China’s similarities to Germany circa 1930’s leading into WWII

  • China’s talk of peace and world unity, and while aggressively laying claim to man-made islands in the South China Sea
  • Incarcerating Uyghur/Uighurs Muslims in “re-education camps” equivalent to modern day concentration camps. Previously, Moa seized Tibet and they experienced genocidal ethnic and religious cleansing. Germany did the same things when incarcerating the Jewish population. A question that should be asked is; How long until China starts gassing the Uyghur Muslim population? How do we know they haven’t already?

Author: Dan Ellis 15 January 2021

First let us look at the buildup and the relationship between Germany and China. The peace treaty at Versailles after the First World War was considered a harsh and humiliating treaty to the German people. It severely repressed the economy of Germany and its people for starting WWI. Germany under Hitler started to build up its military even though after WWI they were banned from having a military force bigger than necessary to defends its country. This buildup began quickly and fiercely with one goal in mind, war. Hitler convinced the German people that it was needed for their country’s defense and economy. This conviction involved taking back old German land that had been lost for their resources. He also convinced the rest of the world that he was building this military force just for the protection of Germany. Hitler was deceptive and portrayed to world leaders as a man who could be reasoned with. There is a story that after a meeting with world leaders and diplomats of the European nations he told one of his generals “We have just won the war.” At this meeting he saw his opponents, he saw they were not united, and he saw they were weak and had no will to enter into another war. He saw how they were not going to stand up to him no matter what he did. He knew they did not want conflict especially after the First World War, so they would do nothing and stand by as Germany grew in power. Not only did Germany start to rebuild a larger military than they were allowed to in the treaty, but their military also quickly grew bigger than neighboring countries. Their budget is reported over a 10-year period (1933–1943) leading into WWII was approximately $1.2 trillion (~$19T in today currency). Technologically, they were already more advance when compared to many countries around them. Hitler preached peace while simultaneously preparing for war.

When we look at China today and what they have been doing since the early 2000’s it is a similar rhetoric. The Chinese Communist Party(CCP), or People Republic of China(PRC), are building more military equipment, spending more money every year, around $200 billion yearly, on their military budget and they are building more advanced military equipment and more advanced armament of its troops. China has continued to claim they are building a peaceful military, a military to defend itself against invaders. The term invaders is mostly in reference to the United States and other western allies. Their peaceful military is performing battle drills and training on a massive scale. A person could argue it is OK for a military to train, and I agree; however, a peaceful military would not be training on how to invade a country, they would be training on how to defend themselves and spending money on defensive fortifications. They also would not be training on how to destroy a U.S. Aircraft Carrier with ship destroying missiles. A peaceful military does not train on land and sea invasion tactics or build military equipment for launching their own invasion of another country. At the moment the Chinese Military has more naval, air, and army equipment than the United States, a country that spends $700B on its military annually. The CCP has built multiple military bases on the islands that they created in the South China Sea and make threats to anyone that travel in the South China Sea area, claiming it is violation of its sovereign rights. They also threaten retaliation against anyone that makes business deals with Taiwan. These bases are strategically placed near the worlds busiest shipping lanes in the globe. This build up coincides with seaports being constructed around the world in places like Africa, the Middle East, and South America. They claim to be building them for their Belt and Road initiative while simultaneously investing in the countries they are building the ports in. Within these ports they are building the capability for military use, claiming again it is “in security interests of their investments and supply lanes.” I would claim the security interest is the capability to project a fighting force all round the world while having locations that offer strategic resources to their military and global interests. How is China doing this? They are brokering deals with poor countries that would give China an advantage globally where they would need it, such as oil lanes and trade routes, while holding these countries in a financial strangle hold.

Recently there have been multiple scrimmages on the boarder of India and China, and increased threats at Taiwan regarding the use of force. The latest scrimmage between India and China, in the Galwan Valley, resulted in at least 20 deaths for the Indian military and an unknown number of Chinese were killed. As always China is keeping those numbers secret to protect its image. While this boarder area has settled in recent months it is still a very real hot spot for both countries. The most recent alarming deceleration by Wu Qian, a member of the Chinese Defense Ministry said, “If Taiwan declares independence, there will be war.” Recently in a BBC article, as of 1/25/2021, China combat jets are pushing into the boundary of Taiwan Air Space. This is no accident in probing the Taiwanese airspace in possible preparation for a Chinese offensive. The latest and most concerning offensive act with China is the seizure of Hong Kong — a strong financial hub for mainland China as well as the last light of democracy and freedom from the controlling communist government on the main land. The seizure of Hong Kong broke the Sino-British Joint Declaration that was signed in 1984 by China and the United Kingdom in the “interest of Chinese security.” While the world stood by. Similar to Nazi Germany when the Germans broke their word — and the world stood by.

