We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
The allies resumed their attack and were met by Chinese troops who counterattacked. The Chinese counterattack was successful forcing United Nations troops to withdraw
The United Nations troops resumed their offensive on November 24, 1951 . The offensive began on the west with Walker's 8th. In the meantime, the Marines were to advance on the east. The first day of the Walker Offensive went well. On the 26th, the Chinese attacked on the inland flank. They first swamped the South Korean II Corps, and then the attack spread along the whole line. The American offensive had come to an end, and instead the retreat was about to begin. The Americans were not facing a maximum of 100,000 Chinese troops as they expected, but instead an army of 300,000 men. The Chinese managed to outflank the American forces. A Turkish division attempted to hold the flank, but was decimated. Now Walker's Army was forced to fight its way out. As the 2nd division headed south, it was ambushed along a five-mile stretch of the road called "the pass." An entire Chinese division attacked them; only the Airforce managed to extract them. Only 4,000 of the 7,000 who started through the pass made it. The retreat was now in full progress. The 8th Army was forced to withdraw from the North Korean capital Pyongyang. South Korean troops moving north towards the Yalu ran into a force of Chinese soldiers. Within a few minutes, the more numerous Chinese force had decimated the Korean force. In the next few days, more and more South Korean units ran into Chinese units, each with similar results. Initially, the American headquarters dismissed the reports, but it soon became clear that the Chinese were in the war in a major way. At noon of November 1, a battalion of the 24th Infantry Division reached Chonggodong, 18 miles south of the Yalu. The battalion was commanded by Lt. Col. Charles Smith, the commander of Task Force Smith, at the outset of the war. This was the northernmost advance of US troops during the war. On November 1, the Chinese struck the USA 1 Cavalry Division and the ROK II Corps. In the course of two days, the Chinese decimated the Korean forces and forced the American forces to pull back after inflicting very heavy casualties on the Americans. The Chinese paused after this attack; they seemed to be sending a message that they were here in force and could not be stopped. The American command did not hear the message, and instead thought that the Chinese had tried but could do no more. Thus, they planned to resume the offensive towards the Yalu.
How 'Ching Chong' Became The Go-To Slur For Mocking East Asians
When Kwok-Ming Cheng went to a Whole Foods in New York City to pick up some pre-ordered sandwiches over the Fourth of July weekend, he wasn't expecting to get tapped with a new nickname.
That's the question Cheng said he heard from a customer service representative at the grocery store.
It's a slur I and many other Asian-American folks have heard at some point in our lives. But every time I hear it, I can't help but wonder, "How is this thing still around? And where did it even come from?"
Cheng, who works in finance, moved to the States from Hong Kong when he was 7. He said while racism was certainly nothing new to him, he was caught completely off-guard.
An album cover for Lee S. Roberts and J. Will Callahan's 1917 song "Ching Chong." The Library Of Congress hide caption
An album cover for Lee S. Roberts and J. Will Callahan's 1917 song "Ching Chong."
"I was mortified," Cheng told me. "Because the thing is, OK. I'm in New York, I've seen racism, and if I'm on the street, if someone goes 'Ching Chong', I'm like, You're just being stupid. And I'm going to let it go and I'm going to walk away. . But I'm at Whole Foods, and the Whole Foods is literally right next to Chinatown."
(Since then, Whole Foods management has been in contact with Cheng. Randall Yip at AsAmNews has more about the situation.)
You can set your watch to it. Every few years — or if we're considering more recent history, every few months — we hear in the news of someone referring to a person of Asian descent with the age-old phrase "Ching Chong."
In 2003, Shaquille O'Neal tossed the phrase out when referring to Yao Ming. ("Tell Yao Ming, 'Ching chong yang, wah, ah soh,' " he said in a TV interview.) Rosie O'Donnell said it in 2006 when imagining a Chinese newscast of a drunken Danny DeVito. ("So apparently 'ching-chong,' unbeknownst to me, is a very offensive way to make fun, quote-unquote, or mock, Asian accents. Some people have told me it's as bad as the N-word. I was like, really? I didn't know that," O'Donnell said after.)
In 2011, University of California, Los Angeles student Alexandra Wallace posted a YouTube video where she ranted about Asian students using cellphones in the library. ("OHH CHING CHONG TING TONG LING LONG. OHH," she said. Actor and musician Jimmy Wong responded with this parody song: " 'Ching Chong,' it means 'I love you.' ")
And comedian Stephen Colbert received flak this past March when a staffer tweeted, "I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever," from the show's account. (The tweet was meant to echo Colbert's parody of a foundation Redskins owner Dan Snyder had created. It still drew the ire of many on the Internet.)
But "ching chong" hurled as an insult at Asian folks in the U.S. stretches back all the way to the 19th Century, where it shows up in children's playground taunts. (Because of some mysterious force, it just has to be this way: Kids' rhymes tend to have bleak roots that make us want to hit that "restart-world -from-the-beginning-of-time" button.)
A book by Henry Carrington Bolton from 1886 — The Counting-Out Rhymes of Children — tersely describes this rhyme:
"Under the influence of Chinese cheap labour on the Pacific coast, this rhyme is improved by boys brought up to believe the 'Chinese must go,' and the result is as follows: —
Ching, Chong, Chineeman,
How do you sell your fish?
Ching, Chong, Chineeman,
Six bits a dish.
Ching, Chong, Chineeman,
Oh! that is too dear!
Ching, Chong, Chineeman,
Clear right out of here."
(And that's no typo. In the book, there was no S in "Chineeman.")
The late 1800s were rife with "yellow peril" and anti-Chinese sentiment. The gold rush and the railroad industry had drawn many Chinese immigrants to the U.S. in the mid-1800s. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law, preventing Chinese laborers from immigrating to the States.
But even after the 20th century was off and running, the slur only got worse. Mary Paik Lee, a Korean-American writer, brings up a taunt from the early 1900s in her autobiography, one even more acidic than the rhyme Bolton recounted:
"Ching chong, Chinaman,
Sitting on a wall.
Along came a white man,
and chopped his head off."
That one doesn't even rhyme it's just racist. (And the context is a depressing story about how Lee was greeted by her classmates with a hit on the neck.) But a young boy in John Steinbeck's 1945 book Cannery Row comes up with a rhyming variation: "Ching-Chong Chinaman sitting on a rail — 'Long came a white man an' chopped off his tail."
The term showed up again in Lee S. Roberts and J. Will Callahan's 1917 ragtime song, "Ching Chong":
"Ching, Chong, Oh Mister Ching Chong,
You are the king of Chinatown.
Ching Chong, I love your sing-song,
When you have turned the lights all down."
Mimicry, particularly for mocking Asian accents, is the default pejorative mode, according to Kent Ono and Vincent Pham in their book Asian Americans and the Media. The book points out that this form of mockery marks Asian folks as decidedly, unequivocally foreign, that Asians and Asian-Americans are the "other."
But how something so anachronistic has managed to cling to people's linguistic dictionaries is baffling. ("Ching chong," after all, is just a crude imitation of what folks think Mandarin or Cantonese sounds like. Urban Dictionary's first treatment of the phrase sums up how exhausted the phrase can feel. It's Urban Dictionary, so be warned: The language isn't safe for work.)
These Words You Use Every Day Have Racist/Prejudiced Pasts, And You Had No Idea
When I was a kid, everyone used the phrase Indian giver. We didn't even think about it. We weren't reprimanded by teachers, either. Admittedly, I went to grade school in Texas.
To me, it seems odd that the phrase even still exists. At this point in history, we should all know that it is ridiculous to say that American Indians reneged on their promise to give European settlers land that they had never agreed to give in the first place.
While Indian giver might seem more obviously racist (you certainly wouldn't hear anyone using such a phrase in the office), there are plenty of other phrases that you might use every day that have racist/prejudice origins.
For example, did you know that Hip hip hooray! used to be a Nazi war cry used to invade the Jewish ghettoes during the Holocaust?
Word meanings and connotations change all the time. Over time, word origins are forgotten, and words and phrases that were previously taboo or offensive no longer carry the same weight. Does that mean that they're no longer offensive? It depends on how you look at language. Certainly, not many people know hip hip hooray's horrifying usage.
However, I still thought you might like to know the history of these words and phrases.
The word "gyp" now means "to cheat or swindle." It is essentially a condensing of the word "gypsies," who throughout history have been stereotyped as a group that cheats and swindles people. Before the contemporary definition of "gypsy," which is essentially just a "nomadic person," "gypsy" was a slur used to refer to the Eastern European Romanies.
Using "ghetto" as an adjective to mean "low class" has obvious racist origins. The noun "ghetto" originated as an area in Venice, Italy: it was the place where Jewish people lived (this also has racial implications, but of a different sort than the adjective "ghetto"). Technically, the current definition of "ghetto" (noun) is "a part of a city in which members of a particular group or race live usually in poor conditions." Whether intended or not, the user is essentially implying that minorities are low class.
