Bo Yang is a famous scientist in Taiwan. His books "Ugly Chinese" and "Compendium of Chinese History" have long been known at home and abroad. The main attention in works of Bo Yang is given to analysis of inferiority inherent in Chinese tradition. This article is part of first chapter "Stages of History" selected from Outline of Chinese History, which mainly presents geographical features and national features of China.
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There is a story that can help us understand ethnicity of Chinese.When Republic of China was first established, five-colored flag was used as national flag. colors of red, yellow, blue, white and black, representing Han, Manchu and Han, Mongolian, Hui and Tibetan ethnic groups. This national flag lasted for seventeen years before being abolished. One of reasons is that there is an equally important Miao nationality that was not included and other ethnic minorities were also ignored.
But in fact, Han nationality is absolute majority, while other ethnic groups are absolute minority. In 1930s, China's population was estimated at 450 million, of which Han were 420 million, accounting for 94 percent. The sum of other nationalities is only 30 million, which is 6%. The Chinese are a branch of yellow race, which is clearly different from white race and black race. The Chinese have common characteristics of yellow race, and also have characteristics that only Chinese have. Westerners who first came to China often found that appearance of Chinese was exactly same, and they could not help but wonder how Chinese distinguished each other. This shows that Chinese have formed their own blood system. Although there have been countless mixed bloods, single element of Chinese nation is still very strong. The most remarkable physique, Chinese are relatively short, average height is about 165 cm (Northern people are taller, on average 170 cm, and southerners are only 160 cm), average height is much lower than that of Caucasians, so when talking with Caucasians have to look up to Chinese. Of course, Chinese are very unhappy with this phenomenon. In games such as basketball, Chinese may be said to be incapable of fighting white people at flagpole height, but flexible jumping allows Chinese to receive relative compensation on battlefield. Second, eyes of Chinese are black (if he has a pair of blue or gray Caucasian eyes, he must be blind); His hair is also black, straight and coarse, so that Chinese are puzzled by curly hair of blacks. Another thing that is most remarkable is that Chinese have a lower nose and less body hair, which is why they are most surprised by high and large noses and grass-like body hair of Europeans.
When Chinese appeared in Huang He basin, and why they appeared not in Nile, not in Mississippi, but precisely in Huang He, we have no idea at all. We only know that in sixth century BC, ancient Chinese civilization reached a high level of achievement, and Chinese established a powerful state organization in more than a thousand years, but land was still full of barbarian peoples, which created Chinese are embarrassed. Those tribes of barbarian peoples, who were called "zhong" and "di", were only 30 kilometers from Loi (Loyang, Henan), capital of Zhou dynasty at that time. The kings of Zhou dynasty sometimes had to make alliances with them, and sometimes they were expelled from Loi.
However, around same time, Chinese developed their own unique way of life and unique character:The first is to define agricultural life, and there is no second nation in world that loves it as much as Chinese. Development of Chinese language. Wherever Chinese travel, there will inevitably be lush farmland. The Chinese are like a tree that cannot be separated from earth, and it clings to soil with deep roots. Secondly, Chinese love peace that comes from scent of earth. Nomads and businessmen are naturally aggressive, and farmers generally do not like aggression, because neither act of aggression nor result of aggression has a direct advantage for him. Only long-term stability can guarantee crop yields in field. Third is growing conservatism of Chinese. Rural areas represent least changed society in world, they lack incentives and competition, and it is not easy to nurture an adventurous and innovative spirit in them. Confucianism, which grew out of such a society, strengthened conservative trend after it gained control in politics and education. The Chinese are one of kindest nations in world. Although there have been wars and murders in history, history of any nation is same. The difference is that this is not an active persecution of Chinese. It is only when they are over-invaded by foreign powers or over-harassed by corrupt officials that they launch a heroic counterattack. The true heroism and noble spiritual worth of Chinese people are fully revealed in counterattack, and in this counterattack they continue to grow like a snowball. Soon after Age of Writing and History, Chinese created China's first golden age, Great Golden Age. made ancient Chinese civilization shine. The first formidable enemy of Chinese were Huns in boundless desert. After three hundred years of battles, they suffered a final defeat. The Huns fled to west, causing a great migration of European peoples and death of Western Roman Empire. . One surrendered to China in first century. In 4th century, Xiongnu and five ethnic minorities, Xianbei, Jie, Di and Qiang, scattered throughout northern and central China, were referred to as "five hu". When they lost control due to cannibalism, they rebelled one by one and established nineteen independent kingdoms with a few Chinese nation's careerists, leading to an era of great division lasting three hundred years.
