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April 22, 2005



Not sure if you remember a few months ago (not more than 1 year), the release of the movie Hero. It was lauded by the press, pushed mightily by the PRC, and even received an endorsement from Quentin Tarantino. I have the film, and having watched it, I can guarantee you that the PRC has been laying the groundwork for this "spontaneous" outpouring of nationalist sentiment for months if not years. In a nutshell, the hero of the movie sacrifices himself (to a WHOLE LOT OF ARROWS) for the greater good. That good being the establishment of the nation of China. I don't believe that the people in these demonstrations are democratically oriented, rather, they are just ticked off and venting at their lot in life. At this point the Japanese are serving the same purpose as the Jews in 1930's Germany, and that should scare the hell out of anybody.


I have to disagree with you here, Ashish. The protestors are more likely to see themselves as the successors of the Boxers of old; when they criticize the government it's not because they want to undermine or overthrow the Party, it's that they want the Party to become more ruthless in its dealings with Japan, much as the Boxers rose up against foreigners with hopes of getting Empress Dowager Cixi to do the same.

While the Party watches the protests closely to make sure they remain politically correct, the government is most likely more worried about the effect protestors are having on China's international image rather than concerned about anti-Japan protestors morphing into pro-democracy marchers. Among other things, the Party desperately wants the 2008 Olympics to be a success, and continued protests deviate from the gameplan, so to speak. Also, the violence in some of the protests have allowed Japan to mount an apparently successful charm offensive in response -- which is precisely the opposite of what Bejing wanted when it gave the green light to the protests.

Liberty Dog

My work takes me to China and I am actually going to be moving over there soon, so I am watching the situation closely.

Ashish Hanwadikar

The fact that Chinese Govt. would not dare to stop the convenient anti-Japanese demonstration hints at a good strategy for freedom lovers. Instead of taking on the tyrants directly they can first organize against guise of demonstrating against a third-party. Once organized these movements can slowly be turned against the tyrant governments themselves.


Which country will collapse first? China or North Korea? It will be interesting to watch North Korea if China goes first.


You seem to be suggesting that any large gathering of people on the streets equals a democracy movement. I don't reckon the Japanese people regard the Chinese nationalist mouth-foamers as democrats.

The historical tradition in China is for central government to fall apart and for warlords to divide up the country. Crowds of crazy Chinese people on the streets are just that: Crowds of crazy Chinese people. They are not the vanguard of democracy, but they are a sign that the "mandate of heaven" is deserting the Communists.

Chinese communism is less likely to give way to democracy as it is to become something more dangerous - The fanatical nationalist marchers reveal the most likely ideological form that a non-communist China will take.

Jim o'Sullivan

To stay in power, the nominally "Communist" party of China had to abandon communism. They will soon have to abandon authoritarianism. You can't have just a little bit of freedom; you can't be just a little bit pregnant. Just ask Gorby. They are on their way out.


Fascinating take on this subject. Also explains the reason for Chinese officials trying to end the protests yesterday and today.


I agree! Those who want to bring democracy this demonstrations to organize themselves and then take on the Chinese Govt. using those strengths.


It is just a coarse way for the Chinese Communist Party to deflect anger away from themselves. It is founded in weakness and risks far greater problems than what could have been achieved if the government dealt with foreign problems on a bilateral basis....how most adult countries do. The PRC is nothing but a country run by juveniles.

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