The recent consolidation of the power of Chinese President Xi Jinping has increased the possibility of an invasion of Taiwan, which, according to political experts, is not a question of “if” but “when”.
An editorial in Chinese state media last month stated that China will take “whatever measures are necessary” to secure control of Taiwan.
Despite these tensions and the impending threat of war, one viral tweet argued that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) never actually started any conflict.
AND tweet posted by internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom on November 2, 2022, it re-published a fact sheet that stated that China “initiated conflict for more than 70 years since the founding of the PRC and even a proxy war.”
The sheet compared this to the United States, which claimed to have “waged 201 wars, including proxy wars,” adding, “Only 16 years out of more than 240 years of history have seen no wars.”
The tweet, which had over 30,000 engagements, included the message “China is bad?”
Kim Dotcom, who set up the now defunct Megaupload file hosting site, recently made other dubious conflict claims via his Twitter account.
In October, Dotcom suggested that Ukrainian Army Commander General Valery Zaluzhny was pictured wearing a swastika bracelet, an allegation based on a misleading photo.
The origin of the Chinese theorem seems to be derived from Xi Jinping. In November 2021, Xi and US President Joe Biden held a virtual one-on-one summit.
Chinese state broadcaster at the summit China’s Global Television Network reported that “Xi said that the Chinese have always loved and treasured peace, adding that aggression and hegemony are not in the blood of the Chinese people.”
Quoting the Chinese president, he added: “Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, China has never started a single war or conflict, and has never taken an inch of land from other countries.”
To evaluate this claim, Newsweek he spoke with many experts on Chinese history and culture, all of whom stated that the claim was untrue.
Michael Szonyi, professor of Chinese history Frank Wen-hsiung Wu at Harvard University, called this “nonsense” and cited the 1962 Sino-Indian War and the 1979 Sino-Vietnamese War.
The Sino-Indian War began with an unexpected Chinese att*ck on October 20, 1962, as the People’s Liberation Army marched overwhelmingly across the eastern and western Himalayas into deep north-eastern India. Thirty-two days later, Beijing announced a ceasefire.
The Sino-Vietnamese War, a similarly brief border conflict, was initiated by China, although it lasted only 29 days.
Shonyi, a member of the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on US-China Relations, said these were the simplest of examples.
“If someone does not accept the PRC’s claims to sovereignty over Tibet, Xinjiang and Taiwan, this number is growing significantly,” he added. “China certainly takes the lead compared to the US, but that’s not what the claim says.”
Professor Robert Bickers of the University of Bristol, who specializes in modern Chinese history, also called the claim tweeted by Dotcom “nonsense” and noted other actions such as the 1950 Chinese invasion of Tibet, att*cks on Taiwanese forces in 1954 and 1958 . and att*cks on Soviet border troops in 1969.
Julia Lovell, professor of modern China at Birkbeck College, University of London and author of the book Maoism: A Global HistoryHe also highlighted how “Mao’s China organized training courses for international revolutionaries and guerrillas (from different places: Southern Rhodesia, Peru, Colombia, Burma, India) in China.”
“The future leader of Shining Path, Abimael Guzman, attributed his political / military awakening to this visit. Josiah Tongogara, future ZANU military commander in Zimbabwe, studied military science in Nanjing, China, ”she said.
Lovell said a chapter in her book on Maoism in South Asia “describes how the government in Beijing applauded the Naxalite uprising in northern India in the late 1960s.”
She added: “China under Mao also offered material aid to many guerrillas, especially the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.”
The recent military stance of China has caught the world’s attention. In a series of videos released in July, tanks were seen moving in the streets of Rizhao City, Shandong Province.
Initially thought to be related to the bank protests in Henan, it was later linked to military exercises in connection with the escalation of tensions between China and Taiwan.
Newsweek contacted Kim Dotcom for comment.
As many experts and writers on modern Chinese history have testified, Kim Dotcom’s tweet that modern China has initiated zero conflict is false.
The People’s Republic of China initiated a series of conflicts, trained revolutionaries, and contributed to other conflicts in Asia. It appears that the ‘no conflict’ claim was made by Xi Jinping in 2021.
FACT CHECK BY NEWSWEEK
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