The era of great division ended in sixth century, and all five Hu were assimilated by Chinese. A newborn Chinese with Wuhu blood proudly rebelled and displayed his mighty abilities again in seventh century to create China's second golden age. However, in vacuum left by Huns, Turkic peoples emerged who did not know when they invaded and founded successively many khanates, most famous of which were Turkic Khanate and Uyghur Khanate. The Chinese war with Turks lasted for three hundred years. The last Turkic khanate Huihe collapsed in 9th century. For first time, there was no foreign aggression in northern China, but Tibetans in southwest, located on roof of world, began to indulge in encroachment. China has exhausted all means, including beauty offensive, to block them. But in blink of an eye, north returned to its original state, Khitan nation revolted, united scattered small tribes in Turkic homeland and founded Liao empire. It was already tenth century, and China began to decline. In a short period of small divisions, Shatuo people, a group of Turkic peoples with a population of only a few tens of thousands, founded three short-lived empires in China and sold 16 states centered in Beijing to Khitan people. The Great Wall is completely lost. After era of petty divisions hastily ended, Chinese reunified China and mixed with Turkic blood. But this is no longer immediate awakening that flourished after end of Great Schism. This is due to at least two reasons: Firstly, introduction of Buddhism makes people think that suffering is doomed and inevitable, but it is seed of joy in next life. The desire to resist tyranny, to resist aggression, and to strive for truth of happiness is usually repressed and sometimes considered meaningless. 2. With rise of mainstream Confucianism, structure of scholar-bureaucrat class became stronger. They used government power and ethics to prevent any reform, so Gongsun Yang was born in fourth century BC. The miracle of rapid progress through reform cannot be replicated. Chinese culture has entered an old state. In twelfth century, Jurchen branches of Xianbei established Jin Empire in Sungari River valley to northeast. In 13th century, Mongols, descendants of Huns, rose behind Jurchens in Mobei, who defeated Jurchens in same way, and then wiped out Song empire, crowded in a corner in south of Yangtze, and took control of all of China.
This is how Chinese tasted taste of enslavement for first time. The Chinese, who always considered themselves proud sons of heaven, were listed as third and fourth peoples in Mongol Empire after Mongols and Western regions and other peoples (the Chinese north of Huai River belong to third class, and Chinese south of Huai River to fourth grade). Such a clash is embarrassing, as was situation with fall of Western Roman Empire, when barbarians conquered civilized people, but treated civilized people as an inferior nation. The Mongols ruled China for less than a hundred years and were expelled behind Great Wall in 14th century. The Mongols, like a rude person who went deep into Baoshan and returned empty-handed, absorbed culture of Chinese nation too little, so after returning to their devastated homeland, they continued to live their primitive nomadic life. However, Chinese, in whom Jurchen and Mongolian blood is mixed, cannot yet jump up energetically, because he is too old. The Mongols came to replace Ming Dynasty, established by Chinese. This is most disgusting regime in Chinese history. He took a number of measures aimed at stifling spirituality of nation and damaging human dignity, such as: One. Strictly close from outside world, reduce or completely stop trade and exchanges with foreign countries and try your best to refuse to absorb new things and new cultures. Secondly, establishment of imperial eight-part examination system, scope of scholar-bureaucrat class expanded, theorem became official thought, and minds of intellectuals became more and more rigid. day after day. Thirdly, almost all emperors of Ming Dynasty were incompetent, depraved and cruel scoundrels. They relied on eunuchs and torture to rule country, and political system and human dignity were seriously undermined. . As a result, Great Dark Age came, and Chinese found themselves in an unprecedented tragic situation: hinterland plunged into years of chaos, and territory shrank to size established by Qin dynasty in third century BC. This continued until 17th century, when Manchus, descendants of Jurchens, founded Qing Empire in homeland of Jurchens in northeast, defeated Qing and Ming dynasties and entered Central Plains.
The Manchus brought order and peace and created a third golden age for China with influence of mighty dragons and tigers, which led to a rapid expansion of territory. Incorporated outside territory of China , unified Outer Mongolia in 17th century, unified roof of world, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Xinjiang in ancient western regions in 18th century, discovered a total of 8.9 million square kilometers of land, which is almost 350 million more than Ming Dynasty Three times size of 100,000 square kilometers, territory of China at that time reached 12.4 million square kilometers. The six major ethnic groups and other ethnic minorities came together. The Chinese should always be grateful to Manchus, who were once called "Tatars" as invaders. Without them, China would have been only an average agricultural country, similar to that of Ming Dynasty:< br>The Manchu people were soon Sinicized, and since their inherent culture was too low, they had no choice but to take on a political form Ming Dynasty and Confucian Neo-Confucianism. The result of acceptance made him unable to shake off heavy pressure left by great dark age, and third golden age was eventually destroyed. In 19th century, a completely new modern civilization came from West to East, and Chinese became jesters who were teased, killed and used as jokes in world. In eyes of foreigners, Chinese of 19th century were "braids", "coolies", "undressed and with big sleeves", "smoking opium", "selfish and corrupt", "sloppy and careless", "getting along". All of them are crippled with bound legs. It's a shameful picture, but it's true. China is in danger of division, and Chinese are in danger of destruction and extinction.
The Chinese finally woke up. At beginning of 20th century, Han people, who made up 94% of population of China, conquered power from Manchus and founded Republic of China. Having accomplished difficult task of expanding China's territory, great Manchu people disappeared into assimilation furnace of Han people. China is like a huge cube, it will fall in stream of flowing water. But after tide recedes, it still stands there proudly, looking at world from a different perspective, never disappearing, never sinking. Just in 20th century, painful dark ages ended, and Cambodia was given a 5000-year-old autocratic imperial system, gradually abandoned old way of life and ideology, which could no longer adapt to times. The dying Chinese are rejuvenated and rejuvenated, heroically creating China's fourth golden age, playing a loyal, powerful and glorious role among all peoples of world and becoming one of most important protagonists .