On December 1, an article appeared in China.com urging a nationwide boycott against French product in order to protest against the meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Dalai Lama. The post advised consumers not to buy about 50 French brands, including cars, clothes, alcohol and skin-care products.
Commentaries from official Chinese newspapers add oil to the nationalistic sentiment. For example, a China Daily's commentary in December 8 criticized Sarkozy's decision “an unacceptable affront”. Another commentary from China Review News listed out 4 major trade agreement between China and France that may be jeopardized in this diplomatic crisis. Guanqiaob reposts the list in his blog:
2. An initial agreement has been signed between French company Alstom and China railway on the manufacturing of electricity generator and 1,400 trains. The contract is around 1.2 billion Euro.
3. French company Alcatel-Lucent has signed a mobile communication service contract with China mobile and China Unicom. The contract involves Euro 0.75 billion.
4. French nuclear service company Areva is about to sell 2 Deuterium Uranium to China and the contract involves 8 billion Euros.
Apart from rational economic consideration, nationalistic sentiment circulated on the Internet is more ideological in nature. 16fang's call for boycott and its historical reference is an example:
A patriot message have been circulating via QQ and other peer to peer communication. Lindsey CN translated the message at the comment session in earlier post in GV:
For your information:
In France little children are educated to exclaim: “FREE TIBET!”
The French president Mr. Sarkozy stated that rejecting Beijing-Olympics is an option,
The Mayor of Paris proclaimed that the Chinese are no more than whores in Africa,
The Olympic torches were extinguished four times by Frenchmen deliberately,
The Olympic rings were distorted into a manacle and printed on the map of China in France,
The Mayor of Paris hung the flag of Tibet separatists in the Municipal Hall and refused to meet the torch,
The romantic French threw garbage on the torch with taunts, jeers, and laughter.
The sacred Olympic torch received all along her journey in France savage faces,
The three thousand French policemen were not strong enough to protect a disabled Chinese girl torchbearer,
After all the above facts, dear fellows, if you are still silent and indifferent, then tell me, are you still enjoying the blood of Yan and Huang?
Dear fellows, what should we do to maintain the dignity and the honor of our beloved country? Boycotting Carrefour, yes it is, it is one of the few things that we could and must do for our motherland! And can not we live without Carrefour? Even just for 12 hours in the New Year’s Day?
But dear peace-loving people in this global village, Carrefour boycott does not mean
that we Chinese are infighting with our fellowmen,
that we are curbing violence by violence,
and that we are disseminating hatred and nationalism,
instead it works as
a peaceful resistance to bias and prejudice,
a tolerant way to express the indignation of Chinese,
a strong declaration that we are red-blooded and brave,
and a cry to inform France of what we are thinking and feeling
—–We are angry!
We have been silent for such a long time that we almost lose our courage. But without the claim of the state’s dignity, dear fellows, where would you start a warm family?
Please convey this message to your family, friends and acquaintances!
Dream2008 urges netizen to develop rational strategy for long term boycott:
2. Rational boycott and avoid violence!
3. Boycott Carrefour should base on individual choices, no incitement and don't discriminate those who refuse to join the boycott.
4. Stop traveling to France. Traveling to France is a shameful behavior. Promote internal tourism.
5. Encourage celebrities and pop stars to boycott French luxurious products, boycott celebrities and pop stars who continue to consume and promote French goods.
6. Devalue French luxurious goods.
7. Should be cautious about boycotting industrial product and avoid hurting our own economy.
8. Product slogan, songs, lyrics and ads; (can use aggressive language but avoid humiliating language)
9. Start from yourself and people around you. We need to promote the boycott but don't force it upon others.
However, not all netizen support the boycott, amoiist is skeptical of such action:
Kaoifeng declares that he won't join the boycott:
Twocold makes fun of the boycott agenda with a list of boycott reasons:
The same logic applies to China. The Chinese government also has difficult time. The economy is going down, unemployment rate is high and it has lost people's support. Therefore it has to work on human right and Tibet issues to distract people's attention.
LOL. Twocold = NIU BI!
It is the responsibility of both side to cool the temper down. Due to the stupidity or arrogance of the leaders, citizen in both countries have to suffer. The crisis is knocking on the front door and they can still afford to toy with their ideology and stance while ignoring the need of the people whom they lead. This shows how dead the world is today and how hopeless it is.
Six hundreds exiled Tibetans from all over the world gathered in Dharmsala to hold a meeting to map future path of Tibet. The conference ended up without any new results after days of discussion. Their evil intention of deciding the fate of six million Tibetan people failed, which was the biggest joke this year.
Although Dalai clique spares no effort to advocate their proposition to western media, which frequently make an issue on Tibet, hoping to increase their influence, western media reported more that the clique was divided against itself, for each faction voiced its own opinion respectively via western media.
It’s impossible for the disunited meeting of these exiled Tibetans to decide the fate of Tibet. The real goal of it is to put pressure on Chinese government. However, the government has expressed earlier the refusal of concession, so those exiled ones just entertained themselves by holding the meeting.
I understand from friends in Tibet that there is a “Buy French” campaign on. Don’t be surprised if the DL starts carrying a Louis Vitton bag. Just hope it won’t be a Chinese knock-off.
Is anyone tired of China yet? God this country is a big bore. Same old same old every single f***ing day. We love the world and foreigners one day and then the next we hate them… the more they do for us the more we complain. Yawn…
Wouldn’t many Chinese people rather be in condition of boycotting melaminated food products and plumb painting coated toys?
I also saw DL with Sokrazy the Schidzo’s new wife and a LV bag! ;-)
typo, I meant lead painting
I’m quite impressed by the strength of Chinese nationalism but never sure how deeply the sentiment is. My friends in the PRC all seem friendly, peace-loving, and even apolitical until I mention something nice about the DL (at which point it’s all terrorist, separatist, etc.).
Not sure what could be said or done to get the majority of us Americans so riled up (our own anti-France movement got a lot of press but was very isolated); as a boycotter of Walmart, AT&T, Exxon, etc., I think most of my fellow countrymen see my politically/human rights/environment-influenced (non-)consumption choices as pointless. Of course boycotting efforts are helped by not being able to afford most products.
Calling the exile meeting a joke is pretty disrespectful of Tibetans’ wishes–though credit the CCP for convincing the majority of its citizens that the Tibetans themselves have benefited from the Western Development program. I think most of Han Chinese (in the PRC and including many well-educated ones) really do not understand why the Tibetans want autonomy and believe they already have it, nor does one-sided propaganda allow one to seek it out. There is too often both here (in the past 8 years, though we’ve finally come around) and in the PRC an almost masochistic requirement to criticize one’s own country, opening oneself up to accusations of treason or hating the country.
Thanks for the informative posts and for this space!