This phrase, meaning "inaccurately transmitted gossip" is more often used in the UK than the U.S. It actually originated as "Russian scandal" or "Russian gossip," but was later changed for unclear reasons. It is supposed that the origin of this phrase has something to do with the Chinese language being difficult to understand and/or translate. Regardless, it's probably better the refer to poorly transmitted gossip as "a game of Telephone."
An Irish goodbye is another way of saying "a hasty exit without stopping to formally say 'goodbye' to anyone." It can also be known as a French exit. Or probably just "insert any country that your country has a problem with" exit. In France, it's called "filer à l'anglaise" (to leave the English way). At any rate, you might want to think before you use a phrase that stereotypes an entire nationality of people as being rude.
"Sold down the river:"
This phrase, meaning "betrayed" or "cheated" originated in the Mississippi River region during the American slave trade. "Troublesome" slaves would literally be sold down the river to southern Mississippi where the plantation conditions were much harsher.
"Peanut galleries" (which now means "a source for hecklers," usually used in a joking manner) were the upper balconies that African-American people sat in in segregated theaters. They were also known by several even more derogatory names (which will not be shared here).
The word "uppity," a word beloved by conservative news pundits, originated as a word used by Southerners in reference to African-Americans that they deemed didn't know their place in society.
Hip hip hooray:
This comes from the German "hep hep," which was originally a shepherds' herding cry, so the origin itself was not racially charged. However, during the Holocaust, German citizens began using it as a rallying cry while hunting for Jewish people in the ghettoes. Its anti-Semitic usage even dates back to the 1819 riots (the "Hep-Hep Riots").
"Call a spade a spade:"
This is a particularly interesting example. The phrase, essentially meaning "to explicitly call something by its rightful name," entered the English language in 1542, and initially had absolutely no racial connotation whatsoever. It referred to the gardening tool. It wasn't until the late 1920s that "spade" changed from referring to the gardening tool to being a slur towards African-Americans (its first public appearance as such was in Claude McKay's 1928 book "Home to Harlem"). In the fourth edition of "The American Language," Wolfgang Mieder notes that the word "spade" (among others) "will give deep offense if used by nonblacks."
CLARIFICATION: Some language in this post has been changed to make clear that "Hip hip hooray" did not ORIGINATE as a racist phrase, but rather evolved into one. Language has also been added/ amended in several instances to emphasize that this article addresses the racist, but not the comprehensive, etymologies of these terms.
China’s Spies Are on the Offensive
China’s spies are waging an intensifying espionage offensive against the United States. Does America have what it takes to stop them?
In early 2017, Kevin Mallory was struggling financially. After years of drawing a government salary as a member of the military and as a CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency officer, he was behind on his mortgage and $230,000 in debt. Though he had, like many veteran intelligence officials, ventured into the private sector, where the pay can be considerably better, things still weren’t going well his consulting business was floundering.
Then, prosecutors said, he received a message on LinkedIn, where he had more than 500 connections. It had come from a Chinese recruiter with whom Mallory had five mutual connections. The recruiter, according to the message, worked for a think tank in China, where Mallory, who spoke fluent Mandarin, had been based for part of his career. The think tank, the recruiter said, was interested in Mallory’s foreign-policy expertise. The LinkedIn message led to a phone call with a man who called himself Michael Yang. According to the FBI, the initial conversations that would lead Mallory down a path of betrayal were conducted in the bland language of professional courtesy. That February, according to a search warrant, Yang sent Mallory an email requesting “another short phone call with you to address several points.” Mallory replied, “So I can be prepared, will we be speaking via Skype or will you be calling my mobile device?”
Soon after, Mallory was on a plane to meet Yang in Shanghai. He would later tell the FBI he suspected that Yang was not a think-tank employee, but a Chinese intelligence officer, which apparently was okay by him. Mallory’s trip to China began an espionage relationship that saw him receive $25,000 over two months in exchange for handing over government secrets, the criminal complaint shows. The FBI eventually caught him with a digital memory card containing eight secret and top-secret documents that had details of a still-classified spying operation, according to NBC, which followed the case along with other major outlets. Mallory also had a special phone he’d received from Yang to send encrypted communications. Gone was the polite, careful language from their initial conversations. “Your object is to gain information,” Mallory told Yang in one of the texts on the device. “And my object is to be paid.” Mallory was charged under the Espionage Act with selling U.S. secrets to China and convicted by a jury last spring. Mallory’s attorneys alleged that he’d been trying to uncover Chinese spies, but a judge dismissed the idea that he was working as a double agent, a defense that other accused spies have tried to deploy. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in May his lawyers plan to appeal the conviction.
If Mallory’s story was unique, he’d just be a tragic example of a former intelligence officer gone astray. But in the past year, two other former U.S. intelligence officers pleaded guilty to espionage-related charges involving China. They are an alarming sign for the U.S. intelligence community, which sees China in the same tier as Russia as America’s top espionage threat.
Ron Hansen, 59, is a former DIA officer fluent in both Mandarin and Russian, who had already received thousands of dollars from Chinese intelligence agents over several years by the time the FBI caught him last year, court documents show. Hansen gave the Chinese sensitive intelligence information and, the FBI alleged in its criminal complaint, export-controlled encryption software. He told the FBI that in early 2015, Chinese intelligence officers offered him $300,000 a year “in exchange for providing ‘consulting services,’” according to the complaint. He was caught when he began asking a DIA case officer to pass him information. Among his requests were classified documents about national defense and “United States military readiness in a particular region,” according to the Justice Department.
The case of Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 54, a former CIA officer, is perhaps the most enigmatic. After leaving the CIA in 2007, Lee moved to Hong Kong and started a private business, but it never really took off, according to the indictment. In 2010, Chinese intelligence operatives approached him, offering money for information. According to the Justice Department, he conspired to pass his handlers sensitive intelligence, and had created a document including “certain locations to which the CIA would assign officers with certain identified experience, as well as the particular location and timeframe of a sensitive CIA operation.” Lee also possessed an address book that “contained handwritten notes … related to his work as a CIA case officer prior to 2004. These notes included … intelligence provided by CIA assets, true names of assets, operational meeting locations and phone numbers, and information about covert facilities.” The ramifications of Lee’s leaks are still unknown. While NBC reported last year that U.S. authorities suspect that the information Lee passed to his handlers helped lead to the death or imprisonment of some 20 U.S. agents, a subsequent Yahoo News report blamed the compromise on a massive communications breach initiated by Iran.
Espionage and counterespionage have been essential tools of statecraft for centuries, of course, and U.S. and Chinese intelligence agencies have been battling one another for decades. But what these recent cases suggest is that the intelligence war is escalating—that China has increased both the scope and the sophistication of its efforts to steal secrets from the U.S. “The fact that we have caught three at the same time is telling of how focused China is on the U.S.,” John Demers, the head of the National Security Division at the Justice Department, which brought the charges against Mallory, Hansen, and Lee, told me. “If you think about what it takes to co-opt three people, you start to appreciate the actual extent of their efforts. There may be people we haven’t caught, and then you have to acknowledge that probably a small percentage of the people who’ve been approached ever go as far as these three did.”
Many espionage cases don’t go public. “Some of the cases rarely see the light of a courtroom, because there’s classified material we’re not willing to risk,” one U.S. intelligence official told me, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic. “Sometimes they’re not charged at all and are handled through other means. And there are others that remain ongoing that have not and will not become public.”
These recent cases provide just a small glimpse of the growing intelligence war that is playing out in the shadows of the U.S.-China struggle for global dominance, and of the aggressiveness and skillfulness with which China is waging it. As China advances economically and technologically, its spy services are keeping pace: Their intelligence officers are more sophisticated, the tools at their disposal are more powerful, and they are engaged in what appears to be an intensifying array of espionage operations that have their American counterparts on the defensive. China’s efforts aimed at former U.S. intelligence officers are just one part of a Chinese campaign that U.S. officials say also includes cyberattacks against U.S. government databases and companies, stealing trade secrets from the private sector, using venture-capital investment to acquire sensitive technology, and targeting universities and research institutions.
By their nature, espionage wars are conducted in the shadows and hard to see clearly. But in recent weeks I spoke with several current and former U.S. officials, including America’s counterintelligence chief, who have been on the front lines of the one being waged between the U.S. and China, to get a sense of how it is being fought, of China’s intelligence operations—the methods, the targets, the goals—and of what the U.S. needs to do to combat it.
