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China and France: Boycott of French Goods

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:

1、中國公司2007年底與法方簽署購買160架空中巴士意向協議,交易額在100億歐元左右,其中包括110架A320飛機以及50架A330飛機。

2、法國阿爾斯通有限公司與中國鐵道部一次性簽署了總額達12億歐元的全球最大功率貨運電力機車的生產合作意向書,並在中國的地鐵列車訂單突破1,400輛。

3、阿爾卡特朗訊與中國移動和中國聯通今年初正式簽署總額為7.5億歐元的移動通信解決方案及服務框架協議。

4、法國國有核電設備供應商阿海琺宣布,將向中國出售兩座最新一代的壓水核反應堆,價值80億歐元。

1. Chinese company has signed an agreement on purchasing 160 airbus from France, the amount is up to Euro 10 billions. The package includes 110 A320 airbus and 50 A330 airbus.

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nationalistic sentiment circulated on the Internet is more ideological in nature. 16fang's call for boycott and its historical reference is an example:

法国总统萨科齐坚持会见达赖喇嘛,不顾我国外交人员的反对和抗议,我们中国已经不是八国联军想欺负就欺负的那个旧中国了,一起行动起来,告诉你周围的人,让我们一起抵制法国货!

The French president Sarkozy insisted to meet Dalai Lama and neglected the warning and protest from our diplomats. We, China, are no longer the old China to be bullied by the Eight power allied force. Let's act together and tell people around you to boycott French product!

共产主义的导师马克思曾说过:生产力决定生产关系。落后就要挨打,这是我们先辈用亿万鲜血换来的教训,我们这一代还有我们的后代都不应该忘记!过去我们忍辱负重地发展自己,现在我们国家现在富强了,我们要捍卫自己的尊严。

Leader of communism Karl Marx once said: mode of production determines relation of production. Backward country will be suffered from invasion, we learn this from our ancestor's blood, our generation and off-spring should not forget about this! In the past, we suffered from humiliation in our development, now our country has become strong, we need to defend our dignity.

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:

Motherland Summons!

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:

1、坚定信心,做好持久、攻坚的准备;
2、强烈抗议、理性抵制、明智消费、杜绝暴力!
3、对家乐福的抵制由个人决定,不号召,不鼓动,不歧视不抵制家乐福的人;
4、抵制去法国旅游的行为;以在国内旅游为荣,以去法国旅游为耻!
5、促进名人、明星等抵制法国奢侈品,抵制仍在消费法国奢侈品的名人、明星(只针对现在和未来,既往不咎);
6、剥去法国奢侈品的光环,给予核心打击,让其价值一落千丈;
7、工业品的抵制需要谨慎,政府该采购的还是要采购,可以替代的选择替代,两败俱伤的行为要避免。
8、制作口号、顺口溜、打油诗、广告等等;(可用攻击性的词汇,但不要用辱骂和侮辱性的词汇)
9、从自己做起,从身边做起,要号召,要宣传,但不要强迫他人。

1. Persistence for a long term and hard battle;
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:

我的第一反應就是“德性”,想想在三鹿毒奶粉事件這些年輕人都到哪了?

My direct reaction is “what kind of virtue is this”. Where are all these youth in the Sanlu poisonous milk incident?

Kaoifeng declares that he won't join the boycott:

首先是因爲我壓根買不起法國貨,法國貨多奢侈品,在商場裏我看到一件“法國品牌”的衣服頂我好幾個月的工資,對於我這樣一個爲了活命的飯碗而奔忙的人來說,哪裏舍得花那辛苦錢?如果說買不起也算是一種抵制,那我倒是經常“抵制”的,等同於經常愛國。

I couldn't afford to buy French product, they are mostly luxurious goods. A made in France clothes in the shopping mall would cost me a few month salary. For a working person like me, how can I be willing to spend money like that? If boycott means one cannot afford to buy, I am always in the boycott mode, and thus I am always patriotic.

不要忘了一點,我們抵制法國貨,法國人同樣可以抵制中國貨。誰說這世界上只有我們可以抵制別人,不允許別人抵制我們?這就要算一筆抵制的賬,看誰更得好處。這麽多年來,中國的經濟依靠出口與投資拉動,一旦別人抵制起中國貨,出口下滑恐怕還不止現在這麽嚴重,經濟的下滑也不止像現在這麽小幅。我不知道,中國從法國等歐盟國家每年進口多少億元的商品,每年又出口歐盟多少億元的商品,如果抵制的結果是傷敵一千,自損一萬,這種只要面子不顧死活的抵制不要也罷。

Don't forget, when we boycott French product, French people can also boycott Chinese product. Who says boycott is our privilege? We need to do some accounting and see who gain in this game. For so many years, Chinese economy has been depending on export oriented investment. If other countries start boycotting Chinese product, the decrease in our export and economy will be more serious than the present situation. I don't know the exact figure of our import and export with EU countries. However if the result of boycott is to hurt them by 1000, while we have to pay the cost of 10,000, what the point of the boycott?

