Anti-Japanese rally in Beijing this Saturday?

Could be. The unnamed source claims they expect some 20,000 demonstrators, though I don’t know how well that will go down with the authorities.

The Discussion: 27 Comments

Anyone knows about Shanghai? Looks like it’s the only major city that has not stage on such an event.

April 7, 2005 @ 6:14 pm | Comment

Perhaps this is the reason behind “Beijingers are being told to stay indoors as yellow smog enshrouds the city”?

Chemical weapon?

April 7, 2005 @ 7:00 pm | Comment

My coworkers are talking about the demonstration, and are planning on going. The Hailong Dasha has a large area in front of the main doors – they often have dancing spokesmodels for various electronics there – so there is enough room for a few thousand.

Oh, and the smog passed by yesterday, and it’s raining today so I think they’ll have good weather for some Japan-hatin’.

April 7, 2005 @ 7:08 pm | Comment

Count me IN!!!!!!!!!! Where’s Hailong?

April 8, 2005 @ 7:13 am | Comment

Hailong is in Zhongguancun. The most famous building in Zhongguancun… ๐Ÿ™‚

Most taxi drivers know the direction.

My friends are planning to go there, and… “have a look”, that was what they said.

But some anti-Japanese people around me are really getting crazy these days.

Me and my friends are joking we better not go see cherry blossoms in Yuyuantan Park this spring.

Anyway.

We are still going tomorrow, to Yuyuantan Park.

April 8, 2005 @ 9:37 am | Comment

Great, do share the photos if you take any … no, not the hanami, but the demo

April 8, 2005 @ 10:50 am | Comment

The US Embassy (a consulate) in China put out a warning for Americans to stay away from any protest gathering in Beijing and mentioned one gathering for Guangzhou.

April 8, 2005 @ 9:37 pm | Comment

There have been warnings that this event might attrack ‘the wrong kind’ of protester, those who are interested in violance rather than politics.

White foreigners have been advised to stear clear of the area in case they are targeted as being allies of Japan, and people who are Asia but are not Chinese should probably consider this a dangerous place as well in case somebody decides that they are Japanese.

What worries me is that with these numbers and this strength of feeling, these protests could get out of hand. It only takes a big of jostling to turn a protest into a riot.

Also If too many protesters come together and feel that Beijing isn’t doing enough to put pressure on Japan, then they could concievably turn on the government, or at least on the police, and try to take matters their own way.

It would be very ironic if these protests lead to a nationalist revival. Call me cruel, but it would serve Beijing right if the anti Japanese sentiment that it had been fostering stabbed it in the eye for not doing enough.

There is also a danger that if Beijing allows this situation to grow, other groups like farmers or migrant workers could see it as a green light to hold demonstrations of their own. This could be the first domino in the Chain that Beijing was afraid Tiananmen would be.

April 9, 2005 @ 12:04 am | Comment

The Beijing government thinks this is a safety valve whereby people can demonstrate and express themselves in a way that’s channeled in a direction which the government basically supports (excuse my tortured syntax). After the American warplanes bombed the Chinese consulate in Belgrade I gather there were quite a few sanctioned demonstrations in Beijing. But this really is playing with fire and could easily get out of hand. It will be interesting to see how many people show up for this demonstration and how the authorities react to it.

I hope no one gets hurt.

April 9, 2005 @ 1:39 am | Comment

p.s. I should add (I’m really tired and not thinking well) that there are all kinds of demonstrations going on in China that we don’t generally hear about – there was an excellent Frontline documentary about 2 years ago called “China in the Red” that talked about the Rust belt in china’s northeast – according to the doc, protests by unemployed workers and workers who’d gotten screwed out of their pensions happened frequently.

April 9, 2005 @ 2:02 am | Comment

Lisa,

Most of my relatives live in NE China and I visit that region fairly frequently. Demonstrations are very common place there. In all of my trips there since the mid 90’s, I’ve encountered protests of some sorts . In one of the cities that I always visit, the city government is located on the main road through the center of the city and pretty much every time that I went back, traffic was always backed up because of demonstrations. The last time I went back, I was happy to find that the city government decided to move its offices to a less central location and I was told by my relatives that one of the important factors contributing to the move was to relieve the traffic congestion caused by the frequent protests.

April 9, 2005 @ 2:32 am | Comment

You won’t see it in the news, but there was a demo…nah, riot in Shenzhen yesterday. Big throng of locals tried to destroy a Japanese restaurant in HuaqiangBei.

Really pitiful.

