Last week I again wrote of my extreme concern about China’s long-range intentions. There is a long back story to these concerns which I would like to share with you here. Decades ago, I had German friends, Fritz and Frieda Mähler, whom I visited and stayed with in their homes in Germany, and they visited with us when they were in America. We also carried on written correspondence and would walk and talk for hours on end. Coming from a German-speaking family, I had an intense interest in the people, the history, the language, and the culture.
They were a number of years older than I, and given their age and vastly different life experiences, I found them extremely interesting. There was one topic neither of them wanted to talk about, however, and that was their life under Adolf Hitler. Despite their reluctance, I would occasionally force the issue. I thought to myself, “Art, these dear friends have experienced something first hand that you will only read about in the history books. The day may come when you will need this to draw upon.”
So, as I said, I would press the issue, and they would give in. In one such discussion, I recall it as if it were yesterday, Fritz took several deep breaths, his face took on a look of what I can only describe as agony, as if he were somehow transported somewhere else, then drew himself to the edge of the chair, and slowly, distinctly, spoke the words: KRIEG … KRIEG … KRIEG (WAR … WAR … WAR). From that point, he recounted some of his experiences.
Frieda was equally impacted. She related that nobody was allowed to say anything against Hitler or the Third Reich. So, everyone kept his or her mouth shut…except for one neighboring family, who just could not hold it in. At that point, Frieda just lost it. With her elbows on her knees, her face buried in their hands, and her tears running down her face, she told of the night that the SS came and took the whole family away. They never heard from them again -- not a word.
The parallels of Germany’s pre-World War II years under Hitler to China today under Xi are ominously striking. Given my family heritage and my German friends who endured the pain of one of the lowest points in the history of man, sensitizes me to these parallels. I see devastation coming; I see a repeat by a malevolent China of the German scourge. I see in Xi the same quest for domination which Hitler exhibited.
I see in China’s telling the world they want peace, while simultaneously growing their military strength 10% per year even though there is no enemy threatening them. Now they are using that might to grab the South China Sea, in contravention to international law. Germany insisted on its peaceful intent, then marched its troops into the Rhineland, in contravention to the Versailles Treaty. I see China spying on all their own citizens and denying them their civil rights, just like Germany. I see China lying to the world, saying Hong Kong will remain free under them, while no more meaning it than Hitler meant it when he told England’s Chamberlin that his intentions toward Czechoslovakia were limited and peaceful.
We see China confining over a million of its citizens in concentration camps, which Germany also did.
The cruelty, immorality, deceit, bullying, militarism, and tactics of Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party mirror those of Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Prior to attacking Poland, Hitler continued to insist to the world that he wanted peace, fearing the consequences of awakening his potential foes to his real intentions. Then his forces attacked Poland, and he no longer attempted to maintain the sham. We see China currently in this “maintain a sham” stage, but increasingly are caring less about what their potential foes think of their behavior. I see this as portending their entry into a dangerous stage, such as deciding to take Taiwan, or barring “unauthorized” transit of “their” South China Sea.
Germany has a strong Christian tradition, drawing from the best of their Catholic heritage, from such notables as Saint Augustine, and from Martin Luther, and others. To Germany’s enduring shame, Hitler, and the Nazis, threw out all that is exemplary and praiseworthy, and drew from the basest of human nature.
Likewise, Xi Jinping and the CCP have brushed aside the best of China’s tradition, as expressed in the teachings of Confucius, who is commonly considered as one of the most prominent and influential individuals in human history. He taught personal and governmental morality, rightness of social relations, justice, and goodness. Confucianism became integral to the Chinese social order. Xi’s government is out of step with who the Chinese people are, and will fail, just as Hitler’s quest for dominance failed. Yet to be seen is whether the world will stand up early enough to Xi or will do as it did with Hitler – hold off in addressing the scourge until mass death and destruction were unavoidable.
Likewise, with Xi and the CCP. The world can and will in the end beat them, but the question is, will the world muster the leadership to do so now, when the price is smaller, or later, when the cost is unimaginably large.
From the Bible: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. From 1 Corinthians 13:4-8