China has been seeking to turn American spies for decades. But the rules of the game have changed. About 10 years ago, Charity Wright was a young U.S. military linguist training at the elite Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at a base called the Presidio in Monterey, California. Like many of her peers, Wright relied on taxis to visit the city. There were usually a few waiting outside the base’s gate. She’d been assigned to the institute’s Mandarin program, so she felt lucky to frequently find herself in the cab of an old man who told her he’d emigrated from China years ago. He was inquisitive in a way she found charming at first, letting her practice her new language skills as he asked about her background and family. After several months, though, she grew suspicious. The old man seemed to have an unusually good memory, and his questions were becoming more specific: Where is it that your father works? What will you be doing for the military once you graduate? Wright had been briefed on the possibility of foreign intelligence operatives collecting information on the institute’s trainees, building profiles for potential recruitment, given that many of them would move on to careers in intelligence. She reported the man to an officer at the base. Not long after, she heard that he’d been arrested and that there had been a crackdown in Monterey on a suspected Chinese spy ring.
Wright went on to spend five years as a cryptologic language analyst with the National Security Agency, assessing communications intercepts from China. Now she works in private-sector cybersecurity. As a reservist, she still holds a U.S. government clearance that allows her access to classified secrets. And she’s still the target of what she suspects are Chinese espionage efforts. Only these days, the agents don’t approach her in person. They get in touch the same way they reached Kevin Mallory: online. She gets messages through LinkedIn and other social-media sites proposing various opportunities in China: a contract with a consulting firm, a trip to speak at a conference for a generous stipend. The offers seem tempting, but this type of outreach comes straight from the Chinese-spy playbook. “I’ve heard that they can be very convincing, and by the time you fly over, they’ve got you in their lair,” Wright told me.
The tactics she saw from the old man in Monterey were “cut and dry HUMINT,” or human intelligence, she said. They were old school. But those tactics have been amplified by the tools of the social-media age, which allow intelligence officers to reach out to their targets en masse from China, where there’s no risk of getting caught. Meanwhile, intelligence experts tell me, Chinese intelligence officers have only been getting better at the traditional skills involved in persuading a target to turn on his or her country.
Donald Trump has made getting tough on China a central aspect of his foreign policy. He has focused on a trade war and tariffs aimed at rectifying what he portrays as an unfair economic playing field—earlier this month, the U.S. designated China as a currency manipulator—while holding onto the idea that China’s powerful leader, Xi Jinping, can be an ally and a friend. U.S. political and business leaders for decades pushed the idea that embracing trade with China would help to normalize its behavior, but Beijing’s aggressive espionage efforts have fueled an emerging bipartisan consensus in Washington that the hope was misplaced. Since 2017, the DOJ has brought at least a dozen cases against alleged agents and spies for conducting cyber- and economic espionage on behalf of China. “The hope was, as they develop, as they become more wealthy, as they start being a part of the club of developed nations, they’re going to change their behavior—once they get closer to the top, they’re going to operate by our rules,” John Demers told me. “What we’ve seen instead is [China] becoming better resourced and more methodical about the theft of information.”
For the past 20 years, America’s intelligence community’s top priority has been counterterrorism. A generation of operations officers and analysts has been geared more toward finding and killing America’s enemies and preventing extremist attacks than toward the more patient and strategic work that comes with peer competition and counterintelligence. If America is indeed entering an era of “great power” conflict with China, then the crux of the struggle will likely take place not on a battlefield, but in the race for information, at least for now. And here China is using an age-old human frailty to gain advantage in the competition with its more powerful adversary: greed. U.S. officials have been warning companies and research institutions not just of the strings that might be attached to Chinese money, but of the danger of corrupted employees turned spies. They are also worried about current and former U.S. officials who have been entrusted with protecting the nation’s secrets.
When I told William Evanina, America’s top counterintelligence official, Wright’s story about the cab driver in Monterey, he replied: “Of course.”
Spy rings operating out of taxis are relatively unoriginal, he told me, and have long been an issue around U.S. military and intelligence installations. An FBI and CIA veteran who is now the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, Evanina has a suspicious mind—and perhaps one of the country’s worst Uber ratings. He sees the risk of intelligence collection and hidden cameras in any hired car, he told me, and if a driver ever tries to make small talk, he immediately shuts it down.
Knowing someone’s background can help an intelligence agency build a profile for potential recruitment. The person might have medical bills piling up, a parent in debt, a sibling in jail, or an infidelity that exposes him or her to blackmail. What really worries Evanina is that so much of this information can now be obtained online, legally and illegally. People can ignore Uber drivers all they want, but a good hacker or even someone savvy at mining social media might be able to track down targets’ financial records, their political views, profiles of their family members, and their upcoming travel plans. “It makes it so damn easy,” he said.
Security breaches happen with alarming regularity. Capital One announced in July that a data breach had exposed about 100 million people in America. During one of my conversations with Wright, she mused that whatever information the old man in the taxi might have wanted to glean from her, all that and much more may have been revealed in the 2015 breach of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. In that sophisticated attack, widely believed to have been carried out by state-sponsored Chinese hackers, an enormous batch of data was stolen, including detailed information the government collects as part of the process of approving security clearances. The stolen information contained “probing questions about an applicant’s personal finances, past substance abuse, and psychiatric care,” according to Wired, as well as “everything from lie detector results to notes about whether an applicant engages in risky sexual behavior.”
Russia, the U.S. adversary that is often included with China in discussions of “near peer” conflict, has a modus operandi when it comes to recruiting spies that is similar to America’s, Evanina said. While some of their intelligence efforts, such as election interference, are loud and aggressive and seemingly unconcerned with being discovered, Russians are careful and targeted when trying to turn a well-placed asset. Russia tends to have veteran intelligence operatives make contact in person and proceed with care and patience. “Their worst-case scenario is getting caught,” Evanina told me. “They take pride in their HUMINT operations. They’re very targeted. They take extra time to increase the percentage of success. Whereas the Chinese don’t care.” (This doesn’t mean that the Chinese can’t also be targeted and discreet when needed, he added.)
“What you have is an intelligence officer sitting in Beijing,” he said. “And he can send out 30,000 emails a day. And if he gets 300 replies, that’s a high-yield, low-risk intelligence operation.” Concerning those who have left government for the private sector—and who sometimes keep their clearance to continue doing sensitive government work—it can be hard to know where to draw the line. Evanina said China will sometimes wait years to target former officials: “Your Spidey sense goes down.” But “your memory is not erased”—that is, they’ve still got the information the Chinese want.
Often, Chinese spies don’t even have to look too hard. Many of those who have left U.S. intelligence jobs reveal on their LinkedIn profiles which agencies they worked for and the countries and topics on which they focused. If they still have a government clearance, they might advertise that too. Buried in the questionnaire Evanina filled out for his Senate confirmation is a question asking whether he had any plans for a career after government. “I currently have no plans subsequent to completing government service,” he wrote. When I asked him about this, he admitted that this is becoming less common among intelligence officials his age. (He’s 52.) “All of my friends are leaving like crazy now because they have kids in college,” he said. “The money is [better]. It’s hard to say no.”
If a former intelligence officer lands a job at a prominent government contractor, such as Booz Allen Hamilton or DynCorp International, he or she can expect to be well compensated. But others find themselves in less lucrative posts, or try to strike out on their own. Evanina told me that Chinese intelligence operatives pose online as Chinese professors, think-tank experts, or executives. They usually propose a trip to China as a business opportunity. “Especially the ones who have retired from the CIA, DIA, and are now contractors—they have to make the bucks,” Evanina said. “And a lot of times that’s in China. And they get compromised.”
Once a target is in China, Chinese operatives might try to get the person to start passing over sensitive information in degrees. The first request could be for information that doesn’t seem like a big deal. But by then the trap is set. “When they get that [first] envelope, it’s being photographed. And then they can blackmail you. And then you’re being sucked in,” Evanina said. “One document becomes 10 documents becomes 15 documents. And then you have to rationalize that in your mind: I am not a spy, because they’re forcing me to do this.”
In the cases of Mallory, Hansen, and Lee, Evanina said, the lure wasn’t ideology. It was money. Money was also the lure in two similar cases, in which suspects were convicted of lesser charges than espionage. Both apparently began their relationship with Chinese intelligence officers while still employed in sensitive U.S. government jobs.
In 2016, Kun Shan Chun, a veteran FBI employee who had a top-secret security clearance, pleaded guilty to acting as an agent of China. Prosecutors said that while working for the agency in New York he sent his Chinese handler, “at minimum, information regarding the FBI’s personnel, structure, technological capabilities, general information regarding the FBI’s surveillance strategies, and certain categories of surveillance targets.” And in April, Candace Claiborne, a former State Department employee, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States. According to the criminal complaint, Claiborne, who had served in a number of posts overseas including China, and held a top-secret security clearance, did not report her contacts with suspected Chinese agents, who provided her and a co-conspirator with “tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits,” including New Year’s gifts, international travel and vacations, fashion-school tuition, rent, and cash payments. In exchange, Claiborne provided copies of State Department documents and analysis, prosecutors said.
