Look out, Taiwanese women!

Apparently there are evil smirking foreigners around every corner in Taipei, just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting Taiwanese girls who have just withdrawn money from an ATM.

Wilson pointed this poster out to me. It’s posted all over Taipei right now.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. I love how the black lettering says, “If you’re going to withdraw more than $500,000NT, this branch can provide you with a security escort.” $500,000NT is roughly $15,000US. I take that amount out of the ATM all the time without any hassles from goatee-sporting waiguoren. Gets me through the week pretty well too.

  2. Interestingly, the one with the goatee reminds me of a friend, who was indeed living in Taiwan until recently.

    But why do you think the girl in the picture is Taiwanese? She has pale skin and brown hair.

  3. Especially when the U.S. dollar is on the decline, Taiwan currency will used as “hard money”.

  4. pale skin = beautiful
    brown hair = stylish

    But then, what can you get from a rough sketch? I thought the guy on the left had a typical Chinese haircut, so maybe they’re just generic enough that viewers can read what they want out of the poster.

  5. zhwj (and Todd),

    First part: YES!

    Second part: Note the chin on the guy on the left. Chinese? I think not.

  6. The “girl” cartoon in the photo has the very popular fad hair color of Taiwan and Hong Kong. The magazines have ads for the hair dye – it’s a maroon rust color and it’s the latest rage in Asia, darling.

    As for the two “foreigner” troublemakers in front, the physique of the right guy is definitely not one of Asians nor is the goatee, “big nose” and hairstyle/color. Perhaps the stereotypical eyes on the left may cater towards the Asian look but again, like John said, the chin and again, the “big nose”!

    What kind of scare tactics is this poster and the maker trying to insist upon the people of Taipei?

  7. Aiya! is it really that common to display such a racist and sexist poster, I guess the taiwanese bank doesn’t worry about offending waiguoren

  8. Those dudes look Finnish, to me. What are a couple of Finns doing, prowling ATM’s in Taipei?

  9. No, I suspect they are Norwegian. Yeah, most definately Norwegians.

  10. Aiya, The guy on the right looks like you too John. LOL

  11. Well then. No wonder you were attacked at the disco when you were there, John. That guy you got in to an altercation with was merely looking out for all the money-withdrawing Taiwanese damsels out there by putting in to practice the Bush theory that a preemptive strike against foreigners would increase the security of the homeland.

  12. Goatee: Yo, check her out, man. Dibs!!
    Chin: Way to go, bra. You can totally score.
    Goatee: Yeah, dude. China* rocks!


  13. The guy on the left looks like the Mayor of Taipei – Ma Ying Jiu.

  14. anyone with the faintest understanding of geo ethnic humanoid groups can see that those 2 gentlemen are of austro hungarian descent

  15. What does “aiya” mean?

  16. Dude, they’re clearly Uyghurs.

    (Hey, if I can get mistaken for Uyghur, so could they…)

  17. Da Xiangchang Says: February 23, 2005 at 1:42 pm

    You know, the guy on the right really DOES look like John, albeit with thicker arms. 😉 The guy on the right, chin and all, looks Chinese to me. It’s the slanty eyes.

    I don’t know why the Chinese put in a Caucasian-looking thug in the poster. I don’t think it’s because the artist doesn’t like foreigners. I suspect it’s due to the fact that Asians often have a hard time drawing other Asians in a Western-dominated world. Look at Japanese anime. 9 out of 10 movies, the Japanese characters don’t look Asian at all but rather Caucasian or a weird Eurasian mix. Yet when Americans draw Asians, they look like Asians, like in Disney’s “Mulan.” What’s funny (and a bit messed up) is most authentic-looking Chinese people in posters aren’t in modern ads but rather in communist propaganda posters from the ’50s and ’60s! They looked TOTALLY Chinese, whether vanquishing big-nosed imperialists with machine guns or marching off into the glorious horizon with red books in hand. HA!

  18. Da Xiangchang Says: February 23, 2005 at 1:43 pm

    I mean, the guy on the LEFT looks Chinese.

  19. Do East Asian really look that different from North Europeans when it comes to realistic cartooning, The only way to make them look different is too give them huge noses

  20. Anonymous, Aiya is a common Cantonese exclamation expression for surprise.

    Brendan, it makes sense in a political incorrect way. I remember the Uyghurs in the city of Canton and ShenZhen got a bad reputation for pocket-picking and stealing, just like the Gypsy.

  21. “Aiya” is typically accompanied by feelings of a) disappointment b) surprise c) disgust …

    You say it obnoxiously as if you were nagging and expressively EYE-YAAAAAAA! It’s one of the most annoying terms you’ll ever hear.

