Thursday, September 20, 2012

China: Anti Japan Sentiments And The Mob Culture

By Tenzin Lekshay

Chinese protesters throw bottles in an anti-Japan rally
outside the Japanese embassy on Tuesday in Beijing.
At present, series of complicated events are emerging inside China, which are believed to be causing serious concerns for the PRC leaders. Humiliating exit of Bo Xilai and the recent disappearance of Xi Jinping earlier this month had drawn enough attentions across the globe, leading to a huge speculations and discussions amongst the lips of all China observers. 

Lately, China maintained that the party congress will be held on time as expected in October but the scandal sheet is running with certain doubt over the possible delay in the party congregation due to the prevailing power struggle, which is yet to be resolved at the highest communist hierarchy. Secretive Beidaihe meeting convened earlier last month did not favor much to the apparent heir, Xi Jinping as the party elders put pressure upon him for being 'unreliable'. The meeting went without much conclusive result.1

The power struggle amongst the factional leaders, tends to open the party's mystery box to the public. In such a transitional power shift, where leaders concentrate in fighting for their positions and fames creates an ample of opportunities for the Chinese people to understand the real politik of the communist party. Even though, government tries to blanket the information outflow with rigorous censorship, millions of Chinese are accessing social medias to get the real glimpse of party. This creates a potential threat to the existence of the CCP, where people questions the legitimacy of the communist party. 

Whenever CCP acknowledges such possible threat from the people, the leaders tried to divert the attentions of the Chinese people into some other issues. For decades, Chinese government played many such deceiving games, whereby injecting superficial or ultra nationalism into the mindset of ignorant Chinese people, who feels that they are the saviors of China. It is a dangerous game that Beijing plays, which could turn backward.2

Anti-Japanese riots and demonstrations are occupying streets in China, ransacking Japanese restaurants and shops, leaving the two big powers into a yet another tension. Angry Chinese mobs are presumably rubbing their patriotism to the height of such arrogant and chauvinistic fashion, which could relate to their aged old wrath over the victimization of Chinese people.

The ongoing tension arises on the issue of the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku island, which the Japanese government purchased from a private owner. But it is not the only existing problem between China and Japan. The main problem lies in the China's conceptualization of  'the century of victimization' in which Japan took part as one of the aggressors. The Global Times, CCP's mouthpiece in the international arena recently had its editorial, which says "Chinese anger of over a century toward Japan was awakened Tuesday, and will in turn affect Japanese feelings toward China."3

China started initiating tougher stands on South China sea disputes. Recently, China raised Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute are one of the core interest of China, considering similar to Taiwan and Tibet issues.4 With failed diplomacy, Chinese people were allowed to demonstrate, thereby witnessing a state sponsored mob culture to bloom. It is certainly a paradoxical to say that the Chinese government were very sensitive about the non violent demonstrations inside Tibet, but allow thousands of Chinese people to mob attack the Japanese restaurants and shops in China. In such a situation, an important question arises on whether China is ruled by the law or the party? If China is ruled by the law, why is China's law discriminative towards Tibetan and other minorities?  

The recent incidents over Diaoyu/Senkaku island will not threaten Japan though the Chinese netizens are talking about using nuclear arms against Japan, or boycotting Japanese goods. Along with that, there is a strong indication of public opinion suggesting a tougher stand on defending the Chinese national interest, which involves security and sovereignty of China.5

But there are some netizens like Li Chengpeng, an influential Chinese writer who denounced the boycott of Japanese goods and the violent Anti-Japan protests inside China. He published an article titled 'Confessions of a Traitor' (一个卖国贼的自白) in his blog, where he wrote "with these patriots, the government is forever just, while the people are by nature suspect. In the end, all the people view each other with suspicion, thats what this whole patriotic dispute is about."6 

With the prevalence of suspicions within all the people, there is a space for the people to feel suspicious of the Communist China, whose leaders are selfishly promoting their wellbeing above their subjects, who are supposed to be the master of People's Republic of China. In a nutshell, the Anti Japan protests invertedly show current dissatisfactions over the communist leaders, who are accused of being spineless.7



  1. If CCP embrase the Tibetan people, its culture, religion,They would gain confidence and be loved and have much better trade on a friendly base. Tibetans are not the enemy. It is clear that inside China people want to know the truth. Media is leaking out, and the more wise Chinese turn against their political system. More and more Chinese becoming more aware about the truth of Tibet, and many follow HH the Dalai lama (in secrecy)

  2. Yes i totally agreed with you Chinese people are very against to their political system. They want independence form such cruel system and they are also familiar the reality of Tibet people. You have completed knowledge in this field and i hope you will update us. mutianyu