Evanina’s office in Bethesda, Maryland, features a so-called Wall of Shame, on which hang the photographs of dozens of convicted American traitors—a testament to the struggles that have always plagued the U.S. intelligence community. The Cold War, for example, was marked by disastrous leaks from people such as the CIA officer Aldrich Ames and the FBI agent Robert Hanssen. Larry Chin, a CIA translator, was arrested in 1985 on charges of selling classified information to China over the course of three decades. That came during the so-called Year of the Spy, as the FBI made a series of high-profile arrests of U.S. government officials spying for the Soviet Union, Israel, and even Ghana. The Wall of Shame is currently being renovated, and when it’s unveiled in the fall, it will feature several new faces.
Whenever a current or former U.S. intelligence officer has been turned, it takes years to assess the full repercussions. “We have to mitigate that damage for sometimes a decade,” Evanina said.
Two decades ago, Chinese intelligence officers were largely seen as relatively amateurish, even sloppy, a former U.S. intelligence official who spent years focusing on China told me. Usually, their English was poor. They were clumsy. They used predictable covers. Chinese military intelligence officers masquerading as civilians often failed to hide a military bearing and could come across as almost laughably uptight. Typically their main targets tended to be of Chinese descent. In recent years, however, Chinese intelligence officers have become more sophisticated—they can come across as suave, personable, even genteel. Their manners can be fluid. Their English is usually good. “Now this is the norm,” the former official said, speaking with me on condition of anonymity due to security concerns. “They really have learned quite a bit and grown up.”
Rodney Faraon, a former senior analyst at the CIA, told me that the Mallory and Hansen cases show just how far China’s espionage services have come. “They’ve broadened their tactics to go beyond relatively easy targets, from recruiting among the ethnically Chinese community to a much more diverse set of human assets,” he said. “In a sense, they’ve become more traditional.”
20 Things You're Saying That You Didn't Know Were Offensive
Cobble together—in your head, please, particularly if there are children around—a list of the most offensive words and phrases you can think of. Chances are, it's full of the usual suspects: F-words and a whole lot of S-words, right? But here's the thing: Your list is missing quite a few offensive phrases. And we're sorry to report that it's a good bet you use them a lot.
For instance, did you know that the common phrase "basket case" comes from a saying used in World War I to describe quadriplegics? Or that "rule of thumb" has an insidiously violent origin? (And we're sure most parents aren't aware that "fuzzy wuzzy" was a racist term before he was the protagonist of a harmless child's rhyme.) Before you accidentally hurl an insult without even realizing, read up on these 20 offensive words and phrases. And for more expressions you should never utter, check out the Common Phrases That You Didn't Know Have Racist Origins.
Sure, we've all heard "peanut gallery" used to describe harsh critics—usually ones with little knowledge of a situation—but the phrase originally refers to a section in Vaudeville-era theaters. It was usually the area with the worst seats in the house, where Black people were forced to sit.
To many people, calling someone "spastic" is just as offensive as calling someone the R-word. The stigma stems from the word's association with cerebral palsy, a disease that was once referred to as spastic paralysis. And for more words you haven't heard in a while, check out the 100 Slang Terms From the 20th Century No One Uses Anymore.
The word "hooligans" derives from a family of cartoon characters of the same name. In the 19th century, the Hooligans were a family of Irish immigrants struggling to fit in in London. Not only were the cartoons racist, but they also depicted a harsh stereotype of urban immigrants.
Most people probably don't think of the Caribbean when they think of cannibalism (rather, a bloody Anthony Hopkins comes to mind…). But the term derives from the tribe Canibales, or the Caribs, in the West Indies. Allegedly, this ancient tribe was known for eating each other.
The phrase "mumbo jumbo" likely comes from the West African god Maamajomboo. Why is it offensive? Apparently, Mandinka males would dress up like the god to solve domestic disputes and abuse their wives.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear… but before that, he wasn't so innocent. In the 1800s, British colonial soldiers referred to the people of an East African nomadic tribe as "fuzzy wuzzies" due to their dark skin and curly hair. The term was later picked up by other military groups to refer to other indigenous populations in places like Papa New Guinea and Sudan. And for more outdated phrases, check out the 20 Slang Terms From the 1990s No One Uses Anymore.
There's a reason that the phrase "no can do" sounds like broken English. The saying cropped up in the mid-1800s—a time when Westerners widely held a racist attitude toward the East—as a way to mock simplified Chinese Pidgin English.
This saying for a person who has difficulty coping was first used during World War I to describe a person who had lost all four limbs and had to be carried in a basket.
The term "moron" wasn't originally an insult, but a psychological diagnosis denoting a mild disability.
No one knows for sure where this phrase comes from, but experts believe it has something to do with an English law from the 1600s that allowed men to assault their wives with a stick—just so long as it was no wider than his thumb in thickness. Again… Yikes!
Today, the second line of this children's rhyme is "catch a tiger by the toe," but the original version included a ghastly racial slur.
Contrary to popular belief, "Eskimo" isn't the proper term to describe people indigenous to northern Canada and Alaska. The word is actually an offensive way to refer to the Inuit people it derives from the Danish loanword ashkimeq, meaning "eaters of raw meat."
In the 1970s, members of the Peoples Temple led by Jim Jones committed mass suicide by drinking a soft-drink laced with cyanide and various prescription drugs. Thus, today people use the phrase "to drink the Kool-Aid" to refer to someone with unwavering and unconditional loyalty.
Records show that the phrase "long time no see" was first uttered by a Native American. In print, William F. Drannan used the phrase in one of his novels to describe an encounter with a Native American: "I knew he had recognized me. When we rode up to him he said: 'Good morning. Long time no see you,' and at the same time presented the gun with breech foremost." Like "no can do," "long time no see" mocks the Native Americans' broken English.
Unfortunately, this phrase doesn't stem from some strange story about a man whose tongue was literally pawed by a cat. Rather, The English Navy used to use a whip called the "Cat-o'-nine-tails" to flog victims, and the pain was so intense that those on the receiving end of the blows couldn't speak. Hence, the meaning of the phrase today.
Back in the days when almost all medical problems were treated with lobotomies and illicit drugs, doctors used "hysteria" as a medical explanation for nearly every sick woman they encountered. The idea for such a diagnosis comes from Hippocrates' belief that a woman's hysteria is caused by a "wandering uterus" that is deprived of sexual pleasure.
When you reach the tipping point in a situation, you have reached the point at which "a change or an effect cannot be stopped." This seems benign enough, but the phrase was used in the '50s and '60s to reference the tendency for white families to move out of a neighborhood once it had been taken over by an African American majority.
Historically, white people would describe black men as "boys" to indicate that they were not on equal playing fields. The U.S. Supreme Court even declared that the word is "not benign" and considers its use in certain contexts to be racist.
Today, when a person goes "off the reservation," they've lost control. But its origins are even more sinister. As Native Americans were once restricted to reservations created for them by the government, people would historically use this phrase to refer to Native Americans who had strayed from their land, often with contempt for the indigenous people.
Once upon a time, the word "spinster" didn't refer to an unmarried woman, but a person who spun yard or thread for a living. Eventually the term took on its current meaning, as most of the women who were spinsters were also lower-class and unwed, relying on their job to provide for themselves.
The First Tet Offensive of 1789
In January 1789 the Vietnamese defeated a Chinese army and drove it from Vietnam. What might be called the first Tet Offensive is regarded as the greatest military achievement in modern Vietnamese history. Just as the 1904 Japanese strike on Port Arthur foreshadowed their 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, this 1789 offensive should have been a lesson for the United States that Tet had not always been observed peacefully in Vietnam.
Strangely, the 1789 victory goes largely unmentioned in Western histories of Vietnam. For example, Joseph Buttinger in The Smaller Dragon: A Political History of Vietnam devotes less than a sentence to the offensive, and Stanley Karnow in Vietnam, A History does not mention it at all.
In the mid-18th century Vietnam was divided in two, approximately along what became the DMZ of the 16th parallel during the Vietnam War. The Trinh lords ruled the north and the Nguyen family held sway in the south. Each family hated the other and ruled in the name of the powerless Le king at Thang Long (present-day Hanoi).
Widespread corruption throughout Vietnam led to increased demands on the population for tribute and also to peasant uprisings, the most important being the Tay Son Rebellion against the Nguyen in the south. That rebellion was led by three brothers, named (coincidentally) Nguyen Nhac, Nguyen Lu and Nguyen Hue, from the village of Tay Son in present-day Binh Dinh province. The Tay Son, as the brothers and their followers came to be known, advocated seizing property from the rich and distributing it to the poor. They also attracted support from powerful Chinese merchants who opposed restrictive trade practices. The rebellion thus began with peasants and merchants opposing mandarins and large landowners.
