Asia Society presents; 76
The Asia Society presenting. This is a series of interviews with experts on Asian affairs designed to strengthen our understanding of Asian people and by ideas. Your most on this transcribed series is the noted author on the ward winning broadcaster league Graham. Here now is Mrs. Graham. Whether you feel hostile or friendly in your thoughts about the People's Republic of China I'm sure the fact remains that you wish you knew more about China. It's still a large country a great mystery country of tremendous culture. A country which baffles many of us and when we have on our program a guest who has not only been born in China but has lived in China has spent years in China during many of its critical events then I think that we are on the road to getting a little more enlightenment about that great country. Our guest is Ambassador or just running and Mr. running is a former player representing Canada where he is now a citizen in China from
1945 to 51 and he has been a special representative of Canada to Hanoi and Saigon in 1966. He also worked very hard during the negotiations which brought about a recognition of China by Canada which you may recall took place in October of 1978. Ambassador running should we have to find out how you can be born in China and then become a citizen of Canada. And at this point I suppose no great deal about the world in general. Well I'm not sure that I can. Go into sufficient detail to make that position clear because I've often been asked how can you with an American mother and father from Norway being born in China ever become the Canadian High Commissioner of India which I was for seven years. And I'd just simply say that the beats the Dutch. You know I was born in central China in the very
geographical center of old china and we escaped China during the Boxer Rebellion we went back again and I was a teenager in China during the time of the revolution which brought about the Republic of China. I went back to China again as a student and a teacher from 1920 to 27 when the great revolution took place it was called the Great Revolution from 25 to 27 in those days. And I was back again in China as a diplomat in from 19 45 to 51 when the Chinese People's the government of the People's Republic of China was established in 1949. How did Keiko Why did it take so long. It seems to me it must take about 20 years before China could be recognized by Canada. I'm a seaman I have questions you know you know that like white or other than I am. Yes very very
oversimplified. It was because of the United States. Because the United States policy was changed 180 degrees where many of the Civil War was won by the Communists in China and the United States attitude towards the new regime in China was crystallized to such an extent that it was difficult for Canada to do this without offending. We were in sort of I should say that exactly we went so afraid of offending the United States. But what we were afraid was that that if we recognized it we were told that then France would do it and Belgium would do it and we would do it. Brazil would do it and so on there we had such a landslide of countries recognizing the real government of China the People's Republic of China that there would be a change in their representation in the United Nations and then the emotion
in the United States which was so high that. The United there was a possibility that the United States might have pulled out of the United Nations if that changes taken place and maybe not made the headquarters of United Nations welcome in the United States. Now Canada did not have enough to gain from recognizing the real government of China if it meant that it was that that we would put the United Nations in jeopardy. Therefore we postponed it until this. If you really feel that the emotion has subsided now I suppose there are perhaps just as many Americans as there are Canadians who are prepared to establish better relations with China and recognize the government which has control of China. You say that at the time although you had something to gain in your country did prime the recognition of China it wasn't enough to jeopardize the position of the
United Nations in New York City and so forth. It did and does Canada have to gain from it. Thank you John. Well that is a very very difficult question to see Andrew take a long time. But recognition doesn't mean that you approve of the policies of a government or that you disapprove of the policies of the government to do right only recognition carries any. No no no no no none whatever. Recognition enables you merely to deal effectively with the government of the United States cannot deal effectively with China until the government of United States recognizes the existence of this government that has come to power in China. Peking has it improved your position industrially economically. Well let me say this in reply to that question. You know that prior to recognition we were doing business with China on a very important scale. As a matter I come from the Canadian
west where agriculture is the most important aspect of our economy and we produce much more green than we can use in our province and in Canada. So the export of wheat is really very important to Canadian agriculture and the Chinese have been buying our wheat in great quantities and they've been paying for it and there they have lived up to their obligations. Every time they have undertaken to buy Canadian wheat it has been paid for. And each year the quantity of wheat that we have exported to China has been has been been increased we have greater and greater volume. And this of course is a man that the many Canadians feel well if we're doing business with them. Then there perhaps we should recognize them and I think that establishing diplomatic relations is the only way to have permanent trade relations with any country. It doesn't you don't have to have diplomatic