  22. Followed closely by “hiyaahhhh!” which my friends use any time they are acting like they know martial arts, after seeing a martial arts movie…like a bunch of twelve year olds. 😉

  23. Freejack, I like Bruce Lee’s style “aaaadddaaah” better.

  24. That poster is a hoot! Like those guys are about cash… they just want some of that fine Taiwan booty!!! If she’s rich, that’s just a bonus!

  25. I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a Vietnamese friend once. She was reading a Japanese comic book and I asked her, “Why are all the characters Westerners?” (This was back in the 70’s before it became popular for Asians to die their hair.) She replied, “They’re not Westerners. They’re Asians.”

    My point is similar to Da Xiangchang’s (“I suspect it’s due to the fact that Asians often have a hard time drawing other Asians in a Western-dominated world.”)

  26. A Western dominated world? You guys are a card. When yu guys wrote that, the first thing that popped into my mind was that the Toyota is the best selling car in America, the biggest steel companies are outside the US, Europe is shriveling upon the vine and all know this (except perhaps the French). Likewise, Waiguoren is not a synonym for white people, although most white people are waiguoren. I say most, because there is a small minority in China that is white (I once saw several girls in Kunshan that sang in a large restaurant. They were passed off as Russians. They are usually classed as Uighurs (Uyghurs, Wighurs, etc.). They are small in stature, but have huge honking noses (noses that would put Jimmy Durante to shame)). As for the art work, when Western art became known in East Asia, it freed the Artists here, cartoons are cartoons, and quite often one can read what you want to read into a cartoon. Americans, hypersensitive to racism, see racism in more things than others. That is why the Vietnamese girl reading an anime saw Asians and only Americans (whether they are white, yellow, or black or whatever) see racist cartoons.

  27. Da Xiangchang Says: February 24, 2005 at 8:26 am

    Well, the world is less Western-dominated now than it was a century ago, but you would have to be blind to deny this reality. Sure, Toyota sells a lot of cars in America, but with the exception of Japan, the biggest economies in the world are still Western–and they include “shriveling” Europe. East Asia is growing by leaps and bounds, but they still have a LOT of work to do before they can catch up to the West. It’s about 100 years too early for any Asian to pat himself on the back.

    And modern pop culture is almost 100% American.
    And you don’t have to be racially “hypersensitive” to see that often Asian depictions of themselves AREN’T very Asian-looking. Asians, after all, don’t have blond hair or blue eyes–yet often you see each colorful cartoons

  28. Da Xiangchang Says: February 24, 2005 at 8:56 am

    . . . Oops, I accidentally sent the last one prematurely. Anyways . . .

    It would be silly NOT to question it or to believe such a Caucasian-looking cartoon character does in fact look Asian, as that Vietnamese girl says. So given that NO Oriental naturally has blond hair and blue eyes, why do Asians depict themselves with such characteristics then? That’s the question people need to be asking. My conclusion is that a lot of Asians, living under a pop culture dominated by the West, have a deep-seeded sense of inferiority. Thus, they can’t even draw themselves looking like THEMSELVES–black hair, dark slanty eyes, golden skin, etc.–since they consider themselves to be unattractive vis-a-vis Westerners. So they draw themselves as they hope they’ll look–that is, like Caucasians! It’s sort of like how black guys in America like black women with light skin–they’ve been so brainwashed by pink society, they’ve become self-haters. That’s the case here. Of course, I’m generalizing a great deal, and a lot of Asian cartoonists do draw Asians looking like Asians–like, say, in “Akira.” But you must have a burlap bag over your head if you don’t believe such a trend exists among Asians.

  29. Ah Da Xiangchang, It was odd, but a couple of years ago I saw my first blond Japanese women, outside of Japanese hotel in Bangkok. Ah, you say, she is not natural blond. I suspect that half the blonds in Italy are not natural. And light skin was cherished in China and Japan and elsewhere thousands of years ago. I do not believe that Asian women feel inferior to Caucasian women, especially when they see all the hefty ones hanging around complaining how thin the Chinese are. And of course, one sees all the auburn or red haired Chinese and Japanese all over the place. What, you say that is evidence that Asians feel inferior, they need to copy Westerners. No, not at all, it just means they now have an option, just as Westerners have the same option and color their hair. No different.

    Yes, you are correct that the Western nations are still economically powerful, but that is not dominance. Dominance came to an end at the conclusion of WWII (actually, it really ended in 1905 with the end of the Russo-Japanese War, WWII sealed the end of Western dominance). Economics does not change instantaneously, we are in the process where that economic inbalance is be addressed by Asia (Africa and Latin America are still not really participating yet in addressing that inbalance).

