[Viewpoint] China’s uncivilized delusionsFrom the sea where our warship sank, a fishing boat scooped out a torpedo propulsion system. The system was identical to a design blueprint of a North Korean torpedo. It had a mark reading “No. 1” in Korean, and was rusted like the sunken ship.
Unless the South Korean government and the captain of the fishing boat manipulated the evidence, the propulsion system must have come from a torpedo fired by North Korea.
Despite this evidence, some delusional people, including those in the major opposition Democratic Party and the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, still do not accept the North’s actions. What would have happened if the propulsion system had not been discovered?
The propulsion system is almost a miraculous piece of evidence, and the fishing boat captain is like a 21st-century Admiral Jang Bogo, the legendary ninth-century sailor, defending the sea of truth from falsehood.
The Cheonan’s sinking is an issue of science and justice.
The ship was destroyed by a torpedo explosion, and the culprit left the propulsion system behind. Accepting that is science, and naming the murderer who killed 46 sailors and holding him responsible is justice.
Turning a blind eye to the clear facts is unscientific, and turning a blind eye to the cowardice of murder for a small gain is unjust.
For a civilization to advance, it must control unscientific and unjust actions and develop science and justice.
The People’s Republic of China first emerged internationally in 1949. With its Cultural Revolution of 1966 to 1976, China brought about unscientific and unjust pain on humankind.
And yet, the country resurfaced as a great civilization through reform and engagement. The ancient Yellow River civilization in China is seeing a grand return in the 21st century. In particular, China has played the role of a savior whenever a global economic crisis appeared.
China, however, has faced a predicament because of the Cheonan incident. After South Korea became furious at China’s invitation of the primary suspect in the Cheonan attack for a Beijing visit, China promised that it would act justly.
On May 28, Chinese Primer Wen Jiabao met with then National Assembly Speaker Kim Hyong-o and told him that “China is a responsible country” and “China will realize justice.” Wen also said China regarded highly the Korea-led multinational Cheonan investigation.
While science concluded that it was the North’s torpedo that sank the ship, and justice called for holding the North accountable, China turned away from both science and justice, not to mention from the United Nations Security Council.
Chinese diplomats reportedly pointed to the South Korean groups who do not agree that the North was the perpetrator. China referred to the fact that South Korea’s largest opposition party had opposed the passage of a resolution condemning the North at the National Assembly and that the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy had sent a letter of protest to the Security Council.
We have a question for China.
When it decides on an important matter, whom does it listen to? Does China listen to the reasonable majority opinion or the delusional minority voice?
Let’s say that a Chinese warship sank in the waters off Tianjin and the propulsion system of a U.S. torpedo was discovered later. Let’s say that China’s anti-government groups and resistance forces for ethnic minorities argued that they could not trust that the United States was behind the sinking. And let’s say that a permanent member of the UN Security Council hesitated to name and punish the culprit, citing their arguments.
Would China accept such a situation?
An Israeli special unit recently raided a supply ship headed for Palestine’s Gaza Strip and killed 10 civilians who resisted the search. It was not a “terrorist” action. It was a disputable military action.
And yet, the UN Security Council condemned Israel’s use of force in the chairman’s statement on June 1 and demanded that the country release the ship and crew. China, of course, supported the statement.
While condemning Israel for the killing, why is China reluctant to identify the culprit of the terrorist attack that killed our 46 sailors? Is this the justice Wen spoke of?
Many countries that value science and justice recognized the outcome of the international investigators’ probe and condemned the North. The Group of Eight countries, including the United States, Japan and Russia, and the European Union and most of Asian and Central and South American nations, supported the outcome and criticized the North.
China, however, acted conspicuously, and it brazenly ignored science and justice. This will leave behind a scar on China’s history for a long time.
The sunken warship’s name, Cheonan, means “heavenly peace” in Chinese characters. In Confucian society, it has a significant meaning. By ignoring heaven’s message only for the secular gain of maintaining its friendship with North Korea, China is walking down another path, away from civilization.
*The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
Translation by the JoongAng Daily staff.
By Kim Jin