The advancement in military technology and most technology used by the Chinese people has been growing at an exponential pace, especially when compared to many other countries around them and even against 1st world countries that have been working on the same technology for years. We will assume that China does have very intelligent and capable engineers and IT personal, but many of China’s massive advancements in technology are mostly done by hacking and stealing of technology research from other nations. Multiple articles in the Washington Times, U.S. State Department, and in the Council on Foreign Relations report the same about Chinese hacking groups that are connected to military operations.

What happen to the Jewish people and others that went against the Nazi party is similar to the mass incarceration of the Chinese Muslims Uyghur group, a population of around 11 million people, as well as the repression and annexation of Tibet in the 1950’s which is still happening today. Because I could not put it better, I will just use this passage from Nazism and the Rise of Hitler:

Under the shadow of the Second World War, Germany had waged a genocidal war, which resulted in the mass murder of selected groups of innocent civilians of Europe. The number of people killed included 6 million Jews, 200,000 Gypsies, 1 million Polish civilians,70,000 Germans who were considered mentally and physically disabled, besides innumerable political opponents. Nazis devised an unprecedented means of killing people, that is, by gassing them in various killing centers like Auschwitz.”

Germany tried to keep these camps hidden and secret, and the horrors that were happening within. One would suspect by the secret nature of the Chinese Communist Party similar abuse and atrocities are happening in these “re-education camps” or in some BBC reports they are considered Labor Camps. At first the CCP denied the existence of these camps, until satellite imagines started to show up on the internet along with pictures from inside these compounds and stories from those that lived through them. They are “heavily guarded education centers” is what the CCP calls them. This is the same secretiveness and denial that the Nazis did with their camps. My question to this is, Since when did Education Centers need to be guarded from people getting out? We may not know when an out of control kindergartner would need to be put down after drinking too much Chocolate Milk. There are reports of at least 85 identified “re-education camps” in the Xinjiang province; however, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute reports there are 380 suspected facilities in the Xinjiang region. The Nazis in some reports only had 20 main concentration camps, while other reports say as many to 110 camps in the 1930’s put around Germany and Poland. The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, reports up to 42,500 camps (camps defined as ghettos, brothels-for sex slaves, slave labor camps, euthanasia camps, etc). Whatever the true amount of camps, the Nazis were able to murder more than 6 million people. The Nazis at first were not killing the Jews out right, instead using them as slave labor and for other economical reasons. Those that died were considered unlucky, old, frail, and weak, and a subject of the current conditions they brought upon themselves. The Chinese Uyghur are reportedly being used for slave labor as reported by the BBC. With the secretiveness and closed information, propaganda driven CCP, the Global Community, may never know the reality of what is happening within those walls.

It is known that the CCP has no problem with using murder and violence as a means to the end, we can use the Tienanmen Square as an example or the annexation of Tibet, which both atrocities China tries to force people to forget and not speak of it. The question that many people should have is, What is actually happening in these camps? If they were just re-education camps, why would the Chinese government be so secret about them? Why not let other governments see for themselves to have a better understanding of what they are doing? The CCP loves to show off and gloat of their advancements and prowess for modernism; however, with these camps they would rather no one knew about them. What little information that can be found about these camps on the internet report that at least 1 million Uyghur Muslims are being held in these camps. There are reports of sterilization, political reeducation, forced labor, physical and psychological torture, even the destruction of mosques — all of this happening on an industrial scale. As written by Stefan Boscia in UK sanctions China over ‘horrific’ treatment of Uyghur Muslims. A rigorous daily routine, propaganda driven re-education on China’s history, it is a genocide to the Uyghur people. (After this piece was written, as of February 2021 Canada and the Dutch parliament have both voted and acknowledge the genocide against the Uyghur people) Some Uyghurs have reported they were beaten and interrogated because of their religion. A BBC investigation found that China was separating children from their families so they grow up without a connection to Islam. One account of forced labor tells how they are using the Uyghur to pick cotton by hand, the same thing that Black slaves were forced to pick during the 1800’s in the United Sates, a very grueling and rigorous back breaking task. I would argue that it does not stop at just picking cotton but for other economic goods and in harsher environments. Many western businesses such as Nike, Adidas and others have been demonized for using cotton picked in China. All of this is happening under “military-style management” much like the camps that were ran by the German SS. With no concern for human rights, their well being, their identity, or their beliefs. Only obligation that matters to China and Xi Jinping, is toe the Chinese Communist Party line or disappear for the rest of your life. I will end the topic about the Uyghur people with this quote written by Nick Cohen which sums up the lack of global outrage, “It may be a cheap point but it remains true that if a western country were to display one-tenth, one-hundredth or one-thousandth of the brutality that China is inflicting on Muslims, the global left would be burning with outrage.” — -Instead, they would rather talk about it in history books later and debate how they did nothing until it was too late.