    What you see as racial inferiority I see as people now being able to be whatever they want. Bannanas, apples, and oreo cookies are just racial concepts from the PC world. White people can be Asian, Asians can be blacks, blacks can be whites and any other combinations. What difference does it matter. I think it is really only American bred Chinese that feel inferior, if they feel inferior at all. Most Chinese and Japanese feel pretty confident of themselves, even vis-a-vis whites.

  30. What’s with all this talk of Uighurs? There are no Uighurs in Taiwan. Most Taiwanese don’t even know what Uighurs are. Taiwan’s got aborigines, who can have skin as dark as South Asians, but no Caucasian types.

  31. Wayne, the conversation has slipped on over to China

  32. northern italians tend to be blonde/fair, whereas further south they possess the more commonly recognized dark features. but it really does make sense, considering italy shares borders w/ both switzerland and austria. both of those countries tend to conjure images of “heidi”: blue eyes, and blonde pigtail braids.

    even before interracial breeding (sorry to sound coarse, but we all know it’s not necessarily marriages) became so commonplace, each country and ethnic group has had variations in coloring. yes, there tend to be identifying features, but even those are varied. variety is the spice of life, right?!

  33. it’s scary, but that guy on the right actually does kinda look a little like john. i didn’t see it at 1st, ’cause john’s taller and leaner and has a better nose, but the rest of the face/hair i can see… (esp. the sly look)
    hey, john, post a comparison picture! 😉

  34. Those guys in the poster are obviously Koreans who got nose jobs and dyed their hair.

    And anyway, they aren’t the muggers — they are just chatting. The guy in the blue is saying, “That chick is so gonna get robbed by that white dude over there.”

  35. Hey, would be someone be so kind as to to translate the Chinese on this poster for this waiguoren too lazy to learn to read? I’d like to know what the text says.

  36. Daniel: See the first response by Wayne for the gloss of the black lettering. The top yellow lettering can be glossed as “withdrawing money (you) ought to be careful”. The first line of red lettering can be glossed as “(when) going to the bank, learn to increase your awareness” and the second line of red lettering can be glossed as “prevent meeting with strange men (or individuals) following (you) (with ententions) of robbery”. Others may gloss that differently. It is terrible thing to be illiterate.

  37. How can you tell it has even been drawn by a Chinese artist? Western graphic designers have their worked ripped off all the time over there! And besides, you surely credit Taiwanese women with the intelligence to understand the wider message of the poster. I think they have the intelligence not to take what they are shown at face value, not something that can be said for the majority of American citizens.

  38. schtickyrice Says: February 25, 2005 at 3:29 am


    Re: Uighurs in Taiwan.

    What happened to Tiananmen student activist Wu’erkaixi (Urkesh Dolent)? Didn’t he become the host of a radio show in Taiwan after quiting Columbia University in the state?

  39. schtickyrice Says: February 25, 2005 at 4:05 am

    JFS and Da Xiangchang:

    In light of the globalisation of culture, the subject of Asian representations of Asians is an especially timely one. I tend to agree with Mr. Big Kielbassa that Asians have internalized Western standards of beauty at the expense of their own self image. Japanese anime characters with big, dilated, drugged out eyes are one example. However, at the other extreme, Western depictions of Asians also tend to exaggerate stereotypical Asian features, such as “slanty” eyes to the point of reducing them to characatures. We have all seen the ubiquitous western cartoon depictions of old of buck-toothed Chinese coolies in cone hats slaving away in rice paddies.

    I guess the hope is that with increasing globalisation, depictions of Asians, Africans, and Caucasians will come to reflect the true diversity that exists both within and across the racial divide.

  40. Schtickyrice, I do not object to your observation of the cultural impact of the West on Asia; what I objected to is the “big kielbassa’s” (as you identify him) portrayal of Asians as being psychological deficient; that is, of Asians as having an inferiority complex. It is as if Asians have to act in a specific stereotype otherwise they will be deemed as “white worshippers”. That is what I object to.

    Concerning some of your other comments, the motives of the artists are not important, it is the motive of the sponsors. Did they choose this layout for racial stereotypes, or did they choose this type of poster because it is the “in thing” now. I do not know, I do not live in Taiwan.

    As for the big eyes depicted in Japanese anime and on their dolls. This is not a new phenomena, it has been around for quite a while. I do not know the history, but I would not be surprised if it was not influenced by Russian dolls coming into Japan during the 18th century.

