intimidating Tibet, India, and other neighbors on their west, and, to their east, taking islands in seas that belong to the Philippines.  You can see the construction of one island military site on Google maps.


The sucking sound of their siphon can be heard in every Wal-Mart, which once promoted their support of American products - but now seems to be China’s own “factory outlet.”


And now, with Trump harried from behind, America’s credibility is too weak to help the people of Hong Kong resist the force of oppression that China’s communist regime feels ready to complete.