No two protests are ever the same, as the above video will show. In Changsha, people flip cars. In Dali, they sing the national anthem. In Qingdao, they chant. (Actually, they sing and chant everywhere, but you know what I mean.) There are a lot of banners that read “Japanese Devils,” a term that originates from Japan’s invasion of China last century. Other slogans are less kind.
What’s striking, however, is how orderly most people are. Sure, you see a lot of open anger, and some violence, and of course you’ve read about the destruction and chaos, but let the above suggest that anguish over the Japanese government’s purchasing of the Diaoyu Islands has forced the Chinese government to allow a measure of organized protest. Could a further loosening of controls result in the enabling of free speech? The sun rises in a brave new world. Progress!
“Could a further loosening of controls result in the enabling of free speech?”
Don’t be silly. The government didn’t just allow this; they organised it. There was zero loosening of controls.
Do you think for one second that if the demos had been in support of Falun Gong or against the Wang Lijun trial, they would have been allowed?
Generally the protesters are college students who have been told to protest by their departmental party leaders.
They never heard of the islands until two weeks ago, couldn’t find them on a map if they had to and have no idea why both countries want them.
Have you got a source for any of that? In my experience Chinese students tend to be pretty damn nationalistic, with a particular focus on the ‘sacred territory’ of the motherland and how indivisible it is. Sure, the media and education system both encourage this, but I don’t see them needing to actively organise the protests and I’d certainly question the idea that they’d never heard of the islands before. There have been quite a few protests over the years.
The only source I have is that I was at the meeting where they were told to assemble in the morning to protest. And the local protest was led by a teacher who also happens to be the party secretary.
In my experience, few students has heard of he islands before. They may have been mentioned and disputed “over the years”, but today’s students weren’t here over the years or were kids.
And today is, of course, the 81st anniversary of the Mukden Incident. What a fun day this will be!
I look forward to when they find out that Qingdao beer is 20% owned by a Japanese company
Id love to see this story develope. Made in China at its best.