    Cross cultural influences are not new, and have had powerful impact even during earlier historical periods. Japan had a significant cultural borrowing into ints culture during its first “high culture” period, the Heian phase of its history. But China also. During the Tang dynasty, there was a very significant influence from both the North and the West. It affected music, literature, and the arts. Just as an example, Li Po (Li Bai) was not a pure Chinese. His father was Chinese, but his mother came from a minority people in the West. Usually her people are described as similiar to the Persians, which is true enough; but they could aslo be described as similiar to the Russians and Ukrainians (which name had not yet come into existence to describe these groups). Li Po loved wine from the grape vine, for instance. Culture is faddish anyway, and what is a fad today may not be faddish tomorrow.

  41. To JFS:

    Get a hold of me when you start finding “xiao chi” and “jiao zi” fast food chains popping up all over the US the way KFC and McDonalds are in every big city in China (and some small ones) or you find local Chinese opera stations in the US the way you find Country Western stations in China and we can discuss whether there is a Western cultural dominance in this current world of ours.

  42. that is funny, I wonder how many chinese when they see this poster will think those 2 men are not chinese.

    I showed my American friend in the office, and he is very sure these two guys are Caucasian:)

    When I showed to my Taiwan, hongkong coworker, they did not think about that at all.

  43. Wu’er Kaixi is indeed in Taiwan. He’s one of the many talking heads on the political talk shows in Taiwan.

    Related anecdote: About a year ago, I was walking through Kaohsiung when I found a Uighur restaurant. I chatted with the owner (regular Taiwanese guy) for a bit. He said that his business was pretty poor. He said that his only customers were ̨ÉÌ who had lived in the mainland for a while and had discovered Uighur food. They’d drive by in their BMWs, slam on the brakes, and run inside. On the other hand, it was nearly impossible to get any local Gaoxiongren to try the food. I had one meaty lamb kebab that cost something like $60NT (or a ridiculous $15RMB or so) because he used fancy lamb imported from New Zealand.

  44. Richard, I am not quite certain as to what you are alluding toward. Last Christmas I went back to the States to visit family. Off we go to this new chain, PF Changs (if I recall its name correctly). it appears that they are now all over the States. But not only that, there are Chinese and Japanese and Korean restaurants even in middle and small towns in the US (I do not have statistical data on this, this is just my observations from a very small sample of places in and around the Austin, Texas area, the Dayton, Ohio area, The Salt Lake City, Utah area, the Portland, Oregon area and a few more places.

    Also I am not quite certain how you are defining dominance. For the food business, if you define dominance by the number of patrons, even if you lump all the foreign outfits together, they do not have a very significant impact on the total; even if you use total revenue or gross profits, it still comes no where close to dominating the local market.

    I was in Shanghai some time ago meeting with business and personal friends. We went to a new restaurant. I forget the name. I stored the information about this chain in my memory, but unfortunately much data in my memory banks becomes corrupt after a short time and I am unable to recall it very well. Anyway, it was a very large restaurant, founded, if I recall it correctly, by three sisters (perhaps it was three friends). They had went to Japan and worked in the food business there (I suspect as waitresses or cooks, maybe something other) and came back to China after they saved their money and started their business. It took off like a rocket. They started a chain of these restaurants and were becoming extremely successful. If you could promise KFC or McD one tenth of this customer base, I suspect they would let you do all sorts of unspeakable things to them in public for that amount of success.

    There is such a thing as cultural domination. The Koreans underwent that during the Japanese colonial period. They had no option, there was no open market, they were compelled to accept the cuture of their overlords. Present day Asia is not that case, this is an open market, and people are choosing this or that. This is good, not bad (at least in my mind). I can choose the way Chinese or Japanese or Koreans or Russians or French or Americans do things as I think it is better or more useful or more efficient, etc. And so I think it is just as good as Chinese, Japanese, etc. can choose their course, choose their cultural elements as they see fit.

    During the Yuan dynasty, the Chinese conquered and began to absorb politically many minority people in what is now Yunnan province. One of those people were the Tai. A few years back a number of scholars began to study this event, they wanted to see how the Tai language was influenced by Chinese. They were completely taken back when they discovered that Tai was hrdly influenced at all; but to the contrary, it was Chinese that was influenced by Tai. Why? Because language, as is culture, is dynamic. The Chinese universe was expanding. And that expansion needed new words, new vocabulary to describe that expansion. The Tais did not, their universe remained the same. One good index to indicate how a society is expanding (linquistically, culturally, materially, economically, politically, etc.) is to see how much “foreign” influences it is absorbing.

    As for Jiaozi, my wife makes a good jiaozi. I quite often order that in restaurants and generally always wish I hadn’t done so. Except, there was one restaurant that made a good jaiozi (or gyoza if you are in Japan). But I forget where it was, in Japan or China.

