Don’t Believe the Protest Hype

From the outside looking in, China seems to be a violent, seething mass of anti-Japan warmongers. Photos of the anti-American protests blazing across the Middle East are interchangeable with Japanese cars burning, as Arab and Chinese mobs chant and hold up placards in the background. But unlike the protests in the Middle East, which have already claimed dozens of lives and reflect the true rage of the street, the protests in China are much more of a spectacle.

There is definitely a hard core element in every protest in every city across China, but many on the street whisper that the loudest protesters are “brought in on buses”, or paid thugs, or police in disguise. A large chunk of the crowds is often just “watching the action” (看热闹 in Chinese). Even if the rumors are untrue, the fact that they’ve spread from the street to the microblogs and back is evidence that most of the country’s average men and women don’t have their hearts in the latest outpouring of jingoistic nationalism. That is not to say that Chinese do not wholeheartedly believe that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China or are any less determined to wrest them from Japan; most Chinese just aren’t into smashing, looting and burning in the name of the Motherland.

Chengdu anti-Japan protestors

The Anti-Japan protest in Chengdu on Sunday, September 16th, was more of a cancelled pop show than a violent, torrid outpouring of anger and nationalism. Marchers began their trek to Tianfu Square near the American Consulate on the south side of the city, but were soon corralled and herded away by hundreds of police in slick black raingear. After the crowd was dispersed and sent north towards the city center, the police jumped into buses and headed downtown, where they closed off Tianfu Square, shut down the Tianfu Square metro station and kicked protesters out of Chunxi Lu.

Chengdu anti-Japan protestors

Clumps of people gathered around the square and craned their necks and ears for any sign of the protests, but when nothing happened, most people shrugged and went about their business. The Starbucks was full of smartphone surfers, and the girlie-malls around Yanshikou were packed with teeny-boppers. If it hadn’t been for the police lining the overpasses and intersections near Chunxi Road – the pedestrian-only shopping district where similar protests in 2010 reached a climax around the Japanese supermarket Ito Yokada – the whole scene would have looked quite familiar: people shopping on a gray, drizzling Chengdu afternoon.

When the actual protest finally came into view, it was a depleted mass of people, perhaps 1,000 strong, herded by police on motorbikes. Gawkers pulled out their phones and took pictures while the protestors sang the national anthem, called for boycotts of Japanese goods, and chanted “China deploys the armed forces to beat the little Japanese!” There was one picture of Mao toward the front of the protest and two vehicles with anti-Japanese slogans plastered across the doors.

Chengdu anti-Japan cars

The marching, placard waving protesters were made up mostly of men, but many girls chanted arm in arm with each other, high voices ringing out over the crowds. Most of them looked to be under 35, with a heavy sprinkling of Post 90s and late Post 80s (aprox. 20-35 years of age).

Although passionate, the protest was controlled and short-lived. Unlike other Anti-Japan protests across China, there were no incidents of looting, burning or smashing. The heavy police presence was without question the biggest factor reducing the scope of the marches, but the constant drizzling also put a damper on things. But in conversations on the subway to the protests, along the marching lines and on my way back home, I got the impression that it may also be due to growing number of Chinese who see through the blatant red herring of the Diaoyu Islands and the callous manipulation of public opinion by Party apparatchiks. A large part of the general population doesn’t really care about islands, nationalism or Japan at all and many of those who do care passionately are nevertheless quite polite, friendly, and adamant about their positions.

Chengdu anti-Japan protestors

I was heartened by several conversations I had Saturday night and throughout Sunday with people who, once they left the warm embrace of mass chanting, found themselves sheepishly admitting that they held no real violent thoughts toward Japanese. It’s a big show after all and nobody had anything else going on on Sunday … so why not join in?

To Lose a Friend

Last Friday I met up with a friend of mine, a young Chinese man from Chengdu, and we talked for a few minutes outside of my office. He studied abroad, worked for a TV station in the US, and routinely calls out local politicians and society in general for being duplicitous and unjust. He always seemed to see through the lies, until this whole Diaoyu thing came up.

“F*ck all Japanese! Dogs. We’ll nuke them if they try anything. And you Americans better watch out too. Help Japan and it’s all bad for you.”

I looked at him like he had just lost his mind. My eyes went wide and I raised my eyebrows as far as they could go.

“Have you lost your mind?” I asked him. “Since when are you a rabid fenqing wumao? Since when can you let a dispute over oil pull you into this type of diatribe? When did my homie trade reason for madness?”

He seemed shocked at first, like I had just doused him with cold water. He mumbled, I mumbled and then we just moved on to another topic. To me, it seemed as if he had truly lost his mind and found himself spitting out whatever he had heard someone else say, without giving it a moment’s thought. Perhaps to him, I seemed like a traitor for not supporting China’s claim to the rocks sitting atop a bit of gas and oil.

The encounter put me in a foul mood, because I thought that most of the educated youth would not fall for the nationalism card, at least not anymore. I believed that, although apathetic and not really interested in struggling for a change, the new youth of China are anything but stupid. Saber rattling to distract from real domestic problems might get some people on board – the bored, angry, poor males – but most of the nation would still be able to see through it.

After I took leave of my friend, I thought to myself, this is what Hong Kong struggled against: the ability of the Party Machine to press a button in everyone’s head and make them go rabid at a moment’s notice (and, when the moment has passed, to push the off button as well).

Perspective is Key

Then, a few hours after my friend rattled me so with his rabid parroting of the Party Apparatus, I was told by a different friend that:

“The mood seems real to you, because you let it in”.

He meant that by accepting or acknowledging nationalism and brainwashing as fact, I made it so and ruled out other possibilities. We do that all the time in China. We make blanket statements about how things are, what the people do, what is going to happen, even when we know that the opposite is just as true and valid.

Thus, as I was contemplating the Tao of Perspective, another Chinese friend came up to me and, shaking his head said:

“This whole Diaoyu thing is ridiculous. It’s just stupid as hell. But there is one saving grace …”

“What’s that,” I asked him.

“We rule Weibo. If any of these fenqing (young nationalists) got onto Weibo and tried to start some trouble, he’d get laughed at by everyone. People on Weibo aren’t that easily fooled.”

“So we need to get everyone onto Weibo, huh?” I said.

“Yeah, or get everyone on Weibo into office.”

And just like that, I felt hope resurgent. The feeling of hope also made me more open to talking with people on the street instead of peering at them, wondering if they were going to point at me and scream for my head. Men gathered around me on the subway as a group of young high school girls practiced their English on the way to Chunxi Road. We smiled and cracked jokes. One of the girls said,

“You are lucky you are not Japanese.”

“Why, would you beat me if I were?”

The whole car erupted in laughter and her cheeks went bright red.

“Of course not.” Men shook their heads and echoed her sentiments. “Of course not” “Even if you were Japanese …”

I know that Japanese in other cities have been attacked and emblems of Japan have been destroyed and burned, but on the Metro Line 1 in Chengdu, between Tongzilin and Tianfu, I wager Japanese are safe enough. Later, as I was leaving the station, I fell in with a  group of cops who were teasing one of their older members, just before they closed the station down.

“You old revolutionary, you should be out on the streets with them!”

They all laughed and kept teasing the older cop.

“So you gonna get out there an march,” I asked him.

“You must be joking,” he scoffed. “March around in this weather? Forget about it. Meaningless.”