April 9, 2005 @ 5:42 am | Comment

Well it happened and it did get ugly

April 9, 2005 @ 8:48 am | Comment

Well, I just got back from a night of carousing which took me past my school, which is inside the Sino-Japanese Friendship centre (hahahahaha) and across from the Japanese embassy. I come across one of my rare Chinese students; a really lovely, quiet girl. She was there with others who had overturned a car after her mother drove past, suggesting to her that as she’s Chinese, she should take part. The road my school is on was actually closed off, and acros were seated Chinese soldiers three rows deep with maybe 2 dozen ‘demonstrators’. A fun night out was had by all, even the police who were seated on the green by the pavement, eating prepared meals. And such a warm, lovely night! I hope we can have such demonstrations more often. That’s what I always felt we missed out on- German demonstrations. It’s one thing to cheer in the cinema the Jerries who get killed in Saving Private Ryan, but everyone’s too apathetic to overturn BMWs in the streets nowadays. Remember Sutherland! Never forget Coventry!

April 9, 2005 @ 9:31 am | Comment

Please sincerely ask yourself, “What would the Jews do, if Germans denied holocaust in their history book?”

April 9, 2005 @ 10:59 am | Comment

Shades of 1919…

April 9, 2005 @ 11:32 am | Comment

I thought of 1919 too as I walked towards the embassy, past the overturned cars and the black-suited police

April 9, 2005 @ 7:53 pm | Comment

Please sincerely ask yourself, “What would the Jews do, if Germans denied holocaust in their history book?”

Posted by JR at April 9, 2005 10:59 AM

JR,

It is not THEIR history book. It is one book for sale out of many many many. And it is one book that most schools will never use. It is not THE official textbook that Japanese schools throughout the country will start using. I think a lot of people don’t understand this point.

There are quite a few books in print that DO deny the holocaust. Several textbooks in fact. This does not mean that schools rush out to buy them. They are printed because recognizing free speech is important. And YES, some private schools use them, but the schools or individuals that do are usually quite far from the mainstream.

The current textbook issue needs to be put into perspective. I think that not only the Chinese media, but also the international media, has done a very poor job of covering this issue to this point.

April 10, 2005 @ 12:29 am | Comment

Sorry….I forgot to include my name in the above post.

April 10, 2005 @ 12:29 am | Comment

JR: Please sincerely ask yourself, “What would the Jews do, if Germans
denied holocaust in their history book?”

As a Jew and a student of the Holocaust, I can promise you the very kast thing the Jews would do is attack German restaurants (especially those operated by German Jews!). It would virtually never happen. RThe jews would mobile its various organizations and begin an intensive worldwide media campaign, they would place ads in papers everywhere, they would appear on talk shows and they would engage in serious behind the scenes discussions with the Germans to correct the situation. These are exactly the approaches they took to the post-WWII oppression of Soviet Jewery — they never once threw bricks at Russian restaurants or displayed violence. This is called intelligent, meaningful, strategic protest designed to get maximum results with minimal bloodshed. Throwing bricks through windwons of Russian businesses in the US would have damaged their cause and their credibility and made the situation worse, not better. But mature people everywhere know this, and I think you do too, JR.

The other thing we all know is that the textbooks are all but irrelevant, a minor catalyst. This situation is a tinderbox, and in the CCP’s eyes it serves a purpose. They’ll try to contain it, they’ll send out police to cool things off, just as Hitler sent in the police to end the Kristallnacht riots in 1938. But we all know Hitler incited those riots, and we all know that if the CCP didn’t exactly incite the riots, they allowed them to happen and gave them tacit approval.

April 10, 2005 @ 10:15 am | Comment

Richard,

You turn my question into something else. To make myself clear, I never condone violence against the Japanese. Most Chinese people I know do not condone this kind of behaviour either. As a matter of fact, I have said earlier it is wrong to vandalize Japanese property and business. What you said was never my point in my question above.

“As a Jew and a student of the Holocaust, I can promise you the very kast thing the Jews would do is attack German restaurants (especially those operated by German Jews!). It would virtually never happen. RThe jews would mobile its various organizations and begin an intensive worldwide media campaign, they would place ads in papers everywhere, they would appear on talk shows and they would engage in serious behind the scenes discussions with the Germans to correct the situation. These are exactly the approaches they took to the post-WWII oppression of Soviet Jewery — they never once threw bricks at Russian restaurants or displayed violence. This is called intelligent, meaningful, strategic protest designed to get maximum results with minimal bloodshed. Throwing bricks through windwons of Russian businesses in the US would have damaged their cause and their credibility and made the situation worse, not better. But mature people everywhere know this, and I think you do too, JR.”

Richard, I do not totally get your point of view from the above paragraph. Are you against these demonstrations 100% no matter what? IF the demonstrations are peaceful, why is it wrong for the Chinese or in this case, the Koreans to protest against the Japanese whitewashing their ww2 atrocities?