  45. Perhaps food was a bad example, as food is the easiest cultural entity to export (and hold on to). However, you can hardly quibble with the assertion that American pop culture (music, movies, TV, other media) has had a greater effect on China than Chinese pop culture has had on the US (though Japanese pop culture is finally making inroads in the States).

    Anyway, I agree that Asia is an open market culture-wise, and I agree that that is usually good (though we have disagreed on this before–I remember saying that it would be a shame if no one spoke the dialects of the Wu language decades from now), but I disagree that dominance can not happen in an open market. The US steel industry around the time of Carnegie was much more lassez faire than it is now (at least in term of government interference and collective bargaining), yet no one would argue that US Steel did not dominate the industry back then.

  46. Aiya, I missed this one out. Actually I have been watching intently with my Sherlock Holmes eyes. You were all fooled. The goatee is indeed John, but nobody picked out Wilson with the fake chin. Possibly, the preemptive attacker was quite smart. When he barely made a dent with the beer mug, he posted this warning poster everywhere in John and Wilson’s way.

    What anything does this have to do with economical/cultural dominance/influence? It was either drawn by a western artist making money in Taiwan like you guys, or more likely the guys in the poster were meant to be Asians but the Asian artist avoids lawsuits by using two American models instead of Chinese ones. That was where John and Wilson came in. Wilson was almost disqualified until, a quick thinker, he produced a toupee, a rubber chin, and his California driver’s license.

    I believe that the PF Chang’s China Bristro chain (PFCB) is a brainchild of Wall Street not of Beijing or Taipei. Asians’ invasion into the States is quite evident in Hollywood, though.

  47. Gin,
    Aiyaaaaa! That makes sense, now we know why they were attacked in the club.

  48. I’ve always thought some Chinese own PF Chang.

  49. Richard, you made an interesting comment in your last posting and I will attempt to let this be my last word on this subject (what is that, I hear thank goodness). When JP made US Steel, it was the first billion dollar corporation in America (if not the world)(and probably in todays terms would be in the 10s if not 100s of billions of dollars). But at the time it was highly inflated and almost went bust in just a matter of a few years, except JP and the government stepped in and propt the company up. Later WWI and WWII came along (wars are classic examples of major government indiction in the market place) and help US Steel (along with others). But today, just a couple of generatins later, what are they, the steel companies-nothing. But in even in their heyday they did not monopolize the market. Take as an example, Dell has a dominant position in the PC market, but what is that, 12% or 16% or something like that. Monopolies require some form of government cooperation to succeed.

    Language is just like any other commodity, if it is convenient and useful, people will use it; otherwise they will abandon it. I am not aware of any government program that has saved a language from extinction. Likewise I am not familiar with any program by any government that has eliminated a language specifically (The Japanese attempt during the colonial period in Korea is a good example), but only has succeeded in eliminating a language as a consequence of other government programs (ethnic cleansing, genocide, etc.).

    And Gin, just got caught off on this tangent. Da Xiangchang usually has some pretty good observations, but every once in a while he comes off with something which I find not quite accurate. For instance, many American liberals (perhaps conservatives also, but I do not know about this) have a concept that Asians are making certain choices in the cultural marketplace because of some psychological deficiency on their part (inferiority complex or something akin). I am no expert on this subject, but from my little experience working here in china (my partners are all Chinese, our clients are foreigners generally, Taiwanese, Japanese, Koreans, Europeans, and Americans generally, although I do work with government officials, but this on befalf of American sponsors). So I just interject the few bits of knowledge that I am confident about. As for the incident in Taipei, I just figured that John’s girlfriend had hired a hitman and he was probably a novice and so there was not much to post about.

  50. schtickyrice Says: February 27, 2005 at 1:53 am

    Good to hear Urkesh is still alive and well in Taiwan. What a shame that there’s no market for Uighur food in Taiwan. I guess Taiwanese society is still not as cosmopolitan as it thinks it is.

    I could sure use some laghman, cumin lamb kebabs and nang with a pot of green tea right now.

  51. JFS,

    I agree that cultural cross-pollination produces the most dynamic societies. Not only was the Tang poet Li Bai (Li Po) part Turkic, but even the first Tang emperor Li Shimin had Turkic blood. Earlier still,during the Three Kingdoms period, Cao Cao of the Northern Wei kingdom was of Toba Turk origin. The Toba Turks were responsible for some of the earliest Buddhist grottoes in China: the Yungang Grottoes in present day Datong.

