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China and North Korea: Kim is like Chairman Mao?

On 4 July, the United States’ National Day, North Korea has launched seven missiles tests again and some of them were medium-range rockets that pose threat to Japan and South Korea. While Kim Jong Il has been portrayed as a crazy and authoritarian figure, Chinese netizens are eager to compare him with Chairman Mao.

An article titled “Kim Jong Il is just like Chairman Mao!” received a lot of attention in the Qiangguo Forum, a website run by state-owned the People’s Daily. In the article, chibilanting associates Kim Jong Il with Chairman Mao when dealing with military threats. As chibilanting argues,

我们看看毛主席的时代。新中国刚一解放,美国就联合诸国侵略朝鲜。我们保家卫国,支援朝鲜,我们打了过去,美国还是在自己没有胜利的协议书上签了字。印度占我领土,我们打了过去,剑指新德里。苏联占我珍宝岛,我们打了过去,珍宝岛还在我们手中。

Let's examine Mao's era: the United States joined force with other countries to invade North Korea soon after China has been liberalized. We defended our country and supported North Korea. We survived through the war and the U.S was forced to sign the peace agreement without victory. India occupied our territories, we targeted at New Delhi and survived through the war. The Soviet Union invaded our Zhenbao Island, we fought and now Zhenbao Island is in our hands.

朝鲜射出了卫星,美日韩没敢拦截,成了这一世纪的笑柄!紧接着,朝鲜又进行了核试验。联合国出了个什么几号决议,朝鲜的立场更加强硬。自称可以根据联合国决议可以检查朝鲜“江南号”货船的美国,动用了第七舰队,可是最后还是没敢拦截检查!朝鲜人在挨饿!这也许是真的。但是,金正日没输给奥巴马、李明博、麻生!正像中国的毛主席,没有输给世界一样!金正日就像毛主席!

When North Korea launched the satellite, USA, Japan and South Korea dare not intercept. It is such a joke! North Korea then launched a series of nuclear tests and the United Nations proposed several resolutions, but North Korean became ever stronger in its stand. The United States claimed that they could check upon North Korea's Cargos under the United Nations’ resolution, eventually its Seventh Fleet did not make any interception. North Koreans might be starving, but Kim Jong Il did not lose to Obama, Lee Myung-bak and Aso. Just like China’s Chair Mao, who did not lose to the world! Kim Jong Il is like Chairman Mao!

A lot of comments followed, 221.205.34 said,

金正日只不过是毛主席的一名学生罢了!!!

Kim Jong Il is only one of the Chair Mao’s students!!!

Another netizen, Caiyunchangzai also agreed,

金正正在学习毛泽东精神,正在学习和运用毛泽东思想!

Kim is learning Mao’s spirit and his beliefs!

Gaoshanmei said,

不要说,金正日的硬骨头的确像毛主席!我们如果有这样像毛主席的领导,人民会感到多么幸福啊!

Needless to say, Kim’s bones are as strong as Mao’s. If our leaders resembled Mao, people will be very fortunate!

222.50.82 also said,

和老毛不是一个级别的,不过骨气倒不错,至少比我们的政府强

He (Kim) cannot compete with old Mao, but his bones (characters) are stronger than our government.

Another Chinese blogger, Enjoy Drawing, also compares Kim with Mao in his comment on Kim's portrait,

当年毛主席说:“枪杆子里面出政权!”现在时代进步了,应该说:“核导弹可以保政权!”

Chairman Mao has once said, “regime vests in gun”. Now the world has advanced and it should become “regime vests in nuclear bomb!”

kims-photo1

The blogger explains why Kim was portrayed in an upright position:

他也很明白,他和萨达姆不一样,萨达姆在中东是孤家寡人,孤军奋战。而朝鲜身后—站着一个比上世纪抗美援朝时更加强大的中国!

He understands that he is different from Saddam Hussein, Saddam was alone fighting. While behind North Korea, stands a strong China, which is much stronger than the time when it fought against the United State during the Korea War in the last century.

