Blind rage (yes, again)

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Another interesting article on rampant Japan-hatred on the part of many Chinese, young and old.

With his trim, camel-colored jacket and stylish haircut, Lu doesn’t look like a political zealot. But his cool demeanor belies the heat of his anti-Japanese views. Once a fan of Japanese movies and cartoons, Lu now says that by confronting China in recent incidents and refusing to apologize for its aggression in World War II, Tokyo is headed down “a fascist road.”

Lu’s uncompromising views are shared by many Chinese. They help explain why relations between China and Japan have plummeted to their lowest point in years.

“We should teach the Japanese a good lesson and let them know how tough the Chinese people are,” says Li Jin, 28, a freelance writer. “Maybe we should nuke them once and for all.”

[...]

“I think the Americans have the wrong friend. Japan is like a mad dog, and sooner or later, it’ll cause the U.S. great trouble,” says Zhang Yihua, 32, an advertising designer.

[...]

Even those too young to have experienced the war are bitter. “Japan brought a lot of harm and pain to the Chinese people. Millions of people died,” Lu says. “This is history that nobody can erase.”

Xu Yong, 55, a professor at Beijing University, spent a year as a visiting scholar in Japan and says he counts many Japanese as friends. But he castigates their “very dangerous and evil” government and worries about “the thirst for blood in the Japanese culture.”

I’ve heard all the arguments, and I can truly understand what’s at the root of the extreme animosity. (Which isn’t to say I approve of it or like it, just that I know where it’s coming from.) My one concern is that wearing this animosity so prominently on its sleeve does little to improve China’s image in the eyes of the world, and instead makes its people appear immature and barely in control of their emotions.

Thanks to Tian for the link.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 13 Comments

It is a blind rage alright, the people from mainland China are still clueless about who are really pushing for Japan’s agression on China’s territories in the last two months. The neo cons and the right wing are really happy right now the crane and the clam are fighting.

February 24, 2005 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

While politically Japan and China are squabbling, on the economic front they are big partners, with China supplanting the US as Japan’s biggest trading partner last year. IHT says it’s “white hot economics and deep-freeze politics.” Strange combination, but there it is.

February 24, 2005 @ 7:08 pm | Comment

Ellen, that’s the great irony of the whole story. China is venting furiously at the moment against three countries, US, Taiwan and japan (although Japan is the only one for which China feels a pathological hatred). And yet in economic terms the three most important countries for China are, of course….well, you guessed it! And since money tends to come before all else in China, I suspect they’ll end up swallowing their pride and enjoying the benefits of Japanese wealth.

February 24, 2005 @ 8:01 pm | Comment

Three countries??? Is California a country??? Please educate me Richard.

February 24, 2005 @ 8:22 pm | Comment

Well, we in America look at Taiwan as a country. Mayber we’re wrong; time will tell.

February 24, 2005 @ 8:23 pm | Comment

Hey, if california were a country, we’d have the sixth largest economy in the world. We could grow our own food, produce our own entertainment and drink our own wine. Not to mention do our own stem cell research. I think it’s a fine idea…

February 25, 2005 @ 12:26 am | Comment

A couple of years ago I used to openly defend China on this issue, and I used to be one of the kind of people who tried to rally support for the government to make a final, formal and above all undeniable apology for the war, but the more and more that I see, the more I am having to come out on the other side on this issue, and I hate China for that.

China is directing its hatred towards modern day Japan for the actions of past generations, and they are making themselves look like gibbering rabid animals by baying for the blood of the grand children of the tormentors of their own grandparents. Yes, remember history, but don’t continue to live it.

The problem is that these people are living in a rather nasty fantasy world that is being fed by a nationalist media that sees everything that Japan does as a slight against China, even if it has nothing to do with China, like the moves in Japan to counter missile threats fro North Korea, that made headlines in China as a threatening gesture against China, yet the same reports neglected to mention that Japan slashed its tank battalions, cut its ground forces and substantially reduced its air force so that it could pour money into the pension and health systems.

People in China don’t get anywhere near a realistic picture of Japan, they don’t know how deeply history has cut into the Japanese psyche, and they certainly don’t know that countless Japanese students are openly refusing to single the national anthem or stand before the flag in school because of the shame that they feel over the use of both during WWII. You don’t see the British doing this in shame of their empire, which lasted for hundreds of years and enslaved nearly a quarter of the world’s population.

They hear about one publisher making a revisionist book, but they don’t hear that only two schools ever took it up, and that the rest of the country laughed so hard that they cried because the book was so dumb.

Sadly though, much of China’s hatred of Japan is part of a far wider issue, and it has more to do social issues than historic issues. People are hating more; Japan is just an easy target. If Japan didn’t exist, these people would hate something else instead.

