Friday, April 22, 2005

[Internet] Condensed history of China

My main workstation is still down and waiting to be picked up by IT. Feeling bored, I decided to refresh my Chinese history. I was looking for a more in-depth version in Chinese (the language), but my laptop (PIII 700mhz, 256mb RAM, good for checking emails only) didn't have the Chinese IME setup, so I ended up searching in English and found The Birth of Modern China. It's a good short read, mainly facts with few opinions sprinkled in between. Near the end I found one paragraph I especially like. I have quoted two paragraphs, the first just leads into the forementioned one.

On the other hand, they did do their best to prop up the ailing Qing, the most notable example being the crushing of the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 by foreign troops (primarily U.S. Marines). What the Western powers were interested in was the carving up of China for their own purposes, and that, paradoxically, required keeping China together.

But two things happened to prevent that. First, in 1911, the Qing dynasty collapsed and China plunged headlong into chaos. Second, in 1914, the Archduke Ferdinand told his driver to go down a street in Sarajevo he shouldn't have, and Europe plunged headlong into chaos.

Ok, it's been fifteen years since my last real grammar lesson, but is this some kind of parallelism?