relations to trade with a country company with a country and we didn't have but diplomatic relations establishes a better feeling between the two countries and we are much more liable to have permanent trade relations and for Canada this is a very very important. There's no question about that and there's no denying it and certainly never any need to apologize for it. But the fact is that was helpful in your desire. Q Thank ignite that's China. Now you say about running that revolution is not something in the distant Oh it let's say something in the near past as far as Jon is concerned but it has been a continuing situation for more than a hundred hundred ten hundred twenty years. That's right and I believe you pointed out that in 1850 that the Taiping Rebellion here began the long revolution it has been continuous A revolution has changed China revolution has changed the whole of Asia. You cannot deal with is there any longer. In the in the old
terms of the in the manner in which the old and imperial powers dealt with China. So that it is important to understand what revolution has done in China. And I don't think that it's possible to understand that without remembering that that to the Chinese civilization has has been perpetuated down through middlemen Liam's and is the only ancient civilization which him in economics and politics and cultural aspects and in civilization it's a philosophy. It's the only ancient civilization that was that that existed down through the ages right to modern times. And because they had such a good system but they had a good system developed pragmatically and a philosophy that was pragmatic that enabled them to do to do it. Continue in
their existence while others passed away. Of course there were other reasons they were encircled by the mountains the deserts and and oceans which did prevent them from some of the influence of the destroyed the other civilizations. But aside from that it was due to the effectiveness of their own organization. But when they came into contact with the industrialized West and the industrial revolution and the expansion that the brought about to the great empires of of the West industrial revolution you want to bend the knee in America when the when the Chinese came into contact with this they collapsed because they were inefficient they were ineffective and the old philosophy is the old methods didn't enable the country to withstand So China was imposed upon. China was dominated by the great imperial powers and the the village economy in China was
destroyed the village economy in China was destroyed. Well beginning with the Opium War where the Chinese were forced to take to accept opium. And and and and during the days of of of the foreign concessions and all the ports it is of China the days when the foreigners divided the country up into some years of employment by the way the United States you know was the first country to do to get to do that and propose a policy of the open door policy to prevent China from being divided up the Chinese Waffen that is to be divided up like that and like it like a melon. That was stopped eventually by the United States the United States was the first country to do it to advocate the abolition of the extra extraterritoriality and the unequal treaties in China. But the United States policy changed. You see it when when the government of the People's Republic of China was established it changed 180 degrees. But the the
the result of the impact with the West brought about the necessity for revolution. And it produced revolution so that in the in the middle of the last century the typings rose up against their own government. It wasn't against foreigners. It was against the the Manchu government and they led the successful expedition that took over Nanking and they went right to the doors of Peking. And that that government was more friendly to the foreigners. Then the Manchu government but the foreigners Childers rather to deal with the Manchus by force in spite of the fact that their policy towards foreign countries was not as liberal as that of the type things which other typings were eventually put down by foreign mercenaries and after that they had been crushed by the foreign mercenaries of them demand your government slaughtered all of the typing the rebels when I was a boy I was taken to a city on the banks of the river where every such house in the city
was destroyed and all the population had been killed and my Chinese friends used to tell me about about the cruelties of of that and the expectation that the Manchus had that they had finished Revolution in China for good. It bobbed up again at the end of the century in the palace revolution. It bobbed up again in the in the box rebellion and that was diverted by the Empress Dowager and you answer it against the foreigners. If we told Mr Running in China and the position it had because there was no industrial revolution taking place except that which was brought to it by its right foreign powers in a way if one wants to look at it very philosophically and have that view of history looking back at the past. The foreign powers helped create modern China of course. Seriously it's so rare that not only that you know that that revolution in China was fostered first in the Christian missionary schools prior to the
due to being fostered in the in the in the government school with the thought of democracy and establishing establishing a republic in the first signs that no industrial progress is Wouldn't we have to call a problem as it looks as if it's progress. SIMON Yes it's doubtful but none of this emanate from China itself or was it all introduced by the West mostly introduced by the West but the Chinese did have you know the Chinese had the beginnings of a fairly good industrial set up in Manchuria and certainly in some of the cities parts of as in China you had considered important industries. But when you compared that to the whole of China it didn't amount to anything. I know covers how many square miles. Oh I can tell you now but it's the third largest country on earth. There's a Soviet Union and China and India and then Canada and then the United States all India comes a little further down the list.