The Tay Son built an army in the An Khe Highlands in western Binh Dinh province. The area was strategically important, and there they drew support from disaffected minorities. The brothers were also aided by the fact that the youngest of them, Nguyen Hue, turned out to be a military genius.
In mid-1773, after two years of careful preparations, a Tay Son army of some 10,000 men took the field against the Nguyen. Soon the Tay Son had seized the fort of Qui Nhon they next took the provinces of Quang Ngai and Quang Nam, and by the end of the year they seemed poised to overthrow the ruling Nguyen family altogether. At this point, however, in 1775, a Trinh army moved south in the name of the Le dynasty and took Phu Xuan (present-day Hue). The Trinh defeated the Tay Son in battle and announced they would stay in the south to put down the rebellion. The Tay Son managed to survive only by reaching accommodation with the Trinh, until the latter tired of their southern involvement and withdrew into the north.
The Tay Son were then again free to concentrate on the Nguyen, although it took the rebels 10 more years to defeat them. In 1776 they attacked the Nguyen stronghold of Gia Dinh province and took Sai Con (later Saigon and present-day Ho Chi Minh City). Only one Nguyen prince, Nguyen Anh, escaped he and a few supporters fled into the swamps of the western Mekong Delta. Having now defeated the Nguyen, in 1778 Nguyen Nhac proclaimed himself king, with his capital at Do Ban in Binh Dinh province.
Later Nguyen Anh mounted a counterattack, recapturing Gia Dinh and Binh Thuan provinces. In 1783, Tay Son troops led by Nguyen Hue again defeated Nguyen Anh and forced him into refuge on Phu Quoc Island, whereupon a desperate Nguyen Anh called in the Siamese. In 1784, Siam (present-day Thailand) sent between 20,000 and 50,000 men and 300 ships into the western Mekong Delta. Harsh Siamese occupation policies, however, caused many Vietnamese to rally to the Tay Son.
On January 19, 1785, Nguyen Hue lured the Siamese into an ambush on the My Tho River in the Rach Gam-Xoai Mut area of present-day Tien Giang province in the Mekong Delta and defeated them. According to Vietnamese sources, only 2,000 Siamese escaped. The remaining Nguyen family members then fled to Siam. The Battle of Rach Gam-Xoai Mut near My Tho City, Dinh Tuong province, was one of the most important in Vietnamese history because it halted Siamese expansion into southern Vietnam and greatly benefited Nguyen Hue, who then emerged as a national hero. The Trinh in the north were unable to capitalize on this situation because of trouble in their own domain. Bad harvests beginning in 1776 led to disorder, and there was a secessionist struggle. Trinh Sam, head of the family, died in 1786, and his two sons, Trinh Khai and Trinh Can, fought one another for the throne. Eventually Trinh Khai took control in the north, but his youth and physical weakness combined to produce governmental paralysis, undoubtedly to the liking of army leaders who had helped install him in power.
Nguyen Hue now took advantage of the situation to try to reunite Vietnam. He marched an army north under the guise of rescuing the Le kings from Trinh control and won considerable popular support by promising food for the peasants. In a brilliant May-June 1786 campaign Nguyen Hue captured first Phu Xuan, then Quang Tri and Quang Binh provinces. By July, Tay Son troops had reached the Red River Delta and defeated the Trinh. King Le Hien Tong reached accommodation with Nguyen Hue by ceding some territory and giving him his daughter Ngoc Han in marriage. Le Hien Tong died in 1787, and his grandson, Le Chieu Thong, succeeded him.
While Nguyen Hue was restoring the Le dynasty in the north, his brothers controlled the rest of the country. Nguyen Hue dominated the area north of the Pass of Clouds (between present-day Hue and Da Nang) from Thanh Hoa his brother Nguyen Nhac held the center, with his capital at Qui Nhon and Nguyen Lu controlled the south, from Gia Dinh near Saigon.
Nguyen Anh was again active in the south, in Gia Dinh province, and Nguyen Hue returned there to assist his brothers in putting him down. Nguyen Hue sent the royal elephants south with the Le treasury and then sailed for Phu Xuan. He left behind his lieutenant, Nguyen Huu Chinh, who had deserted the king and joined the Tay Son cause, to defend Thang Long.
Nguyen Huu Chinh, however, took advantage of Nguyen Hue’s absence to advance his own interests. He and King Le Chieu Thong attempted to gain power for themselves, fortifying the north against Nguyen Hue. The Tay Son commander, then at Phu Xuan, sent one of his generals, Vu Van Nham, north with an army to attack Thang Long. In subsequent fighting Nguyen Huu Chinh was killed and the Le king fled north. Having secured the capital, General Vu Van Nham then took power himself, ruling as king. It had occurred to Nguyen Hue that Vu Van Nham might do this, so he sent two other generals, Ngo Van So and Phan Van Lan, after him. They defeated Vu Van Nham and executed him. Nguyen Hue then invited the Le king to return, but he refused.
In the midst of these developments, Nguyen Hue was again forced to shift his attention to the south to deal with Nguyen Anh. Before leaving the north, however, Nguyen Hue ordered the Le palace razed. After sending the royal treasury south by ship, he left behind a garrison of 3,000 men in Thang Long.
King Le Chieu Thong, meanwhile, was in Bac Giang in far northern Vietnam, but he sent his mother and son to China to ask for assistance from the emperor in reclaiming his throne. Sun Shi-yi, the viceroy in Canton and governor of Kwang-tung (Guang dong) and Kwang-si (Guang xi) provinces, supported military intervention in Vietnam. He believed it would be an easy matter for China to establish a protectorate over an area weakened by a protracted civil war. Chinese Emperor Quian-long (Kien Lung, 1736-1796) agreed, but his public pronouncements stressed that the Le had always recognized Chinese hegemony in sending tribute. He said that China was intervening merely to restore the Le to power.
In November 1788, a Chinese expeditionary force commanded by Sun Shi-yi and assisted by General Xu Shi-heng crossed the frontier at Cao Bang, Tuyen Quang and Lang Son. These columns then converged on Thang Long. The Chinese force, estimated at up to 200,000 men, advanced smoothly into Vietnam, and the Chinese troops gave no cause for Vietnamese hostility en route to the capital. In fact, Chinese and Le edicts stating that the intervention was merely to put down the Tay Son usurpers attracted some Vietnamese support. At the same time, the Chinese demonstrated that they were in Vietnam to stay along the route to Thang Long they established some 70 military storehouses.
At the news of the Chinese invasion, many of the Tay Son troops manning the northern outposts fled. The Chinese easily won a series of small battles in early and mid-December. Faced with overwhelming force, Ngo Thi Nham, a Tay Son adviser, argued for retreat. He pointed out the overwhelming Chinese numbers and that the Tay Son troops were dispirited. He said that northerners were deserting, and that ‘to attack with troops such as these would be like hunting a tiger with a band of goats.’ He also added that defense of the capital would be difficult because the people there were not committed: ‘the danger would then be from within…and no general…could win under those conditions. It would be like putting a lamprey in a basket of crabs.’ Ngo Van So, Nguyen Hue’s commander in the north, agreed, and Ngo Thi Nham then ordered ships loaded with provisions sent south to Thanh Hoa and dispatched the remainder of the Tay Son troops overland to fortify a line from the Tam Diep Mountains to the sea.
Meanwhile, the Chinese took Thang Long. After throwing a pontoon bridge across the Red River, on December 17 they entered the city with little resistance. For this success, the Chinese emperor made Sun Shi-yi a count and gave him the title ‘Valiant Tactician.’ Xu Shi-heng became a baron, and other Chinese officers were also given titles of nobility or advanced in rank.
Sun Shi-yi planned to renew the offensive against the Tay Son after the lunar new year celebrations meanwhile, he would remain in Thang Long. He positioned his troops in three principal locations. The main force was in open fields along the two banks of the Red River, connected by pontoon bridges. South of the capital the Chinese held a series of defensive positions centered on Ngoc Hoi, in the suburbs of Thang Long. The third part of the army was to the southwest, at Khuong Thuong. King Le Chieu Thong’s small Vietnamese force remained in the capital.
The Chinese were overconfident. Because they had thus far experienced little resistance, they believed the Tay Son were militarily negligible, and that it would be easy for them to bring all Vietnam under their control. Resources were scarce in the north, however, and it would be difficult to sustain a large force there. The Chinese governor of Kwang-si province reported to the emperor that it would take at least 100,000 men just to man the supply lines to Thang Long.
Events now worked to undermine China’s position. For one thing, the Chinese treated Vietnam as if it were captured territory. Although the Chinese recognized Le Chieu Thong as king of An Nam, he had to issue his pronouncements in the name of the Chinese emperor and personally report every day to Sun Shi-yi. Le Chieu Thong also carried out reprisals against Vietnamese officials who had rallied to the Tay Son, and seemed oblivious to the poor treatment his people were receiving from the Chinese. Even his supporters were upset, agreeing that ‘from the first Vietnamese king, there has never been such a coward.’