Twocold makes fun of the boycott agenda with a list of boycott reasons:

第一,我们必须要转移注意力,找点乐子。我们的党报写道“ 从法国的政局看,萨科齐日子的确不好过。经济不景气,失业大幅增加,民众支持率下降,于是萨科齐在人权问题、涉藏问题上动脑筋了,想在这些方面整出点动静来,转移公众的视线。”

彼此彼此的,从中国的政局看,当局的日子的确也不好过,经济不景气,失业大幅增加,民众支持率下降,于是当局在人权问题,涉藏问题上动脑筋了,想在这方面整出点动静来,转移公众的视线。

First: We must distract our attention and find some fun in it. Our party report said that “Judging from the French politics, Sarkozy has a difficult time. The economy is going down, unemployment rate is high and he has lost people's support. Therefore Sarkozy has to work on human right and Tibet issues to distract people's attention”.

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.

第二,买不起法国货了。因为大家的股票缩水,经济衰退,能源加税等等原因,一向不便宜的法国货现在看来更奢侈了。既然暂时买不起,不如加入抵制的队伍,这样一来,可以换取爱国的好名声,以便在经济复苏的时候借这个头衔东山再起。

Second: Can't afford to buy French product. The stock has gone down, economy is in regression, other factors like energy price and taxation etc.. Expensive French product is now becoming more luxurious. Since we can't afford it, why not joining the boycott team in exchange for the good name of being patriotic? When the economy becomes better, we can make use of this good name for a good position.

第三,可以保全我们的政府。这是很重要的,我们的当局是当年我们的爸爸和爷爷们亲自选出来的,所以说,他代表了我们,他正确就代表我们正确,他有面子就代表我们有面子。在互相的经济政治博弈中,如果我们获得了胜利,那就是当局胜利了,也就等于我们胜利了,但万一我们失手了,那这就是我们的错,是不明真相的群众受到了一小撮人的煽动,引发了狭隘的民族主义浪潮,因为我们的不顾大局导致了外交受阻经济受损,给政府台阶,胜造七级浮屠。

Third: We can protect our government. This is very important. The present government is selected by our father and grand father's generation and therefore represents us. When our government is correct, it means we are correct, if it has face, it means we have face. If we win in this political and economic struggle, the government wins. However, if we lose, it is our mistake. The ignorant mass has been incited by a small fraction of people and triggered a wave of narrow minded nationalism. We have caused damage for our country's diplomatic relation. This provides staircase for our government to exist the stage.

第四,可以防腐败。…但是对一些官员和喜欢出国考察的领导的影响很大,在世界各地的免税店里,他们,尤其是他们的太太是法国货的消费的主力。抵制了法国货,他们就不好意思把法国奢侈品背回中国,而他们又比较落伍,一时估计也没听说过别国的奢侈品,所以短时间内限制了他们的消费,在表面上等于防止了腐败的发生。

Four: The boycott can prevent corruption… It has great impact to those government official who are eager to have overseas study tour. Their wives are key consumers in the duty free shop. If we boycott French product, they will be hesitated to bring the French luxurious items back to China. As they are not so trendy, it takes a while for them to identify other substitutes. The boycott can thus prevent corruption.

第五,可以帮助我的拉力车队。…

Five: The boycott can help my automobile racing team… (Translator note: the main competitor in the automobile race is Citroen.)

第六,可以防止官员出逃。法国最近成为了中国外出考察团的官员们最喜欢失踪的地方…

Six: Can prevent government official from escape. France has become the most popular spot for Chinese officials to disappear during their study tour…

第七,可以降低泡妞的成本。一旦抵制的浪潮掀起,你就可以对喜欢法国奢侈品的女孩子们说,为了国家,我不会给你买这个的。

Seven: Can reduce the cost for chasing girl. You can tell those girls who love French luxurious items that for the sake of our country, I won't buy you this.

12 comments

  • Kai

    LOL. Twocold = NIU BI!

  • supersaint

    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.

  • polaris

    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.

  • Jay

    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.

  • ling

    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?

  • knights

    I also saw DL with Sokrazy the Schidzo’s new wife and a LV bag! ;-)

  • typo, I meant lead painting

  • omnifoo

    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!

  • […] I wonder if American citizens will go to the streets to protest/boycott Iraq and Iraqi […]

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