    And how can one leave out An Lushan, the Turkic general of the Tang court who lead the rebellion that ultimately brought down the Tang dynasty? I believe it was the Tubo (Tibetans) that were ultimately responsible for the actual sacking of the capital of Chang’an (present day Xi’an), but by that point Tang rule had weakened so much that ultimate collapse was only a matter of time.

    The cultural conservatism of the Song dynasty that followed saw the rise of neo-Confucianism and the beginning of the practice of foot binding of females. As China’s capital was shifted eastward, China’s cultural orientation also turned inwards.

    This only ended with the Mongol invasion and establishment of the Yuan dynasty by Kublai Khan. You have made some interesting points about the interaction of Chinese and Tai in Yunnan. Do you know if there are any similar Khmer and Mon influences on Tai language and culture during the southern expansion of the Tai from Yunnan to present day Thailand?

  52. schtickyrice Says: February 27, 2005 at 2:35 am

    forgot to sign above posting

  53. schtickyrice, you are very good with Chinese history, except for one small point Li Shimin was not the first emperor, but his father Li Yuan. Li Shimin murdered his two older brothers and 10 of their sons to become one of the best emperor of Chinese history ironically. Some said Li Yuan was part Tuckic but there was no historic records on that, but I think Li shimin’s mother was ethnic Xianbei which were related to the ancestors of the Manchu and the Mongols. On An Lushan, the the half Turkish An Lushan gained access into Tang Xuanzong court by his charm and handsome good look. Yang GuiFei was rumored to have an affair with An Lushan. With the help of the Uighers, An Lushan was finally defeated. The rebellion of An Lushan was a turning-point in the history of the Tang Dynasty. The Tibetan Tubo had expanded northwards during the Tang Dynasty and occupied the southern Takla Maken desert and remained there until the late 19th century, when a little known ethnic cleansing took place by fanatic Muslim Yakub Beg. Most Tibetan Buddhists were murdered out of the present day Xinjiang.

  54. I didn’t know the origin of foot-binding but Chinese culture entered a period of full bloom during the Song dynasty. In the beginning, Neo-Confucianism in Song was not all conservative when it incorporated ideas with Buddhism and Taoism. However, in the later period, Chu Hsi, the master of Neo-Confucianism did plant a seed of cultural conservatism for the later dynasties. Not until the third Ming emperor did China become officially isolated, conservative and backward.

  55. schtickyrice Says: February 28, 2005 at 3:24 am


    Do you have any links re: ethnic cleansing of Tibetans by Yakub Beg’s East Turkestan regime? I’d be very interested in checking this out. This is the first that I have heard of this. I was also not aware that Tibetans had settled in the Tarim basin. Before their conversion to Buddhism, the Tubo were quite warlike and frequently raided China’s western front. I know that the Tangguts of the Xixia kingdom in present day Ningxia spoke a language of Tibetan origin. The kingdom was destroyed by Genghis Khan for resisting Mongol rule and no trace of Xixia culture remains today except for the archaeological ruins.

  56. Schtickyrice,

    I just searched Google. To my surprise, I couldn’t find any information at all. I think I read this genocide from a book about the Taiping rebellion and other Uprisings by an American author. The book was an interesting read because its also about Southerners and Christians from the US getting rich by helping the Qing government suppressing various internal rebellions in China in the 19th Century.

    Do you read Chinese? I’ve never searched in Chinese before. There should be more informations in Chinese language or directly from the Qing chronicle.

  57. Da Xiangchang Says: February 28, 2005 at 3:54 pm

    All of you history buffs no doubt have read “The Devil Soldier” by Caleb Carr, right? It’s about Frederick Ward, the American who helped the Qing Dynasty wipe out the Taipings. Actually, the book was a bit of a bore; I only read a third of it and could go no further. But hey, maybe you guys could finish it. 😉 (Caleb Carr’s NOVELS, however, are worth reading. “The Alienist” and “The Angel of Darkness” are both excellent EXCELLENT–but unfortunately, not about China.)

    The best history book written in English about China is, of course, Jonathan Spence’s “The Search for Modern China.” The best fiction written in English about China are probably Ha Jin’s short stories and novels. I’m way too retarded to ever learn Chinese well enough to read literature in that language. 🙁

  58. Anonymous Says: March 1, 2005 at 9:47 am

    Without documentation, its just pure speculation. The Uighurs converted to Islam from Buddhism/Nestorian Christianity/Manachaeism over a period of several hundred years. I’d be very surprised if any Tibetan Buddhist communities still remained at the time of Yakub Beg to “cleanse”.