Meanwhile, typhoons and disastrous harvests, especially in 1788, led northerners to believe that the king had lost his ‘Mandate of Heaven,’ and they began to distance themselves from him. Vietnamese in the north especially suffered because they had to feed the Chinese from their own meager food supplies. Thus the psychological climate in the north came to favor the Tay Son.
While this was transpiring, Nguyen Hue had been busy with military preparations at Phu Xuan (Hue). At the time he had some 6,000 men in his army. Spies in the north had kept him well informed of Chinese intentions, but he faced a difficult decision. Nguyen Anh was again causing problems in the south, and Nguyen Hue had to determine which was the greater threat. Although he ultimately decided that the Chinese were the bigger problem, Nguyen Hue sent a trusted general south to deal with Nguyen Anh should he try to take advantage of the situation. On December 22, 1788, Nguyen Hue erected an altar on a hill south of Phu Xuan and proclaimed himself king, in effect abolishing on his own the Le dynasty. He then took the name of Quang Trung.
Four days later, Quang Trung was in Nghe An recruiting. This province, with its high birthrate and low rice production, has traditionally been recognized as one of the best places in Vietnam from which to recruit capable soldiers. Many men agreed to join the army, which reportedly grew to 100,000 men with several hundred elephants. To instill confidence, all new recruits were placed under Quang Trung’s direct command.
In an effort to widen his appeal, Quang Trung played on nationalism, declaring:
The Qing have invaded our country… In the universe each earth, each star has its particular place the North [China] and the South [Vietnam] each have their own government. The men of the North are not of our race, they will not think our way or be nice to us. Since the Han dynasty, they have invaded us many times, massacring and pillaging our people. We could not stand that. Today, the Qing have invaded us again hoping to reestablish Chinese prefectures, forgetting what happened to the Song, to the Yuan, and to the Ming. That is why we must raise an army to chase them out. You, men of conscience and courage, join us in this great enterprise.
At the same time Quang Trung sought to deceive his opponents. He sent a letter to Sun Shi-yi falsely declaring that the Tay Son wished to surrender. This led the Chinese to become even more over-confident and neglect military preparations.
On January 15, 1789, Quang Trung put his forces in motion and, at Mount Tam Diep, joined up with forces under Ngo Van So. Although he had earlier accused Ngo Van So of having retreated before the enemy, Quang Trung now said:
In the art of war, when an army is defeated the general deserves death. However, you were right when you decided to give way to the enemy when they were at their best in order to reinforce our troops and to withdraw to hold strategic positions. That kept our men in high spirits and made the enemy more arrogant. It was a cunning operation… This time I personally command our troops. I have made my plan. In 10 days we will drive them back to China and it will all be over. But as their country is 10 times larger than ours, they will be very ashamed of their loss and will certainly take revenge. There will be endless fighting between the two countries, which will wreak havoc on our people. Therefore after this war I would like Ngo Thi Nham to write to them in his elegant manner to stop war completely. In 10 years’ time, when we have constructed a rich and strong state, we won’t have to fear them anymore.
Quang Trung learned from his spies that the Chinese planned to begin their offensive southward out of Thang Long on the sixth day of the new year in an attack on Phu Xuan. He planned a spoiling attack and ordered his soldiers to celebrate Tet early, promising that they would be able to properly celebrate later in Thang Long. On January 25, the last day of the year, the Tay Son left Tam Diep to take the offensive.
Nearly half the Chinese army was near the capital. Sun Shi-yi’s remaining troops were deployed on a north-south line along the major road connecting Thang Long to the approaches to the Tam Diep Mountains. The route was protected by the natural defenses of the Red River and three other waterways-the Nhuc, Thanh Quyet and Gian Thuy rivers. The line was flanked to the west and to the east from Thang Long by posts at Son Tay and at Hai Duong. This forced the Tay Son to attack the main Chinese line at some distance from the capital and reduce successively the most important forts. Sun Shi-yi believed that, in the unlikely event of a Tay Son attack, this disposition would give Chinese reserves time to intervene. It also ensured that the Chinese could maintain contact between all three major elements of their forces and protect their lines of communication back into southern China. But it emphasized offensive, rather than defensive, operations.
Sun Shi-yi was not initially concerned about a Tay Son attack. When it became obvious that the Tay Son troops were about to go on the offensive, he belatedly sent troops to reinforce key posts and his best general to command the defensive line to the south. In the process of strengthening the forts, the Chinese arranged them so as to wear out the attackers each fort closer to the capital was stronger than the last.
Quang Trung’s troops moved north rapidly in five columns to converge on Thang Long. Quang Trung commanded the main force of infantry, horsemen and elephants transporting the army’s heavy artillery. It would strike Ngoc Hoi, the principal Chinese position south of the capital and headquarters of the Chinese general commanding the south.
To force the Chinese to disperse, Quang Trung sent part of his fleet, commanded by General Nguyen Van Tuyet, to the port of Hai Phong. It was to destroy the small Le force there, then attack the Chinese east of the Red River and support the main force in its drive on Thang Long. Another part of the fleet sailed north to the border provinces of Yen The and Lang Giang to harass Chinese lines of communication north.
The fourth group of Tay Son, commanded by General Bao, had horsemen and elephants as well as infantry. It would take a different route from the main body but would join it in the assault on Ngoc Hoi.
The fifth Tay Son column, led by General Long and including horsemen and elephants, was to make a quick and sudden attack on Thang Long to dispirit the Chinese. It was to destroy Chinese forces southwest of the capital, then move east to Sun Shi-yi’s headquarters and attack Chinese troops withdrawing from other directions.
In the middle of the night on January 25, Quang Trung’s force took the outpost at Son Nam in Nam Dinh province defended by the Le king’s followers, who had been celebrating the new year. It then rapidly seized one after another of the forts defending access to the capital. On the third day of Tet, January 28, the Tay Son surrounded the important post of Ha Hoi, some 20 kilometers southwest of the capital. Caught off guard, the Chinese defenders there surrendered with their arms and supplies.
On January 29 Tay Son forces reached Ngoc Hoi, 14 kilometers south of the capital and the last Chinese fort before Thang Long. The strongest Chinese defensive position, it was manned by 30,000 well-trained troops and protected by trenches, minefields, pit traps and bamboo stakes.
Quang Trung waited a day for Long’s column to join up from the southwest. At dawn the next day the Tay Son struck from two directions. Elephants led the attack and easily defeated the Chinese horsemen. The Chinese then withdrew into the fort, which was attacked by elite Tay Son commandos formed in groups of 20 men, who protected themselves by holding over their heads wooden planks covered with straw soaked in water. The attacking troops immediately came under heavy Chinese cannon and arrow fire. The Tay Son infantry employed small incendiary rockets called hoa ho.
Mounted on an elephant, Quang Trung directed operations. Vietnamese historians tell us that his armor was ‘black from the powder smoke.’ As soon as the assault force reached the walls and ramparts, the troops threw down their shields and fought hand to hand. After intense fighting, the Tay Son emerged victorious, and large numbers of Chinese, including general officers, died.
The other Tay Son columns were also successful. General Long’s force defeated the Chinese at Khuong Thuong, and their commander committed suicide. General Bao’s troops at Dam Muc also ambushed Chinese troops retreating from Ngoc Hoi to Thang Long. The Vietnamese killed thousands of the northern invaders. The Chinese defensive line south of the capital was completely shattered. The Dong Da post, now within the city of Ha Noi, was taken after a day of fierce fighting. The Chinese commander there hanged himself.
Sun Shi-yi learned of the defeats at Ngoc Hoi and Khuong Thuong in the middle of the night of January 29, about the same time the Tay Son entered the capital’s suburbs. With fires visible in the distance, Sun Shi-yi did not bother to put on his armor or saddle his horse but mounted it bareback and fled over the Red River, followed by others on horseback. The Chinese infantry soon joined the flight, but the bridge they tried to use in their escape became overburdened and collapsed under their weight. According to Vietnamese accounts, the Red River was filled with thousands of Chinese bodies. King Le Chieu Thong also fled along with his family and found refuge in China, ending the 300-year-long Le dynasty in Vietnam.
on the afternoon of the fifth day of the new year Quang Trung’s troops entered Thang Long. As their commander had promised, they celebrated Tet there on the seventh day of the new year. Quang Trung then sent out orders to his generals to pursue the Chinese, hoping to capture Sun Shi-yi. His intention was to frighten the Chinese so much that they would give up their dream of conquering Vietnam. He promised, however, to treat humanely all those who surrendered, and thousands of Chinese troops did so.