I wandered around Tianfu Square looking for the protests, but all I saw were small groups of Chinese, looking around just like me, wondering when the show would start. During the marches, people would stop filming the protestors and turn the camera on me. Flash me the peace sign. Smile as we passed each other because we were all here “for the show”. It truly felt like a pop concert then, toward the end of the day, as I walked with the crowds past a line of dripping wet cops and said,

“Sucks for you guys.”

The cop snorted and grinned. And we all laughed and walked home.

Are you at the protests? have you seen anything similar before anywhere else? Join our Forum Thread on the topic here.

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About Sascha

Sascha Matuszak is a writer and commentator on domestic and international culture and politics. He's lived in Chengdu on and off for twelve years and currently makes his home in the South of Chengdu.

100 Responses to “Don’t Believe the Protest Hype”

  1. Glad there wasn’t any looting in CD this time around. When I saw the pix from other cities I was worried about my friend’s safety and the security of his Japanese restaurants at Jiu Yan Qiao. Sucks to hear your educated friend pulled the nationalism card. I’ve had similar conversations with liberal Chinese Canadians who seem totally up on Western values and then will pull out some crazy party ideology that makes you wonder if they will ever “get it”. In the absence of freedom of press in China I’m glad to see that you guys are keeping it real.

  2. I loved this story – it’s always nice to see a more personal side, especially after having lived there for a few years.

  3. The protests are continuing today, here’s a photo that’s being circulated this morning: http://imgur.com/I3RFN

  4. Yeah. I wrote this with a hearty dash of wishful thinking, that the subdued protests would continue here and that people would see through the bullshit. Oh well.

    Here is a thread in the forum to check out, there is one Weibo comic in the thread that is a must read for anyone who wants to believe that cooler heads still exist in China …

    http://www.chengduliving.com/forum/topic/any-thoughts-on-the-current-tensions

  5. I spoke at length about this with a colleague today who echoed your comments about the tech-savvy members of Chinese society dismissing the Diaoyu cause. He offered a zombie analogy, and said that it was scary because there’s simply no reasoning with the angry masses. No evidence or reason will detract them from what they see as their birthright, which is protecting the interests of China. Also they look like actual zombies in a lot of the photos we’re seeing.

  6. yeah i’ve heard the protesters described as zombies by a few locals. reminds me of a few Tea Partiers I spoke to ….

  7. Saw a ton of cops everywhere in Shanghai yesterday, mostly looking bored. I have not seen any visible signs of any protests in Shanghai but I get the impression that most of these protests would be in the 2nd or 3rd tier cities.

  8. Really nice to see a piece like this, Sascha. I was actually thinking about this on the way to work today.

    The pictures up on the Internet are terrifying and the Ajisan Noodle place over here has bored security guards outside and a protective banner out front reading: “The Daiyu Islands are Chinese territory; what is sacred must not be infringed upon.”

    Despite all this, there were still a few customers eating there when I had my late lunch. And outside of photos and the banner, I haven’t actually seen any of the sort of rabid nationalism.

    So thanks for the refreshing perspective. Nice to be reminded that everyone hasn’t gone nuts.

  9. ok, i don’t understand why chinese people can’t be anti-japanese disposed if they want, i am not a chinese but i share the same antipathy towards japanese and i am not feeling guilty

    • i shouldn’t even reply to this, but i have to take the chance that I might open up your mind to the greater truth. Here goes:

      Antipathy is grumbling when a Jew walks by. Antipathy is passive racism based on a minority report. Antipathy is the product of lazy brainwaves.

      With this particular situation, using the term “antipathy” is inappropriate and inaccurate. What is happening here is misdirected, misinformed, violent mob thuggery using “collective responsibility” to slip out of any responsibility whatsoever. This is manufactured, manipulated anger over an implanted visceral issue (territory) that is conveniently whipped up to maintain brain control through a heightened level of overall fear and uncertainty.

      The callous manipulation of antipathy to maintain thought control cannot be tolerated. Resist subliminal bigotry Jony.

  10. Eli

    The problem with the feelings of generalized antipathy that Jony and some of the Chinese protesters have expressed is that it takes anger over injustices committed and assigns it to people who had nothing whatsoever to do with those injustices. I cannot tolerate generalized antipathy towards Japanese for the crimes committed during WWII any more than I can personally accept blame for the genocide my ancestors committed against native Americans or the atrocities they inflicted on African slaves and their decedents.

    If I may quote former US Ambassador to the UN Madeline Albright, from her address at the SYMPOSIUM ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE LESSONS OF THE HOLOCAUST:

    http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/ERC/democracy/releases_statements/951017.html

    Responsibility for the atrocities committed does not rest with the Serbs or Hutus or any other people as a group; it rests with the individuals who ordered and committed the crimes. And true reconciliation will not be possible in these societies until the perception of collective guilt is expunged and personal responsibility is assigned.

    • nice talks but you forgot to mention some facts from recent history as the war in vietnam (in which japan supported usa) and Iraq , Afghanistan costing millions deaths. Your grandchild will not feel responsible for their acestors’s actions, and will keep repating these nice slogans , that is normal but comes to show that generalization is a good technique which should be used.
      I think chinese people don’t take these claims very seriously, It is common for japan to claim everything , they even naively want some islands back from russia!

      • you have it backwards friend. your generalizations and antipathy will carry over to your grandkids because they unfortunately will learn from you. My kids and grandkids will carry no such prejudice or antipathy because that is not what i will pass on.

      • Jony’s logic: Japan supported US action in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq-AND-our descendants will not feel responsible-THEREFORE-making generalizations about people based on the actions of a few is justified.

        Did I get that right?

        How about this, Jony:
        Some Japanese people did terrible things during WWII-AND-some Japanese people didn’t, some have even funded the Nanjing Massacre Museum in China-THEREFORE-we judge these people individually for their actions.

      • Eli

        Jony,

        So you believe we should blame people for the crimes of their ancestors?

        That sounds like a sure-fire way to create a never ending cycle of violence and retaliation.

  11. In this article I read today, modern China is likened to a pre-WW1 Germany. On the surface it seems pretty sensational but there are a lot of strong parallels between China and the German Empire.

    Does this seem overblown or realistic? http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/KG31Ad03.html

  12. A nice piece. I’m not paying much attention to the issue right now so I appreciate your providing perspective to the whole situation. It’s hard for me to gauge the sentiments of the students here at Sichuan University. I’m teaching 100 graduated students argumentative writing. They could pick their own topic, and when I mentioned one of them picked the Diaoyu Islands controversy, the class let loose with collective laughter. I’m still not sure how to take that. But the fact that only 1 out of 100 students chose that topic, I think, shows it is not really on the mind of this group of young Chinese.

  13. I don’t think you should underestimate the impact that the Diaoyu islands is having or may have on the Chinese / Japanese relationship front. As you know the issue touches upon many sore points in the last hundred years of China/Japan’s history. Mostly relating to Japan invading and occupying China, committing all kinds atrocities and then to add insult to injury up until this day never denying such atrocities ever happened and not apologising.

    The Japanese are the Germans of the East – the difference being that the Germans have fully admitted to their wrongdoings and done all they can to apologize and make amends. The ones who don’t are otherwise known as Holocaust deniers – a term that can be applied to the Japanese Government (not all it’s ordinary citizens!).

    So, with this territorial dispute, China and the Chinese people are obviously keen to show that they will not be bullied any longer. Your friend’s outburst is not suprising at all – I’m sure a lot of Chinese people feel that way.

    I also so the protests that occurred on the 18th September. They were just peaceful protests, but with the amount of police and barricades present it’s going to take a bit more before there any real violence takes place. Nothing has really happened with the Diaoyu islands yet. Anyhow, peaceful protests are just fine with me – but I bet if something explosive occurs with the Diaoyu islands you could expect much more anti Japanese sentiment materializing. There are plenty of Chinese people who really dislike/hate the Japanese.

