Tag Archives: China

Communist Cathederals, Western and Soviet, Plus a Lake

It turns out that the Church I saw off Wangfujing is actually the East Church, or Saint Joseph’s Church. It’s one of the four main CPCA pseudo-Catholic churches around Beijing. Saint Joseph’s was built in 1655.

Today we went to another, the Western Church. The Western Church is the youngest of the four “directional” churches, built in 1723 and repaired in 1912. It’s appearance is sadly abused. We also saw another abused Cathedral of sorts — the very Soviet Beijing Exhibition Center, celebrating a political philosophy (International Communism) more forgotten than Christianity could ever be.

The “front” of the church is only available by walking into a drug store’s gated parking lot. A kind guard — and so far, all Chinese guards have been kind, allowed us to walk the parking lot for a few minutes to get a shot.


A side view of the building. Miscellany obscured the view.

The most dramatic shot of the false place of worship I was able to get

Some how, this seemed to be the saddest location

A brick wall separated the church from the parking lot. This is as good as I was able to get of a true side view of the church.

The building, in context

Thanking the guard, we circled the block to get a look at its “back” (the only portion visible from the street). This is the other other shot of the front we could get, sneaking in between buildings

The schedule of mass on the part visible from the street — the “back.” The Chinese Characters read Christ-Mother-month. An image of the Madonna is also displayed

The hind of the building, from the sidewalk. This picture is shot through the gates. “Pax” — Latin for “Peace” — is written on the wall. Because Vatican II happened after the schism, the CPCA conducts a traditional Tridentine mass.

Pictureboards and the building.

The license-plate like thing is the twisted metal zip code of the building In gold on the gate is the address, with the road’s name (West-Street-Gate, or Xizhimen) clearly displayed.

The very, very Soviet Beijing Exhibition center from behind the gates. Yet again, a kind guard would let us in to photograph. The building is now a convention center, and the red banner welcomes the China International Exhibition on Police Equipment as guests. The communist wreath encircles a dove, with PEACE (in English) written below.

Turn about 135 degrees to the left of the previous shot, and see this: a shopping mall. So this page has brought you three Cathedrals: one to the CPCA, one to the Communist Internationale movement, and one to Mammon. Guess which one is doing the best? Ayn Rand would be pleased.

A Soviet star and hammers-and-sickles adorn the building. It’s hard to get across in pictures, but the architectural style was also reminiscent of an Orthodox Cathedral.

There’s No Truer Way to Support Communisn than Staying at the Luxorious Exhibition Centre [British spelling] Hotel in Beijing, China.

Instead of Saints, four workers stand on pillars, welcoming conventioneers.

Approaching the main door. Because of the ongoing convention we were unable to go in, but at least we got this far.

A side view of the Convention center. On the other side of this shot is a Zoo. I like the look of this picture a lot — perhaps this will be a future tdaxp banner?

On the backside of the Convention Center, a speed boat, a police SUV, and those two ever-present symbols of Beijing: a bus and construction cranes.

The Imperial Boat Port. Read: fishing spot and pleasure boat tour center.

A sight-seeing boat with a cool bridge in the background, opposite the Centre

Fishermen try their luck in the polluted pond. We even saw two men swim. *shudder*

Stairs to the bottom of the lake welcome those who walk on the lake. I remember similar stairs in Italy, where my hosts said cloths were prepared that would be sent to China. Perhaps this is the opposite leg of the trip?

American Warship Enters Chinese Waters

US Warship Arrives In China For Visit,” SpaceWar, 13 September 2005, http://www.spacewar.com/news/superpowers-05j.html (from Life from the FNDF).

A nice complement to an older story about an American warship docking at Saigon:

A top grade US guided missile destroyer arrived at one of China’s main ports Tuesday as part of efforts by the two countries to increase military-to-military exchanges.

The Guest of the People’s Republic

The USS Curtis Wilbur, an Arleigh Burke class Aegis guided missile destroyer will spend several days at Qingdao, a key port of China’s North Fleet, officials said.

The Host Port

“This is an opportunity for the US personnel to meet their counterparts in the People’s Liberation Army navy,” US navy officials said.

“The port call will provide the crew of more than 300 sailors aboard USS Curtis Wilbur a chance for sightseeing and cultural exchanges [and comparisons of rations — tdaxp].”

American Sailors, Capitalist Flags

The USS Curtis Wilbur is deployed to the Western Pacific and operates out of Yokosuka, Japan.

It is part of the Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier group.

The destroyer is equipped with the Aegis Combat System which integrates the ship’s sensors and weapons systems to engage anti-ship missile threats.

This is one reason why America is a better partner for China than Europe. We can sail to China. Hundreds of years after Columbus, the European navies can’t.

Epic Post on China / Taiwan

Winds of Change Challenge (Bringing It All Together),” by Bill Rice, Dawn’s Early Light, 13 April 2005, http://dawnsearlylight.blogs.com/del/2005/04/winds_of_change.html.

An epic post on China, Taiwan, India, Japan, Australia, the United States, and peace in Greater East Asia and South Asia.

From a comment in the ensuing discussion

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. My point is not that the US will work against China per se, but work with like minded countries (not pawns… I think I clearly attempted to list each nation’s self interested reason for cooperating with the US position) to contain China from acting out aggressively towards Taiwan. Through this manner and engagement with China diplomatically we can wait out the clock for a more free China.

Exactly right.

Read it.

