Chinese Bloggers’ Reactions on Recent Anti-Japan Protest

Anti-Japan protesters in Beijing - from Wikipedia

Compared to the thousands who have expressed their views through various protests that took place in China over the weekend, major Chinese internet websites seemed a lot quieter about the marches – but that's just on the surface.

Chinese media, including internet content service providers, are not allowed to publish reports on the marches.

QQ, one of the most popular instant messaging client in China, has added the word “march” (游行) to their list of banned words, preventing users from sending any messages that contains the prohibited word.

Despite the restrictions, hundreds of blog posts were able to make their way through to the internet, providing a range of information and opinions.

Many of them are eye-witness accounts of the marches in Shanghai, Ningbo,

Hangzhou and Shenzhen, with photos taken throughout the protests accompanying their posts.

They showed a sense of pride that they have done the right thing to speak out for justice that would leave a mark in history. That the people in Shanghai are also patriots and not just people who would money first as people from around the country alleged previously.

“Boycott Japanese goods and strengthened China” is the slogan used most throughout the protest in Shanghai, it was also the rationale behind the protest, one angry Anti-Japan blogger said in a blog post where he captured the most memorable moments and accomplishments of the protest.

He was most provoked when protesters tried to pass through the police line. “1, 2, 3! Patriotism is not a crime! Break the (police) protection line!”, he recalled.

Some talked about the window smashing and vandalism that they saw in Shanghai. But they also noted that the vandalism were done by a few emotionally-charged protesters while many other more rational protesters tried to stop them but without any success.

In Ding Yong Speaks, the blogger questioned why people are focusing on the violent behaviors by ten percent of the protesters and not the voices by ninety percent who are the majority. He thought that the outpour of strong emotions and violence in recent protests took place because people never had an outlet nor the experience to let the steam out publicly.

“Are protests useful? Are they necessary? Many people on the internet are debating [about these questions].” Fuiyi, a Chinese blogger wrote.

Already, some bloggers have raised the issue of economic damages that have been done to local businesses. Some called others to remain calm and rational when expressing their views. Some opined that not all protesters are partriots – that some people went for the sake of protesting against the government. Some continued to vent their anger on the text book issue and territorial disputes over Diaoyutai islands.

“I think marches is a strong and powerful behavior for ordinary citizen groups in the society to express themselves. Even though it is a bit useless and may be used for illegal purposes, but if you don't march, how are you going to express yourself?” Fuiyi concluded in his blog.

The views on the topic are wide-ranging and continue to evolve in the Chinese internet.

Further reading:

  • China's Nationalistic Revolution, an eye-witness account on last Saturday's Anti-Japan protest in Shanghai by foriegn correspondent Fons Tuinstra.
  • More on the Japanese History Books. Translated summary of Chinese blogger An Ti's essay.
  • Masters of History“Translations of blog posts at InMediaHK on the matter of anti-Japanese demonstrations in China. This is a glimpse of how the locals view the issue differently from the simplistic presentations in the western media. “
  • Update: Fon Tuinstra points out that: “When I read Andrea's overview I get the idea that not only traditional media sanatize reality to accomodate their audiences, Chinese bloggers show the same tendency.” It should be pointed out that it was the translator of this piece who neglected the racist remarks as I thought they have already been widely reported in the news. The Chinese blogger quoted in this piece did mention that “Japanese pigs” has the best rhythm. Whenever people shouted “Japanese pigs”, the rest of the protesters would shout “Leave! Leave! Leave!”.

    Update 2: Some users reported that they could use the word “march” in QQ and the word is not censored.

    29 comments

    • indigopatrio

      I am a Japanese.
      I apologize to Chinese people for Nanjing case.
      However I heard that the population of Nanjing was 220,000
      at that time.
      I want to know the truth of Nanjing case.

    • indigopatrio

      Comment by Cathy Johnson ? 4/24/2005 @ 12:56 pm
      >this can only be a lull – unless (horror of horror!) they decide for some future reasons 
      >to form an anti-American alliance.

      I wonder why two countries form an anti-American alliance.
      It’s nonsense.

    • richilo

      No matter the died people killed by Japanese Army is how much, 330000 or “just” 30000, please tell me had you heard so much citizen killed by army just in one city in WW2?? they are citizen, no weapon,most of them even children and women and old people,the Nazi killed 600,0000 Jews in Europe in 5 years, but your country “army”(in China, we call them Beast) kill 1/30 amout person in 3 weeks, even more.Did you heard any news reported by British or American, even Germany Doctors in Nanjing Hospital that moment??They feel Nanjing became hell that three weeks!

      The history will not be fogotten , forever!All Chinese will never forget!

      I respect Germany just because they can apologize and do many things for their crime, but what did your Country done?If a country still believe power is the only thing they can depend on, they will recieve the aftereffect.

      Hope the war will not happen again forever, but Chinese will not fear of war force to us again.

    • indigopatrio

      For victims of Nanjing case, I apologize heartily again.
      In Japan, tens of thousands of citizens died by an air raid or
      an A-bomb instantly in a city of everywhere. Number of died citizens
      became hundreds of thousands of sum total.
      All Japanese must not forget Japanese wrong acts in Asia eternally.
      After the war, Japan makes efforts to become a peaceful democratic
      country.
      Japan without nucleus armament never attacks China,
      because the allied powers do not accept at all Japanese nucleus armament.

    • I wonder why two countries form an anti-American alliance.
      It’s nonsense.

    • indigopatrio

      Comment by richilo ? 5/20/2005 @ 7:41 am
      >what did your Country done?
      Apologies of Japan:
      1. Apology comments of the prime ministers
      2. The Anti-Japan War Memorial Museum visits of the prime ministers
      3. ODA: 1,160 million dollars in 1998(the maximum year)
      4. volunteers planting at The Gobi Desert or The Great Wall of China
      5. volunteers repairing of The Nanjing City Walls
      6. citizen’s contributions to elementary school constructions, etc.

    • indigopatrio

      Comment by richilo ? 5/20/2005 @ 7:41 am
      >I respect Germany
      I respect Germany, too.
      However I think as follows:
      The allied powers declared to Germany and Japan that only war criminals
      had war responsibility.
      The people of Germany have acted according to the declaration.
      The people of Japan have acted according to the thought that the war
      criminals abandoned their lives for life / safeness / freedom of
      the people of Japan. It is Japanese spirit.

    • John Doe

      Now, first understand that by no means am I taking away from the suffering of people who where victimized through out history here. I believe that the Japanese did need to be stopped in world war II. But I also feel a lot of people don’t know their history. I find it hard to believe that China, a leading country in human rights violations for the last 60 years and the biggest treat to Japan for centuries prior to WWII, can still hold hatred towards the Japanese, or Korea, a people who where infamous for their brutality towards Allied prisoners of war during WWII(just read Knights of Busido) can still be angry at a war. Or Americans, who set a policy to massacre all men between the ages of 10-40 in the phillipians prior to the War, can be upset of the “crimes committed by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor and elsewere.” By the way, my great grandfater was at Pearl Harbor. My point is no one is innocent. Every nation, at one time has commited crimes against humanity, weather we want to denie it or not. And the worst part is most people who carry on the hate or who are hated were not even alive during these times. So get over it, it is history. Learn from it and insure it never happens again, but hating will only insure we have a repeat in history.

    • unbelievable what is going on over there…

    • lemon show

      i am born in china.and iam still studying in china.da people around me just say something upon it.there are something strange in our heart making us want to kick da “ri ben”.i do not say waht to express my emotion.i just wanna say to japanese”remember what u did during da auti-japanese war. thank u

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