Some people attribute the current anti-Chinese rhetoric of the United States government to highly placed China-born consultants, in particular Miles Maochun Yu , adviser to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and foreign policy adviser Mung Chiang . Yu and Chiang are known for their hostility towards the Chinese government. Predictably, many in mainland China call them hanjian (“traitors to the Chinese nation”). China’s history is replete with individuals who served enemy states against their own. Their motivations varied, but the most despicable traitors did it for personal gain. Other turncoats nursed a grudge and felt forced to bring down the regime that had wronged them. And some were victims of circumstances beyond their control. Shi Jingtang (AD892-942), who had part-Turkic ancestry, rebelled against the Later Tang dynasty and with military help from the Khitan state, in the north, founded the Later Jin dynasty, in 936. In return, he ceded to the Khitans a huge swathe of northern China. Equally infuriating to the Chinese was Shi’s obsequious acknowledgement of the younger Khitan emperor as “Father Emperor”, with himself as “Son Emperor”, bringing shame to China. Zhonghang Yue was a palace eunuch in the Western Han dynasty, which kept peace with the Xiongnu people by marrying its princesses to their rulers. In 174BC, the emperor ordered the reluctant Zhonghang to accompany a princess to the north and stay on after her wedding as part of her entourage. Zhonghang vowed: “I shall become the bane of the Han dynasty.” And he did, advising and instigating Xiongnu rulers to attack and plunder his homeland until his death in 126BC. In the Northern Song dynasty, invading Jurchens captured the emperor emeritus and reigning emperor, as well as members of the imperial family and thousands of government officials, and installed a puppet emperor, Zhang Bangchang (1081-1127), a senior minister of the Northern Song, to help govern northern China. Zhang initially refused, but capitulated when the Jurchens threatened to flood the capital city with the blood of its residents. After 32 days as emperor, he fled south and begged Emperor Gaozong of the newly founded Southern Song dynasty to forgive his “treachery”. Gaozong forgave Zhang but soon made him take his own life. The last example is found in my own family’s past. During the Japanese occupation of Malaya (1941-1945), the Japanese occupiers made my paternal grandfather headmaster of a local school in Kuala Terengganu, his hometown on the east coast of Malaya. Soon after the end of the occupation, my grandfather was executed by the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA), an armed resistance group, as a “traitor”. I doubt the truth of that accusation, given his fiercely nationalistic education and going by what little there is left of his writings. It is not inconceivable the Japanese had forced him on pain of death, and the deaths of his many family members, to do their bidding. Besides, he hid a member of the MPAJA in the attic of the family house for several months during the occupation, which wasn’t the act of a “traitor”. Too much time has passed, and the actors and most of their contemporaries are dead. I’ll probably never know if my grandfather betrayed his people and collaborated with the enemy. I cannot claim any affection for him because he had died long before I was born, but it would have been nice to know him.