20 comments

  • kuzf

    Let’s examine Mao’s era: the United States joined force with other countries to invade North Korea soon after China has been liberalized. We defended our country and supported North Korea. We survived through the war and the U.S was forced to sign the peace agreement without victory. India occupied our territories, we targeted at New Delhi and survived through the war. The Soviet Union invaded our Zhenbao Island, we fought and now Zhenbao Island is in our hands. —

    whahahahahaha.. what and uneducated loser!

    • OK Kuzf, I humbly accept your honorable invitation to examine Mao’s era after China had been “liberalized”.

      I hope you are enjoying a relaxing summer vacation on Zhenbao Island. Have you thought about visiting any other border islands in China?

      How about Chouduan Island (绸缎岛) in Liaoning province at the mouth of the Yalu River? It’s a great place for birdwatching and you can see many different kinds of waterfowl like cranes and egrets. Oops, wait a minute. It looks like China evacuated this island in 1963 and gave it to North Korea! How could land so close to China’s shore be given away as a gift to … Kim Il-Sung!!
      What was Mao thinking?

      OK, we’ll just go upstream a little further and do our birdwatching on nearby Huangjinping Island (黄金坪). Oops! 又来了! China conceded this island to North Korea as well! Hey, there’s even a small settlement of North Koreans living at this plot of land on China’s shoreline. That Mao was one generous bloke, eh mate?
      Well, I guess we’ll just have to go a little further upstream again. Sorry for the inconvenience. Oh look! What about Yu Chi Island? (于赤岛)
      Nice view of the Hushan Great Wall, we’ll get good photos from this vantage point. What? The North Koreans own this one too? That’s right! There’s even an amusing little sightseeing spot the Chinese call “Yi Bu Kua” (一步跨) where tourists like you can have their picture taken stepping onto land north of the Yalu that China conceded to North Korea. Mao must be rolling in his mausoleum now, don’t you think so Kuzf?
      哇哈哈哈哈! (wahahahaha!)

  • Sonagi

    I checked out the original entire post and some of the responses at the People’s Daily forum. The post was mostly praise of North Korea and condemnation of the US, Japan, and South Korea’s Lee Myung-bak government and its refusal to keep funding the North Korean regime via the Sunshine Policy. Some Chinese commenters took issue with the OP putting KJI on the same level as Mao:

    117.89.105 2009-07-05 16:52:54: “毛主席的伟大、英明,至少若干年内难以有人能够比肩。
    你可以夸奖别人,但不可以贬低毛主席!”

    “Mao’s greatness and wisdom, after some years it may be difficult for some to make a comparison. You may praise others, but do not disparage Chairman Mao!

    xymmm 2009-07-05 22:06:07 :”笑话!和毛主席比肩的人还没出生!”

    What a joke! There is no one who compares to Chairman Mao!

    221.178.75 ] 于2009-07-05 23:30:36 : “管他谁像谁?谁是伟人,谁是智者?
    我们老百姓就图个有吃、住、住、穿、行,健康!
    至于说什么制度,什么是伟人和小人,我们小老百姓不能左边,也与此无关.
    我们要的是自由\民主\幸福!”

    He wonders who is like who? Who is great? Who is wise? We the people seek food, shelter, clothing, and health! Regarding whatever system, who is great or not, we little folks cannot take a side or take any interest in this. What we want is freedom, democracy, and happiness!

    中华是我亲爱的家 于2009-07-05 11:14:05:
    “在文革中,像你这种瞎乱类比的人,是会遭到严厉处罚.你是拍马屁拍到马蹄上了.这表明你的智商有问题. ”

    During the Cultural Revolution, your kind would have suffered severe punishment for such reckless comparisons. You’re a boot licker, which calls into question your intelligence.

    架秧滴 于2009-07-05 10:11:12:
    “你想埋汰毛主席直说。金正日能跟毛主席比?差老鼻子了!”