The fact that hatred against Japan has increased in recent years is part of the proof that it is linked to a wider social issue. People in China are becoming increasingly aware of what they don’t have, what they can’t be and how the rest of the world sees them, they are becoming frustrated and angry. If you look at China as a whole you will see that this is a national trend, only the rabid hatred of Japan mostly confined to the cities where people can see what their Japanese counterparts have that they don’t, in the country the hatred and frustration is directed at the government for letting them rot in the paddy fields while the cities prosper , and among migrant workers it is directed at local authorities who they blame for denying them and their families recognition, and for preventing them from having equal access to health care and education facilities.

China is a very frustrated country, some people are lashing out at an old enemy, others are lashing out at the one sided nature of development in China and other’s are lashing out against local authorities, only the stories about Japan are not censored while everything else is. Remember the journalists who went to jail for reporting on rural unrest.

February 25, 2005 @ 11:39 pm | Comment

JR You’re an ass, do you ever read what you’re writing.

“aggression on China’s territories”

The Senkaku islands legally belong to Japan under international law. This law might be flawed, and the Senkakus might once have been Chinese territory, but they are not Chinese territory right now. Look up your history, the US took the islands as spoils of war and used them as a target range. They then handed them over to Japan. It might not be right, but it is legal as China’s claims on the island were never officially established or recognized by international law. Don’t confuse the law and justice; the two are not always the same.

Anyway, Chinese history says that the islands belonged to Taiwan.

Would you prefer Chen got his hands on them? Either way, Beijing won’t get them if Japan does relinquish control, and Chen would just hand much of the mineral and fishing rights straight back to Japan anyway

You would hand over Chinese land to Taiwan rather than see Japan have it, that’s just plain perverse.

On the other hand, China did sail a sub into Japanese waters, that is an act of aggression. What do you think would have happened if a Japanese sub popped up near Shanghai?

February 25, 2005 @ 11:43 pm | Comment

ACB, don’t get emotional. Just focus on the fact, Diaoyu islands were recorded in over 100 Chinese historical maps and diagrams. The Islets are right off Taiwan water. Even the Japanese did consider the islands part of Formosa when it ruled Taiwan, didn’t they? I don’t know which Chinese history say Diaoyu islands were part of Taiwan, but fair enought they are so close to Taiwan. I don’t care if Taiwan get the islands. I think this issue should unite the mainland Chinese, the Hong Kong people and the Taiwanese people.
BTW, “The Senkaku islands legally belong to Japan under international law. “, where do you find that international law stating Diaoyu Islands belong to Japan?

http://www-ibru.dur.ac.uk/docs/senkaku.html click the link for more truth on this matter.

February 26, 2005 @ 2:14 pm | Comment

“I used to be one of the kind of people who tried to rally support for the government to make a final, formal and above all undeniable apology for the war,” “in China and other’s are lashing out against local authorities, only the stories about Japan are not censored while everything else is. ”

ACB, I think it is the opposite, the CCP is usually Japan-friendly. The government targeted only certain events, like the Yasukuni shrine’s visit and the poison gas incident. They didn’t target the Japanese people. On the other hand, there are these genuine frustrations of the Chinese public over the lack of apology by the Japanese government on the atrocities commited in WW2. Some Chinese people wanted compensation, but I think a SINCERE official apology by the Japanese government would put a BIG closure on this conflict to a lot of Chinese people in the world.
PS All these have been debated many many times before in the previous threads.

February 26, 2005 @ 2:41 pm | Comment

As a Chinese, I really feel tired about this issue. The truth is the truth. No matter how long this thread is, it probably can not do a lot of help to our country. Keep yourself busy in something which is a priority. For instance, visit this link, http://www.cbc.ca/correspondent/feature_050220.html,
Check out the ” orange revolution” in Ukraine. Look at their “non-violence civil disobedian”. Try to get some idea what we can do now. I think CPP is studying this case very hard now to try to prevent it from happening in China.

February 26, 2005 @ 3:41 pm | Comment

It would be nice to have closure on the Japanese WWII atrocities with a formal apology from Japan.

Just a month back, the German Head of State, President Horst Koehler stated in the Israeli Knesset, “We must understand that the victims of the Holocaust have assigned us the mission of never again allowing the murder of a nation. I bow my head in shame and humility before the victims [of the Holocaust], and before those who came to their aid, at risk to their own lives”.

Then he said the most moving statement: “I want to underline that the responsibility for the Shoah [Holocaust] forms part of the German identity”

This has been in addition to a much earlier formal apology.

While I don’t dream of any Japanese premier or the Emperor ever having the backbone and the moral conscience to say “I want to underline that the responsibility for the Rape of Nanjing forms part of the Japanese identity”, the apology would do nicely.

And ACB unfortunately has to come up with that typically American Administration’s explanation of why others may hate them, “They are jealous of what we have”. How pathetic!

March 3, 2005 @ 12:51 am | Comment

Yeh i actually agree with you jacky, not having something, has no connection with hating the japanese. i really was confused where the hell you came up with that ACB.

Humans act on their random unstable memories implanted by random events. those actions are also learnt reactions.

Look at stupid budists all they do is commit suicide when they dont like their memories.

March 3, 2005 @ 10:34 am | Comment

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