Response to Mike Pence's Remarks

October 12, 2018

This letter published on China Times, October 7th, 2018 is a response to Michael. R. Pence, the Vice President of the United States who recently made a public speech to accuse China. The author HUANG Zhixian pointed out that the U.S. government had done lots of things for their benefits while ignoring China’s fundamental interests during the last 100 years. The article is recommended for two reasons: firstly, it reviews the history and provides reasonable evidence, hence it’s a strong response to Pence’s accusations; secondly, as a Taiwan writer and television personality, the author’s action as a voice of Chinese demonstrates the inalienable connection across the Strait.


HUANG Zhixian


Mr. Vice President,


It is regrettable that you have slandered China, a friend of the U.S., with utter ignorance of facts while the midterm election is approaching.


Apparently, you are either unfamiliar with the events of history, or deliberately avoiding a full disclosure that China has never owed the United States anything and has always been full of goodwill.


Historically, the cooperation between China and the United States has always facilitated the peace of mankind, and has especially benefited the United States. When China was invaded and almost carved up by great powers, the U.S. got a share of the spoils, despite having an abundance of land and resources back home. When the U.K. acquired concessions in Tianjin, the United States also took a bite. Too lazy to manage it themselves, the U.S. later transferred its concessions to the U.K. under the table.[1]


You mentioned the Boxer Indemnity in your speech. The Eight-Power Allied Forces broke into the Forbidden City and plundered China, making it pay the exorbitant amount of 450 million taels of fine silver as indemnity, equivalent to five years of China’s fiscal revenue.[2] The U.S. even received 7.32% of the payment. This gave an already decaying China the deadliest stab in the back and represented the blood and tears of millions of its people.


The vision of the United States is far reaching. As the U.S. ended its territorial expansion, it started to seek economic interests and political influence.  In his letter to Theodore Roosevelt, Edmund J. James, the President of the University of Illinois wrote that: “If the United States had succeeded thirty-five years ago, as it looked at one time as if it might, in turning Chinese students to this country, and had succeeded in keeping that current large, we should today be controlling the development of China in that most satisfactory and subtle of all ways, through the intellectual and spiritual domination of its leaders.” [3]


In 1905 the Chinese Exclusion Act(1882) provoked Chinese citizens into boycotting American products.Within three years, American exports to China fell from 55 to 25 million U.S. dollars. To appease Chinese people, the U.S. envoy to China suggested returning part of the Boxer Indemnity to China, which was in fact a returning of the ‘excess’, the extra sum the U.S. admitted to taking. Moreover, China still had to pay full reparations on schedule before the U.S. returned the ‘excess’ to designated funds to sponsor Chinese students educated in the U.S. and to establish Tsinghua School. In this way, the United States made sure that the money was still spent mostly on itself to develop its long-term influence in China while it promoted its own image to address the issue of China’s boycott of American goods.


During World War II, when China was invaded by Japan, the U.S. sat on the sidelines and did not offer any help. Even when China was at its darkest juncture, the United States continued to provide Japan with strategic supplies. The U.S. did not declare war against Japan until Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. Even so, China did not receive the reasonable treatment or the assistance it deserved from the United States. It seems that a catastrophe that almost tore down this country and resulted in millions of casualties means little to other countries.


In the secret treaty signed in Yalta Conference, the U.S., the U.K., and Russia backstabbed China. Diaoyu Islands have always been an inseparable part of the Chinese territory. However, they were not handed back to China along with Taiwan after the war. Acting as an occupant, the United States handed over their administration to Japan. The U.S. also remained silent for decades about the inhumane biological and chemical experiments conducted by the Japanese army's notorious “Unit 731” as Japan dedicated their test reports to the U.S. in exchange.


Only after going through invasions, civil wars and various mistakes did China barely just find its footing in the world today. But it’s yet to be reunified, and we are still lagging far behind in many areas. However, after the ‘reform and opening-up’ policy, 1.4 billion people walked out of poverty. It is an unprecedented achievement in human history, and worthy of being cherished.


China obtained peace and prosperity not by invasion and colonialization, but by the intelligence, sacrifice and diligence of its people. The United States has also benefited from the rise of China. The Chinese market contributes to 30% of the total sales of iPhone, but China only earns 10 U.S. dollars from assembling an iPhone that is sold for 300 U.S. dollars, leaving the United States with more than 200 U.S. dollars.


There are different ways to develop human civilizations. Among all countries that have once been invaded by big powers, why has China managed to develop its own unique path to prosperity? The road to Democracy must be well-grounded. The countries that have suffered from war and conflict in the pursuit of so-called democracy are good mirrors to use – mirrors made of blood and tears.


Today, China still has a lot of catching-ups to do in comparison with the U.S. in many regards. We will work even harder to make our people live better lives and our nation prosper, although the benchmark for evaluating China should not be designated by the United States. We understand that Americans might have negative perceptions towards China due to their desire for global hegemony. Now, in order to contain China, the U.S. is launching a multi-dimensional confrontation against China. I consider it an unwise move because God would not favor the U.S. or any great power for its hegemonic domination and oppression. The Chinese style of “accomplishing oneself for the benefit of others” is believed to be more appealing not only to the whole mankind but also to God.


About the author: HUANG Zhixian is a Taiwan writer, television personality, and political pundit. She is well known for hosting the Late-Night Punch, a political talk show, on CTV News Channel.


[1]:The United States established a concession in Tianjin in 1860. However, occupied with the Civil War, American government never got to approve the legitimacy  of the concession. In 1902, the concession was transferred to U.K. in private.
[2]:Under the exchange rates at the time, this was equal to US $335 million gold dollar or £67 million. Please see:
[3]:Please refer to the archive of University of Illinois dated back to March 1905:



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