    The only documented genocide in that area that I am aware of is the massacre of Oirat Mongols (Dzungars) by the Manchu-lead Qing forces when they conquered Xinjiang. The Oirats were a western branch of Mongols who established the Dzungarian empire in present day northern Xinjiang after conquering the local Uighurs and Kazakhs. The remaining Mongols in present day Xinjiang are descendants of the Oirats and are linguistically different from the Khalkh Mongols of central Mongolia.

  59. Da Xiangchang Says: March 1, 2005 at 10:52 am

    You guys are way too ancient-Chinese history for my uneducated self. However, I’m MUCH more interested in a modern genocide, right across the border from China in North Korea. I’m INTENSELY curious to see how China is going to handle North Korea–if at all. China, after all, created the conditions in which the Kims thrived and therefore indirectly created the genocide–or is starvation not genocide?

  60. Anonymous,

    When I write, I try to be careful with facts. I just searched google again using different keywords. There is this website about the story of George J. W. Hayward, a British adventurer, one of the few foreigners who actually met Yakub Beg.

    “Yakub Beg had managed to murder or drive out all his Muslim rivals, including the erstwhile king, and wrest Kashgar and Yarkand from their Chinese governors. It is said the two Chinese preferred to blow themselves up with barrels of gunpowder rather than surrender, and a colorful, if horrifying story reports that Kashgar’s defenders had cannibalized their own women and children before surrendering, having already consumed every four legged beast in the town, including rats and cats. Yakub Beg declared himself King of Kashgaria, and before long his rule extended eastward to the far edges of the Takla Makan, Urumchi, and the Turfan area. However, as is so often the case, the natives merely exchanged one type of tyrant with another – Yakub Beg’s army continued to plunder, massacre and terrorize the local inhabitants.”

    I was surprised I didn’t find any information because I remember clearly reading a story about Yakub Beg cleansing of non-Muslim habitants (Tibetan Buddhists) in southern Takla Makan written by non Chinese (I don’t remember reading Yakub Beg name in Chinese). His name does show up a lot on Google but there are very few detailed accounts of his life online. Most websites just have similar general description of him.

    On the Uyghurs, the direct ancestors of Uighurs were the Huihe »Ø¼v. »Ø means returning, ¼v is a kind of eagle. Huihe »Ø¼v refers to people who are the falconeers. Huihe moved westwards and later converted to Islams in the 10th Century. The name Islam in Chinese means the religion of the »Ø’s people.

    The Huihe appeared in Chinese history around the 7th Century and at the time they lived on the east side of the rising Tubo, and were ally of the Tang court. They helped suppressing the An Lushan rebellion and helped the Tang Chinese to fight the invading Tibetans.

    On the Mongols, I didn’t know about the Manchus murdering of Oirat Mongols. The Tibetans, the Mongols and the Manchus all practiced the same Tibetan Lama Buddhism. I thought the Manchus revered the Tibetan and the Mongolian Lamas a lot.


    I actually don’t own any Chinese history book right now either in Chinese or English. I had read several pf the complete Chinese history by different Chinese historians. In English, I remember reading Fairbank’s Chinese history in college.

  61. Hey! I’m a white guy with a goatee and I lived in Taiwan… and I almost never robbed girls at the ATM. Usually it was the KTV girls getting off their shifts, whilst distracted by the glow of the dried squid carts out front.

  62. Canton:

    If you want to read an excellent history of China, search the web for Edward Kaplan. He was a professor of history at Western Washington University at Bellingham, Washington. He has several lecture notes from his courses. He taught Chinese economic history, so you will get a different perspective than is generally presented in history lectures. His notes and insight is excellent and very useful. He may not be as intertaining as Spence, but he gives you a lot more insight.

    Likewise, Yakub Bey had only a minor role in history. He rule Kashgar, if I recall correctly, only 13 years. Galdan had a much more inportant role to play, but he was eliminated by the Kangxi emperor, and his nephew or great nephew was eliminated by the Qianlong emperor. That is when the Qing virtually wiped out the Western Mongols (whom the Kirghiz turks were being oppressed at the time also).

  63. schtickyrice Says: March 2, 2005 at 8:44 am


    What’s happening in N.Korea is depressing, and China should not be sending refugees back to a life of misery, if at all. However, N. Korea had always played China and the former Soviet Union off against one another for maximum foreign aid and Korean independence. China can hardly be held responsible for the follies of the Kim dynasty.

    Cambodia is another story. Pol Pot was trained directly in the art of class struggle by China during the Cultural Revolution. The Khmer Rouge could not have seized power in the 70’s without Chinese support. China has blood on its hands and should officially apologize to the people of Cambodia for its misguided fanatical past.

  64. schtickyrice Says: March 2, 2005 at 9:07 am


    Huihe is actually the origin of two “nationalities” in China: Uighur and Hui…three if you include the Yugur.