China at the present time has the largest population in the world. Oh yes because yes China today has ever had 800 beers about 800 million the quarter in a quarter of the a quarter of the whole human race. And we refused to have that one quarter of the human race represented in the one organization international organization that we really like I don't mean you. Yes we do. We we were I would argue until now you see this is that our recognition is very recent. I think the last time we voted for the People's Republic of China to be to be to take the place of China in the United Nivea the idea of a two China policy would be acceptable to many nations. But if the public will come in only if Taiwan is thrown up then that would not be acceptable to the United States its pledges and its really you must remember this that the government in Taiwan is just as opposed to China policy as the government in Peking. But I think that it could be accepted by
them certainly in reference to being thrown out altogether. Well that still remains to be seen. We don't know. But even if it does yeah. Even if it is it is with withdrawn for a period of time until the matter can be adjusted. Far less harm would be done if for the next two decades it was kept out of the United Nations. Then the harm that has been done by keeping the real government of China out of out of the United Nations and a quarter of the human population without any representation. Johnette behaves as if it's not interested in being in the UN his way all my statements about it they think that is an excuse that we have not an excuse that we have so much as have been printed statements by the government in the People's Republic of China. We do not wish to leave. I am afraid that Westerners have have assumed this. Want to have been Mr running. Oh yes they have been all kinds
of published day plans but they believe these public statements. I fear have been assumptions that are not based on the real feeling. I happen to know there is a big cause I have I have I was present at the at the Korean conference representing candidate the crème conference I represented that the Laos conference I have been in. I have dealt with the the I was the only liaison between Canada and peaking for a number of years and now of course there was a period when you've heard the story of sour grapes. And when they weren't being admitted why should they clamor for it. If they'd bought it but I don't want you play it. But they will come in. They will come into the United Nations if they are if they're invited to come in and if they can take their place. But you must remember that it's not only Peking Taiwan that also insists upon no due China policy
I understand and I don't think that the two China policy is going to be realistic in dealing with the situation. Why shouldn't both countries be represented in United Nations why should one be thrown out for another. Well don't don't forget that. To Taiwan is China and both speaking and Taiwan say that is China. It was by by Roosevelt and Churchill and junk I see I get to decide it before the end of World War 2 that it would be a part of China and it was a part of China. What do you do when you for example want Lithuania added to many countries in Europe and eastern part of Europe where their own countries on no longer recognise have been swallowed up by a lot yes that's true but in the case of Taiwan You must remember that the Taiwanese themselves. The Taiwanese themselves where people from China that had moved to the island doing the Ming Dynasty in doing the Ching Dynasty and they
were not asked whether or not they wanted to come under the Nationalist government. The Americans provide the logistics that enable Junko Schick and his mainlanders to be plunked down on the island of Taiwan without any permission of the Taiwanese themselves. And remember this that to this day the Taiwanese have no voice whatever in the in the government of Taiwan. This is all that I think that if you want to be democratic then you must ask the people of the Taiwanese of Taiwan what their position would be inside them being democratic Since democracy is not practiced widely in the world today certainly not practiced on mainland China. Perhaps it's better to ask where do people have a better life. I think if you make a comparison between Taiwan and China you must admit that life is much pleasant and most comfortable on Taiwan.
