Saturday, September 22, 2012

Senkaku Islands Dispute: Chinese Government Behind Anti-Japan Protest

It seems that the Chinese government may have a hand in the agitation, mobilization and organization of the nationwide protest against the Japanese over the disputed Senkaku Islands.

From the LA Times,
The last week's anti-Japan demonstrations in China have been a spectacular display of just how easily the ruling Communist Party can harness the power of protest.

In the aftermath of nationwide protests, in which mobs trashed Japanese-owned businesses and set fire to Japanese model cars, critics are questioning the degree to which the Chinese government fanned the flames as part of its dispute with Japan over an island chain both nations claim.

"It is obvious that this was planned," said Ai Weiwei, the dissident artist, who videotaped some of the protests. The 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square were "the last time that the people themselves organized a real protest and then the government sent in tanks to crush them," he said.

Although there has been no evidence that police officers participated in the violence, in many cities they directed the public on where to protest and cleared streets to allow tens of thousands to mass. Many protesters interviewed Tuesday said they had been given the day off by employers to demonstrate. Sept. 18 is a traditional day of protest, marking the anniversary of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931.
These organized demonstrations, which in the Philippines is known as the “hakot” crowd, as I previously pointed out have merely been camouflages.
In reality these are most likely smokescreens to the worsening internal problems experienced by both countries and to the mounting interventionism being applied by the increasingly desperate political authorities.
The war rhetoric, expressed through nationalism, has been used to divert people’s attention, to suppress political opposition and to justify inflationism, as well as other interventionists measures being imposed on China and Japan's economy. 

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