  14. Good post! Yes, most Chinese were not out acting like a bunch of ill-bred idiot fascists. Most went to work and did what they normally do. a lot of those causing the destruction are the unemployed with a chip on their shoulder. Destroying anything which they cannot afford themselves is their aim. Japan is just an excuse.

    Having said that, there is in fact a deep-seated hatred for Japan hat the government has don’e its best to instill in the youth since 1989, or was that “1984″…

    My take on the protests:
    Idiots in the Streets: china’s week of Racist Protest
    http://www.kalanstar.com/blog/2012/09/19/idiots-in-the-streets-chinas-week-of-racist-protest/

  15. Whilst not to disregard the government’s role in encouraging Anti-Japanese sentiment via all the endless TV shows etc. Is this any different from the multitude of Hollywood films that have been made about the Nazis? I don’t think this particular fire of hatred requires much extra stoking – it’s been burning quite fiercely for a while and for good reason.

    You only have to google Japanese War time atrocities to see the catalogue of heinous crimes that were committed to Chinese, Koreans other SE Asian countries and also some unlucky Allied POW’s.

    I once overheard an American discussing the Chinese Anti-Japanese sentiment with his Chinese friend, he said something along the lines of “Can’t you (all Chinese People) just forget it and move on?”. The Chinese friend’s english wasn’t at the required level to be able to debate and educate this guy as to how ridiculous a suggestion this was.

    It is estimated up to 35 million Chinese people died as a result of fighting the Japanese and their subsequent occupation.

    If your grandparents had been gang raped or used as bayonet practise by the Japanese, would you be able to just forget it and move on?

    When seen in this light, I don’t see why some Westerners would ever question the sincerity of any protests against the Japanese. They’re not pretending.

    The Japanese Government needs to make a formal apology to all the Asian nations it has abused before the real healing of relations can begin. I just don’t know if that will ever happen.

    • it is hard to understand any of this unless you had it happen to “you” or your people. Jews hating Germans? Blacks hating Whites? Bosnians hating Serbs? and on and on and on …. Apologies are indeed the first step. WTF Japan?

      there is a good post here about how ridiculous this cycle is though.

      http://tinyurl.com/9jwnt2j

      Its a much harder leap of logic to forgive than to hate.

      “Fear, hatred, aggression, the dark side are they …”
      “Is the dark side stronger?”
      “No. Quicker …”

    • Eventually you have to forget about it and move on, because it’s much better than the alternative of living a life with hatred in your heart. The reason why it’s better is because holding on to that has no effect on your enemies but takes a great toll on your mental wellbeing. Nothing you can do will change events that have already passed.

      Where does the 35 million deaths figure that you cite come from? According to what I’ve read it’s closer to 20 million: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Sino-Japanese_War. Still very high and the brutality and dedication of the Japanese army is obviously unquestioned.

      I think if Japan was going to make a public apology they would have done it by now. It’s been 70 years.

      • Japan has apologized publicly dozens and dozens of times. Where you people come up with the idea that they have no is beyond me.

        It is important to point out that he people still living that experienced Japanese occupation are far less anti-Japanese than those 2 generations removed from it. Also, Chinese tend to forget that Mao thanked Japan for their occupation…

        Anyway, war is bad, people die in horrible ways. All participants in WW2 are guilty of war crimes. There are no “good guys” in war. This is why war is bad and that lesson may never be learned.

        People today are not responsible for the crimes of their grandfathers. Grow up and get over it.

  16. That figure depends on who you believe – let’s say between 20-35 million. Huge numbers either way compared to the casualties in modern warfare.

    http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/C/a/Casualties.htm

    I think the issue of forgetting in this case would be wrong. The Chinese and other nations are pushing for a formal acknowledgement and apology from the Japanese Government that such atrocities did indeed take place.

    I believe it’s the right thing to do.

    Can you imagine if the German’s got away without ever acknowledging the Holocaust? Let’s be clear, there was no systematic program of genocide as such implemented in China. But I think they more than made up for it by the sheer size and scope of atrocities and war crimes that were perpetrated.

    It’s just wrong not to hold the Japanese accountable. And it’s unbelievable they haven’t yet made formal apologies. As the Jewish people say “Never forget” (or it will just happen some where else again).

    • The figure is widely understood to be 20 millon, including in the article which you linked to (that source also adds: “these dwarf the civilian casualties of the other Allies”). The second article which you linked to says “35 million killed OR WOUNDED” which is a different figure entirely and is obviously going to be a much larger number.

      Let me ask you this though: have you lived your entire life with a burning desire for a public apology from Japan? If you’re 80 years old and on your death bed and Japan has still not apologized, do you think you would regret living a lifetime of hope and expectation for Japan to make an apology for events that happened long before you were born? The entire thing seems very trite to me.

  17. Sorry, this is the link about war time casualties:

    http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=59

    • List of apologies by Japan:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_war_apology_statements_issued_by_Japan

      They’ve apologized enough. My personal opinion that the losers in war shouldn’t apologize as the winners never do. Japan should just say “F*ck you China. It was war. If you weren’t so weak and backward, you wouldn’t have suffered so much.”

      • thanks for that wiki link … talk about misunderstanding piled upon political BS piled upon opportunism piled upon plain old shitty people.

        As for:

        “F*ck you China. It was war. If you weren’t so weak and backward, you wouldn’t have suffered so much.”

        That is some cold blooded ish. The dick in me is clapping, but the Man in me sighs atcher wakness.

        • Yeah, the “F*ck you China…” is cold as hell, but it may be the next option. They’ve apologized so many times yet still get accused of “never apologizing”, especially by the Chinese. They could probably keep apologizing for the next 100 years and the Chinese mobs would still be burning Toyota’s and chanting “Nuke Japan”, so what’s the point? Just tell them off and be done with it.

  18. China’s civilian deaths were under 4 million. China’s CCP killed 70 million Chinese. Japan looks a lot kinder, no? just a guess, but if Japan had been permitted to take over China, there’d have been a lot less death involved.

  19. @ KopyKat – first thing, you’re clearly a few cents short of a dollar. You need to stop bringing attention to yourself on these websites by highlighting your limited mental abilities to formulate rational thoughts.

    In what world did Japan win the War?!!

    China was actually a part of the Allied forces and it happened to be partially occupied by Japan during the war. Much like France and the majority of Europe was occupied by the Germans. In your opinion F*ck those weak B*astards too – right?

    Also, thanks for the Wiki link, you just shot yourself in the foot. You ought to try and actually read it carefully before advertising it as evidence of Japan’s history of apologizing successfully for its wrong doings. If they’d actually apologized, do you really think that so many Chinese, Koreans and other SE Asian countries would still hate them so much and be after an apology.

    The problem is that Japan’s government and country has not made a unanimous, legal apology that is backed up with compensation or other types of remedy. Usually it is just one politician who issues a couple line of apology, the next day a bunch of their politicians will visit the Yasakuni shrine which enshrines over 1000 convicted war criminals. Imagine if Angela Merkel went to visit a War shrine every year that honored Hitler, Himmler and Mengele – would that go down well?

    How about this for analogy. Imagine all the people you love walking down the road. Now imagine if someone willfully drove their car into this group, killing almost everyone. This person then says to you “I know I have caused you unending suffering, I would like to express my heartfelt remorse and apology to you” and then walks away. Is that okay with you?

