Asian History

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Re: Asian History

Post by peugeot407 on Fri 12 Apr 2013 - 12:40

I do get the point, but China wasn't forced into this situation by the Great Powers, it was forced into it by being an unnatural country. China did try to go down the same road as the Japanese, modernising society and the military, but it simply didn't work, partly because China is such a massive country, partly because not all of the Imperial Court agreed with modernisation, but mainly because the average soldier of a Qing army had no loyalty whatsoever towards China, and no incentive to actually make an effort at defending his country. The fact that most of them were addicted to opium and that the Chinese are a notoriously lazy people (especially when compared to the disciplined Japanese) didn't help, of course, but if the Qing had actually commanded any noticeable respect within China, the country would have been able to modernise and stop being tossed around by foreign countries.


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Re: Asian History

Post by HAL9000 on Fri 12 Apr 2013 - 12:55

Agreed. I have always found it interesting how inept the military was - and not just during the time frame of the 19th century. There were battles during the early Tang through the Ming Dynasties where whole Chinese armies fell to their northern foes from the steps - and not just Mongols. I will post back once I find the specific battles I'm thinking of...
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Re: Asian History

Post by Nero on Fri 12 Apr 2013 - 12:57

Lets not also forget that the Chinese were a deeply divided country with many different types of people (essentially 3 completely different types of people) and the ones ruling the country were not of that country (Qing were from Manchuria-in case someone didn't know), the country was also very stuck in its ways. They adhered to an ancient doctrine for well over a millennium (Confucianism) and were not accepting of new methods of conducting their lives. Further, after centuries of being the super power in Asia, they couldn't conceive of a greater power than theirs. And after being confronted with the truth of their meekness, they were not flexible enough to change and like peugeot said, because of the lack of respect the Qing commanded, they couldn't really force the changes like the Japanese could.
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Re: Asian History

Post by HAL9000 on Fri 12 Apr 2013 - 13:18

I often wonder, as I am a devotee of counterfactual history, what would have happened had the Ming Dynasty not totally severed all connections with the outside world, burned its dockyards, confined all ships to port, and ceased intercontinental exploratory voyages for good. What things could have been different had Zheng He's successors plied the seas?
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Re: Asian History

Post by spangopola on Fri 12 Apr 2013 - 18:58

Qing failed to govern a multi-racial society, and also remained in biased to balance between the five main races: Han, Manchu, Mongols, Tibetian, and Huay (Muslims). They somewhat govern through a caste system, similar to that of the Indians. Further westernization brings in concepts of constitutional monarchy or complete democracy may have been a reason that the Qing court (especially Qi Xi or whatever you guys name her in English) has always been against westernization like the Japanese.

One major difference between the Chinese and the Japanese is the leader. Different definitions of the emperor of both countries leads to their eventual failure/success. Even during the Shogunate era, the Emperor of Japan has always been there (Heck, it's the same blood line ever since the beginning of the Yamato race), while as we all know in China there have been multiple Emperors from different families, forming different dynasties. Not to mention the fact that the Qing is founded by "barbarians" from the North.

The Chinese has always been an passive civilization, seeing from their tendency to protect themselves instead of expanding their boundaries (the Yuan and Qing as some exceptions, but then, they are not Han anyway), preferring to protect their Huang He and Chang Jiang instead of pushing out their boundaries. Plus, they have always looked down at foreign powers (I admit that it's a bad idea, even though I am Han myself), and prefers their own race over others. Expanding was never the first priorities of typical Chinese dynasties.

Ah, well, the majority of the Chinese are still suffering today, far from the truth of their beloved government and chairman. But then, it's a different story.

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Re: Asian History

Post by Nero on Fri 12 Apr 2013 - 19:52

One that is not too different from Russia I believe
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Re: Asian History

Post by HAL9000 on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 7:31

Nero wrote:One that is not too different from Russia I believe

Very true, considering Russia's early history as a collection of small states, followed by empire, then Communist state. I don;t know if we can even say Russia moved on from that stage, as "democracy" is definitely not a word I would use to describe them at present.
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Re: Asian History

Post by Nero on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 9:05

I would say 'forced democracy' or 'Putinism' (can we get a Putin smile?)
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Re: Asian History

Post by HAL9000 on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 11:21

Hah! How accurate. We do need one of those. There's got to be one out there on the Interwebs...
I found this though:
Spoiler:
Not really a smile, but your argument is clearly invalid.
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Re: Asian History

Post by Nero on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 12:48

Haha, I like it. Putin is like, a funny dictator like person (you can't say it directly, or something bad will happen Damn Shadow! ).
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Re: Asian History

Post by spangopola on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 13:18

Erm, huge spelling mistake there Mad

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Re: Asian History

Post by Nero on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 13:24

What is the mistake? I can't find it
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Re: Asian History

Post by spangopola on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 13:25

isn't it Therefore your argue IS invalid? Or maybe my English suck, but that give me quite a good chuckle on Sunday morning.

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Re: Asian History

Post by Nero on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 13:37

Oh the picture. Yes that is very very wrong. :lol:
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Re: Asian History

Post by spangopola on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 13:38

But then it's Putin. If Putin says it's a "in", then a "in" it shall be.

