Sheng Li (gmachine1729) wrote,
Sheng Li

Steve Hsu and justification of discrimination against Chinese-Americans

Originally published at 狗和留美者不得入内. You can comment here or there.

In short, whites are visibly different and outsiders to Chinese; ethnic Chinese Americans are not. Anglo Westerners without liberal pro-American Chinese doing their dirty work do not pose any cultural or political subversion threat by themselves.

A similar phenomenon I have also witnessed in the difference between treatment of Russians vs treatment of Chinese in America. In general, there is not as much heartfelt hostility towards the latter due to their being able to pose as white, Western. Westerners are at least subconsciously aware that Chinese, being fully Mongoloid, are unable to hide or mix in the way Russians are. Therefore, Chinese are not an internal subversion threat to America. Because East Asians are so distant culturally and racially from whites, people like Iris Chang who expect whites to really care about Japanese atrocities in China during WWII are rather naive.

Yesterday, October 19, 2020 was the 70th anniversary of entry into Korean War by the People’s Volunteer Army. In honor of that, there is a 6 episode TV series being broadcast on CCTV 1. Speaking of which, I was reminded of being told last year about a Chinese-American soldier in that war by the name of Kurt Chew-Een Lee  who

While advancing, Lee shouted to the enemy in Mandarin Chinese to sow confusion and then attacked with hand grenades and gunfire. Lee was wounded in the knee and in the morning light was shot in the right elbow by a sniper, shattering the bones. He was evacuated to a MASH unit (an army field hospital) outside of Hamhung. For bravely attacking the enemy and saving his men, Lee was awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest honor given for combat bravery.

This couldn’t help be remind of me how Steve Hsu once commented that his nephew has finished ROTC or military school or what not, and is about to be commissioned.

As for his father, it’s somewhat of a sad case really. He never set foot in China after leaving in 1946 to do a PhD in America. He was considering doing a sabbatical at Qinghua in the early 70s but then decided not to go out of fear of the Cultural Revolution. My guess was it was his wife, a distant relative of Chiang Kai-shek, who dissuaded him.

I have told people in China about the case of Steve Hsu, including details about his father’s background. One of them mentioned that his grandfather was from a wealthy family in Zhejiang with some people high up in the KMT, who eventually went to Taiwan. But his grandfather stayed. During the Cultural Revolution, as a very well-trained and skilled engineer, he was also well treated, in spite of denunciation of Five Black Categories in the media. The guy said the likes of

People are not that stupid. For a technical human capital like that, even if they want to simply use him as a tool, they’d treat him well in order to use him longer. Feeding the chicken and waiting for it to hatch its eggs instead of killing it prematurely.

Now in 1950, 70+% of people in China were illiterate. In the 50s, anybody with a PhD from America in aerospace would have been highly coveted by important organizations, unless he was openly opposed to the new regime in China. So had Steve Hsu’s father returned to China, he would have become an elite or leader in China in aerospace, instead of merely a professor at a mediocre university in America, and a hypothetical clone of Steve Hsu born there would be by default well perceived, instead of being often implicitly questioned in America due to his race.

And the 80s, 90s, and 2000s was the best time for the Chinese who left before 49 and their children to reconnect with the homeland, establish trust and what not. But Steve Hsu also blew that away by taking CIA money for SafeWeb, which deployed VPNs in China, which were shut down within a year’s time. It is easy to find reports on the company by mainstream American media sources online.

In the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, the reformist faction of CPC was very much in power, and they were more sympathetic towards overseas Chinese. But after Xi and the CPC left took power, the position of overseas Chinese and returnees has been lowered significantly.

A difficulty with the case of Steve Hsu is his inconsistency. A decade after his company tried to subvert the Chinese internet with CIA company, he collaborated with BGI in Shenzhen, the largest genomics factory in the world, to find the genes for intelligence. He managed to manipulate thousands of highly intelligent people in America into giving BGI their DNA samples. For advertisement of that, he even gave a talk at Google.

He even commented in documentary DNA Dreams that because the Chinese government could not order all the smart kids to line up and spit their saliva in test tubes, which he wished were the case, he and the team at BGI would have to make that happen.

While Steve Hsu portrays himself as a maverick scientist who co-founded two, three, or four technology startups and strives for genomic prediction of complex traits amidst backlash from the American left, I am inclined to regard him a misguided, not to mention at the core somewhat of a spineless opportunist.

For instance, his advocacy against affirmative action I believe is much for the maximization of future prospects of his kids, who are now about the age of college application. He is of course concerned that tension between China and US will of course hurt his kids’ prospects. The difficulty here is that one is indirectly responsible for the actions of one’s ancestors. As harsh as it may sound, Chinese are not entitled to America simply because of the genocide against the Native Americans. Being clearly descended from losers in the Chinese Civil War, Steve Hsu is very much in denial about the reality of political power. Why should American mainstream hand over political power to Chinese-Americans simply because they have higher IQ and are more academically successful? In fact, that is only more reason for discrimination against them, especially when they are espionage and subversion risks in America.

Which is why I believe the Chinese with American background have to politically lean to one side if they want a non-mediocre career. Whether in China or in America, they will have to go out of their way to prove their political loyalty and political reliability. After all, if the conflict between China and US further intensifies, it’s the competent ethnic Chinese between the two sides who will be the first to go, trusted by none and easily sacrificed in the crossfire.

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