    Btw, what are you doing in China? You clearly hate the place.

    I can’t imagine what kind of nonsensical reply I’m going to get from this, and I imagine I would be forever writing replies to your essentially psychotic world view. You can’ reason with the unreasonable, so I’m not going to waste anymore time replying to anymore of your ill conceived, sociopathic thoughts.

    I can only urge you to go away and get a proper education and then start learning about the world around you. Also, if a soul can be acquired – get one!

    • When the personal attacks come out, you know you have encountered someone with very little to ad to the discussion, as Mike has pointed out here.

      I read the apologies. they sound like something politicians would say, which is what you get when politicians apologize.

      I like China. Studied Chinese language history and ethnography in Uni and spent summers here teaching while I was a student a decade ago. Been living here since 2009 and read any book on China I can get my hands on.

      I am also intimately familiar with Japan. Japan is a much more advanced and civilized country than China and has been so since he Meji restoration. The have a legal form of government that operates legally in international affairs. It has gleaming cities, clean streets and endlessly polite and kind people. Compare with Japan, China is an utter-catastrophe full of dirty uneducated peasants who are too stupid to realize war is a bad thing having been brainwashed by an education system that makes the Nazi one look enlightened and progressive. The people, business, and the government are all held captive by an illegal regime (the CCP isn’t even legal in China you know), that has no greater purpose than to preserve it’s own power at all costs. China is a land run by criminals, ones that will turn China against any country that dares protest its illegitimate power.

      The fact that people outside of China would rather support China than Japan on this issue is truly galling. It’s akin to westerners supporting North Korea over South Korea.

  20. Although the original post drew it into question, this comment thread has really underscored the vitriol of the anti-Japanese sentiment in China.

    Mike, you said that there was no official apology but it seems there were a lot. From the emperor, prime minister, and Japanese parliament, which have apologized to China specifically (example: September 6, 1997: Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto). Are these illegitimate because they weren’t accompanied by monetary compensation to China?

    I value your input and have interest in seeing the issue from a different angle. Although this topic is a sensitive one, I hope we can discuss it without resorting to personal attacks.

    • Actually it is hard to say, because not a single Chinese person has commented on this thread. So we in effect are just blowing smoke up each others’ arses. In conversations with people and in stories like this one:

      http://tinyurl.com/9jwnt2j (linked above in comments as well)

      we see a lot of rational, caring people. Kopykat and Mike both DON”T KNOW cuz neither of them are Chinese nor Japanese.

      As a German, I remember growing up under a shadow of guilt that was very palpable and only after 08 did it noticeably lift. Here is a photo we as schoolkids are shown, along with hundreds of images of dead and dying, that is meant to drive home guilt, forgiveness, and remembrance:

      http://tinyurl.com/9zstsj2

      It would be nice to hear from the actual peeps involved in this particular pissing contest, instead of from just from us …

  21. I must say, the turning point for me on how I viewed the Chinese people was after Japan’s quake and Tsunami last year. Never in my life would I have imagined that anyone could find pleasure in such a natural disaster that cost so many people their lives. But in China it was all too common. People laughing at the news footage of the wave washing away Japanese towns and thousands of people. People saying it was it happened because the of the Nanjing massacre. Friends and colleagues saying they were happy Japan had suffered so much etc. etc. It was a real eye opener…

    In 2008 when China had it’s own earthquake disaster, one that was made much worse by official corruption, I had the opportunity of talking to many Japanese people about it. Not one laughed or thought it was a good thing. All of them were shocked and saddened.

    The peoples’ reactions to these two incidents illustrates one important thing: Inhumanity is much more common in China than in Japan. A lot of Chinese are vengeful little hate-filled creatures who derive enjoyment from other’s suffering. China has a sick society and I’d much rather a world dominated by Japanese than one dominated by Chinese.

    I have heard that September 11th was also a cause for celebration in China. People in China laughed at that destruction and death too.

    • That is an interesting comparison between the Chinese and Japanese reaction to natural disaster in rival countries, although not entirely unexpected. I talked to a friend in Tokyo last week while the mainland China protests were in full swing and he said that no one there really seemed to care about any of this at all. Chinese restaurants have customers as usual and he didn’t see or hear about any violent demonstrations. A stark contrast from China, where air raid sirens were going off in every major city to commemorate the Nanjing Massacre while thousands of people took to the streets to destroy anything Japanese.

      • I also talked on the phone with Japanese friends during China’s “moment of hate”. Not only were they not rioting and attacking symbols of China, their news wasn’t even making a big deal out of the destruction on the mainland. Before reading my blog they hadn’t seen any of the photos of China’s protests. In regards to the Senkaku Islands, they just said it was a non-issue. Japan owns them and the world recognizes that fact.

      • @Charlie: The riots were to commemorate the Mukden Incident. The anniversary has nothing to do with Nanjing.

    • Eli

      Inhumanity is terrible.

      But you can’t say that one country is more or less inhumane than another. That implies a degree of rigidity that does not exist in the real world. Inhumanity is an ephemeral thing. So called “civilized” countries are capable of cruelty and injustice. So called “backwards” countries are capable of empathy and compassion. Even on the micro level, within one individual, there is no certainty to a designation of humane or inhumane. We are all both, capable of either extreme, depending on the moment. ‘You’re only funky as your last cut,’ as the song says. It is a fluid thing. We need to encourage the humane side of everyone (ourselves included) rather than condemning them unnecessarily.

      Calling people hate-filled creatures does not really demonstrate the humane atmosphere that we are trying to cultivate.

  22. I remember back to 2001 and 2002 my first extended stays in China, I was a big China defender. even years later while living in Germany I was still more or less pro-China and willing to go the extra mile to stand up for the country I loved nearly as much as my own, Canada. but since 2008 and returning here in 2009, I have found China has become a much uglier nation. 10 years ago I was rooting for China and its rise, now I feel I was Shanghaied by CCP lies. I’m still here though, and I do enjoy my life, however the growing audacity of the Party in international affairs and the specter of fascism I see cropping up again and again is very disheartening. Once I thought I’d like to settle here forever, which is the reason I returned, now I fear the damage that would be done to my kids both physically and mentally if I were to raise and educate them here. When I look at China’s belligerence in the surrounding seas, the indoctrination of historical humiliation combined with a racial superiority complex, I can’t help but feel China has learned nothing since the Opium wars and Japan’s invasion and are likely to go down the road of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany given half the chance. This makes me sad, sad for China and all its people. It also makes me angry at myself for once believing in the “Chinese dream”.

  23. @ KopyKatKiller (again). I can’ help but re-enter the fray. Your posts seem to start of reasonably balanced and rational and then inevitably, your racist view of the Chinese always emerges. Can’t you or anyone else see that? I’ve seen you on other threads repeating similarly repugnant racist views. See below, that’s you as well – right?

    http://www.shanghaiexpat.com/phpbbforum/mob-violence-and-unwillingness-to-help-others-that-s-china-t141843.html

    Re: Mob Violence and Unwillingness to Help Others: That’s Ch
    by KopyKatKiller » Fri May 25, 2012 1:12 pm

    rickettyrabbit wrote:
    Astonishing. Sometimes these things are very difficult to believe.

    Not really astonishing after you’ve lived here awhile. I’ve seen a few other videos where kids get run over, and after the front tires bump over them, they hit the gas and re-flatten with the back tires. Oh, and of course, never stop or look back.

    Anyway, it’s amazing how inhumane mainlanders are. I’m sure a lot of people don’t even posses the empathy of apes here, let alone humans. What’s to blame? Chinese Culture. No wonder the US is clamping down on the Confucian Institutes. The last thing the world needs is Chinese culture being exported.