    The Uighurs originated in northern Mongolia, but were driven out of the Orkhon valley by the Kirghiz in the 800’s(?). Three separate Uighur kingdoms were established after their southward migration: one in the Tarim Basin, another north of the Tian Shan around Turfan, and the third in Gansu. The former two kingdoms gave rise to the modern Uighurs of today, while the Yellow Uighurs of Gansu live on today as the Yugurs.

    Hui today has become a catch all term for any Muslim that is culturally Chinese , but the word itself is a derivation of the original Huihe. The Hui of the Northwest (Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi, etc…)can be viewed as a combination of sinicized Uighurs, Persian merchants and Islamicized Han Chinese.

  65. JFS,
    Thank you for the info, I will check out Edward Kaplan online. Speaking about Qianlong, I also had read another intersting article about the founding fathers of US viewed China as a “super” power in the late 18th century when it was under the emperor Qianlong.

    Interesting, I will check out the yellow Uighurs/ Yugurs. Do you think the Huihe was originally an Aryan or Mongoloid race? I think they were probably mixed. The same question can be asked about the Tujue (Turks) and the Hsiung nu(Huns) in northern China, remember the discovery of the caucasian mummies in the Takla Maken desert.

    The Turks and the Huihe were two different groups in Tang dynasty. The huihe defeated the Eastern Turks. One fo the biggest enemies of the Uighurs was the Kyrgyz from the north, they were originally described as Han and Mongolian in features and from lake Baikal area. However, nowaways they are being described ethnically as Turkic just like the Uighurs.

  66. Da Xiangchang Says: March 7, 2005 at 3:04 pm

    Yeah, history-studying is a great thing, especially when you can try to predict the future. Everybody knows that China will one day be a powerful democracy, though I’m not sure it’ll be the most powerful nation anytime soon. What China has that a lot of nations don’t–like, say, Mexico–are two things: 1) a strong work ethic and 2) respect for education. What it lacks, however, is an emphasis on creativity–which, I believe, will hamper it greatly if it wants to overtake America since, in my humble opinion, American culture has all 3 qualities: 1) strong ethnic, 2) respect for education, AND 3) emphasis on innovation and creativity. And since America’s population is growing by leaps and bounds, and its land faces two oceans, I truly don’t see China overcoming America for a VERY long time.

    What I’m pretty sure, though, is the day of the European is truly dead. People always blab about the EU becoming a super-state like America one day, but this is the most ridiculous pipedream I’ve ever heard. The EU is going to be the nail in Europe’s coffin–a big, unelected, corrupt, totally inefficient bureaucracy. Europe’s going down the toilet, and with their EU plans, the Europeans aren’t even aware they’re the ones flushing it!

  67. Anonymous Says: March 8, 2005 at 10:26 am


    I wouldn’t necessarily think that China would continue to have the qualities that you attribute in its favor: a strong work ethic and respect for education. Sure, there is a vast supply of rural labourers to exploit, but do you think that work ethic would contine with the offspring of the emerging middle class? Respect for education means nothing when the government does not adequately fund public education, especially in the rural areas. And we have all heard and seen the lazy college students who slack off and think its time to relax after spending their childhood cramming and memorizing to get the marks for college admission.

  68. schtickyrice Says: March 8, 2005 at 11:06 am


    The original inhabitants of Xinjiang were Caucasians (from mummies remains)who spoke an Indo-European language (from artifacts)that linguists have named Tocharian. It was probably related to the languages of present day Afghanistan and Iran. The Uighurs of today probably resulted from intermarriage between these original inhabitants and later waves of migrants, including the Huihe.

  69. I scrolled down quickly to write this so maybe someone addressed it.

    the term LONG NOSE is term to refer to a foreigner in Chinese

  70. I don’t know about elsewhere, but “long nose” is not commonly used in the Mandarin spoken in Taiwan – it’s a term used in Taiwanese. The Mandarin term “gau bidz” is usually only used by older people and is considered old fashioned.

  71. Kai Fan Says: June 6, 2006 at 8:06 am

    I know it’s ridiculously late to be answering this, but…, JFS notes that “during the Yuan dynasty, the Chinese conquered…,” hmm, I’m going to have to ask which chinese.., (not being facetious).., but you do know that the Yuan dynasty was of Mongolian origin (decendants of Ghenghis, including Kublai Khan)…, could be an oversight on your part but let me know.

    Part of the perspective is that the CCP has said that Ghenghis was Chinese.., you haven’t take their side on the whole matter have you…, Ghenghis would be insulted…,


  72. Don’t you think that guy on the left looks a lot like former Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou?

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