Tuesday, September 16, 2008

China: Enabling a Disabled World

The World Blind Union’s Kiki Nordstrom says it best about Beijing ’s hosting of the world’s paraplegic Olympics: “ Beijing ’s Paralympics opens up path(s) for (the) disabled into society.”

It is awe-inspiring indeed to see disabled athletes from all over the world -- the blind running in track events (strung by the wrist to a seeing guide-runner) and the wheelchair-bound racing the oval -- and to watch winners burst with joy, marveling at the triumph of the human spirit over disabilities.

The disabled today are no longer outcasts as they quickly rise from the limitations set by their circumstances. And to that end, Beijing ’s munificent hosting of the 2008 Paralympics has naturally earned accolades from the world and showcased the Chinese people’s humanity and hospitality at their best.

From the Beijing Olympics last 08-08-08 down to the Paralympics which opened on September 11, China has overwhelmed the World not only with its awesome capabilities for mobilizing capital and technology for any undertaking but also with its people’s capacity for social discipline and hospitality. One million citizen-volunteer-ushers all over Beijing helping Olympic fans and visitors with their utmost care and service has without doubt become the largest and most palpable of China’s international undertakings that it has generated not only tremendous goodwill but more importantly, conveyed the echoes of the Olympic spirit in keeping with China’s mantra of “One World, One Dream.”

Just to contrast: While China has spent billions building the harmony of civilizations, the US continues to spend billions, creating wars in all four corners of the globe.

China , by its lavishing of immense resources and energy onto its “One World, One Dream” Olympic project, has enabled the world to take a new look at itself. It was the first break in the dark clouds of war that had overtaken the world’s horizons since US President George W. Bush was inaugurated in 2001, which had divided the world between itself and its so-called “Axis of Evil” nations, which was quickly followed by its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty on December 2001, and later, its reversal of the “no first strike” nuclear policy.

Just over a decade before, “glasnost,” “perestroika” and concessions Russia yielded to for its dialogue with the West all offered hope for the long-awaited end to the global “arms race,” ensuring permanent peace for the world.

But alas! Eight hundred years after the last of the eight Crusades of the West, George W. Bush and his cabal of neo-conservative ideologues of Western hegemony attempted to re-ignite religious war between Christianity and Islam yet again.

Chief among these neo-cons was Samuel Huntington, commissioned to write “The Clash of Civilizations” to lay the predicate of the “historic inevitability” of the global religious war -- make that perpetual war -- that only profits the corporatocracy-funded neo-conservatives. This they did as they prepared for the new “Pearl Harbor” in the form of the World Trade Center “attack,” which provided the pretext for the invasion of Afghanistan (where Unocal maintains an oil pipeline) and Iraq (violating UN consensus and where US oil now has a lock on its contracts).

Yet throughout this period of the “Clash of Civilizations” upon which Bush built his “War on Terror,” China has been promoting the principle of “Harmony of Civilizations” based on Confucian principles. In the past decades, especially during celebrations of Confucius’ millennial birthdays, there have been various international conferences discussing these contrasting philosophies of world evolution.

President Hu Jintao first expounded the concept of “a harmonious world” at the UN Summit in 2005 commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the UN’s founding and expressed the Chinese people’s wish to maintain world peace and promote mutual progress.

Last year, the Xinhua Net covered one such event and reported, “World Conference on Sinology Criticized the Theory of Clash of Civilizations and called for the Building of a Harmonious World.”

Frankly, the US has crippled the world towards making peace by its systematic dismantling of the building blocks towards this global peace, which are civility in international relations, non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, respect for international borders, and fair international trade relations.

Unfortunately, Russia has found itself seriously disadvantaged over the past decades by the US’ treachery against the Eurasian continent, which has also caused China to suffer the worst of the West’s calumnies on Tibet and even the anti-China propaganda in the run-up to the Beijing Games -- with the latest affront being the US’ violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT) as it sells nuclear weapons technology to non-signatory India while leaving other signatories like China shortchanged. But then, NNPT member Iran is likewise being persecuted by the US in favor of Israel , which to this day, refuses to sign said treaty.

Truly, the litany of US transgressions is limitless. Just look at the long list of continuing atrocities it has and continues to commit in the Philippines and anyone will get a clear picture -- from the murders of Filipinos in the former US bases in Clark and Subic, to the Michael Meiring bombings in Davao in 2002, to its current conspiracy to take the oil and natural gas riches of Mindanao away from the Filipino nation.

Ninety-nine percent of Philippine opinion writers and broadcasters are simply superficial and are toadies of US political culture to be taken seriously on matters of global history and international relations. While it is evident in Western media that Bush, Obama and McCain all declare the imperative to expand war, like the Afghan War and its intrusion into Pakistani territory, China is expanding international cultural dialogue as evidenced by its official Chinese CCTV 9 programs.

The Philippines should look to China for a view of what its role could be in the global evolution towards peace and harmony. Witek John of Georgetown University said that the traditional Chinese doctrines of Confucius and Mencius illustrate the essence of humanity, which can be used to promote harmonious development in the world. Professor Zhang Liwen from Renmin University of China, famous for his theory of “Study of Harmony” (he he xue), proposed five fundamental principles for the building of a harmonious world: 1) Harmonious Life, 2) Harmonious Co-existence, 3) Harmonious Independence , 4) Harmonious Development, and 5) Harmonious Love.

China has no military bases outside its country while international NGOs tag 700 US foreign military bases in more than 60 countries. China ’s international relations will place commerce and cultural mutualism as priority -- not imperialism.

China today enables the world with peace that Bush has disabled with war.