The question that remains is: “Why do the governments of the world sit around and do nothing, yet again?”. The answer to that could be easily deducted to one simple answer. Buck Passing. A term in the book The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by John Mearsheimer. Better known as passing the buck or “Not my problem.” This is the idea that it is not an immediate threat now, it is not on my door step, it is not my problem. Like much of Europe, especially the United Kingdom, and Soviet Union did the same thing in the 1930’s before WWII. Germany is France’s problem, Germany is Poland’s problem. Germany is Belgium’s problem. No country wanted to confront the problem or Nazi Germany, even as the threat grew larger. While other countries that supported Germany were just along for the ride regardless of what Germany did. Such as Spain and Italy.(The dictator of Spain, Franco, supported Hitler, but just ending a Civil War, Spain was in no shape to enter another war so soon. Franco did allow Hitler to test military equipment during Spain’s Civil War.) Even during this time some countries did attempt to fight back. France was suffering from weak leadership and political problems, although they had some military capability they were disorganized and quickly defeated. Poland was no match, especially as it was divided up between Russia and Germany. Historians tell how Germany simply walked into Austria and took it without a shot being fired. When we look at what is happening today in China there are similarity to Germany in the 1930s. The smaller countries around China have no real chance. Secondly, they are already being economically burdened by China. The only countries that could theoretically stand a chance are South Korea and Japan. While their militaries are respectable they also have the help from the U.S. Forces that are stationed in their countries. One could speculate this is why they have not entered into an armed conflict already as a US military presence can be a deterrent. (I suspect China will not attack Russia and Russia would join China as an ally or at least offer economic support) Taiwan has the support of many nations but in a direct conflict, they would be overwhelmed quickly. China continues to grow. It continues to build its military while telling the rest of the world they are only building a military for peace, and they do not intend to use it for nothing more than to defends itself against would be aggressors. Let us be honest; No one builds up military might for peace, or for it to sit around and rust, it’s not economically feasible. Especially when making claims that Taiwan will be part of China, even if they have to “take it by force.” This should remind you of Hitler claiming Austria as part of Germany. China has no interest in respecting treaties or international rule of law or keeping the peace, as witnessed with Hong Kong. China does not honor its words or commitments and has only one goal, and that is to be the strongest world power. It is their way or no way. China is playing the long game and is winning again and again while the rest of the world sits back afraid to confront China in fear of retaliation; instead, the world will continue to say “It’s not my problem.”

(side thought: Majority of this concentration camp style can also relate to Soviet Russia and to the Dictator Joseph Stalin and the same government type, Communism. They put millions of people in the Gulags around Ukraine and Soviet Russia. Same concept, same abuse of Human Rights, same forced labor of political opponents, and 2nd class citizens and millions dying.)

( Another interesting idea to think about and read is why is the Majority of the Muslim world, such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Iran, etc. are not saying anything about this abuse and also claim that China is beacon or champion of Human Rights. — some kind of kickback from China to stay silent? Why do Muslim states stay silent over China’s abuse of the Uighurs? — Nick Cohen https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/04/why-do-muslim-states-stay-silent-over-chinas-uighur-brutality — — This is a good article that covers this exact question. The main reasons why Muslims suffer in silence is that the Muslim-majority countries that raged against Rushdie, Jyllands-Posten and Charlie Hebdo have decided to stay silent. They use the idea of Muslim solidarity only when it suits them. In July 2019, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and other Muslim-majority states that pose as defenders of the faith helped to block a western motion at the United Nations calling for China to allow “independent international observers” into the Xinjiang region. Iran issues occasional criticisms but wants Chinese support in its struggle against the Trump administration and so keeps its complaints coded. Their hypocrisy is almost funny, if you take your humor black. Iran, Egypt, Syria and dozens of other countries that could not tolerate a magical realist novel can live with the mass sterilization of Muslim women. They will give concentration camps a conniving wink of approval, but draw the line at cartoons in a Danish newspaper. )

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Dan Ellis

Dan Ellis

A guy that writes like a brick but likes to put his thoughts and ideas of current events on paper so he can clear his mind, or fill it with more ideas.