    You say you like China, who are you trying to fool?!

    Anyone can search for your name and pull up quite a number of similar remarks about your views on the Chinese and Chinese culture.

    • “a lot of people” doesn’t = racism. I’m talking about culture anyway, not inborn genetic characteristics.

      A lot of people here are also kind and considerate human beings, but its rarely the kindness encountered that sticks in ones mind.

      Many things happen in China that do not happen in many other countries. A distinct lack of empathy is a characteristic of mainlanders in general. As it is a generalization, it doesn’t mean that all mainlanders lack empathy.

      Also, on the topic of protests, it is interesting to note the great difference between the protests in Japan concerning the Senkaku issue and the ones in China. In Japan the “right-wingers” weren’t attacking Chinese business, smashing Chinese products, beating their fellow citizens, burning buildings etc. etc. Nor were they protesting with racist signs calling for the annihilation of the Chinese people as many Chinese protesters were against the Japanese people. n, they were protesting the central government of China and their fraudulent claims to Japanese territory in a very peaceful and respectable manner.

      This says a lot about the differences culture makes. Added to my observations of the difference in reaction to natural disasters in both countries, and reactions to human suffering, it is easy to come to the conclusion hat mainland culture is inhumane, racists, uncivilized etc. etc., while Japan is the exact opposite. It is significant basis for the statements: “Mainlanders are inhumane.” “Mainlanders are racist.” Mainlanders are uncivilized.” etc. Sure, it may not be true of all mainlanders, and surely isn’t, but when taking the mainland Chinese nationality as a whole, it is an accurate reflection.

      If the many living in the mainland for which these generalizations are not true really cared about how they are seen as a nation, then it is high time they did something about it, no?

  24. Eli

    It is curious that KopyKatKiller chose to spell copy, and cat, with K.

    Im not sure why someone would go out of their way to adopt a moniker that hinted at such an ignominious acronym.

    • I chose it because it had lots of K’s. If I wanted to be associated with a bunch of inbred South USA idiots, I’d have called myself KluKluxKlan.

      • Eli

        But there were not “lots of Ks” in the phrase copy cat killer to begin with – you added two additional Ks.

        Im not saying that you are racist, or meant your screen name as an homage to the KKK. But your choice to replace the Cs in Copy and Cat with Ks – and to CAPITALIZE all three of the Ks in the your name – creates a pretty striking visual resonance with the acronym KKK.

        And that is a rather odd (though perhaps benignly oblivious) stylistic choice to make.

        • Honestly, a few years ago i signed up at a site with the Name CopyCatKiller. Then I forgot my password for the site and the password for the email address I had created with the same name, “CopyCatKiller”. Not really putting a lot of thought into it, i came up with the idea of changing all the first 2 C’s to K’s. I thought “Kool, it has lots of K’s” and signed up with that. The association with the Klan never even entered my mind. It was months later that someone pointed this out and I was a bit stunned. The Klan was so far removed from my experience and life that the association never appeared. Now once again someone is pointing it out. I guess i could change it, but hey, why should the Klan monopolize 3K’d names? Fuck ‘em.

          • Eli

            That is a totally reasonable explanation.

            I may be more sensitive to noticing that kind of thing as well, because I am from the southern part of the US.

  25. As to the continuing debate on the Japanese Apologies, a really great article summarising written by somebody from the University of Dartmouth can be found here:

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jlind/docs/Lind_Perils.pdf

    @ Charlie – you need to delve more deeply into the apology issue before we can discuss things constructively. Your first comment about this was “If Japan hasn’t apologised in over 70 years they won’t now”. Now it’s, “they’ve apologized a lot already, isn’t that enough?” Please read that article and then we can talk further.

    Also, as I’m ethnically Chinese I find KopyKatKiller’s repugnantly racist comments on the mainland chinese insulting. I was born in HK and raised in the UK. My Father, Uncle and Aunt are Shanghainese. My uncle also fought in the War against the Japanese and they ultimately fled China before the communists took over.

    The real problem is that Japan has not apologised with enough sincerity to convince their neighbours of their own repentance. How could I possibly be making this up? The Japanese need to stop doctoring their history text books to whitewash various atrocities and effectively brainwash Japanese children into believing in the benevolence of their colonial rule.

    I used to have great admiration for the Japanese as well, until I learned about their conduct over the last 100 years and continual denial of war time atrocities. If they make concrete steps, I may once again begin to like them again.

    @KopyKatKiller – The Japanese did so many horrible things in the war, don’t forget that when you start holding them up as the epitomy of a civilized culture and nation. It is still the same country with the same people. Don’t they still sell used women’s underwear on vending machines on the streets for perverts to buy?

    • @Mike Ever taken a look at the anti-Mainlander protests in HongKong. Are your fellow HongKongers being racist by trying to keep the locusts out?

      As for Japan, it is NOT the same country with the same people. To think so is just ridiculous.

    • Mike,

      My personal position has been, and remains, let go of crimes committed by the ancestors of modern day Japanese. I have a couple of Chinese friends who’ve told me in conversation that they forgive the Japanese for what happened in world war 2 and regard members of countries they haven’t been to with curiosity and respect. It’s inspiring to hear that despite the fact that they’ve been raised in an environment which tolerates and sometimes encourages hating a country and people that you haven’t been to or know nothing about.

  26. Shouldn’t race haters be blocked from this site?

    ie.@KKK!

    (I suppose he could always just sign up with another name!)

    • Name calling always wins your arguments, or?

      Sure, I don’t pull any punches, but that doesn’t make me a racist. And since when do mainland Chinese constitute a race anyway? I can assure you of one thing, if I hated Chinese people, I wouldn’t be living in China.

      • man i feel you. You believe that by just speaking exactly what you see and feel, you’ll break through and make a difference. But i learned over time that smashing someone in the mouth with their inequities just produces more rage. You’re gonna have to go the soft Tao route sometime soon …

        • I understand. in person I am very mellow. When foreign friends have problems here my advice is “give-up and accept it.” Online, however, I voice my positive and negative thoughts in detail. I have a reputation for this, and indeed many people appreciate it. i like expressing my conclusions in written form and if people don’t like it, they can always chose to not read it.

          Now I feel my presence here is doing little but help to derail the conversation making it all about me which was not my intention. I have raised some good points in relation the protests, which have been meant with accusations and name calling rather than informed disagreement.

          I’ll be the first to admit when I’m wrong, but calling me a racist or hater for pointing out what I believe to be Chinese mainlander’s cultural short-comings doesn’t really do much for me. It just proves that my detractors have very little insight into the topic at hand are logically deficient.

      • Eli

        I should introduce you to my friend Oz. You two would have a blast debating each other.

    • I’ve been where he’s at. Hatin. Snarlin. Meanmuggin every Chinese in sight (cept the ladies. Never the ladies). Its a cycle of funk that we mention in a few posts here, such as:

      http://www.chengduliving.com/enduring-the-china-blues/

      and

      http://www.chengduliving.com/enduring-china-blues-continued/

      don’t let him get to you Mike. Chinese are fucking cool man. DONT FEED THE HATER! Let him get the hate out first.

  27. I know what Kopy means when he says Mainlanders have no empathy, are inhumane, are racist …

    These are the same things many of us say on a daily basis, in daily conversation. On Weibo, you can see Chinese themselves – the humane, thoughtful empathic China, of which there are millions – lamenting these same characteristics in a lot of their brothers and sisters.

