THE EDITOR: I have had the pleasure of visits to China twice, both the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan. Both visits were very enlightening and helped me to further galvanize my views on culture, art, discipline and the essence of societies among many other “reflections”.
The Chinese civilization cannot be compared directly to any concept of a Caribbean civilization, any direct parallels will not be valid and so my commentary will not attempt to do so. However, it is my considered view that groups of people, throughout history, succeed mainly because of their attitude to the challenges that their natural environment pose and their decisions about changing circumstances in their communities.
The Chinese have protected the Great Wall, The Forbidden City, millions of acres of environmentally-sensitive lands and many other historically-significant Chinese landmarks. They have protected their indigenous languages and traditions, food, dance, clothing, work ethic etc.
The Chinese are fiercely defending their land and willing to go to war to preserve their “land”. They understand that land and territory are the foundations of power, prosperity, and survival. They know that to conquer land and territory means that you conquer regions, resources and yes peoples.
If we do not understand the strategic importance of land, culture and patrimony to our survival, then the Chinese do and will take willingly what many of our people treat as trash. Their pursuits overseas, especially into the Caribbean, have always been at the invitation of the governments of the Region, I have never seen Chinese forcefully taking resources from our people — at least, God forbid, not yet. They understand too well the importance of our beaches, mountains, lizards, snakes and our dances, food, etc.
And so leaders, governments and people who lack the understanding, who are corrupt, who have sold out their soul, will give to the Chinese — or any other people – of their national resources because they do not understand or they are corrupt and just do not care about the masses!
They are not just taking over — I believe that the Chinese are dumb-founded that we do not appreciate as a people what is so precious; and so, they will graciously accept whatever “ Saint Lucian gems” the government freely gives. Try telling them to sell The Great Wall or to start eating the Giant Panda or to bulldoze The Forbidden City to build hotels…
They have studied us and understand well, that few of us will stand up and make sacrifices to the very end, for our patrimony, as their forefathers did and as they will do today if their “lands” are threatened.
And so their love for their country I admire, their discipline I admire and their resolve to defend their traditions and patrimony I admire.
That is why I know that the patriotic Chinese will understand and respect my actions when I join other patriotic Saint Lucians to forever defend our “lands”, our patrimony and our traditions.
Sorry, like them, they are all I truly possess.
(Moses ‘Musa’ Jn Baptiste)