Tension over Japan’s purchase of the Diaoyu Islands appears to be escalating. Today, on what appears to be a gorgeous autumn afternoon in Beijing, thousands gathered outside the Japanese embassy to throw rocks, eggs, and bottles. Similar protests apparently happened in more than a dozen cities.
Jacob, who runs the excellent YouTube channel BeijingShenghuo, was at the protest today and took the above video (several others are on his channel). We tried putting it on Youku, but it was quickly censored. You’ll see paramilitaries guarding the embassy and the flocks of protesters singing the Chinese national anthem and other anti-Japan slogans. Writes commenter Dilong03: “Of all the evils in the modern world, nationalism is the most fucking retarded.” Yeah, we agree – that goes for you too, Japan, and every other country.
The takeaway point from the above Reuters article:
China’s ruling Communist Party, which likes to project an image of stability, rarely permits protests to take place. While Beijing is under strong popular pressure to take a tough line with Japan, it will also be cautious not to let the protests spin out of control.
“I think the government is encouraging this,” said one protester, who gave his name as Uda Chen.
“They could have stopped all of us approaching when we were at the subway station. The government has taught us to be anti-Japanese at school, so if they want us to stop it would be like slapping their own mouths,” he added.
A little bit of protest against the Japanese is acceptable, in ways that “little” protests about other things are utterly forbidden in Beijing. We just hope the government is smarter than the editorialists at the Global Times who are calling for war.
UPDATE, 6:15 pm: Eric Fish of Sinostand has some high-definition photos from this afternoon’s protest. And apparently it was a nice day in Changsha as well: thousands rallied there too — pictures by Amanda R.