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This post was edited by abramicus at 2012-10-15 08:23|
CORRUPTION PLAYED THE BIGGEST ROLE IN CHINA'S LOSS OF SOVEREIGNTY
Very true, and many of them were responsible for the strait that China is now in. The Opium Trade did its damage, but it was the selling out of the Beiyang navy and army that were totally defeated by the Japanese with the cooperation of their commanders that opened the gateway for all other countries to enter into China. China was on sale at that time. Even Russia had records of Li Hongzhang asking for bribes to espouse certain positions against other countries. In short, China was being sold like it was as good as butchered. It was corruption that destroyed China, and the destruction came from within first, before the foreign armies made their deals permanent by actual occupation of Chinese territories Even after the fall of the Manchu regime, the selling out of China by the Beiyang clique, from 1912 to 1928, continued relentlessly. Thus in 1919, the Beiyang government (then the offiicial government of the moribund Republic of China) agreed to transfer German's concession in Shandong to the Japanese government without telling the rest of the people, leading to the May Fourth Movement.
Modern history has certain blacked out eras, among which is the so-called Warlords Era, which in reality was the Beiyang Regime from 1912-1928. These Beiyang generals were successful in blaming the fall of the Manchu regime entirely on the excesses of the Dowager Empress, which while true was not sufficient to cause China to fail in battle after battle against first the Japanese, and then everyone else. The Beiyang generals, like Yuan Shikai, who became actually the first president of the Republic of China, were the bigger cause of China's military defeats, because they stole the money used to build up their forces, and when the enemies came, their troops were left essentially to fend for themselves. They even sent the most loyal troops to the frontline, to be surrounded and massacred, so that there would be nobody back at home to expose their corruption. The corruption of the Manchu regime exceeded everything we know of in Chinese history. It was a wholesale selling out of Chinese territories to the highest foreign bidder. In the end, they decided to let go of their puppet Puyi Emperor who is too destitute himself to line their pockets in any way, and thus sided with the Sun Yatsen revolutionaries. Even so, the Beiyang generals immediately tried to take over the Republic of China, and continue their selling off of pieces of China as they did during the Manchu era.
Without knowing the history of the Beiyang treasonous clique, China will never understand why she was weakened so dramatically toward the end of the 19th century, and why she can be weakened again in similar fashion in the future. Corruption of the Manchu government at the central and lower levels was so rampant that China had no chance of surviving without the Xinhai revolution led by Sun Yatsen.
The best way to prevent this from happening again is to be vigilant before it starts to happen today. Diplomats should be shielded from situations where they can be bribed or blackmailed. We will never know why Chiang persistently refused to attack the Japanese from 1931-1937, maybe the Japanese know something about him when he was there as an exchange student in their military school that we will never know. These underhanded ways are par for the course in the way Imperial Japan forced China to its knees. Were it not for the people themselves who refused to bow to the Japanese katana, the Beiyang generals and then the Wang Jingwei clique would have turned over China to Japan, just as the Korean traitor, Lee Wanyong, turned over Korea to the Japanese in 1915.
This was and will remain China's biggest weakness in its dealings abroad. History is replete with sellouts of their country, like Qin Gui of the Sung Dynasty, and Wu Sangui of the late Ming Dynasty. If there is anything about empires that one should learn from history, it is that corruption destroys even the strongest empire, particularly if perpetrated purposefully by a hostile country using its national wealth as its weapon of corruption. Having said that, we cannot be suspicious about everybody who has dealings with foreign entities. That would be impossible. But care and caution can still be exercised before, during and after such dealings to ensure that the country is not being sold out to foreigners. And this is important if we are to trust those who have dealings with other countries.
Foreign dealings - Prevention of corruption = Honest deals.
Without the preventative aspect, there is no way to guarantee deals are being made in good faith for the good of the country.