    You tarnish Chairman Mao with your candid talk. Kim Jong-il compares to Chairman Mao? You’re way off.

    Not everyone was so dismissive. There was a lot of badmouthing of the US. It’s not that the Chinese think Kim Jong-il is great. They’re more likely to ridicule him than praise him. It’s that the Chinese cheer on any leader or any country that engages in a confrontation with the US. The OP appears to be pro-North Korean, judging by the heaps of praise for Kim Jong-il and criticism of the US and South Korea, especially Lee Myung-bak. Some of the commenters who agreed admired Kim for his defiance of the US.

    A few commenters responded sarcastically to the OP’s propagandish tone:

    又好又快 于2009-07-05 15:41:49:
    “今年朝鲜GDP超过韩国”

    This year North Korea’s GDP will surpass the South’s.

    唤醒千百万 2009-07-05 10:48:48 : “金正日同志是朝鲜人民的伟大太阳。”

    Comrade Kim Jong-il is the Great Sun of the people of Chosun.

  • Thanks for the translation, Sonagi.

    It is very interesting to see how young Chinese view the world by looking at their comparison bewteen Mao and Kim.

    There is a recent article “Contemporary Chinese Youth and the State” by Stanley Rosen (The Journal of Asian Studies, vol 68, no.2. May 2009). In the study, Rosen argues that western culture, particular American culture has been penetrating into post-1980s generation of Chinese youths when they grow up eating MacDonald and KFC. Besides, they do not have so much support to their communist party/communism. In a survey, more than 2,000 students from various universities in Xian, only 11.5 per cent of respondents believe in communism and most of the remaining view the party membership as a passport to a well-paid job and good housing in major cities.

    However, most of the Chinese netizens (I expect most of them are young generation) view Mao as their truly God and we should stand strongly as Kim did towards the evil America imperialism. What they think and what they act might be totally different.

    In the article, there is another interesting finding, despite the fact that over 75 per cent of youth expressed their willingness to participate in politics, 72.5 per cent noted that they have not actually participated at all.

  • Sonagi

    I’ve not read Stanley Rosen’s work, but he is mistaken if he thinks Chinese eating American fast food and wearing American brands actually like America, Americans, and American ideals.

    “However, most of the Chinese netizens (I expect most of them are young generation) view Mao as their truly God and we should stand strongly as Kim did towards the evil America imperialism.”

    I would agree that most Chinese netizens admire Mao greatly. I’m not sure that most netizens think Kim Jong-il is a good role model. Prior to North Korea’s recent attention-getting antics, Chinese netizens had been scornful of him, calling him their favorite anti-Korean slur, “bangzi.” Even ordinary Chinese know that North Korea is an economic basketcase that survives mostly on foreign aid and remittances. In plain English, Chinese netizens only like Kim Jong-il when he’s lobbing missiles towards Japan or rattling his saber at the US.

    As for China, too, standing up to “American imperialism,” what exactly does that mean? What actions do young Chinese expect their government to take?

  • Ed

    People are too biased on North Korea.

    One question how do they know these things? you don’t live in North Korea.

    The only thing we can do is make assumptions from are what they’v been told.

    NK is not evil, only what you have been told about them is.

    • Sonagi

      The country is not evil. The regime is. North Korea chooses to be the most restrictive country in the world in terms of information inflow and outflow. Much of what we know comes from refugees, some of whom bear permanent scars as a testament to their mistreatment.

  • matsuo

    I’m surprised that Winglok the author of this article takes those comments seriously.

    Sonagi pretty much gets the bigger picture more accurately, it appears. No offence to Korean people but that’s closer to the reality of the attitude of the Chinese general public.

    That said, it doesn’t really surprise me if you can collect some comments like those from websites where those fifty-cent partiers and young male Chinese from what we call here “bogansville” congregate.

    It’s too hard to generalise a population of 1.3 billion, isn’t it. Yet it’s always nice to have some silly “s—s and giggles” at the expense of the stupidity of others. At least I think so. lol

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