Coming War?

My husband and I visited China for the first time in 2005 as English teachers. We would return to teach again in 2011.

During our first visit, I had occasion to watch some afternoon television. As you might find on some channels in America, old movies were the fare of the day.

More than once I’d turn on the television and find the storyline of a Chinese village being invaded by Japanese aggressors during World War II.

A visit to an amusement park provided a similar form of entertainment. Along with rides and fast food, actors depicted the Chinese villagers overcoming Japanese invaders. Stuffed dummies with red paint on them represented the killed Japanese troops.

Little children and accompanying parents took it all in.

Most American schoolchildren don’t learn about Japan’s occupation of China or about the Nanking Massacre in which the Japanese military murdered hundreds of thousands, raping and pillaging along their way.

Japan has never apologized. And China has never forgotten.

America fits into the picture this way. China and America were allies during World War II. China had been in the midst of a civil war between Communists and the Kuomintang when the Japanese invaded. After Japan surrendered, those who were able of the Kuomintang, America’s ally, escaped to Taiwan and claimed Chinese sovereignty there.

After the Communists won the mainland, America became the ally of both Japan and Taiwan. But history made no standstill there.

In southern China, I saw a memorial to the Chinese soldiers who fought Americans in Korea.

In 1989, China acknowledged having sent more than 300,000 troops into Vietnam to fight US troops and the South Vietnamese.

America and China have been on opposite sides for most of a century.

Even so, sixteen years ago in 2005, the countryside welcomed us. People knew we were there to help their children succeed in the world. We’d often receive smiles and hear, “Hello, Meguaren” or “Hello American.”

Six years later we returned. While our students and hosts were beyond gracious, we no longer heard, “Hello Meguaren” on the streets.

What had changed?

A new American Administration was spending money in such a way that it devalued the dollar. The money our government had borrowed from China was coming back to them in dollars worth less than the ones we had received. Our dollars bought half as much as they had six years earlier. The Chinese yuan bought less than it had six years before too.

The Chinese people felt America had cheated them.

And long-festering wounds continue to fester.

In my interactions with Chinese students–there and in the US–I was surprised to understand how deeply many Mainland Chinese young people want to reclaim Taiwan.

In the same way they learned to view Japan as an enemy, they learned and embraced the belief that Taiwan must come home–one way or another.

Curt Mills quotes Gordon Chang who asserts that the Olympics could be part of what spurs war–not the current Olympics in Japan, but the games slated for China next year.

“The risk of a Chinese invasion—India, Taiwan, Japan, whatever—increases after the Beijing Olympics next year,” said Gordon Chang, a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute. “The fear of a boycott of the February’s Games, it appears, is one of the few things keeping Xi Jinping in check at the moment. This, of course, is not to say he won’t do something awful before then as he calculates his interests and views the world differently than the rest of us.” 

Since China’s new administration took over in 2013, China has turned up the volume on its claim to Taiwan as well as some parts of Japan.

In a recent media broadcast, the CCP government announced that its promise not to employ “first-use” nuclear weapons was off the table if Japan were to join the US in defending Taiwan, implying the Chinese military intends to play its hand soon.

China has also disputed Japan’s sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands last summer and continues to send fishing boats and military vessels into Japanese waters around the islands. The number of ships increased this year.

The Senkaku Islands are close to Okinawa. One Senkaku island is a mere 250 miles from Okinawa, the US base in Japan, and the islands were previously considered part of the Okinawa Prefecture, clearly recognized as Japan’s according to international law.

War drums are beating on that side of the world. The crackdown in Hong Kong was only the beginning.

“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Matthew 24:6~

This rattling of sabers might be the beginning of the end. Or maybe not. No matter. When we hear of wars and rumors of wars, we are not to fear.

We are to pray. To watch. To keep faith.

Lord, keep us faithful to truth and what is right.

Photo Credit: Yu Kato, Unsplash (Chinatown in Yokohama, Japan)

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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19 Replies to “Coming War?”

  1. It seems like so many places around our world are near the boiling point. I do think war might be coming soon. But I trust in the One who foretold of these events. Thanks.

  2. A powerful post full of history and firsthand information from your travels. This conflict may indeed be the prophesied wars and rumors of wars in the last days. Only time will tell. Thank you for including the Biblical reminder not to be alarmed.

  3. I have often wondered why there is so much bad blood between US and China. The history you have narrated gives us a hint of how the conflict emerged.Thank you for sharing the history of that part of the world.

  4. Thanks for the history lesson and the update, Nancy. No matter where you look in the world, things are heating up – and pointing to the end times. As you say, we must keep looking to Jesus.

  5. Indeed Ms. Nancy. 2001 was my last trip to China (have been restricted for many years now from entering), but I remember how warmly I was received there, throughout the country and Inner Mongolia. I too suspect it would be very different today than when I lived and worked with them. And for what it’s worth, I think you’re dead on!

  6. Although we’ve had plenty of clues of an impending conflict between the US and China, you have spelled out the likely scenario in frightening detail. I hope and prayer we can work toward peace, not war. So much harm to so many will be the result of war between two such powerful nations. Much prayer needed.

    1. Amen, Katherine. I hope we can avoid war without making ourselves weak through appeasement. It will take grace from God. Thanks and God bless!

  7. Nancy, this is new information for me. And I was unaware you and your husband have been to China twice to teach English. Your ending summarizes it nicely,

    When we hear of wars and rumors of wars, we are not to fear.

    We are to pray. To watch. To keep faith.

    Lord, keep us faithful to truth and what is right.

  8. There is so much conflict in the world. I am thankful God is sovereign, esp. when tumultuous times seem so scary.

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