Well well don't forget this that in Taiwan under Japanese rule. Great improvements were made economically. And don't forget this that after the Chinese the Nationalists were moved to Taiwan that the United States insisted upon using a certain percentage of the total appropriations of the United States made to China formally and which was not used because of the corruption of the Nationalist government. But when it came to Taiwan then much of that is American assistance was used in Taiwan and remember the Taiwan is a small country compared to China and the improvements that have been made in Taiwan are considerable and comparing Taiwan today with the whole of China is scarcely scarcely. It shouldn't lead you to the wrong conclusions because it because you are bad but you was remember this too that
most of the information that we get about China here denies is that any improvement has been made in China. What you must do is prepare. Compare China today with China before the month before. And anyone that has been there. I was there for two and a half years under the new regime and I saw the reforms made in China that I didn't expect could be possible during the course of my lifetime. No doubt and I'm glad the embittered Yes yes. No it's just that if you say that people of Taiwan have not been asked what sort of government they will like. If we took an election who is to know the answer but I doubt if many people in Taiwan with the third elite dive on and lived in China of course then I think many vessels China might want to live in time no no no no it's not an on or not. You see the people in Asia the peasants of Asia they don't want to be up rooted and moved from their place to another place for example of the people in Vietnam that are being bombed or their village whose villages are being bombed in
Taiwan today. They don't want their houses destroyed they don't want to be moved into these to these other villages give them leave to pray the people in Taiwan. No no I mean I'm sorry in Vietnam. Yes in Vietnam and and all in Asian people they don't like to be uprooted and put into another place. The reason that the reason that so many Chinese move to two to Taiwan in the first place was that there was a gradual movement across the the water there and there they they found things there. There are better opportunities there but you cannot compare what's happened in Taiwan to what is happening in China. Still why did so many people leave China and go to Hong Kong so that it was flooded with Chinese refugees. Well I had one that was not because things were not being improved in China. Things can be improved. Human do you have want to start life. Diamond if you can spend it in a country where you have a better brain you go I mean whether you
like you know it really is not the only typing about rebels you know that were not killed were the ones that escaped China when the when the man to slaughter them. And remember this that in China the privileged people. Lost their privileges. The vast majority of the Chinese it P-5 90 percent of the Chinese were peasants and the only people that had special privileges were those that were wealthy or those who had a an education because they could always buy themselves or pay for their way out of the control of the of the government and the police. Well not the hours of the only people that have gone from China to Hong Kong. Those that have lost their privileges. I don't know the composition of the people in Hong Kong. I do know people who live in Hong Kong who now live here. I don't know people who visited Taiwan recently in that year. I based some of my information on that about what I think a question we should be sure to
bring up it was very stimulating conversation and his method of running is what was the meaning of the cultural revolution a revolution within a revolution. Why does NOT his faction brought that about. No not a revolution within the revolution it was a war against the revolution not against what was the significance of the significance was this when the new regime was established. And you had an organized bureaucracy and you had an organized Communist Party and you had an organized army and these were these were three of the essential elements of the of the administration and control of China. The bureaucrats sat comfortably in their places. They were not losing their enthusiasm for improvements for revolution for changes. So
mounds of doom started what it what he calls the Great Cultural Revolution. And many of the members of the Communist Party and many of the of the generals in the Army and many of the bureaucrats were disciplined by the by the Red Gods and humiliated by the Red Gods in order to change because the only tradition of China was. That the wealthy man that the educated man that the man that doesn't use his hands as he should should should control. But today the revolutionaries of China say we were just like the Westerners use our hands not to merely to write beautiful compositions with with it with a brush and ink but get down and and and going to the factories so schools were closed. People say how crazy it going to be a man beat to close the schools. But what did he do with the teachers and
students went out to the farms and to the to the factories to learn the problems of the people and to keep in contact with the problems of people in order that they might deal effectively with the with the problems of the people. I wish we had more time to continue this I think one might raise the point that agricultural production needed assistance and so it was better to take people with intellect and force them to use their hands so that the agricultural output could be increased. You must admit Mr. running that a country is best governed by people use their brains and not their hands. It would not rain as without him. No but good brains first I think and say Can I have it. Perhaps you'll come back from Canada and continue his discussion for the time being I thank you very much for being here. I think that our guest has been an ambassador I just don't Ronnie is there running a life form Ashaji down representing Canada in China from 45 to 50 one man who has lived in China knows the country well. Special Representative of his
Government of Canada to Hanoi and Saigon in 96. He thinks he may not agree but he is most welcome and most in need. Thank you and good luck concludes tonight's edition of the Asia Society presents with Lee Graham. This series comes to you through the cooperation of the Asia Society. If you would like to comment on tonight's program or would like further information about the society and how you can participate in its many interesting activities please write to Mrs. Graham at WNYC New York City 100 0 7. I make a note to join us again next week at this time for another edition of the Asia Society presents. This is the national educational radio network.
- Asia Society presents
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- Asia Society presents is a series of programs from WNYC and The Asia Society. Through interviews with experts on Asian affairs, the series attempts to strengthen listeners understanding of Asian people and ideas. Episodes focus on specific countries and political, cultural, and historical topics.
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