    It stings because Kopy is a foreigner and having a foreigner go off on one’s negative characteristics hurts. When my homies say things about my character, I have to struggle to not get defensive.

    Also, using relativist arguments like “we stink but so do you” just keeps everyone stinking. I think we can all agree on the following:

    1) Kopy is one ornery fuck
    2) The Japanese need to step up and be real about what they did, like the link i have above and here: http://tinyurl.com/9zstsj2
    3) The Chinese need to start acting right and using their brains and hearts instead of being led by the nose by assholes in the Party
    4) George Lucas needs to get beat up (Han shot first … )
    5) Pee Wee was framed
    6) Bruce Lee would stomp Chuck Norris
    7) Sascha Matuszak is a pimp

  28. Nice one Sacha,

    I can agree with you on all of that.

    At last – someone with a clear perspective!

  29. Kopy dont go, we all respect your style.

    As for this:

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jlind/docs/Lind_Perils.pdf

    Author talks about the Adenauer Model, which is in effect, apologizing (again), but taking the focus off of the apology by emphasizing post-war achievements and the modern world in general.

    Is this what you agree with Mike? The Adenauer model actually promoted German patriotism and sneered at the social democratic “soft style” epitomized by WIlly kneeling. (linked above). For the author, Japan must be comfortable with an apology in order to keep rightists from popping up and denying anything went wrong – and that means being proud.

    I am not sure China (and the CCP) is ready for that model. I think the CCP would like to see Japan kneel over and over again and submit to the old ways, when Japan was a supplicant and the dynasties accepted tribute from all eight directions.

    Every thoughtful Chinese I know abhors a Sino-centric world (bipolar with US or even worse, unipolar) because the nation would act the same way a boss here acts when he gets rich:

    boorish, intolerant, demanding, tyrannical, corrupt.

    The people I speak with say … time. We need more time. Time to emerge out of the social state that gets Kopy so riled up in order to deal with Japan the way Europe was able to deal with Germany: rationally, in the hopes of a better future.

    And the author of the pdf you linked seems to agree with part of that.

    • I’ll be sure to read that.

      What China wants is for Japan to accept as fact the mythology they call history in the CCP controlled China. That will never happen, nor should it. China lecturing the Japanese on history is probably the most idiotic mainstay in modern Chinese international politics.

      It is worth pointing out as well that the rise of anti-Japan education, and all of the associated museums, was a direct result of 1989. It’s propaganda indoctrination that the CCP turns on to divert attention away from themselves. Rather than have Japan apologize once again, I’d be happier if the CCP could even admit to the T-Square issue actually happened.

      Every time the CCP brings up Japan, the world should state a collective, “No China. Until you can own up to your own disgraceful human rights record and fabricated history, STFU!”

  30. Actually the lesson China and mainland people really need to learn is: “Hate breads hate and nothing good will ever come from it.”

    A few years back I had the lucky opportunity of meeting with Native lawyers and law students who had been a part of British Columbia’s Aboriginal Reconciliation Act. The Natives of BC were treated to what amounts to “crimes against humanity” by the BC government far more recently than WW2.

    I’ll not go into detail here, but what I will relate is the Native people involved were willing to “forgive and move on.” One of the main lawyers said to me when I questioned him as to how they could approach the issue in such a calm way and not at least demanding the imprisonment of the government and church officials that had caused his people unthinkable humiliation and pain? He said, “there’s nothing to be gained from being angry today. The past can’t be changed but we can make a better future for our people. The government has admitted they were wrong and the only thing we can do is move on from here.”

    After having had their children ripped from their families many of which landed in mass graves behind their church run schools, I was amazed at the level of calm and reserve expressed by those handling the case. Had I or my family been split apart and members murdered in state sponsored apartheid, I am not sure I could be so progressive.

    If these people who actually experienced the atrocity and who are now living with the perpetrators could forgive and move on, then it gives me hope that the Chinese Mainland may someday be able to do the same…

  31. Travelling in China for 3 weeks now. Visiting CD and close by areas for 4 days. I neither know the problem nor the whole scale of what it meant for Chinese.

    However, I noticed that many cars have Chinese flags and many Japanese made car logos are hid by Chinese Flags. My first impression was that Chinese care about the problem more than above mentioned unless its a way of showing authorities that they care..

    • they might also be trying to avoid getting beaten and having their cars overturned and burned by fanatics.

      • I’m in Qingdao. Most Japanese cars have Chinese flags covering their logos.One group who is not covering up the logos on their Japanese SUV’s is the Chinese Navy. All the navy vehicles here are Mitsubishi’s and Toyota’s. The hypocrisy is startling don’t you think? I had half a mind to go over and give one of their SUV’s a hearty kick in the door and scream at them they are traitors! lol!!!

        And in tramping around with a bunch of Chinese tourists for a week, I also thought that they were quite hypocritical as they were all carrying Japanese cameras. Even the brain-dead retards writing “Fuck Japan” on the dusty windows at the German colonial prison were snapping pics on their Japanese cameras.

        I promptly started erasing their comments then a staff member came running out asking what I was doing. “I’m erasing this bullshit” I said and he walked away.A moment later some Hong Kong tourists came by were shocked by the Chinese hatred towards Japan.

        • A few days before this post was published I heard that protestors were grabbing Japanese cameras out of people’s hands and smashing them. The first thought that came to mind was: “Who has a camera that is NOT Japanese?”

          And on the streets a few minutes ago I saw a Honda Civic with a giant decal on the rear windshield that said in Chinese “If we go to war, I will destroy this car immediately”.

          If you’re driving a Japanese car around China you’d be smart to put a sticker or sign on it to protect yourself from recklessly angry people.

  32. hahahahahaha! The “protest” went wild that noon-ish. I remembered. We were in the office by Tianfu and all of sudden we just heard a bunch of people yelling. The cops were so calm about it. That was a give-away. We went out to look around Tianfu after lunch only to find that the protest had turned into, as Sascha called it, 看热闹. Some of the cops wouldn’t let people walk toward mao yeye but as soon as people gathered for another “protest group,” we joined them and walked freely around Tianfu. I heard some people were saying this was awesome because they could just walk anywhere, any direction without worrying there would be a car coming toward them. It was ridiculously amusing.

  33. In reality, as an ordinary people living in China, all I want is to have a happy simple life. I only care about my family and my friends. My only hope is that all of us can have a happy and peaceful life in the world. I don’t care about the political issues.

    I can understand why Chinese don’t like Japanese, I don’t like them too. Because they don’t admit what they had done to us. However, it is all gone. We should move on.

    And I don’t believe those so-called patriots really love my country. They are not true patriots but men out to protect their own interests. They are also men who live unhappy lives and don’t want others to be happy.

    I love my country, but I don’t like politics. We, both Chinese and Japanese people are innocent.

    • I agree with most of what you said but this: “I can understand why Chinese don’t like Japanese, I don’t like them too. Because they don’t admit what they had done to us.”

      Remember, it was America who fought the Japanese, and I can understand why Japanese DO NOT hate Americans. Also, Japan as a nation, and most of its people, don’t deny anything. One can also make the argument the China, for a long time before the Japanese showed up, had been doing it to themselves, ie “humiliation”.

      China and many Chinese always want others to admit their wrongs against China, while they forever refuse to admit their own mistakes. Chinese “history’s” moaning and groaning about the “centuries of humiliation” is the biggest joke of any national narrative anywhere at anytime. From the first treaty with Britain to those that gave Taiwan, the Senkaku Islands, and Manchuria to Japan, China suffered because of its own ineptitude and the only defense ever offered by China, its Party, and academics has been “we didn’t know what we were signing. We didn’t understand. Boohoohoo. It’s the evil foreigner’s fault we were so stupid.” Well, ignorance is no defense. As far as I am concerned China today should still be bound by those treaties legally obtained under international law.

