Author Zhang Lijia just returned back from a short trip to Vietnam, and tries to draw lessons from the Sino-Vietnam war. “I hope my Chinese compatriots holding hawkish nationalist views over Diaoyu Island would look back and learn exactly what happened,” she writes on her weblog.
During our tour, the word ‘China’ kept popping up and not always in positive light. During an excursion to a cave in Ha Long Bay, our young, well-informed guide Diep talked about how the locals used the cave as a shelter during the bombings by the Americans. He went on talking about the stories of sufferings by the Vietnamese people during the war. I asked him how the locals now view the Americans – we were with our friends from America, Diep said people no longer hold grudges against America. The war was over and they are now trading partners. Many do hold grudging against China – the biggest threat to the country. China and Vietnam have disputed borders and many worry that one day that China may invade again, just like 1979. I guess China’s aggressive attitude over the disputed Diaoyu Island with Japan doesn’t really put Vietnamese at ease.
I hope my Chinese compatriots holding hawkish nationalist views over Diaoyu Island would look back and learn exactly what happened in 1979 – not just from the official source. And think about these shattered lives, broken dreams, grieved parents and lost lives. No island, uninhabited or otherwise, is worth any spilling of blood and the negative impact that would surely to follow. To rise peacefully means to build harmonious relationships with our neighbours and respect them. Only in this way, there’ll be long term stability in the region.
The China Weekly Hangout discussed three months ago China’s relation with the US. Present are political scientist Greg Anderson, China veteran Janet Carmosky and Fons Tuinstra, president of the China Speakers Bureau.
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