Modern-day Vietnamese know this campaign by a variety of names-the Victory of Ngoc Hoi-Dong Da, the Emperor Quang Trung’s Victory over the Manchu, or the Victory of Spring 1789. Today it is still celebrated in Vietnam as the country’s greatest military achievement.
Quang Trung profited from Chinese errors. Instead of continuing his offensive to destroy the Tay Son, Sun Shi-yi had halted. Confident of his superior numbers, he had underestimated his adversary and relaxed discipline. But Quang Trung had carefully prepared his campaign. As historian Le Thanh Khoi noted, in the course of a 40-day campaign, Quang Trung had devoted 35 days to preparations and only five to actual battle. His lieutenant’s wise decision to retreat from the north had freed up sufficient troops. Another key was the attitude of the civilian population, which rallied to the Tay Son in their march north, providing food, material support and tens of thousands of soldiers. This gave Quang Trung the resources needed to take the offensive. He also managed to preserve military secrecy until the time of his attack. Being on the offensive also helped offset his 2-to-1 numerical inferiority. And his attack on the eve of Tet was a particularly brilliant stroke because it caught the Chinese off guard, when they were getting ready to celebrate the lunar new year.
Once launched, Quang Trung’s offensive went forward without pause over five days. Attacks were usually launched at night, to create maximum confusion for the enemy. Days, meanwhile, were spent on preparations. Quang Trung reportedly organized his forces into three-man teams, two of whom would carry the third in a hammock. They would then change places periodically to minimize march time. The rapid and simultaneous nature of the attacks prevented the Chinese from bringing up reserves, added to their confusion and kept them from shifting their resources.
Quang Trung’s offensive covered nearly 80 kilometers and took six forts-a rate of 16 kilometers and more than one fort a day. Counting the retreat from Thang Long, his troops covered 600 kilometers in only 40 days. Considering the state of Vietnamese roads at the time, this was an astonishing achievement. The offensive, concentration of force, excellent training, effective use of combined arms and rapid mobility gave the Tay Son victory. Numbers were not as important as morale the attackers were clearly motivated by the strong desire to free their country from foreign domination.
Quang Trung can be regarded as one of the greatest of Vietnamese leaders, a commander who won two of the most important military victories in Vietnamese history. He reunited the realm, repelled the Siamese and saved his country from Chinese domination. Contemporary Western missionaries in Vietnam compared him to Alexander the Great. But Quang Trung was more than a military hero he was also one of Vietnam’s greatest kings. If anything, Quang Trung’s reputation has grown since 1975-he is regarded as a king raised from the people. Ironically, during his own time many Vietnamese regarded Quang Trung as a usurper because he did not come from a noble family. Evidently they preferred a bad king from a good family to an effective king from a poor family.
Recognizing the need for peace and accommodation with China, Quang Trung immediately sought normalization of trade relations with the Chinese after the battle and pledged fealty to their emperor. He further requested permission to travel to Beijing, a trip he made in 1790. Meanwhile, in December 1789 an imperial emissary presented him with ritual confirmation as king of An Nam.
Quang Trung showed himself willing to work with capable individuals, regardless of their past loyalties. This helped attract the best men to his service. He reorganized the army and carried out fiscal reforms. He redistributed unused lands, mainly to the peasants. He promoted crafts and trade, and pushed for reforms in education, stating that ‘to build a country, nothing is more important than educating the people.’
Quang Trung also believed in the importance of studying history he had his tutors lecture to him on Vietnamese history and culture six times a month. He wanted to open trade with the West, and Western missionaries of his day noted that they were able to carry out their religious activities with more freedom than before.
Quang Trung was the first Vietnamese leader to add science to the Mandarinate examinations. He also introduced a Vietnamese currency and insisted that Nom, the demotic writing system combining Chinese characters with Vietnamese, be used in court documents.
Unfortunately, Quang Trung’s reign was brief-he died of an unknown illness in March or April 1792. Many Vietnamese believe that had he lived a decade longer their history would have been different. Quang Trung’s son, Quang Toan, ascended the throne, but he was then only 10 years old. Within a decade Nguyen Anh, the surviving Nguyen lord, came to power and proclaimed himself king as Gia Long, establishing the Nguyen dynasty.
For more great articles be sure to subscribe to Vietnam Magazine today!
Chinese Government responds to the “offensive” statements of Budapest’s Mayor
The Chinese Embassy in Hungary has responded to the statements announced on the demonstration held in Budapest against Fudan University last Saturday. According to the spokesman, lies and false information were expressed at the event that, among others, criticised the Chinese political system and the friendly cooperation between China and Hungary.
As we previously reported, the Hungarian campus of the Fudan University would be built in the southern part of Budapest on the eastern bank of the Danube, with four faculties – Arts and Social Studies, Medicine, Public Administration, Natural Sciences and Technology – available for 6000 national and international students. The project is also significant as Fudan Budapest would be the second-biggest Chinese university outside China. However, the project is a divisive issue between the Hungarian government and the opposition parties who organised the massive demonstration last Saturday with the motto “Yes to the Student City, no to the Chinese University Giant”.
The event was attended by thousands of participants, including
Budapest’s Mayor, Gergely Karácsony whose speech was found to be outrageous by the Chinese Embassy in Hungary.
According to the Press Spokesman for the Chinese Embassy, the demonstration held on 5th June against the Fudan project was disrespectful and offensive, containing several false information announced by “some politicians of Budapest”. As the Hungarian news portal Telex reports, the diplomat, who has been living in Hungary for ten years, was shocked by Budapest’s Mayor, Gergely Karácsony’s speech at the event that attacked the Chinese political system and the Chinese-Hungarian friendly cooperation based on mutual respect.
The embassy’s official Facebook page responded as follows: „in broad daylight, it is unseemly to criticise the internal affairs of another country.”
According to the post, even though the Mayor has repeatedly stated that his statements did not target China or the Chinese people, his speech was full of ideological prejudices and hostility that encourages confrontation. Furthermore, the „single-handed” rename of several streets realised a few days ago – “Xinjiang independence”, “Tibet independence”, and “Hong Kong independence” – are also difficult to understand as if they were not clearly aimed at China and the Chinese people.
According to the embassy, this is an interference in China’s internal affairs that sabotages the friendly cooperation between China and Hungary.
Based on the post of the Chinese Embassy in Hungary, they strongly protest, oppose and condemn this, adding that “China upholds the common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom for all mankind.” The full post can be read here:
Voice of the Press Spokesman from Chinese Embassy in Hungary As a diplomat of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of…Posted by Chinese Embassy in Hungary on Sunday, June 6, 2021
At the end of the official announcement shared on Facebook, the Press Spokesman asked Budapest’s Mayor to support the friendship of the Hungarian and Chinese peoples instead and also provided three valuable bits of advice on how to be a good mayor. Accordingly, he suggested Gergely Karácsony „live up to the trust of Budapest citizens ” to stay objective and rational” instead of misleading people with false information and keep his “gentlemanly demeanour” when talking about China in the future.
Concerning the Fudan project in the Hungarian capital, spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry told at Monday’s press conference that the Budapest campus is in the interests of all parties and is in line with current trends. Vang Ven-pin also added that the Fudan campus in Budapest is an important platform for exchange relationships. Responding to a demonstration against the campus in Budapest on Saturday, the spokesman expressed hope that “in Hungary, the relevant objective, reasonable and scientific approach can be used instead of politicizing and discussing normal “people-to-people exchanges”, maintaining bilateral friendship and cooperation.
Chinese officialdom – we again witness, the position they take, that is constructed built on and around manipulated in a “dogma” – believing in what they respond or communicate as a factual and objectionable reply.
The empty rhetoric – that is the Chinese way of response, when decisions or challenges or criticism are – in their opinion – directed at them, can – AGAIN – be seen, in the response received from this Embassy Staff Member of the Chinese Government, residing in Budapest, Hungary.
China, to a degree have played into the hands of the growing number of Hungarian citizens – who are opposing and objecting to the establishment building of the Fudan University.
The “taking of the bate” the response they have sent the citizens of Hungary, presents great opportunities to further “sink” and “bury” the dangerous prospects for the future of Hungary, if this Fudan University concept was ever established and built.
The Chinese response plays into the hands of opposition political parties – which should rest with the Budapest Lord Mayor – to continue, as the principal up front spokesperson.
The opportunity presents to expand political territories of objection – outside this “in bed” with China relationship, that is “rampant” – in the present style and direction of the present Hungarian Government.
Factuality – correcting the Chinese in their Response – which in reply should contain putting them the Chinese “on notice” – not to talk with “fork tongues” and don’t mingle and attempt by your empty rhetoric – to “fester” the citizens of Hungary with statements that totally lack substance of FACT.
This is a “Pandora’s box” type opportunity – the Chinese “taking the bate” – a Humongous opportunity presenting it-self, that should enable opposition political party’s, the spokesperson being, the Budapest Mayor, to add on-going – “shame” and “blame” – not just to and on the Chinese – but to the present Hungarian Government.