      Today we see the same general ineptitude in almost all aspects of Chinese foreign relations. From the East China Sea to the South one. From the WTO to the UN. From relations with the US and EU to relations with Africa and South America, China still thinks it’s the center of the Earth. it still thinks that “its way” means something and is important. Well it isn’t the center of anything and “its way” is the wrong way. As long as China and the Chinese people refuse to accept even basic historical facts, the supremacy of Western International Law, and the illegitimacy of the regime and the state it possesses, China will continue to be civilization’s backwater and the ugly inbred cousin of modernity.

      Chinese should feel humiliated and ashamed of their compatriots anti-Japan protests and their ruler’s misguided sense of self-worth. As long as mainland Chinese continue to support the Party and blame outsiders for their own faults, this country will never modernize or become a valued member of the international community.

  34. @KKK…

    You’re a nasty piece of work aren’t you? You’re historical revisionism is disturbing – I would guess that you hold African-Americans responsible for their own enslavement because they didn’t rebel often enough.

    Yes you can make all kinds of compelling arguments (to your other multiple personalities) when you don’t rely on things like historical accuracy, logic, or rational thinking. Personally, I hold the Illuminati Lizard People responsible for these events and I know that you have personal acquaintance with these beings.

    Mother…Is that you!?

      • @ KKK

        I’m not an idiot when it comes to your historical revisionism and your completely irrational ranting.

        • Everything I say is 100% historically accurate. You are great at making baseless claims and erecting straw-men. I originally wrote out a response rebutting all of your accusations, and then thought, “F*ck it. This imbecile couldn’t target to one of my assertions and back up an alternative interpretation with some semblance of fact and/or reason, so why bother?”

          If you think I have revised something, point it out and say exactly what has been revised. If you believe my rant to be illogical, then point out the logical problems, etc. etc.

          What you wrote, though full of bile and mirth, lacked anything substantial and showed no comprehension of historical or contemporary China. All you did was express you dissatisfaction with my take on things and show absolutely no knowledge about China now or in the past.

          So I’ll reiterate, B, you are an idiot!

          • Wait, you actually do believe that China was responsible for foreign imperial aggression against it? Try some rational thinking before you spout your ranting ignorance.

            So how did the Chinese coerce the British into waging war against it before they signed this treaty? Like I said, any lunatic can make a compelling argument to convince their own alter-egos, and you seem to have mastered this skill.

            You sound like a one of those Nazi extremists who denies the Holocaust because they can’t face any challenges to their sad worldview.

            Of course it is difficult to refute your rant – teaching rational thinking to a lunatic is almost impossible. You see in your increasingly evident sick mind, your logic would insist that slaves are responsible for their enslavement because they didn’t run away quickly enough, and rape is the responsibility of the victim because she wears tight clothing.

            So no, I’m not an idiot, I’m simply more rational than you.

          • For starters B, the Emperor of China acted like a royal ass when the colonial powers showed up to do trade. Even after China lost the first Opium war, he still thought of the British as disloyal subjects and believed the English monarchy was subservient to him. If China had treated the foreign powers as equals 99% of what occurred could have been avoided. It’s as simple as that. In the end they signed the treaties and therefore are responsible. If they didn’t want to sign them, they could have declined.

          • Julia Lovell’s book: “The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams, and the Making of China” is quite enlightening and entertaining to boot. I suggest you pick up a copy and attempt to educate your addled brain.

            Reviewed here: http://www.economist.com/node/21534758

            What I take from it is that the Chinese were their own worst enemies then and from all that I see in the news today, not much has changed.

  35. For the sake of civility and to promote discussion of the actual issues which are complex but worth debating, please keep personal attacks to a minimum.

    @KopyKatKiller, I added that book to my reading list, thanks for the suggestion

    • It’s a great book. She’s an excellent story teller. the best part is that she takes into account the misrepresentation of the conflict today as promoted by CCP “history”.

      Also, although I picked my copy up in HongKong when it was first released, I have since seen it for sale at the foreigner book store in Shanghai. So it isn’t banned here, which is surprising.

  36. @ KKK

    That’s weird, most of the history books that I’ve read suggest that it was the Portuguese who first tried to colonize China way back in the 15th century, and were briefly tolerated until they started treating the locals like animals and stealing young Chinese boys to sell as slaves back in Lisbon. If you didn’t re-write history so much, you might know that it was the Portuguese who gave Europeans a bad reputation in China, which is why they weren’t trusted by the time the thieving Brits rolled up.

    Besides, only a fool, fascist, or lunatic would make the ludicrous claim that imperialism in China could have been somehow avoided if only China had “acted right”. There’s no evidence for that based on the way that imperial powers acted in other parts of Asia and the world. You hold China responsible because your are unable to reason objectively, if at all. What hallucination has convinced you that imperialism in China would have resembled anything other than the brutal, racist imperialism in other European colonies?

    Even if China was and is its own worst enemy, that doesn’t justify imperialism – except for those belonging in the loony-bin or the Third Reich.

    • You make a lot of baseless claims about me, my personality (ies???) and what I believe about Nazism, rape, etc., all without a shred of evidence.

      My point is that the Emperor of China and most of his subjects thought A) China was the center of the world and B) China held the most important place in it. Two assumptions still leading this country astray… If, when the British showed up with their trade delegation the Emperor had greeted the foreigners as equals and recognized the English aristocracy as equal to his own, their never would have been any need for the opium trade, the subsequent wars, or unequal treaties (all treaties are unequal when the powers involved are not matched btw.)

      China, for hundreds of years had tossed its weight around in the Asia forcing any competing seat of power into unequal tributary arrangements and was blinded by its own visions of grandeur and self importance to realize that when the white men showed up they were dealing with a far superior group of people. Did you know that at the end of the 1st opium war the emperor of China didn’t even know where Britain was located? That says it all right there…

      Japan, by contrast is an interesting example. At the same time China was being subjugated by foreign powers, so too was Japan. The results however were the exact opposite. While China refused to recognize their inferior position in the new world order that had been thrust upon them and stubbornly clung to their old inept ways, Japan learned from their “humiliation” at the hands of the West and set about on a program not only to match the foreigners and their foreign system, but to best them at their own game. Unequal treaties led to the Meji restoration movement in Japan where they disbanded almost all of their old ways in the adoption of Westernized institutions, the nation state, modern military practices, in addition to the Western philosophy of colonial expansionism. They even debated doing away with the Japanese language and adopting English as their new mother tongue. In a very short time Japan rose as the preeminent power in Asia…

      What did China do? Wallow in its own backwardness and fight with itself while learning nothing from its encounters with the West. And who can take the blame for that? Certainly not the West.

      So too today, we see Japan is well integrated into the international order, a peaceful long ago developed nation that respects international law and is a willing partner of other developed and developing nations. They have a democratic system. They respect international organizations such as the WTO and UN. Its people live freely with basic human rights protected by their nation’s laws.

      China on the other hand is in opposition to the world on almost every front. It is a country ruled by an illegal party. It is organized as a Stalinist colony that doesn’t respect international law, the authority of the UN or the WTO, and it’s people live without the guarantee of basic human rights. China still hasn’t learned the lesson that its way, its order, and its place at the center of the world have long since passed and never shall be regained. In short, it hasn’t learned a damn thing. China today is just as ignorant, belligerent, and backward as it was when the first British gun boats sailed up to Nanjing. If it continues down the blind path it is so steadfastly pursuing, the results will be the same as the so-called “century of humiliation”.

