I belong to the most ancient empire on this globe

I belong to the most ancient empire on this globe. You, by your own statement, belong to the most dependent and ill-treated nation of serfs ever deprived of its liberties. The flag of my country floats over the third greatest navy in the world. Yours is to be seen derisively displayed on the 17th of March in the public streets and triumphantly hoisted on an occasional gin-mill. The ambassadors and consuls of my nation rank at every court in Europe with those of Russia, Germany, England and France. Those of your race may be found cooling their heels in the lobbies of any common council in which the rum-selling interest in politics predominates. The race which I represent is centuries old in every art and science. That of which you are the spokesman apologizes for its present ignorance and mental obscurity with the plea that your learning and literature are lost in the mythical past.

Wong Chin Foo, On Wong’s Chinese vs. Denis Kearney’s Irish (1883)

1 thought on “I belong to the most ancient empire on this globe”

  1. Fast forward 139 years and the average income in China is $10,000 a year and $65,000 in Ireland.
    Plus all irish own themselves, even the poorest, while even the richest chinese is owned by the state. That was also true in 1883.

    So much for their storied history.

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