Another blogger in China speaks out

One of my very favorite expat bloggers, who doesn’t blog nearly enough nowadays, has written a poetic, cynical, insightful, heartfelt and detailed account of the anti-Japanese movement in China, what’s behind it and what it means. It is a characteristically long post, and here’s an excerpt.

I don’t think it’s entirely accurate to say that protests that attract a few thousand people in China are meaningless simply because that’s small change in a country of over 1.3 billion. Do you remember the protests this spring when Zhao Ziyang died? Or the ones last summer commemorating the Tiananmen Massacre? Or how about the ones complaining about Beijing’s handling of SARS a few years back? Or the fierce campaigning on the streets and in the media for the presidency in 2002 and 2003? Remember those events? What? You don’t? Odd that.

Without resorting to the mistaken trope that the CCP controls everything in this country, let’s just say I find it doubtful that the recent protests could have happened without either the help of the government (as in Beijing where city buses helpfully brought students back to their campuses after they shook their fists and threw bottles and rocks at the Japanese Embassy) or the tacit acceptance of them (as in Chengdu’s first riot where the police were, shall we say, less than enthusiastic about preventing the destruction of private property). Somewhere between organization and acceptance probably best describes the CCP’s role in the riots and it was probably a slightly different mix in each city. Such is life in a soft authoritarian state.

And that’s just for starters. It looks at riots in general in China, at Japan’s apologies, at how the Nanjing Massacre is perceived in Japan, at the CCP propaganda machine and more. His logic is crushing, and his points are well documentd. I want to urge every reader to go there now. If only more blogs were this good….

UPDATE: Another excellent post on the subject of honesty in Chinese textbooks. Those last two paragraphs – ouch.

The Discussion: One Comment

That was a good post. Well, it was simply stating the obvious, which everyone (including me) completelyforgot. I wasat Tiananmen for the 15th anniversary and was chagrined to see only families with their kids flying kites (oh, andsellers and undercovers).

April 13, 2005 @ 3:48 pm | Comment

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