      • KKK

        I make no assumptions about your beliefs whatsoever. I have simply applied your logic to other historical situations and found them to be consistent with lunacy or fascist revisionist logic.

        Europeans (including the thieving Brits) showed up in China with the intention of expanding their empires and the Opium wars were fought by China to suppress its import and usage because of the devastation it wreaked on the Chinese population. It’s that simple.

        I shouldn’t be surprised that you claim profound knowledge of Chinese history, whilst stupidly exhibiting embarrassing ignorance of western history. Maybe I’ve been too kind by thinking that you are a loony, maybe you’re just not that bright.

        If you were half the non-loon expert you fancy yourself to be, you would know that China actually did treat Europeans as equals. Just as the Europeans put up trade barriers with each other, to foster their own economic power, and restrict that of opposing powers, China did the same.

        Europeans even fought wars with each other over these trade barriers, and this even led to the scramble for colonies overseas to create captive markets amongst native peoples. This is what revisionists like yourself like to pretend is free-trade, when, in fact, it was highly regulated to enrich the colonial power and siphon the wealth away from the colonies. China’s limiting of foreign trade was absolutely in line with what every European country was doing at the time and therefore shows that they did treat Europeans as equals.

        That’s the problem with your beliefs; China was acting like all European powers at the time, and treated the thieving Brits in much the same way that Europeans treated each other by limiting economic activity.

        Also, you do realize that it took 5 years of brutal warfare and two atomic bombs to start Japan on the road to becoming the Pacifist state it is today? Prior to that the Japanese were conducting human experiments and acting like Nazis. It’s no surprise that you admire pre-war Japan so much.

        • China was producing vast amounts of its own opium before and after the British got into the business. Even Mao an d the KMT profited from the opium trade years and years later.

          As for trade, China enforced a tributary system and then claimed that all who partook in this unequal system were ruled by the Emperor of China, including Britain. If that is what you think a European model looks like, then you must be sniffing glue.

          Also China refused to accept foreign goods for trade instead demanding gold or silver. This was a big problem from Britain as the trade for tea primarily with China had drained British silver reserves. This was the reason they stated to import opium. The Qing were ruining the economic condition of the British through one the British addiction to Chinese tea and the British sought to recoup their lost silver reserves by fueling China’s opium addiction.

          If the Qing had agreed to allow trade of Chinese goods for British goods in the first place, then this situation could have been avoided.

          Returning to Opium, whose to blame, the dealer or the addict? Chinese society under the Qing was in decline long before the British showed up. The sheer willingness of large swaths of Chinese society to loose themselves in a pipe dream says, including members of the royal family says a lot about how sick China had become under Qing rule.

          If Britain and the other colonial powers had wanted to take over China they surely could have. Hell, the British nearly accomplished as much with just 1 ironclad when it wasn’t even their intention. No, the colonial powers did not approach China as they had the New World and Africa in the hopes of carving it up for themselves. They genuinely were seeking only trade.

          As for Japan, it stood up and beat the West at it’s own colonial game. That is to be admired, sure!

          The China of the Qing Dynasty was an empire long past its prime and usefulness. If the West and later Japan had not come calling when they did, China would have been overrun from it’s western and northern borders eventually anyway. Probably much of it would have fallen under Russian and Uyghur control.

          What you claim as “non-revisionist history” is no more than the revisionism the CCP supports and that which is spouted by every wu mao shill, which is waht you likely are ;)

          • KKK

            And you show your inability to think logically, or to understand objective historical facts. The European powers did carve China up – which alternative reality are you thinking of? Europe’s imperialism in China was simply the last phase in a process of aggression against Asia begun three centuries previously.

            You are actually not making much sense anymore. Nothing in what you have written even remotely supports your delusion that China was responsible for its own colonization, in fact, all you’ve done is show how willfully ignorant you are. So what if China was a shit-hole – that doesn’t justify war or imperialism.

            And the “European model” I described is exactly the model of trade between European countries at the time. They all put up trade barriers to prevent their countries from becoming colonized by other Europeans. Don’t tell me that you believe the EU to be a couple of centuries old? You do, don’t you?

            And yes, you are a fascist revisionist – and a raving nut-job. When did Japan beat the West at its own colonial game? Last time I checked, Japan wound up not actually beating anyone at the colonial game – you know, they lost the war and with it all of their colonies and then were occupied for decades.

            Which mystical history tome gave you the idea that Japan “beat the West at its own colonial game”? Is it the tome with a glowing corona, that is viewed in 3D and actually speaks to you in a loud God-like voice?

          • Well Japan’s colonization of China was much more adept than anything the West accomplished here. If they hadn’t over stepped there bounds and attacked Pearl Harbour,, they probably would have been left in relative peace by the Allies and succeeded in their quest for China. Let’s not forget that it was the treaty of Versailles that permitted the Japanese foothold in China proper in the first place…

            The West did not carve China up, they merely established trading ports, something the Qing authorities did agree to allow in the end.

            As for revisionism, if I were to revise the tale, I’d make the Western colonial powers freedom fighters against a brutal Manchu occupation that did not have support of the Chinese people… Try that on for size lol! Or did you think the Qing were Chinese???

            Idiot!

  37. Eli

    B,

    KKK didn’t say it was ALL China’s fault! The subjugation of China by imperial powers was also 1% the fault of the imperial powers.

    Only 99% percent was China’s fault.

  38. KKK

    Oh. I’m not Chinese. I’m British if you must know. But, unlike you, I’m not pretending to be expert on things I know nothing about.

    As for revisionism, you have revised the tale, only in a way that leaves you looking like a fascist nutter.

    Yes, the West did carve up China – as you say, they even gave a piece to Japan, who, incidentally, bombed Pearl Harbour, because the US oil embargo left them with less than a month’s supply of oil. Doesn’t sound much like leaving them “in relative peace” to me.

  39. I’ve spent time in Taiwan,Singapore, and Shanghai…this is an interesting piece: duplicity or as Orwell called it “Double Think” is not just a Mainland Chinese thing, I think it is just Chinese, but the “2 minute hate” is classic communism theatrics. It’s just a milder form of the spontaneous crying over Kim “Starve Your People to Death” Jongil’s death…

  40. Japan has apologized many times, but just not to the liking of the Chinese (and Koreans), strangely the Japanese killed many Singaporean Chinese (whom they felt were communist mainland sympathizers), colonized Taiwan, and invaded HK, but none of those places today seem to hate Japanese much, in fact I would say many of the young love Japan (although Korea is in heated competition for their affections)…also remember many people in Taiwan (at least around Taipei) are KMT refugees whose grandparents and great grandparents were also on the Mainland during WWII (also many folks currently in HK< like Jackie Chan's family were immigrants after the war)…
    strangely Chiang Kaishek sought no war reparations from Japan (who was leader of China during WWII and for a few years after) and Mao didn't seem extremely interested in the issue either, all this anti-Japanese uproar didn't come about until the 1980's!!!! Why?

    http://pmsol3.wordpress.com/2007/12/11/japanese-war-crimes-and-reparations/

    • Chiang Kaishek did his military training in Japan. He actually had friends on the opposing side… At wars end, he protected the Japanese soldiers abandoned in Manchuria as best he could and after taking over Taiwan, quickly developed a friendly relationship between the two countries.

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