You may say, but these demonstrations were not peaceful. You need to understand a lot of time, meaningful demonstrations may turn into chaos or even riots, even in peaceful democratic countries in Europe and in the USA, like the riots in Seattle, or the 1989 anti-CCP demonstration in Hong Kong (which ended up into a looting spree.) There are always chances protests turning into chaos. Would you condemn the Hong Kong demonstration against the CCP because it was not peaceful? Should we not protest at all because it may turn into violence? That’s my new questions.

April 10, 2005 @ 11:12 am | Comment

JR, you yourself raised the question of what the Jews would do if Germany denied the holocaust. I told you.

Protest can be very productive and I’ve participated in protests myself. But what the world is seeing coming out of China is not in the category of any kind of protest I would ever condone. I don’t know why I need to repeat myself so often on the same point, but here goes: Smashing the windows of Chinese-owned Japanese restaurants and whipping people up into a frenzy of ultimately self-defeating jingoism and hatred isn’t good and it isn’t smart. And that is what the world is seeing right now, not a brilliant strategic protest like we saw a year ago in Hong Kong, which actually made a huge difference and elevated HK’s status in the eyes of the world. The Chinese right now are doing just the opposite. The huge irony is that they are actually making Japan look better! Look into your heart and asnwer me truthfully: Do you believe the world now has a more positive impression of China? Do you believe these demonstrations have heleped to heal the problem and bring China and Japan closer to a resolution? Do you believe the demonstrators have grown and learned from this experience and become better, more responsible citizens?

The demonstrations in China now are in no way comparable to the 1989 riot in HK or the Seattle WTO violence. Those demonstrations had clear purposes and were not based on a seething grudge. Those demonstrations were also successful, despite the tragic violence; they raised a lot of people’s consciousnessand generated huge sympathy for the demonstrators. Most such demonstrations do not become violent, whicle the demonstrations we are seeing in China are almost guaranteed to spin out of control because they are based on an irrational, festering rage.They are all about vengeance, and that means violence will flow from them or the participants will feel unsatisfied. (If this weren’t the case, we wouldn’t be seeing so much wanton violence.)

April 10, 2005 @ 11:33 am | Comment

Richard,

Let me clarify this, you don’t think Chinese or Korean should be protesting (peaceful or not) against the Japanese textbook change. Am I correct? Yes or No

April 10, 2005 @ 11:42 am | Comment

This was the core of my original question.

April 10, 2005 @ 11:43 am | Comment

I never, ever said they shouldn’t protest. it depends on how you define “protest.” Throwing bricks through a Chinese-owned Japanese restaurant — no. Marching to the Japanese embassy with a list of grievances? Yes. Since I always need to repeat myself again and again, here goes: The way the current protest are being handled is counterproductive and has done serious damage to hopes of resolving the issues. If that makes good sense to you, if you congratulate this, that’s fine. The entire world is watching, and everywhere you look the Chinese demonstrators are being described as obsessed, over-zealous, vengeful and potentially violent. If that’s fine with you, that’s your right. I look to the half-million-man march in HK and I marvel at how brilliant it was. I look at the mess today and I say what a shame that China has decided to set itself further back in time and to confirm the fears of China haters that they are still a rather primitive, easily manpiulated group of fanatics not much different that the old Red Guard. (Note, that is not my viewpoint – it is the viewpoint the Heritage Foundation-types and others who hate “Red China” are going to assume. It’s wrong, but the demonstrators are practically begging us to see them as the new version of the Red Guard.)

April 10, 2005 @ 12:21 pm | Comment

One last thing, JR: Looking at the comments of Munin and others in the newer thread on this topic, I would have to say that perhaps these demonstrations are not justified. These commenters are telling us many if not most Japanese textbooks are forthright on Japan’s atrocities, and that these textbooks are a fraction, and that the riots are really a tempest in a teapot. IF that is true, then I would have to say the protests are uncalled for and rather silly.

By the way, I also think the Chinese should protest the CCP’s silence on Tiananmen Square. Somehow I don’t think the protestors would get very far. Protests are either given the government’s stamp of approval or they are suppressed.

April 10, 2005 @ 12:27 pm | Comment

I agree with ” they are still a rather primitive, easily manpiulated group of fanatics not much different than the old Red Guard”, but it is not the people’s fault, they have not be educated to opt for more stategic alternatives. It will be a learning process, even to the government, and I know one day they will all be beyound this stage. I found it hard to communicate with these people too, you will see a lot more if you read Chinese…

April 14, 2005 @ 8:47 am | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.