Update: Per request, my comment on the article

Great post. Your comment that through “this manner and engagement with China diplomatically we can wait out the clock for a more free China” is exactly right. I agree with your conclusions, but I’d like to comment on some of your supporting claims and implications

Just as Japan was able to strike quickly at Pearl Harbor, China may be able to strike quickly against Taiwan, but like Japan circa 1941, China does not have the access to oil and the ability to hold off a militarily superior United States.

The problem goes beyond oil — like Imperial Japan, Communist China does not have access to the outside world in a conventional war with the United States. The US Navy and US Air Force would be able to quickly shut down Chinese lines of communications to almost everywhere. Assuming both sides has the resolve to accept the military loses and the responsibility not to use conventional weapons, the situation would quickly deadlock in a stalemate militarily advantageous to the United States (China having a huge army….. in China).

On the mainland the People’s Liberation Army is militarily undefeatible, even with a total blockade.

Such an extended conventional war is unlikely with Beijing, but (barely) possible.

While the United States did help promote democracy during the Cold War, it did not do so with the passion and energy our nation needs to now pursue it. The Cold War was about pragmatic compromises, supporting unsavory dictators as well, especially in the Middle East, to keep countries in the US sphere rather than the Communist sphere.

In a post Cold War world, where different ideologies dominate the world debate, the old paradigm of working with unsavory nations cannot continue to ensure US security.

Between the Cold War to Globalization era, America switched from a negative to a positive foreign policy. As I blogged earlier

The Soviets were attempting to connect as much of the globe as they could to their command-and-control economy. For them this was a future worth creating. Reagan didn’t have a future worth creating. He saw a future worth destroying. We sought to disconnect every state the Soviets connected, and we succeeded.

Bush, with Clinton’s help, switched America from being anti-Communist to pro-Open-Society. There were just as many ideologies during the Cold War, but our relative weakness, our main enemy’s strength, meant we focused on his destruction.

If the US fails to defend a democratic Taiwan from China then it destroys any credibility won in the War on Terror with other nations. If we fail Taiwan what is our response to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Ukraine, Japan, Australia, our European allies, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and many other nations that depend on American security?

While China may be a problem for the United States, it is not a threat to globalization itself. China’s future worth creating is a lot like ours, only with differente emphases. bin Laden’s hopeful future is a nightmare. China is a developing authoritarian state that is slowly opening up. Saudi Arabia is terrible awfulness, in country-form

It would be possible to America to abandon Taiwan and maintain momentum in the Global War on Terrorism. We could make a trade with Beijing for abandoning Taiwan, and structre the trade to keep up the forward momentum.

It would be unwise, but it possible. Our response to Saudi Arabia and others would be “China is not good but getting better, you are terrible and getting worse.”

Additionally, allowing China to take Taiwan by force would automatically make the 21st Century a Chinese Century, as the ability for the US to promote and defend global security would crumble. Any century that has a non-free government as the apex of the international order will not be a century of peace, economic development and the expansion of liberty.

A historical analogy is useful. Would the 20th century have been better or worse if the Britain did not intervene to save Belgium? We would have had a authoritarian-Germany-dominated trade-oriented Europe. Berlin would have torn Russia apart, crushed the terrorist states in the Balkans, isolated Paris, and probably back democracy in Belgium significantly. Instead, London saved Brussels and we got Lennin, Stalin, and Hitler for our troubles.

China is “good enough” to be the major player in Greater East Asia. It’s not the future I want, but it’s not necessarily bad.

Elsewhere in your post you mention that China’s strategy may be to make a quick negotiated settlement favorable to Beijing. If that happens it is important that we will have thought about the consequences clearly.

Because of Japan’s fears of a rising Chinese dragon, they have extended their military relationship with the US to include defending Taiwan. If war was to break out in the Taiwanese Strait, the economic engine of Asia and possibly the world would grind to a halt. It is in Japan’s long term political, national security and economic interests to work with the United States in providing a proper deterrent to China. It is encouraging that Japan has boldly taken this step

Good point. Assuming a conventional naval start, international sea lanes would quickly be taken by America with China’s navy destroyed. America would be dictating when and where trade continues and resumes. While mercantile cowardess leads nations to favor peace at almost any cost, American force rebalances the equation in favor of our interests.

While a popular Indian worry about any future US arms deal would be the possibility of another arms embargo, as happened with India and Pakistan over the 1996 nuclear testing. This scenario is unlikely to repeat itself, because the US strategically needs New Dehli and New Dehli is not likely to start a war with Pakistan.

Kind-of related, especially where Taiwan is concerned. North Vietnam invaded the South in 1972, and lost. America’s left-dominated Congress then imposed a de-facto arms embargo on Saigon, and two yeras later Hanoi easily won. Beacuse of the influence of a small but powerful left, America has won a reputation for perfidity. India (and Taiwan) are both taking this into account.

The United States along with democratic countries in Eastern Asia have an opportunity to build a constructive alliance to deter China from seeking its goals militarily, but they must act now and wait for an emerging dragon to reform democratically.

Exactly right.

The World in Summary

India and Israel strengthen military ties.

Red China allows citizen to use and read TypePad blogs.

Vietnam applauds U.S. trade relations, but complains about rules regarding catfish-dumping.

Dozens die in another Salafist-Baathist terror bombing.

There is a growing, interconnected world that peacefully pursues trade, freedom, and democracy. Not everyone is at the same place, but everyone is on the right track.

While the tribal neo-Klansmen of Iraq kill people to drive out the world. To [re]impose a hateful tyranny on the masses who despire them.

We are fighting for the free world — for the globalized world. Our enemies fight against it.