Much more to China than meets the (American) eye

Lev Navrozov

Last week we had a call from someone whom we used to know some years ago: an intelligent young man, a brilliant computer specialist, with a keen interest in international affairs, at that time particularly concerned with Falun Gong persecutions going on in China.

He had several Chinese friends associated with the Chinese human rights group located in California. There he met a bright Chinese girl whom he later married.

Incidentally, before my wife started typing up my writings — I wrote them in longhand — Alan Freed, a dear friend of ours, a priest, typed up my columns. He performed the marriage ceremony of those two young people.

China's military budget officially reached $106 billion in 2012, an 11.2 percent increase. Here, Chinese sailors are seen standing onboard a frigate berthed in Shanghai, in 2011. /AFP

Shortly after the couple had their first child, our young friend found himself unemployed: the company he worked for went out of business. His wife was still working when a second child was on its way.

The couple struggled financially. Hopeless, with no prospects to find a job, the couple, at the suggestion of his wife’s family in China, decided to relocate there.

We just refused to believe that after having been so active in exposing and criticizing the dictatorial regime in communist China, fully aware of the atrocities perpetrated by the Chinese rulers against human dignity, they decided to go live in that country. I would believe that, if they were ignorant people and did not know any better. But not they! I tried to dissuade them, but all to no avail. I did not want to do anything with them, stopped speaking to them and would not pick up the phone.

Quite unexpectedly, two years ago we had a call from this former friend of ours then living in China, who was visiting his mother in New York. My wife had a brief, formal conversation with him, and he said that things were going well for them. He had a well-paid job with a small Chinese company and learned to speak Chinese — fluent enough to communicate with his Chinese co-workers.

Last week we heard from him again. He said that he and his family are back to the United States. The company he worked for in China went out of business. They are expecting a third child. He asked my wife if there is anything he could do for me — for example, doing some research on China. Because, he said, he now knows the country so much better.

I heard what was a very long conversation. I heard my wife passionately arguing with him when at the other end he was saying that we don’t understand that country, that it is now the most peaceful country in the world because the Chinese military is not engaged in any military conflict. Things have changed there, he went on to say. The pro-human rights wing of the Communist Party is taking over: Falun Gong people are no longer persecuted, the blind human rights activist and his family are on their way to the United States, and more: the Chinese communists are downsizing their army — actually they would keep only a tiny army well equipped with the latest technology for defense purposes only.

Why, he said, cannot you both understand China, the country which for centuries was ignored and abused by the West? Now they are trying to improve their image. And you still don’t get it.

But we do get it. It is the Westerners like him, born and bred American, raised in freedom, who had a chance to have lived and worked for 5 years in China, doesn’t get it. We knew quite a few Americans in Russia who for years lived and worked there and had no idea how the system worked.

Stalin’s ubiquitous propaganda worked so skillfully that one had to be born there to know the truth behind it.

I keep a watchful eye on what is going on in China — and I distinguish familiar signs of former Stalin’s era. The ultimate goal of both societies — takeover of the world — has not changed. What has changed is China’s methods to achieve this goal.

Our young friend’s main argument was that China is disarming. But why should they keep and feed the biggest army in the world, I wondered? Let them live and work on their own and provide for themselves and their families: if need be, they could always be brought back at a moment’s notice.

On the other hand, to have a small army with cherry-picked specialists, armed with the best latest technology and know-how and technologically savvy makes more sense. Their one-billion-strong army is always there.

The moral of my story is that if a Westerner finds himself/herself in a slave society such as is China, he/she should not look for signs of something that is familiar to them and mimics their own free country. Rather they should try to understand the workings of that secretive communist system and get the answers to what is hiding beyond the regime’s skilful deceitful propaganda masquerading its masters’ actual intentions to perpetuate their communist regime at the cost of destroying Western freedom.

Lev Navrozov can be reached by e-mail at

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