From the Archives: Posts on the Military, Japan and Border Disputes

Air force plane
(photo by Selbe B)

It’s funny how real life and current events collide in interesting ways.

Of course, I’ve followed the recent news of protests in China over Japan’s claims on the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands. But it felt even more tangible when John and I visited the National Museum of the US Air Force in Dayton, Ohio this past weekend, and relived stories of war  through its aircraft on display. Every time we found a plane that was involved in Japan or any border conflict, well, you can imagine what my husband had to say about it… 😉

So, while I’m getting caught up from my weekend away, I thought I’d run a few military/Japan-themed posts from the archives. (And don’t worry — I’ll return this Friday with a fresh helping of new content!)

My Chinese Husband, the Military Fan. Beneath my husband’s compassionate exterior lived a “military fan” — and a story of nostalgia surrounding the anti-Japanese films of his childhood.

My Chinese Husband, My China Border Disputes. The closer I got to China, the more I began to see just how fuzzy those “permanent” borders really were.

How My Anti-Japanese Chinese Husband Changed His Mind About Japan. I never thought my staunchly anti-Japanese Chinese husband would ever call anyone from Japan a friend.

Ask The Yangxifu: When Politics Interfere With Love in China

A girl leaning against a brick wall looking sad and alone
(photo by Cherie Wren)

AK asks:

I am a white 19YO university student living in America, and for one year now I have been in a serious relationship with a PRC national six years older than me. I was already studying Mandarin before I met him and his English is commendable, so communication hasn’t been an issue, and therefore everything between us on a personal level has been ideal. We both feel completely comfortable talking about the future, already assuming we’re working toward marriage after graduation.

However, my parents are none too pleased. They remained generally quiet for the first six months of dating, then all of a sudden began voicing protests. I do my best to ignore their complaints about his age and religion (we’re Christian, he was raised Buddhist), but there is one problem that really puts me between a rock and a hard place.

My father’s job requires him to have a high-level security clearance. Because of this, my parents understandably fear that were I to marry my “Communist” Chinese boyfriend, my father would be forced to quit his job. Even though my boyfriend is not a CCP member, his nationality is all that matters in the clearance. Every time I go home or open an email, I am reminded that I am ruining my family with attacks like:

“Some relationships shouldn’t be allowed to begin in the first place!” Continue reading “Ask The Yangxifu: When Politics Interfere With Love in China”

My Chinese Husband, the Military Fan

My Chinese husband standing next to the USS Cassin Young in Boston
Beneath my Chinese husband's compassionate exterior lived a "military fan" -- and a story of nostalgia surrounding the anti-Japanese films of his childhood.

For my husband, Boston’s historical ground zero was nowhere to be found on the Freedom Trail. In early June, 2010, we’d spent the entire day tracing the footsteps of the revolutionaries, shaking the city of Boston, and the fabric of America forever — but John wasn’t moved. Not until we caught a glimpse of that weathered old gray hull across from the USS Constitution. Then, like the greedy seagulls hovering around us, he dove straight towards this morsel of forgotten history, one without swarms of tourists or a song to forever memorialize its great accomplishments. His hungry eyes devoured all of it, from the industrial strength metal panels bolted together to the rather auspicious “793” painted on the side.

“It was hit by kamikaze fighters in the Pacific,” I pointed out. Nothing could have been sweeter to my husband — to see a retired US Navy Ship that fought against the Japanese during World War II. Because, after all, he is a “military fan.”

When I first met John, nothing about him suggested a hidden love of tanks and fighter planes and battleships. Continue reading “My Chinese Husband, the Military Fan”

Ask the Yangxifu: Can Western Women Love a Communist Chinese Military Man?

People's Liberation Army soldiers in Shanghai
Can Western women fall in love with Chinese men who are Communist Party members, and in the military?

Concerned Chinese Person asks:

I’m a Chinese service man,and I’m a number of the communist party of China,I have a question about it,My identity isn’t like the ordinary people,if I build a serious relationship with a western girl,would she mind of my identity?


CCP, chances are, she wouldn’t care if you’re a Communist or in the military.

Sure, back in the era of McCarthyism, consorting with Communists could suddenly make you “un-American” and put you on the fast track to unemployment.

Even today, some extremists throw around the label “Communism” as if it’s a four-letter word, and “fear government takeover.” But, by and large, these people wouldn’t even think of coming to China, studying Chinese, or having anything to do with a country that has a red flag with a hammer and a sickle on it.

That means, the Western women you’d end up meeting in China probably don’t see Communism as a big deal anymore. Continue reading “Ask the Yangxifu: Can Western Women Love a Communist Chinese Military Man?”