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Re: Asian History

Post by HAL9000 on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 13:40

Haha, I like it. Putin is like, a funny dictator like person (you can't say it directly, or something bad will happen ).
Yeah. Just look at what happened recently to the band Pussy Riot. Or any number of people being jailed in Russia for demonstrating and protesting. Jail, jail, jail, one and all.
But then it's Putin. If Putin says it's a "in", then a "in" it shall be.
True. The word of Putin is law! Also, come on, Spangopola. It's the Internet. Spelling Mistakes are as common as Grammar Nazis... Which must be why Grammar Nazis are so common.


Last edited by HAL9000 on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 13:45; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Asian History

Post by spangopola on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 13:43

Speaking of which, what are you guy's view about death penalties? The European Union recently complained to my government after we executed one cannibal and two serial killers...

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Re: Asian History

Post by HAL9000 on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 13:51

Speaking of which, what are you guy's view about death penalties? The European Union recently complained to my government after we executed one cannibal and two serial killers...
For extreme cases, like those you listed above, after due process and definite grounds that we have in fact apprehended the right person and accused them of the right thing, I believe it is okay. It goes a bit against my religion, but it is my opinion that those who do such deeds are not worth the effort required to keep them alive. They are not men, but animals, deserving of no such mercy. That is, provided they do such things in their right minds... Insanity is a different story.
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Re: Asian History

Post by spangopola on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 13:58

Ah well, the funny is on one hand the EU chose to believe PRC's nonsense whining, while on the other hand accused our government of "inhumane and without mercy" etc. Last I thought, we're a part of mainland China in their records... so shouldn't they complain to Beijing instead of Taipei? Razz

The issue of death penalty has been brought up in some countries.... I wonder if anyone recalls the 3 teenagers of Ukraine who brutally tortured more than 20 people? One of them even got released without any punishment. The heaviest was 20 years, last I recall.

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Re: Asian History

Post by Nero on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 14:10

To me, the death penalty is fine. The main arguments against it is that it is inhumane, well, to be eligible for the death penalty you would have to have done something that renounces your humanity (like you said, cannibal, serial killer etc). And the other argument is that it costs a lot. Apparently, in the US when the death penalty was still live and well, it cost over 10,000 dollars to kill someone (due to legal fees mainly as they need to be proven guilty beyond any doubt). Well that can be easily resolved, set up a tribunal to independently judge the man and then shoot him in the head in a closed room. Done and done.
Spangopola, can you make this a new thread? We've gone a bit off topic


Last edited by Nero on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 14:25; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Needed to fix a name)
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Re: Asian History

Post by HAL9000 on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 14:31

I concur.
Edit: Sub-conversation moved to its own thread.
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Re: Asian History

Post by Tilanus Commodor on Sun 14 Apr 2013 - 23:10

That's a pretty interesting topic. I've often wondered why Asian history didn't catch me yet. I really don't think there's nothing interesting to be found there, but I just didn't grow up with it. There's also plenty of ignorance in this.
And I think you can't also really compare the "entertainment" factor of Western and Eastern history by taking one of them as the guiding base., because they're simply too different. And if you're not getting warm with any of them, that might also be the reason for that. There's actually nothing wrong with that, I also don't have a huge interest in Mayans, Aztecs and alike.

I remember though I was once pretty much interested in Ancient Asia and the beginnings of "China", Japan, Korea, etc. Medieval Asia doesn't really interest me as the middle ages generally don't interest me that much. So it's not a big surprise actually.

Now when I think about it, my interest in history is biased towards all sorts of technology and their effects on people, states, whatever. Thus civilizations with few radical or impressive technological changes don't really have a chance to catch my attention. I know that if you look closely you'll find in every civ something unique or counterarguments for stagnation, but I think before you can do that, it requires a fundamental interest first and that mostly originates in the media that we consume and the stories and images that we believe in. And I think the very stereotypical image on Chinese or Eastern Asian military history sketches endless repetitions of large armies of cannon-fodder spearmen who have commanders with bossy sabres followed by rocket and arrow artillery. While this is a narrow-minded perception of Chinese warfare, I think it perfectly explains why the interest of Western people in Asian history is often limited.
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Re: Asian History

Post by Hoop Thrower on Mon 15 Apr 2013 - 6:18

Once you start looking at medieval China at least you'll realize how interesting it really is, having gunpowder widespread much earlier means that technology and military developed in a very different way than it did in the west for starters, armor became much more irrelevant earlier and tactics went to places unheard of in Europe...

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Re: Asian History

Post by peugeot407 on Mon 15 Apr 2013 - 8:44

The Chinese certainly did do a lot with gunpowder, which makes it all the more peculiar that they never developed a proper musket or cannon... Having said that, I suppose the Chinese might say "Those Europeans certainly did do a lot with gunpowder, which makes it all the more peculiar that it took them so long to develop a proper rocket" Razz


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Re: Asian History

Post by Hoop Thrower on Mon 15 Apr 2013 - 9:02

I actually was reading about that today, the explanation I had was that, since the chinese had to face more nomad than people who entrenched themselves in fortifications, as it happened in Europe, it simply wasn't worth the efforth to make huge cannons, they just didn't have the enemies to point them at. Compare with the stuff they did build like the Huo Che or the Flamethrowers, wich were much more mobile carts that could deal with many enemies in a huge area, or well defend a position from multiple enemies like no cannon could.


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