REMEMBER : Internationally it is known – the Chinese Government – NEVER apologize – there way or no way.
China – readers please – just not in recent decades of time BUT History, it is fact that you can’t say a word of disagreement against the Chinese.
Historically they respond
” You have Offended US “.
Hungary – see the light, and treat them with great Trepidation – for your Future.
Chinese best advised – the major “movers and shakers” of the global world intensifying their watching of China, that gives indications, that they are “preying” on small under financed countries – vulnerable countries, especially those, that have taken and still in times of economic uncertainty – that suggest, a trend that could be likened to an Octopus extending it’s Tentacles.
Europe – is a growing target of this “new” and developing strategy, of China.
Hungary encouraged by it’s clear direction to all that the present Government pursues is “on the list” in the future plans of China.
The new silk road of the 21st century – the meeting of the West with the East not helped by the location of Hungary ideally and strategically located in Europe – as a “terminal” – a distribution center and point for the Chinese, with their conglomeration of products and materials.
China – have big vision plans of growing and vastly expanding in greater quantity throughout Europe.
They are on the prowl – and deepening their “preying” agenda, playing on the vulnerable and Hungary – we are on their list and NEED to put an end to this growing and Government encouraged and supported relationship with China.
Texas closed the Chinese Consulate because of spying and stealing intellectual property.
The Chinese have contributed HUGELY to mankind’s advancement – much more than the so-called ‘European Union’ ever has or indeed will in the future.
Contributors such as “Caritas”, “Norbert” and “Nathaniel” have the same narrow viewpoint as the PATHETIC left-wing, parasitic European Commission / Parliament together with those useless bureaucrats in Brussels, which want nothing to do with China unless it complies with their amazingly distorted view of the world.
Such institutions / individuals can only be described as ‘racist bastards’ who hide behind dictatorial edicts and continual obfuscation.
By the way, fellas, are any of you actually Hungarians who speak the language or do you just enjoy submitting such total nonsense to ‘get your rocks off’ whilst pretending to comment on behalf of REAL Hungarians ?
You obviously have MASSIVE ‘inferiority complexes’ and need urgent psychiatric help (as inpatients).
12 racist and offensive phrases that people still use all the time
As language evolves, we sometimes forget the offensive origins of certain words and phrases. Or we never knew them in the first place.
Many common terms and phrases are actually rooted in racist, sexist, or generally distasteful language. For example, the popular phrase "peanut gallery," typically used to reference hecklers, originated as a term to refer to those — usually Black people — who sat in the "cheapest" section of the Vaudeville theaters.
Similarly, people might not realize that the term "uppity," nowadays used generally to refer to a stuck-up or arrogant person, was commonly used to describe Black people that "didn't know their socioeconomic place."
As the nation enters a new age, new phrases should follow suit. Here are 12 popular phrases that you may want to rethink using in everyday conversation.
7. U.S. counterspace
|Closer to Mainland China Taiwan Scenario||Farther from Mainland China Spratly Islands Scenario|
|7. U.S. counterspace||Chinese advantage||Chinese advantage||Approximate Parity||Approximate Parity||Chinese advantage||Chinese advantage||Approximate Parity||Approximate Parity|
|Year||Closer to Mainland China Taiwan Scenario||Farther from Mainland China Spratly Islands Scenario|
|1996||Chinese advantage||Chinese advantage|
|2003||Chinese advantage||Chinese advantage|
|2010||Approximate Parity||Approximate Parity|
|2017||Approximate Parity||Approximate Parity|
The United States, with 526 operational satellites, has a far more extensive orbital infrastructure than does China, with 132 satellites (as of January 2015). However, China has been accelerating its space efforts. Its average rate of satellite launches in 2009–2014 was more than double that of 2003-2008, and more than triple that in 1997–2002. The United States has historically been hesitant to deploy operational counterspace capabilities, in part because it fears legitimating such deployments by others and because of its own dependence on space support for other types of military operations. In 2002, however, Washington changed course and approved funding for selective counterspace capabilities. In 2004, the Counter Communications System, designed to jam enemy communication satellites, reached initial operational capability.
The U.S. military could also potentially utilize experimental or dual-use systems. Laser ranging stations could provide accurate position data to other counterspace systems. More powerful lasers, such as the High-Energy Laser system, could potentially be used to dazzle Chinese satellites' optical sensors. Finally, the U.S. military could potentially use improved ballistic missile interceptors as kinetic weapons, though practical and political considerations would weigh strongly against such destructive attacks. Overall, although the United States leads in the use of space to support terrestrial operations, its counterspace capabilities remain relatively underdeveloped.
Yes, 'Chinaperson' Is A Racist Term
West Virginia Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship claimed the term “Chinaperson” isn’t racist, however the origins of the word run counter to that sentiment.
The phrase appears to be a version of the term “Chinaman,” a moniker that has its roots in the 19th century and was largely used to dehumanize Chinese immigrants. The former coal CEO had used it to describe Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s father-in-law, James Chao, as a “wealthy Chinaperson” while implying McConnell (R-Ky.) could have conflicts of interest in foreign relations. Days later, he defended his use of the word.
“This idea that calling somebody a ‘Chinaperson,’ I mean, I’m an American person. I don’t see this insinuation by the press that there’s something racist about saying a ‘Chinaperson,’” the candidate said during a primary debate hosted by Fox News. “Some people are Korean persons, and some of them are African persons. That’s not any slander there.”
As Gay Yuen, board president of Los Angeles’ Chinese American Museum, pointed out to HuffPost, “Chinaman” has origins in the 1860s. Chinese immigrants were drawn to the U.S. because of the Gold Rush and ended up taking jobs on the transcontinental railroad. The immigrants, mostly men from southern China, laid track for half the massive railroad, along with several other railroads in the West, but were ridiculed and emasculated for their work. White workers, who were resentful of the immigrants’ skill on the railroad, often described the Chinese men as “monkeys” or “midgets,” according to author Stan Steiner’s book Fusang, The Chinese Who Built America.
“As the wave of immigrants increased, so did hostility toward the Chinese, who were willing to work for lower wages and longer hours,” Yuen told HuffPost.
Herb Tam, curator at New York City’s Museum of Chinese in America, told HuffPost that by calling the immigrants “Chinamen,” people could erase any individuality or humanity from the group.
“Chinese merchants and laborers were called these names instead of their actual names, creating a sense that Chinese were an undifferentiated mass of interchangeable people,” he said.
The demeaning stereotypes and bitterness toward the Chinese workers led to attacks and even murders. Oftentimes authorities would turn a blind eye. In one case, Irish railroad worker Paddy O’Rourke killed a Chinese man. The judge presiding over the case, Roy Bean, dismissed it after saying he’d “be damned if he could find any law against killing a Chinaman,” though Texas law prohibited the killing of human beings, as was pointed out by the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University.
What’s more, the name became attached to a racist caricature often used to depict Chinese immigrants of the time. With slanted eyes, and exaggerated traditional dress and hairstyle, drawings of “John Chinaman” would often be used to emphasize the “otherness” of the men, Tam said. The caricature was associated with negative qualities. In one particular song about the character, John Chinaman was described as a liar and a thief who ate rats and puppies.
Oftentimes, these offensive illustrations replaced photographs of Chinese workers. They even accompanied newspaper accounts of tragic events, like the Massacre of 1871, during which a mob of 500 hanged several Chinese men and boys. The event resulted in the deaths of an estimated 17 Chinese immigrants, Yuen explained.
The caricature was widely reproduced and continued to be illustrated into the 20th century, when large buckteeth were frequently added. The cartoon even made it into Dr. Seuss propaganda works and was used as an insulting depiction of Japanese people during World War II.
Though he himself may believe the term means no harm, Blankenship shouldn’t ignore the long history of the term “Chinaman,” Tam noted.
“This name needs to be seen in the context of the broader treatment of Chinese at that time, [who] were physically attacked and murdered, given extremely dangerous assignments and paid much less than their white counterparts,” he said.
Furthermore, the Senate candidate does not have the right to authoritatively determin whether the term is offensive, Yuen said.
“The person who uses the potentially derogatory term is not the one who gets to decide its appropriateness or impact. That right belongs to the person who is the object of the derision,” she explained.
The way in which Blankenship used “Chinaperson” to describe Chao, who founded a shipping company in the U.S. and is the father of U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, reduces him to a “foreign and untrustworthy other,” further emphasizing the perpetual foreigner stereotype often attached to Asian-Americans, said Karin Wang, a vice president at the civil rights group Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
Ultimately, it’s really not difficult to avoid using “Chinaperson” or “Chinaman.”
“Why use such a contrived term as ‘Chinaperson’ when acceptable terms of Chinese and Chinese American already exist?” Yuen asked.